May 31, 2020  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [Working Draft] 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [Working Draft]

Social Work [M.S.W.]


The Master of Social Work program is designed for the working adult, interested in advancing their knowledge and social work skills in working with oppressed and disenfranchised individuals. The program is designed for part-time students and offers only evening and Saturday courses.

Program Admission


Please download Instructions for Applying to the Master of Social Work Program here.

Julie Harkema, Admissions Coordinator, 317 Marshall, 734.487.0393, jharkema@emich.edu

There are two routes toward completion of the MSW degree, as follows:

Full Program - 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.

Advanced Standing - 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.

Please note the specific admission criteria for each route below.

Admission Criteria

Applicants are assessed on the following criteria:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. For applicants pursuing Advanced Standing, a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited college or university is required. Applicants admitted without a BSW will pursue the Full Program. The bachelor’s degree must appear on an applicant’s official transcript prior to enrollment.
  • 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. 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 to the Full Program, if below a 2.75.
  • Applicants pursuing Advanced Standing, a 3.0 in the last sixty credits of the bachelor degree is required.
  • A 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. For additional information, please see the Personal Statement Criteria .
  • Three 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 stationery 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. Please complete an Employment and Voluntarism Form and submit it with your application.

Admission Process

Part 1 - Application Submission (Priority Deadline: December 1, 2020, at 11:59 pm)

Submit a Social Work CAS application.

Complete all four sections of this application, pay the application fee, and request transcripts be sent to the CAS system. Instructions for completing the CAS application can be found at (socialworkcase.liaisoncas.com).

A complete application will include the following:

  • Transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities.
  • A Personal Statement
  • An Employment and Voluntarism Form
  • Reference Letters

Note – Please see the program-specific section of the Social Work CAS application, for a waiver code. The code allows you to waive the application fee for the EMU Graduate School Application.

Graduate School Application

  1. Submit a Graduate School Application (emich.edu/graduate)
  2. The application fee is waived with waiver code (See the program-specific section of the SW CAS application for a waiver)
  3. Submit Transcripts to Eastern Michigan University, via e-mail or mail. Transcripts submitted with Social Work CAS application are not shared with the Graduate School.

International Transcripts - Students with non-U.S. post-secondary credentials must submit an evaluation of their international transcripts from one of four approved evaluation services for a detailed, course-by-course report. Applicants should allow 2-6 weeks for the completed evaluation. Please visit International Admissions for additional information.

Part 2 - Application Review and Decision – An application is considered complete when both the Social Work CAS and Graduate School application are submitted, with transcripts.

Once a complete application has been submitted to the School of Social Work through the CAS system, each application will receive two separate reviews. Reviewers from the School of Social Work read the application and respond using a formal scoring rubric, which takes into account the applicant’s:

  • written explanation of their personal connection to the EMU School of Social Work mission,
  • overall ability to write at a level required for success in a Master’s program,
  • work and volunteer experience directly or indirectly related to social work,
  • assessment of references regarding the applicant’s ability to succeed in graduate school and as a Master level social worker, and,
  • academic ability as demonstrated by their overall grade point average and the average of their last 60 credits as an undergraduate.

If the two reviewers are ten or more points apart in their assessment, the application will be reviewed by a third reviewer.

Once the review is complete, the application is sent to the Admissions Committee for a decision.

Notification of an admission decisionAll applicants are notified of the School of Social Work’s decision by email followed up by mailed letters. Student’s may be accepted, accepted conditionally, or denied admission. Student accepted by the School of Social Work will be asked to accept, defer, or refuse admission contingent on acceptance by the graduate school (must meet graduate school requirements for overall/last 60 credit GPA).

Once a formal decision by the graduate school is made, applicants receive a final acceptance email and instructions about orientation and registration for classes from the School of Social Work and information from EMU.

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. Also, 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 EMU MSW 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.

School Information


Social Work | Jennifer Kellman-Fritz, Ph.D., Director | 323 Marshall, 734.487.1418, jkellman@emich.edu

Deborah A. Willis, Ph.D., Graduate Coordinator | 206F Marshall, 734.487.9480, dwillis@emich.edu

Advisor Information


David Evoy, 315 Marshall, 734.487.6807, devoy@emich.edu

Program Information


Course Requirements 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.

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.

Field Placement

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 fieldwork. Advanced Field Placement (SWRK 695  and SWRK 696 ) requires 500 hours of supervised fieldwork 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.

School Social Work Certification

The EMU School of Social Work offers a sequence of three elective courses that have been approved by the State of Michigan required to become a school social worker. Consultation should be made with a social work graduate advisor or the M.S.W. office about this opportunity.

Degree Requirements: 31-35 hours


Concentration: 18-22 hours


Select one concentration from the following.