MSW Admission Criteria

The following criteria will be considered during the 2018 application review process:

1. Undergraduate Preparation including GPA  

  • The Graduate School sets a 3.0 as the minimum GPA for admission to master's programs at UNC Charlotte and requires students to provide copies of unofficial transcripts for all institutions the applicant has attended.  Applicants with GPAs below 3.0 can still be considered for admission.  In this case, the Admissions Committee searches for other evidence of the potential to be successful in MSW coursework - Examples: High GRE scores, extensive work experience).  Applicants should keep in mind that the process is a competitive one. 

  • Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in a liberal arts field of study in order to be eligible to apply to the program.  Examples include, but are not limited to: psychology, sociology, political science, human services, business, criminal justice, communications.

2. GRE Scores

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 have met one of the above criteria will receive a GRE waiver once they have submitted their application with supporting documentation, enableing the Graduate School to verify that one of the above conditions has been met.

Applicants who hold a master's degree may be eligible for a GRE waiver.  Applicants who wish to be considered for a GRE waiver related to an earned master's degree, should contact the Graduate School regarding this request.

The School of Social Work considers the competitiveness of GRE scores:

  • Scores in the 50th percentile or higher in the verbal section, 30th percentile or higher in the quantitative section, and a 3.5 or higher in the writing section would be considered competitive.
  • When an applicant's scores in either the verbal or quantitative sections of the GRE are below the 30th percentile, the Admissions Committee searches for other evidence of the potential to be successful in MSW coursework - Examples: High undergraduate grades in writing, statistics, and/or research courses.

3. Recommendations

  • Three electronic recommendation forms must be completed by faculty members and/or human service professionals such as social workers and volunteer supervisors.
  • For Advanced Standing applicants, one of the three recommendations must be completed by the applicant's BSW Program Director or BSW Field Director.
  • When submitting the recommendation forms, space will be provided for recommenders to upload a letters of support.  Letters of support are helpful in the review process, but optional.

4. Relevant Volunteer and/or Paid Experience 

  • Applicants are required to upload their resumes in the application system
  • The School of Social Work considers the applicant's familiarity with the social work field, leadership contributions, commitment to social justice/advocacy efforts, and the extent of community engagement (i.e. - length of commitment, types of activities, populations served) as described in the applicant's resume and Statement of Purpose.

5. Statement of Purpose - 2018

There is a place within the application for applicants to upload a narrative addressing the 5 prompts below.  The last prompt is optional. Statements of Purpose must be double-spaced and must not exceed 4 pages in length.  

  • Discuss why you are interested in obtaining an MSW.
  • Explain your reasons for seeking admission to UNC Charlotte’s MSW Program specifically.  
  • Describe your understanding of the social work profession and its core values.  
  • Discuss an example of your experience working with diverse populations  (i.e. - gender, age, abilities, etc.)
  • Discuss what you hope to learn about in the MSW Program that you don’t know now.
  • Optional - Describe any extenuating circumstances that may have affected past academic performance and/or anything else you think it is important for the application reviewers to know when reviewing your application.

General Note: Academic credit is not given in the program for life experience, nor is life experience part of the admission decision making process.

Note to International Applicants:  The UNC Charlotte Graduate School requires additional materials be submitted by international applicants such as TOEFL or IELTS scores.  Please read more about these requirements at: