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MSW Program

MSW - Master of Social Work Admission

For admission to the graduate program in The Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work, the applicant must fulfill the requirements established by the MSW Admissions Committee of the School. There is no credit given for life or work experience.

All admissions to the MSW Program are through the MSW Admissions Office. However, all applications or informational requests should be submitted directly to the: Graduate School - Norfolk State University - 700 Park Avenue - Norfolk, Virginia 23504.

Admission Requirements

A baccalaureate degree, preferably in Social Work, from an accredited college or university is required. Students from other countries must show equivalent qualifications. Applicants without the BSW degree may apply, but must meet specific behavioral science and other prerequisite requirements.

  • The applicant’s undergraduate transcript must reflect a GPA of at least 2.7 on a four (4) point scale.
  • A minimum of twenty (21) credit hours in three content areas (with a GPA of at least 2.7) in the social and behavioral sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, political science, economics, counseling, anthropology, women’s studies, family studies and social work and social welfare).
  • A minimum of fifteen credit hours in the Liberal Arts in three content areas (e.g., art, cultural literature, cultural history, humanities, languages, music, philosophy, religion, and speech).
  • A 3 credit hour prerequisite course in Human Biology. (Lab not required)
  • A prerequisite course in Social Science Statistics (three (3) credit hours with a minimum grade of 2.0).
  • Evidence of computer literacy, which is a prerequisite for research courses.

Application Process

Application Deadline: March 1 is the deadline for fall semester admissions. Full Time and Extended Time Students are admitted in the fall semester only. October 1 is the deadline for spring semester admissions for Social Work Advanced Standing Students only.

Due to accreditation guidelines, the School of Social Work requires that supplemental application materials be completed if an individual would like to be considered for the MSW Program. All supplemental materials below must be uploaded to the online application

Applications are reviewed and decisions are made by the MSW Program Admissions Committee. An applicant may be requested by the MSW Admissions Committee to come for an interview. An applicant may also request an interview. The address and contact information listed above should be used for all correspondence and communication.

  • The completed Graduate School Application and one copy.
  • The application fee of $50.00.
  • Three references on form provided. (One academic, one professional, and one volunteer).
  • Official transcripts from all universities attended.
  • The Personal Statement, following the supplemental guidelines that are provided.
  • The Academic Summary Form detailing the completion of all prerequisite requirements.
  • A current resume that details work, volunteer, and academic experiences. (Include information about special recognitions).

Master of Social Work Matriculating Admission

Full-Time Students
This admission status is granted to applicants who meet all admission requirements. Persons admitted under this curriculum enroll for the normal sequence of courses and field work with the goal of meeting all requirements for the Master of Social Work degree in two academic years.

Extended-Time Students
The school offers an extended program of study to a limited number of students. This plan offers the opportunity for enrollment education to persons who must extend their course of study beyond the two-year academic period. The Extended-Time MSW program permits students to complete requirements over a six (6) semester period. Students should discuss needs for extension with their academic advisor, the Director of MSW Program, and receive approval from the Assistant Dean.

All Students should review the following items carefully:

  • Planning with an assigned academic advisor is required to ensure that all requirements are met according to the defined sequence.
  • Students should be aware that only a limited number of courses are offered in the evenings and during the summer session. Specific courses are offered only in the fall and spring sessions.
  • Selection of elective courses should be made in collaboration with an academic advisor.
  • Current employment in a social work setting cannot be used to fulfill field practicum requirements.
  • Advanced planning with the advisor and Director of MSW Field Education is encouraged if placement within the employing agency is requested.
  • Neither semester of the final year can be reduced to fewer than nine (9) credit hours.

Advanced Standing Students
This admission category is in recognition of superior academic performance during prior education in a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited undergraduate Social Work/Social Welfare program. Based on the Admissions Committee assessment of this performance, a student may be granted the opportunity to accelerate his/her MSW program.

Application to the Advanced Standing Program must be within five (5) years of graduation. Applicants must have completed, with a grade of B or better, a minimum of 400 clock hours of educationally directed field experience as part of the bachelor’s degree program. The minimum academic requirement for consideration is the attainment of a 3.00 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 point scale for academic courses other than social work, and a 3.50 cumulative grade point average for social work/social welfare courses.

An application to Advanced Standing Program will be reviewed by the School’s MSW Admissions Committee regarding eligibility for admission to Advanced Standing. Consideration will be given to the applicant’s scholarship, academic background, field experience, and work experience. Reports from undergraduate programs will be of particular importance in evaluating the learning acquired during the applicant’s field experience. Furthermore, personal qualities that indicate the potential for meeting the requirements of Advanced Standing will be ascertained via references, reports, and an interview with the MSW Admissions Committee.

Advanced Standing is a full-time continuous program consisting of one spring semester and two consecutive semesters. Selected applicants must begin the program during the spring semester. In the event that all requirements are not met, a student is required to reapply to the graduate program. Students in the Advanced Standing Program are not eligible for transfer credits, course substitutions or other course exemptions.

Non-Matriculating Students
Non-matriculating status is a non-degree admission status. This category of admission is granted to persons with undergraduate degrees who wish to enroll in graduate social work courses, but are undecided about curriculum choices or have no immediate plans to study for the Master of Social Work degree. The School will admit a limited number of applicants as non-degree students. Admission to certain courses will be on a space available basis and may require the approval of the Assistant Dean.

A non-degree student, who, at a later date, desires to study for the Master of Social Work degree, must apply for admission as a matriculating student. Because of the competitive nature of admission, completion of non-degree coursework does not guarantee admission. Should admission be granted, a maximum of six (6) graduate credit hours taken as a non-degree student at The Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work may be considered for credit.

MSW Information Sessions
Information sessions and individual appointments are available during the fall and spring semesters. Applicants are encouraged to attend a session to talk about the School with the Director of Admissions. Interested persons should call (757) 823-8695.

MSW Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The curriculum is organized around a social/ecological/systems perspective and the degree conferred upon completion of four coordinated semesters of study in the Master of Social Work Program (MSW).

The degree requires completion of a minimum of sixty (60) credit hours generally distributed throughout five sequences: Social Work Practice Methods, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Social Welfare Policy, Research Methods, and Field Practicum.

A grade of 3.00 (B) on a 4-point scale for every academic course and field practicum is required to maintain good academic standing and to meet requirements for a degree.

Degree Requirements

  • Completion of a minimum of sixty (60) credit hours which are prescribed from courses offered by the School and other graduate programs.
  • Maintenance of a minimum average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all academic courses taken.
  • Maintenance of a grade of at least 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale for each field practicum and all practice courses.
  • Two consecutive semesters of full-time residency status. Generally, the final year of study is used to meet this requirement.
  • Completion of all degree requirements within four (4) years of matriculation.
  • Adherence to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics.
  • All financial obligations to the University and to the School of Social Work must be met before degrees are conferred.

Policy

It is the policy of Norfolk State University to provide equal educational opportunity, equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, national origin, political affiliation, religion, sex, age, or disability. Any employee or student who feels discriminated against should be referred to the Director of Affirmative Action.