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Degrees & Programs

MSW

Admissions

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Thank you for your interest in the MSW program at The Ohio State University College of Social Work! Our admissions counselors are dedicated to helping you through the application process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact cswadmissions@osu.edu.

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CSW MSW Program: it is designed to fit your life!

  • Our Traditional MSW program is offered in Summer and Autumn semester and is available on the Columbus campus and online. Our Traditional MSW degree can be completed full-time in two years or part-time in either three or four years.
  • Our Advanced Standing Alternative Plan (ASAP) MSW program is offered Summer and Autumn semester and is available on the Columbus campus and online. It is designed for students who have earned their Bachelor of Social Work (BSSW) within the last five years and achieved a 3.0 undergraduate GPA for your Social Work degree and a “B” or better in all required social work courses. The ASAP plan can be completed full-time in one year (three semesters) or part-time in two years (six semesters).

Application Requirements

To be considered for admission into the Traditional MSW program, applicants must:

  • Have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Have a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher (based on a 4.0 system) for all previous undergraduate academic work. Applicants whose last degree earned GPAs are less than 3.0 will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Have completed at least 15 quarter or 10 semester credit hours of course work in the social sciences (i.e., Anthropology, Communications, Criminology, Economics, Geography, Globalization Studies, International Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Speech and Hearing Science, and World Politics). If you believe you have taken a social science course, but it is not directly from one of the departments listed, a course syllabus will be needed for review.

To learn more, please view the traditional MSW application checklist.


Applicants who are interested in the Advanced Standing Alternative Plan (ASAP) MSW program must:

  • Hold a Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE accredited program, earned within the last five years.
  • Have earned a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 on all previous undergraduate academic work attempted. In addition to the 3.0 cumulative GPA, students must have a “B” or better in all required undergraduate social work courses.
  • Successful completion of practicum experience; students will need to upload their practicum evaluation/learning agreement from their undergraduate program. A letter from the practicum instructor can be used in place of the practicum evaluation/learning agreement. However, this does not take the place of the required three letters of recommendation.

To learn more, please view the ASAP application checklist.


Zoom Information Sessions

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an informational session prior to applying to the MSW program. At the Zoom meeting, we will cover in detail the program, careers, application process, curriculum and so much more.

If you have any questions or concerns, email Qu Twilley, the MSW Outreach Program Coordinator at twilley.4@osu.edu


Application Deadlines

Domestic Deadline International Deadline Program
Round 1 DEC 1, 2022 NOV 1, 2022 ASAP and Traditional MSW (Summer & Autumn)
Round 2 APR 1, 2023 MAR 1, 2023 ASAP and Traditional MSW (Summer & Autumn)
Round 3 JUL 1, 2023 JUN 1, 2023 ASAP and Traditional MSW (Autumn)

Start your online application


Application Fee Waiver

All prospective students are eligible for an application fee waiver. Please select the “PGD fee waiver” or “Alumni Online Program Applicants fee waiver” or “Big Ten Academic Alliance fee waiver” before submitting your MSW application.

  • PGD Fee Waiver: for MSW applicants who are not eligible for the Big Ten Academic Alliance and Alumni Online Program fee waivers.
  • Alumni Online Program Applicants: OSU alumni who are applying to online programs at Ohio State.
  • Big Ten Academic Alliance: students who have a 3.0 or higher are eligible for the Big Ten Academic Alliance Free Application.

Admissions FAQs

What are the requirements for admission to the regular MSW program?
  • Any baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (based on a 4.0 system) for last highest degree earned is preferred. Applicants who do not meet the 3.0 GPA will be reviewed for admission on a case-by-case basis.
  • At least 15 quarter or 10 semester credit hours of coursework in the social sciences (examples of approved subjects are typically: Anthropology, Communications, Criminology, Economics, Geography, Globalization Studies, International Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Speech and Hearing Science, and World Politics). If you believe you have taken a social science course, but it is not directly from one of the departments listed, a course syllabus will be needed for review.

To be considered for fellowships, applicants must have a completed application by December 1st. This includes all application components (letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc.): https://gradsch.osu.edu/pursuing-your-degree/graduate-fellows
The application for the academic year opens annually on September  1 and all application materials must be submitted by July 1 (Autumn start) to be considered for admission. This includes all letters of recommendations, and transcripts. We have rolling admission, which means your application will be reviewed once all supporting materials have been submitted. On average, you will receive an admissions decision within 3-5 weeks. 

