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Dec
12

Human Centered Design... Change Agents for People

MSW FAQs: About the Program

CAN I SWITCH MY SPECIALIZATION?

Yes you can switch specializations after the spring semester of your first year. However, you must attend summer school with a specialization change. You must retake the 777 (theory) course specific to the specialization you choose. You must also talk with the Field Office to make sure that your advanced year field placement is appropriate for your new specialization.

IS THE FULL-TIME PROGRAM OFFERED AT THE EXTENDED SITES IN CHARLESTON AND GREENVILLE?

Our Charleston and Greenville sites are designed for part-time students only. In some circumstances, if you need to take a class in Charleston or Greenville as a full-time student, you may do so as long as all part time students who need that class are already enrolled and the class is not full. Please be aware that even if you take some classes in Greenville or Charleston you will still be required to commute to Columbia up to three times a week for your other classes.

AS A PART-TIME STUDENT IN GREENVILLE AND CHARLESTON, AM I REQUIRED TO COMMUTE TO COLUMBIA IF I CHOOSE A SPECIALIZATION OTHER THAN HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH?

We only offer the Health and Mental Health specialization in Charleston and Greenville. If you choose a specialization outside of Health and Mental Health you will be required to commute to Columbia during the spring semester of your second year as well as for both semesters of your advanced year. Please contact the field office for additional information about internship options in the Charleston and Greenville area.

ARE THERE ANY COURSE WAIVER EXAMS OFFERED TO FULL-TIME STUDENTS NOT IN THE ADVANCED STANDING PROGRAM, AND PART-TIME STUDENTS?

There are no course waiver exams offered to full-time and part-time students. However, ADST students may fulfill the requirement for Exploring Diversity and Social Justice in S.W. Practice through previous BSW coursework with special permission. You much submit all relevant syllabi for review to be considered for this permission.

ONCE I AM ENROLLED AS A PART-TIME STUDENT, CAN I LATER SWITCH TO FULL-TIME?

If you start out as a part-time student, you cannot switch to full-time because of resultant plan of study conflicts. You can however switch from full-time to part-time. Switching from full-time to part-time will add an additional year to your studies.

HOW MANY COURSES ARE OFFERED ONLINE?

Three of the required courses are offered online as well as some elective courses. Online courses will require some face-to-face time.

DOES THE COLLEGE OFFER LICENSURE COURSES?

We offer a licensure preparation workshop in the fall that is also available online for the remainder of the academic year.

IF I WAIVE OUT OF A COURSE, AM I REQUIRED TO TAKE A COURSE IN PLACE OF THE COURSE THAT WAS WAIVED? (Advanced Standing Only)

You are not required to take a course in place of the waived course. However we strongly advise that you take an elective course in its place to reduce course load in the fall/spring

HOW DOES THE FIELD EDUCATION COMPONENT OF THE CURRICULUM WORK?

Field instruction is considered a vital component of education for the social work profession. Every student enrolled in the College of Social Work spends two full-time days a week in a human service setting, called a field placement or internship, to develop, practice, and improve his or her professional skills. Field instruction is considered an academic class, although the learning takes place in the actual placement setting, as it is an integral part of the curriculum and tuition and fees apply. Students register for field instruction for each semester they are in field placement.

Students must complete a total of 974 hours in the FT & PT MSW field education program in order to be eligible for graduation. Advanced Standing Students must complete a minimum of 528 hours in order to be eligible for graduation.

HOW DOES FOUNDATION FIELD EDUCATION WORK?

Foundation practice masters students are in a generalist placement for two semesters for a total of 446 hours (174 hours for SOWK 781, 272 hours for 782). SOWK 781 field internships begin with a startup orientation and concurrent field seminar program the first five weeks and then every other week for the entire academic year. Foundation level students enter the foundation field placement site by week five and are in practicum two full days a week, including a block week in January of the foundation level academic year.

HOW DOES ADVANCED FIELD EDUCATION WORK?

During the advanced practice curriculum, students are in advanced practice field placement that specializes within the content area the student has chosen for the equivalent of 16 hours each week with an additional block week each semester for a total of 528 hours (264 each semester). Again, students must complete a total of 974 hours in the MSW field education program in order to be eligible for graduation.

ARE THERE NIGHT AND WEEKEND PLACEMENT AVAILABLE?

Under no circumstances can the field education office or the CoSW promise particular days and hours of field. Evening and weekend placements are rare and sometimes nonexistent. Students should be prepared to engage in field placements from 8-5 on weekdays. Our main goal is to ensure students receive a high-quality education.

DO YOU HAVE INTERNATIONAL FIELD PLACEMENTS?

Yes. For additional information on international field placements, you will need to contact the field placement director, Dr. Melissa Reitmeier, after you have been admitted.

end faq

MSW FAQs: Application

WHEN CAN I APPLY

You can apply as early as August or September of each year.

CAN I APPLY AFTER THE DEADLINE?

Applications received after the deadline date will be considered on a seat-available basis only.

DO YOU OFFER APPLICATION FEE WAIVERS?

The Graduate School will consider application fee waivers for Fulbright and McNair Scholars. Please contact the Graduate School at 803.777.4243 for more details.

DO I NEED AN UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE IN SOCIAL WORK?

