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Degrees & Programs



What are the requirements for admission to the regular MSW program?

To be considered for admission to the MSW Program, applicants must:

  • Have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. Your degree does not have to be in social work;
  • Have a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher (based on a 4.0 system) for all previous undergraduate academic work. Those with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0 will be considered on an individual basis and must submit GRE results;
  • Have completed at least 15 quarter or 10 semester credit hours of course work in the social sciences (i.e., psychology, sociology, political science, anthropology, economics). If you believe you have taken a social science course, but it is not directly from one of the departments listed above, a course syllabus would be needed for review.
What should I include in my personal statement?

Faculty reviewers of your application want to understand why you are interested in graduate social work education.  Toward this objective, please prepare a detailed statement covering the questions and points below.  Add any relevant information you wish, but please do not omit any sections or questions; indicate “not applicable” where appropriate.  Note: A resume is not acceptable in lieu of the personal statement.  Your personal statement in general should be a minimum of three (3) pages, no more than five (5) pages, typed, double-spaced, and in 12-point font.  Please use the question number and its associated subheading when responding to each question.

  1. Knowledge and Awareness of the Social Work Profession
    a. Describe how your understanding of the social work profession applies to your social work career goals.
    b. Describe your motivation to pursue a graduate degree in social work, and how you foresee it helping you to attain your professional goals.
  2. Volunteer or Work Experience Related to Social Work
    a. Discuss your student organization, volunteer, and/or paid work experiences that are relevant to social work practice.
    b. Discuss the skills you have developed from these experiences that you think provide a foundation for social work profession.
  3. Personal Strengths and Potential Impact on Social Work
    a. Discuss any unique contributions you believe you will bring to graduate study at The Ohio State University and the field of social work in general.
  4. Diversity
    a. Write about your experiences working with diverse populations.  Which issues and populations do you find particularly challenging?  What issues and populations do you enjoy working with the most?
    b. How did you handle those challenges, or what would you like to learn to handle those challenges more effectively in the future?
  5. Academic Performance (These questions pertain only to those with a cumulative GPA less than 3.0)
    a. Describe what contributed to your academic challenges in your undergraduate studies that prevented you from achieving a 3.0 GPA.
    b. What measures will you take to improve your academic performance if admitted to the program?
  6. Evaluation and Research Interests, Other Accomplishments (These questions are required if you are applying for a University Fellowship)
    a. Describe any research experience and related interests.
    b. Summarize any achievements, scholarships, and/or honors you’ve received related to academics and/or community service.
What is the Difference Between the Advanced Standing Alternative Plan (ASAP) and Online ASAP?

The Online ASAP Program allows students to complete coursework online whereas the regular ASAP Program would require face-to-face time on campus.

Can I choose a different area of emphasis for all online MSW program options?

Yes. At this time, the areas of emphasis offered for the Online MSW programs include Mental Health and Substance Abuse and Children and Youth Services.


Can I do the Online ASAP in one Year?

Yes. We offer an Online ASAP option for a full-time and part-time tracks. Full-time students would complete the program in one year. Part-time students would complete the program in two years.


What are the Requirements for Admission to the Online Advanced Standing Alternative Plan (ASAP)?

To be eligible for ASAP admission, applicants must:

  • Meet all the admission requirements of the Regular MSW Program;
  • 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.
  • Demonstrate evidence of social work practice experience. Experience gained in undergraduate field instruction or paid employment should be fully described in the applicant’s personal statement;
  • Document performance in your field practicum from your field instructor (this may be in the form of a letter summarizing your performance in field or a copy of your most recent field evaluation).
Do I Have to Take the GRE to Apply to the MSW Program?

Scores from the GRE must be submitted by applicants who are applying for the Enrichment or University fellowships. Please note: if you have less than a 3.0 grade-point average, you will not be eligible for the ASAP Program.

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. One letter of recommendation should be from a distance-learning professor, if applicable. Once you submit your application, expect 3-5 business days before your application posts to the SIS (Student Information System). At that time, your recommenders will be notified of your request for a recommendation. The MSW Office 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.

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.

  • It is recommended that your three letters of recommendation are submitted from individuals separate from your field evaluation.
What Does 'Upload a Copy of Your Official Transcripts from Every Institution Attended' Mean?

You must submit official copies of your official records 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.

Official transcripts can be sent to 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, you may submit those 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 Online Application?

Applicants who have attended Ohio State are not required to furnish OSU transcripts but must submit transcripts of any courses completed elsewhere.

What Web Browser do I Need to use to Complete the Online Application?

Internet Explorer and Firefox are the only web browsers in which the online application can be successfully completed.

Can I Save my 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.

Is the MSW Program Available in my State?

To provide some background, federal regulations and NC-SARA policies require institutions to make a number of disclosures to students related to online programs. (More detailed information is attached.) The state authorization team researches and updates these disclosures on the Ohio State Online disclosures website. Along with that, we are requesting online programs to provide a link to the Ohio State Online disclosures page on the department’s program page. For the Master of Social Work program, the suggested language would be:

The Ohio State University is authorized to offer the online Master of Social Work in all 50 states. For more information on state authorization requirements and disclosures related to online programs, please visit