What are the requirements for admission to the Advanced Standing Alternative Plan (ASAP)?
  • Bachelor of Social Work within the last five years from an accredited college or university.
  • “B” or better in all social work required courses (a “B minus” does not meet eligibility requirements)
  • Cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (based on a 4.0 system) for Bachelor of Social Work degree.
  • Successful completion of field evaluation/learning agreement from their undergraduate program
  • At least 15 quarter hours or 10 semester hours of coursework in the social sciences (examples of approved subjects are typically: Anthropology, Communications, Criminology, Economics, Geography, Globalization Studies, International Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Speech and Hearing Science, and World Politics). If you believe you have taken a social science course, but it is not directly from one of the departments listed, a course syllabus will be needed for review.
  • To be considered for fellowships, applicants must have a completed application by December 1st. This includes all application components (letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc.): https://gradsch.osu.edu/pursuing-your-degree/graduate-fellows

The application for the academic year opens annually on September 1 and all application materials must be submitted by July 1 (Autumn start) to be considered for admission. This includes all letters of recommendations, and transcripts. We have rolling admission, which means your application will be reviewed once all supporting materials have been submitted. On average, you will receive an admissions decision within 3-5 weeks. 

What are the admissions requirements for international students?

International students must have a completed application by June 1 (Autumn start). In addition, the English language testing requirements are:

  • TOEFL
    • 79 on the internet-based TOEFL or TOEFL Special Home Edition
  • IELTS
    • 7.0 on the IELTS exam or IELTS Indicator

Exemptions

Applicants who are citizens of, or who have received a bachelor’s degree or higher from, one of the following countries are exempt from the English proficiency requirement: Australia, Belize, the British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Scotland, the United States and Wales.

Please note: if you have any questions, please contact cswadmissions@osu.edu.

Do I have to take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) to enroll in the MSW Program?

The GRE is not required for any applicant, including any fellowship applicant or any student below a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

I have a GPA below 3.00, what can I do to strengthen my application?

For students who have below a 3.0 cumulative for their last degree earned (excluding associate’s degree), the MSW Program has to petition students they feel would be successful in the MSW Program and request a conditional admission. Here are some tips for strengthening your application as these candidates will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

  • Strong academic reference(s) as part of your required 3 letters of recommendation
  • Thorough response in your statement of purpose describing your academic challenges and how you plan to be successful in the MSW Program
  • Enrolling in Graduate Non-Degree courses and using your instructor as a reference will help showcase your graduate program readiness
Do I need to submit transcripts from all the schools I have attended?

Official copies of all institutions you have attended must be submitted with your online application (OSU transcripts exempted). Transcripts submitted with the application are considered unofficial and if admitted, you will be required to submit an official set of transcripts prior to enrolling at Ohio State. Only transcripts sent directly from your institution to Graduate and Professional Admissions are considered official. Transcripts sent by you will not be accepted, considered or reviewed.

Official transcripts should be sent to gpadocs@osu.edu if submitted electronically or the following mailing address:

Office of Graduate & Professional Admissions
The Ohio State University
PO Box 182004
Columbus, Ohio 43218-2004

If your institution provides electronic official transcripts, they may be submitted instead but they need to come directly from your institution. Make sure to mark out all U.S. social security numbers before scanning.

Please note: Ohio State will not accept web reports, advising reports, self-reported scores, or transfer credit on another school’s transcript. For more information, please read the Graduate School Application Instructions.

I am a graduate of The Ohio State University. Do I need to upload copies of my transcripts to the application?

Applicants who have attended Ohio State are not required to purchase Ohio State transcripts but must submit transcripts of any courses completed elsewhere. If you are a current student at Ohio State when you apply, please upload a copy of your Ohio State advising report.

How do I Invite my recommenders to complete the online recommendation form?

When completing your application online, you will submit three names and contact information for each. Make sure in advance that your references have indicated they are willing to submit the reference electronically. Once you submit your application with the $60 application fee, an email invitation to complete the referral will be sent to your recommenders about one to two business days after.

It is recommended that your three letters of recommendation are submitted from individuals separate from your field evaluation.

What do my recommenders need to include in their letter?

Recommenders are e-mailed a link to complete a form in which they will rank the applicant in a number of fields. In addition to the form, they will be asked to submit a letter of recommendation with the following prompt:

I agree to upload a letter on my organization's letterhead that will help provide a complete picture of the applicant's abilities and potential as a graduate student and social worker. For example, I will provide the following information: (1) How long and in what capacity I have known the applicant; (2) Concrete examples to support why I believe the applicant will succeed in graduate school; (3) Qualities that will make the applicant a good social worker. In general, the reference letter should highlight the applicant's strengths and accomplishments as well as contributions you believe they can make to the field of social work. Please speak to what you believe sets the applicant apart from others.

