Please download Instructions for Applying to the Master of Social Work Program here.
Full Program - A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university must be completed prior to matriculation. Candidates may apply while their degree is in progress, but degree completion demonstrated by an official transcript is necessary prior to beginning coursework in the MSW Program.
Advanced Standing - A Bachelor of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited college or university must be completed prior to matriculation. Candidates may apply while their degree is in progress, but degree completion demonstrated by an official transcript is necessary prior to matriculation into the MSW Program.
Grade Point Average
Full Program - A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required at the time of application. This GPA can be attained with a cumulative undergraduate or a completed graduate degree. A cumulative undergraduate GPA includes all college courses taken prior to receiving a bachelor degree.
Advanced Standing - A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required at the time of application. This GPA is attained with a cumulative undergraduate degree. A cumulative undergraduate GPA includes all college courses taken prior to receiving a bachelor degree. In addition, a 3.0 in the last sixty credits of the bachelor degree is required.
Conditional Status - In select cases, some applicants will be admitted on a conditional basis to the Full Program if they do not have the minimum overall GPA of 2.75. A limited number of exceptional applicants who have been working in the social work field for a substantial amount of time may be considered for conditional admission.
Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) - The GRE is not required for admission.
Personal Statement - Applicants complete a Personal Statement that speaks to their readiness for graduate studies and connection to our mission. Your Personal Statement will be evaluated as a reflection of your writing skills, your ability to reflect and learn from your experiences, and as a narrative of your background, interests, and goals. You must be the sole author of this statement, but others may provide proofreading assistance and feedback. Your social work Personal Statement must be double-spaced and four to five pages in length. Within your Personal Statement, please address the following:
- Why are you a “good fit” with the mission of EMU’s MSW program?
- In our society, there are many types of privilege. Identify and discuss ways in your life in which you have been in a position of privilege, and how it might affect your work as a social worker.
- Discuss your reasons for why you selected your specific concentration (i.e., mental illness/chemical dependency, families, and children, or services to the aging)?
- What are your mission-related career interests and post-graduation plans?
- Describe a situation where your attitudes about a particular stigmatized population (e.g., LGBT, people of color, persons in poverty, etc.) were challenged, and what you learned from that experience. In what ways are you ready to have your attitudes and social stereotypes be further challenged within an educational setting?
- What attracts you to the MSW program at Eastern Michigan University?
Note: You must complete the Personal Statement according to the requirements of the School of Social Work.
Employment and Voluntarism Record - Provide complete contact information about agencies. Include the average hours/months/days of service at each position or volunteer experience. Please provide as much detailed information as possible, rather than leaving information blank or providing a range of hours. Also, include non-social work employment and voluntarism. Download Employment and Voluntarism form here.
Reference Letters – Three professional reference letters are required. Strong letters would be from professionals that could speak to the applicant’s academic strengths, professionalism, and/or readiness for master level social work. Three reference forms along with narratives letters on professional stationary are required; these will be accessed and submitted online by the recommenders.
Experience - Professional experience in the human services field, both paid and unpaid, is weighed in the decision-making process. This includes paid work experience, volunteer experience, and internships.
- Once a complete application (Graduate Application to the M.S.W Program within the College of Health and Human Services, all transcripts, personal statement, volunteer/work form, and three recommendation forms with attached narrative letters) is received, the School of Social Work verifies, processes, and reviews the application.
- GPA is verified and calculated. Last 60 credits GPA is calculated.
- Work and volunteer experience are verified and calculated.
- Each application is sent out for two reviews. Reviewers from the School of Social Work read the application and respond using a formal rubric, which includes the applicant’s connection to the EMU School of Social Work mission, evaluation of personal and professional characteristics, and academic ability
- If the point spread between the two reviews is more than ten points, the application is sent out for a third review
- Once the reviews are completed, the application is sent to the Admissions committee for a decision.
Notification of Decision - All applicants are notified of a decision by written, mailed letters from the School of Social Work. No decisions are given by email or phone call.
Transfer Applicants - If an applicant is currently in another EMU graduate program and interested in an MSW, the student must complete the formal application process as outlined above to be considered for the MSW program. If accepted, some classes may transfer as electives dependent on the date the class and relevance to the social work curriculum. Discretion for transfer credits lies with the Director of the MSW program.
If an applicant has been accepted into and attended another MSW program, the applicant must complete the formal application process as outlined above to be considered for the EMU MSW program. In addition, the applicant must submit a letter from their current/previous MSW program stating that they left the program in “good standing.” Only students in “good standing” will be considered for the EMUMSW program.
An Appeal of Decision of Acceptance/Denial into the EMU MSW Program - There is no appeal process. Decisions are final. If applicants are interested in re-applying for a future year, they are encouraged to do so by reapplying to the Master of Social Work program and updating their application materials.
Note: Official scores must be sent by the testing agency directly to the University.
The length of time required to complete the M.S.W. depends upon undergraduate preparation. Students admitted to the M.S.W. program begin coursework in the fall semester immediately following their admission. Students are admitted as a cohort with a structured, approved Plan of Study.
Students applying to the M.S.W. program who did not obtain a B.S.W. in their undergraduate studies are considered for the Full Program. Full Program students complete 63 hours of foundation and advanced-level courses. Full Program students can successfully matriculate through the Master’s program in four years while attending part-time.
Students with a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree from an undergraduate program accredited by the CSWE will be considered for advanced standing admission. Students not approved for advanced standing admission may be reviewed for full program admission. Advanced Standing students are required to complete 35 approved credit hours of course work. Students can successfully matriculate through the Master’s program as an Advanced Standing student in two years while attending part-time.
Length of the Program
The Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) mandates that all M.S.W. requirements must be completed within four years of the date of entrance into the program. Exceptions to this requirement may be requested by students who need an extension due to extraordinary and/or unavoidable extenuating circumstances. Only petitions from students who have a consistent outstanding academic performance history with no “incompletes,” withdrawals,” “stop-outs,” or “fail” grades will be considered for this extension. Under no circumstances will students be allowed more than six years to complete their M.S.W. program.
All M.S.W. students must complete field placements that are authorized and arranged with affiliated public and nonprofit social service agencies through the field placement office. Generalist Field Placement (SWRK 595 and SWRK 596 ) requires 400 hours of supervised field work. Advanced Field Placement (SWRK 695 and SWRK 696 ) requires 500 hours of supervised field work in a student’s chosen concentration. M.S.W. students admitted to the full program must complete both placements. Students admitted to the advanced standing program complete only the advanced level placements. In accordance with our national accreditation standards, no credit can be given for past or present work experience.