You do not need an undergraduate degree in social work to be considered for admission. We do have a program specifically designed for those students who have earned a degree in social work (BSW) from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education called the Advanced Standing Program. For those students who have not earned a BSW, you are welcome to apply to our full-time or part-time programs.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THE MSW PROGRAM?

The different lengths of study are:
Full-time (2 Years – Program starts fall term)
Part-time (3 Years – Program starts fall term)
Advanced Standing (11-month intensive – Program starts summer term)

IF I AM INTERESTED IN THE PART-TIME PROGRAM IN CHARLESTON/GREENVILLE, HOW SHOULD I APPLY?

If you are interested in the part-time program in either Charleston or Greenville, you will need to submit an application along with all the appropriate admissions documents to the Graduate School. Please see How to Apply.

WHAT IS AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STATEMENT?

The autobiographical statement provides the College of Social Work information to evaluate readiness for the MSW program. You must answer questions 1-4. Your entire statement should be 2-5 pages, double spaced, typed using 12 point font and one inch margins. Please upload your statement as a PDF file.
Mandatory:

  1. Describe why you hope to enter the profession of social work. Discuss the development of your interest in and commitment to a career in social work.
  2. Describe a situation in which you helped someone. What factors did you consider? What were your thoughts as you responded to the situation? Reflecting back, would you do anything differently if you were faced with the same situation?
  3. How do you manage self-care in challenging circumstances and attend to stress? Describe a time when you were under great stress and how you handled it.
  4. If accepted into this program, how will you manage your time to engage fully in meeting the program requirements?

In addition, you must answer one question from among the three following questions:

  1. Discuss the personal values and skills you possess that would be beneficial to you as a social worker and also those you would like to change.
  2. Discuss your long term career goals, including what you want to do with your social work degree.
  3. How do you define social justice? What does social justice mean to you personally? Describe an experience in your life or community that has affected you and your understanding of social justice.

Please provide any additional information you believe is relevant in the assessment of your application.

HOW ARE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION SUBMITTED?

  • In the online application, include the name and email of each referee.
  • Don’t wait for submissions of letters of recommendation to submit your MSW application.
  • Make sure to follow up with EACH referee so they know when they fill out the online form they must also ATTACH a letter of recommendation.

HOW DO I SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS?

Make sure to submit your online application first. Then, all official post-secondary transcripts must be submitted to the Graduate School. Transcript is required even if only one course completed at school For transcripts to be considered official, they must be received one of the following ways:

  • As a hard copy in a sealed envelope from the school
  • As an official electronic copy sent from your school to the USC Graduate School

Note: If you attended the University of South Carolina, you will not need to submit this transcript or other transcripts previously submitted to USC Graduate School, as these are already in the USC data system.

If you haven’t graduated yet, you must submit an official transcript with all grades posted through the fall semester prior to the final application deadline.

The Graduate School’s mailing address is:
University of South Carolina
Graduate School Admissions
901 Sumter Street, Suite 301
Columbia, SC 29208

Official electronic transcript(s) must be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WHAT IS THE GRADE POINT AVERAGE REQUIREMENT?

Cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale) from your bachelor's (undergraduate) degree institution is highly preferred for admission. For applicants whose GPA falls below a 3.0 grade point average, an official copy of your GRE scores is required. GRE is not required of those students who have earned a master’s degree from an accredited institution.

DO I HAVE TO TAKE THE GRE?

The GRE is NOT required of applicants who have earned a master’s degree from an accredited institution, or meet the GPA requirements. For applicants who do not have a master’s degree, or meet  GPA requirements, the GRE is required. Successful applicants typically have a score of "4" on the analytical writing portion of the current general GRE. Note: GRE score are only valid for five years. For more details about the GRE, please visit www.ets.org.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS?

An applicant who wishes to transfer from another MSW program must complete the same admission process and meet the same admission requirements as other degree candidates. A formal written request for transfer must be made at the time of application for admission. If admitted, you must complete the transfer for graduate credit form. To obtain a form, please visit http://gradschool.sc.edu/DocLibrary/#current. A maximum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit may be transferred from other institutions accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Students requesting a transfer to our program will have their transcripts individually evaluated by the associate dean to assess which hours are transferable. You will need to provide syllabi when meeting with the associate dean. Please address letters requesting transfer to: The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of South Carolina College of Social Work, 1512 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29208

WHEN WILL I FIND OUT IF I HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED?

The admissions committee will begin reviewing files in January for summer (Advanced Standing program) and fall admissions (full-time and part-time). Your application will be reviewed once all supplemental documents have been submitted to the graduate school. The response time on all completed applications is approximately 4-6 weeks.

I AM AN INTERNATIONAL APPLICANT. HOW DO I APPLY?

International applicants must also submit an application for graduate admission to the graduate school. To apply, please visit http://www.gradschool.sc.edu/prospective/apply-grad.asp?page=apply . Along with an application for graduate admission, international students may be required to submit the following: TOEFL or IELTS scores for applicants whose primary language is something other than English. An applicant whose native language is not English is required to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 80 Internet-based, or 570 paper-based, but some programs have set higher standards. The minimum acceptable overall band score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam is 6.5.

For testing information contact:
Test of English as a Foreign Language
Educational Testing Service
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
www.toefl.org

IELTS International
100 East Corson Street, Suite 200
Pasadena, CA 91103, USA
www.ielts.org

CAN I SCHEDULE A VISIT BEFORE I APPLY?

We encourage prospective students to visit the College of Social Work. