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Degrees & Programs


Traditional MSW Program

Our traditional MSW program requires students to have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. Your undergraduate degree does not have to be in social work to obtain your MSW. Students need to have a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (based on a 4.0 system) for all previous undergraduate academic coursework. (All previous undergraduate academic coursework includes all institutions attended, not just the institution from which your degree was received.) Those with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0 will be considered on an individual basis and must submit results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test. Students must have completed at least 15 quarter or 10 semester credit hours of coursework in the social sciences (i.e., psychology, sociology, political science, anthropology, and 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.

For additional details about the application, please review the Admissions FAQ’s.


Admissions Requirements

Applications for the academic year will be available October 1st. December 1st is the fellowship deadline (please note: online students are not eligible for fellowships). Priority will be given to applications submitted by March 1st and the final deadline to apply is April 1st. We offer rolling admission which means your application will be reviewed once all supporting materials have been submitted. You will receive an admissions decision within 2-4 weeks. All application materials must be submitted by April 1st in order to be considered for admission. This includes all letters of recommendations, transcripts, and GRE scores (if applicable). If your cumulative undergraduate GPA is a 3.0 or above the GRE is not required for admission. GRE scores are only required for admission if your GPA is below 3.0. If your GPA is below 3.0 you are ineligible for the advanced standing program, however, you may take the GRE in order to be considered for the traditional MSW program. In order to be considered for fellowships, GRE scores are required regardless of your GPA. Click here to learn more about fellowship requirements:

Are you ready to apply? 

Click here to view the MSW application checklist.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must complete the same MSW application process.  If admitted, you may transfer up to 18 quarter hours or 12 semester credits from another college/university toward your MSW degree. The coursework must be taken within the past 6 years to count for transfer credit.

Graduate non-degree

Graduate non-degree is an option for students who wish to familiarize themselves with our MSW program prior to being admitted. You can apply to be a graduate non-degree student any semester. 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. You can apply as a graduate non-degree student any semester. For additional information on how to apply as a graduate non-degree student visit:

Application Instructions

Please designate which Master of Social Work option you wish to pursue:

  • Advanced Standing Alternative Plan Full-Time (ASF): admits Summer only
  • Advanced Standing Alternative Plan Part-Time (ASP): admits Summer only
  • *Online Advanced Standing Alternative Plan Full-Time (ONL ASF): admits Summer only
  • *Online Advanced Standing Alternative Plan Part-Time (ONL ASP): admits Summer only
  • Traditional Full-Time (MWF): admits Autumn only
  • Traditional Part-Time (MWP): admits Autumn only
  • *Online Traditional Full-Time (ONL MWF): admits Autumn only
  • *Online Traditional Part-Time (ONL MWP): admits Autumn only

*To apply for any Online option, first select the “Online” application and then select the appropriate sub-plan (ASF for ASAP full-time; ASP for ASAP part-time; MWF for MSW full-time; MWP for MSW part-time). Further instructions for the online options can be found here.

Application Fee Waivers

Big Ten Academic Alliance
Students who have a 3.0 or higher are eligible for the Big Ten Academic Alliance Free Application

Alumni Online Program Applicants

The Ohio State University Alumni Association is piloting a new benefit: application fee waivers for OSU alumni who are applying to online programs at Ohio State.

For fee waiver eligibility and requirements visit

Questions? Contact or 614-292-2314


Our traditional MSW program is a total of 63 credit hours and begins in the Autumn semester (August). You can complete the program full-time in 2 years, or part-time in either 3 or 4 years. The traditional MSW program is available at the Columbus campus or online.

Our curriculum allows students to pursue the following Areas of Emphasis:

Aging and Health

Mental Health and Substance Abuse *

Child and Youth Services*

Community and Social Justice

*areas of emphasis currently available for online program options

Academic Program Options:

Dual Degree Fact Sheet

School Social Work Program

Interdisciplinary Specialization in Aging

The Interdisciplinary Specialization in Aging offers students an opportunity to gain specific expertise in the care of older adults through both required and elective coursework. The core curriculum focuses on the basic components of gerontology shared by many disciplines.

To learn more about the Interdisciplinary Specialization in Aging, contact Dr. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny ( 614-292-4378.

UPP Child Welfare Program

UPP prepares graduates for careers in public child welfare agencies in Ohio. This program includes coursework specifically related the child welfare practice and requires that students complete a practicum in a public child welfare agency. Students who are accepted into the program and successfully complete all requirements may be eligible for a $5,000 stipend.

To learn more about the University Partnership Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program, contact UPP Coordinator Linda Helm ( 614-688-3290.

Online Program Format

The Ohio State University Master of Social Work Program is considered an “asynchronous online program.” For those who are newer to online education, this means that all of our courses are designed so that instructors and students do not need to be in the same place at the same time. Virtual live sessions are held via Carmen Connect. If you are completing the online program, there is no on campus requirement. All of your coursework can be completed online and your field placement can be completed at an agency in your local area. The areas of emphasis currently available for our online options are mental health and substance abuse and child and youth services.

Financing Your Education

Master of Social Work students have the option of being full-time or part-time students. Full-time study for graduate students is 8 credit hours a semester and many of our part-time students take a full-time load.  8-18 credit hours is still considered full-time and is charged at the same rate as 8 hours.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Financial aid is intended to help you finance your education when family and personal resources are not adequate to meet your total educational costs.

Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans.  Please visit the web site of OSU’s Student Financial Aid Office for more information or contact the office at:


1st Floor SAS Building
281 W Lane Ave,
Columbus, Ohio 43210
Phone: 614-292-0300
Toll-free: 800-678-6440 

To see OSU’s Student Tuition and Fee Tables, please visit the
Office of the University Registrar’s web site.

OSU School Code for FAFSA is 003090. 

Graduate School Fellowships

There are a number of fellowships offered through the Graduate School.  If you are interested in being nominated for fellowships, please visit the Graduate School webpage to determine your eligibility and deadlines to apply.

Please note: in order to be considered for a University Fellowship nomination, applications must be submitted by December 1. The GRE will need to be taken by November 15th.

Graduate School Fellowships

College of Social Work Scholarships

We are proud to have many high achieving students in the College of Social Work, and we intend to award as many scholarships as possible. Our scholarships are competitive, varied, and awarded based on academic achievement, financial need, and/or one’s professional area of interest in social work. Scholarships are awarded to enrolled students at the end of spring semester for the following academic year; the average award amount is typically $2,500 to $3,000.


To apply for a Social Work scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year, you must complete the online scholarship application by March 1, 2019. You will be required to submit the following documents:

  • A brief professional goals essay
  • An advising report or transcript
  • A one-page résumé
  • The name and contact informationof two academic or professional references

If you are interested in being considered for a need-based scholarship, you must also complete the FAFSA by February 1, 2019

Scholarship applications will open in January 2019.

Field Education

Our Office of Field Education will place you at an agency in your area to complete your field practicum. We partner with over 800 agencies! A total of 896 field placement hours are required to be completed to obtain your MSW degree. For general questions related to field education contact

Field Manual