Can I save my MSW application and come back to it?

Yes, by clicking save at the bottom of the window, applicants can save their progress on the online application. It is highly recommended that applicants frequently hit save while completing the online application. After being away from the computer or inactive for several minutes, the application session will end and all unsaved data will be lost.

When can I expect my admissions decision?

We admit on a rolling basis which means we will review applicants as soon as they are complete. To be considered “complete,” ALL materials must be submitted before going out for review.

The review time for an application is on average about 3-5 weeks. When a decision has been made for each applicant, it will be posted. Once the decision is posted, a letter of acceptance or denial will be e-mailed to the applicant via the e-mail address provided by the applicant on the application.

Which semester would I begin the MSW Program?

Students admitted to the Advanced Standing Alternative Plan (ASAP) can begin during Summer or Autumn semester.

Students admitted to the Traditional program would begin during Summer or Autumn semester.

Can I start taking classes earlier than my admit term?

While students need to begin courses with their cohort, there is the option of Graduate Non-Degree courses. Graduate non-degree is an option for students who wish to familiarize themselves with our MSW program prior to being admitted. As a graduate non-degree student, you can take up to 7 credit hours of graduate level electives that can be transferred into the program. For additional information on how to apply as a graduate non-degree student, visit: http://go.osu.edu/graduatenondegree.

Does the online program have any face-to-face components?

All online students will complete their field practicum in person. You will work with the Office of Field Education to be referred to a field placement within a 50 mile radius.

Our online program is asynchronous/synchronous.

  • Asynchronous: you can take online courses on your own schedule. Course materials, lectures and learning activities are released weekly and can be completed at any time during a one-week window.
  • Synchronous: although you will take classes online, you will virtually attend a class session each week, at the same time as your instructor and classmates.
Is the Online MSW Program (ASAP or Traditional) available in my state?

Because you are considering an online academic program that leads to a professional license, it is highly recommended you contact the appropriate licensing agency where you plan to receive instruction before beginning your academic program. SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) does not provide reciprocity for state professional licensing requirements. Academic programs and individual graduates must meet standards set by that state’s licensure requirements for a graduate to be eligible for a license.

To learn more about state authorization, eligibility and accreditation, please visit https://online.osu.edu/state-authorization. Any questions can be addressed to the State Authorization team by emailing ODEE-stateauth@osu.edu.

What types of references do I need to apply to the program?

Three letters of recommendation (academic or professional) must be submitted electronically through the university's online system. Please list the names and addresses of persons you are asking to complete letters of recommendation. For applicants to the online sub plans, one letter of recommendation should be from a distance-learning professor, if applicable.

Once you submit your application, expect three to five business days before your application posts to the Student Information System (SIS). At that time, your recommenders will be notified of your request for a recommendation. The College of Social Work will only accept recommendations submitted through the online system; please do not submit paper or other electronic recommendation forms. You must include valid email addresses for your references. Make sure in advance that your references have indicated they are willing to submit the reference electronically.

What kinds of financial aid are available to me?

Fellowships: Fellows are selected on the basis of academic merit through university-wide competitions without respect to financial need. Graduate fellows cannot be required to perform a service in return for receiving a stipend. The College of Social Work offers the University Fellowship and the Enrichment Fellowship. For more information, please look at eligibility requirements here (https://gradsch.osu.edu/funding/fellowships/eligibility-requirements). Please note: our fellowship deadline is December 1st and a completed application is required for consideration. This means all transcripts and letters of recommendation need to be submitted. Students planning to pursue the Online MSW Program (ASAP or Traditional) are not eligible for fellowships.

Assistantships: The College of Social Work typically does not award these to students. Master’s students are eligible for assistantships and are encouraged to contact other departments at the university if they are interested in an assistantship. Please note: students planning to pursue the Online MSW Program (ASAP or Traditional) are not eligible for assistantships.

Scholarships: The College of Social Work does have a scholarship application with a deadline of March 1. To access the application, please go to this link: https://csw.osu.edu/degrees-programs/msw/current-students/ and information is in the drop down menu under, “Scholarships and Financial Aid.”

Loans: students can utilize loans for graduate school by filing a FAFSA. Questions about loans should be directed to Buckeye Link (buckeyelink@osu.edu or 614-292-0300). Please note: OSU’s School Code for FAFSA is 003090.


Contact Us

cswadmissions@osu.edu | (614) 247-6351