FAQs

Below are some of the most FAQ we receive regarding the MSW Program:

Does the School of Social Work offer an MSW plan of study that is completely online?

No.  The MSW Program is not offered in a completely online format.  We do offer a Part-time hybrid plan of study which holds classes on Saturday at our Center City campus when meeting face-to-face.  This plan of study is geared for students who live within driving distances of campus including those who may be coming from such areas as Asheville, Hickory, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Monroe.

How high do my grades and GRE scores have to be to be offered admission?

Students frequently wish to know how high their grades or GRE scores need to be for admission in the MSW Program.  In admissions, we talk in terms of general, rather than specific figures.  The School of Social Work uses a holistic review process, taking into account the applicant's life journey.  The Admissions Committee is looking for students who will be successful in graduate school. The program also values diversity, an applicant's commitment to social justice, and a range of life experiences that will enrich the class.  While earning a particular GRE score or GPA is not a guarantee of admission, a competitive application is generally one where the applicant meets the minimum of a 3.0 GPA for entrance into graduate programs, has verbal GRE scores in the 50th percentile, has quantitative GRE scores in the 30th percentile or higher, and has a writing GRE score of 3.5 or higher.  The applicant's Statement of Purpose (essay), recommendations, and related experience is important as well.  If an applicant has low scores in the verbal and/or quantitative sections of the GRE, the Admissions Committee will look for other evidence of the applicant's potential for success in the MSW Program.  Examples include high undergraduate grades in courses related to writing, research, and statistics.  Some applicants have been out of school a lot time and are concerned their GPA and/or GRE may not be competitive.  It is recommended that if you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement and/or that your GRE scores are not competitive, you comment on this in the Statement of Purpose.  You also might consider taking up to two post-baccalaureate courses before applying to the program.  Keep in mind that, even with a holistic review, the program receives many applications so it is a competitive process and the School of Social Work is only making a recommendation to the Graduate School regarding admission.  The Graduate School makes the final decision.

Do you have a Part-time Plan of Study?  

The School of Social Work has a 3-year Part-time plan of study.  It is a hybrid format which holds classes Saturdays at our Center City campus when meeting face-to-face.  Courses are completed durign the summer, fall and spring.  Face-to-face sessions are held on approximately 5-6 Saturdays during each semester.  The number of face-to-face sessions varies by course so this information is only meant to give you a general sense of how often classes meet in person.

Students are also required to complete a 16 hour per week internship during the fall and spring semesters of year 1 and 2 of the Part-time program.  The internship hours are typically completed on weekdays during business hours so please keep this in mind when considering the program.  

Do I need to take the GRE?

Applicants must submit GRE scores unless they have met one of the following criteria:

  • Earned doctoral degree from an institution in the United States
  • Cumulative undergraduate (bachelor's) GPA of 3.5 or above at the time of application to the Advanced Standing plans
  • Cumulative undergraduate (bachelor's) GPA of 3.25 or above at the time of application to the  Full-time or Part-time plans

Applicants who hold a master's degree may be eligible for a GRE waiver.  Criteria for those who hold a master's degree has been established by the Graduate School. Generally, a 3.0 undergraduate and graduate GPA is required in this case.  Please ontact the Admissions Director, Amy Peters, amy.peters@uncc.edu if you wish to be considered for a GRE waiver related to an earned master's degree.

How early should I apply?

Applicants are encouraged to their submit their documents (i.e. - application, resume, transcripts, etc.) at least 30-45 days before the first published deadline for the particular plan of interest.  It takes time for the Graduate School to process an application and the School. The Graduate Schools verifies that the applicant has submitted transcripts for all colleges and universities attended and also completes a background check on applicants.  Often, the Graduate School finds applications to be incomplete due to missing GRE scores, transcripts or recommendations and this delays the application from being sent to the School of Social Work for review.  Building in time for the application to make its way to the School of Social Work before the published deadline is highly recommended because applications are reviewed as they are referred and seats admission offers are made on a space-available basis.  The Admissions Committee typically begins reviewing applications in late January for summer and fall admission.

Can I transfer credits into the MSW Program?

An applicant can request to transfer a maximum of 6 credits into the MSW Program, If the applicant did not already apply the credits toward an earned degree.  The applicant should contact the MSW Program Director, Dr. Bob Herman-Smith at bherman@uncc.edu for assistance with this process.  Transfer credits are evaluated for consistency with the UNC Charlotte MSW curriculum. Field hours from another MSW Program are not transferable.  Applicants who have already completed more than 6 credit hours in another MSW Program, may not find it in their best interest to apply to our program.

I would like to apply to Advanced Standing, but I earned my BSW more than 7 years ago.  Am I still eligible?  

Applicants who earned a BSW more than 7 years ago are not eligible to be considered for Advanced Standing.  

Must I have an undergraduate degree in social work to apply?  I have a degree in another field.

Applicants to our Full-time and Part-time plans of study do not need to have an undergraduate social work degree to apply, but do need a degree in a liberal arts field (i.e. - psychology, sociology, business, criminal justice, political science, human services, etc.).

Must I have worked as a social worker to apply?  I am employed in a completely different area.

We advise applicants to know something about the practice of social work before they apply to a rigorous graduate program, but we do accept applicants with diverse educational backgrounds. It is looked upon favorably if the applicant has been exposed to the human service field, such as through volunteer work, because it may mean the applicant has an basic understanding of the social work profession.  You do not need to have an undergraduate degree in social work or employment in the field in order to apply.

How much does the program cost?

Please visit the Financial Services website - http://finance.uncc.edu/student-accounts/tuition-and-fees - for up-to-date tuition and fee information.

What financial assistance is available?

Applicants are encouraged to complete FASFA forms because many scholarships are need-based and you cannot be considered if you have not completed a FASFA.

Behavioral Health Scholarships:  Behavioral Health Scholarships are available through federal funding awarded to the School of Social Work.  For more information, go to: http://socialwork.uncc.edu/admissions/behavioral-health-scholarship

General Scholarships:  There are some scholarships available through the University, College of Health and Human Services, and School of Social Work.  For more information, visit the UNC Scholarship portal at: http://scholarships.uncc.edu/ 

Stipends related to Internships: There are very few agencies that offer stipends for field placements, but there are some.  Contact Ms. Hontah Epps, the Director of Field Education, at htepps@uncc.edu to learn more about field related stipends.  

Graduate Assistants: The School of Social Work employs a limited number of Graduate Assistants for approximately 10 hours per week at an hourly rate.  Contact Dr. Bob Herman-Smith, MSW Program Director, for more information.  There also may be other assistantships available on campus.  For more information on those, see the Graduate School's webpage at: http://graduateschool.uncc.edu/funding

GRE Fee Waivers:  GRE fee waivers are available on a limited basis for qualifying applicants; refer to Educational Testing Services’ webpage at www.gre.org and search for “GRE waiver.”  

Primarily, loans are available to help fund your graduate education. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information. 

How many applicants do you expect to apply?

UNC Charlotte has had tremendous response to the MSW program and each year is typically very competitive.  Our suggestion is to apply.  If you are not accepted, you will need to submit a new application and the processing fee to the Office of Graduate Admissions, which will put your application in the next year’s pool.

I am afraid of the GRE.  Should I take a prep course?

It is up to you whether or not you wish to take a modestly priced study course or self-study by purchasing one of the GRE preparation books.  The Admissions Committee will review the highest of the official verbal and quantitative scores submitted.  GRE scores are valid for 5 years.  Official receipt of the scores by the Office of Graduate Admissions typically occurs a few weeks after completion of the exam.  Please keep in mind that your application is not referred to the School of Social Work by the Graduate School until it is considered complete.  A delay in receiving your GRE scores means a delay in your application review.  Applications are reviewed when received by the School of Social Work as they are referred and on a space-available basis.

Who should I contact if I have questions about my application?

The UNC Charlotte Office of Graduate Admissions will receive your online application and hold it until all of the components are in.  If you are wondering if a transcript, for instance, has been received track your application status in the application portal.  If you have questions after checking the application system, please contact Ms. Laura Crossley, application processor for MSW applications while they are in the Graduate School, at laura.crossley@uncc.edu or Ms. Maryanne Maree-Sams, Graduate School Counselor, at maryannemaree-sams@uncc.edu.  

Can I take courses in the MSW Progrma as a post-baccalaureate student?

Post-baccalaureate students may enroll in up to two courses, but availability is limited.  If offered admission to the MSW Program, students can transfer up to 6 credits for courses taken as a post-baccalaureate student.  Please contact Dr. Bob Herman-Smith at bherman@uncc.edu for more information.  

May I transfer credits from other graduate programs such as counseling or psychology?

Yes, but only up to 6 credits can be transferred from another accredited institution and they cannot have been been already applied toward another degree that was completed. These courses would be transferred as electives.

I would like to supplement my MSW by also earning a graduate certificate.  How do I do that? 

Students interested in graduate certificates should contact the program of interest for details. Students should keep in mind that they may or not be able to complete the certificate before graduating with the MSW as it depends on the timing of course offerings and each student’s schedule while in the MSW Program.  Some of the graduate certificates available at UNC Charlotte include: Certificates in Substance Abuse Counseling, Gerontology, Non-Profit Management, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Play Therapy.  The School of Social Work and the College of Educaton have partnered to offer a Certificate in Early Childhood Mental Health.  Please contact Dr. Bob Herman-Smith for information about this certificate at: bherman@uncc.edu.  For a complete list of certificate programs, visit http://gradcertificate.uncc.edu/certificate-programs.

I would like more information related to graduate programs at UNC Charlotte.  Where do I find it?

See the Graduate School's website at http://graduateschool.uncc.edu/.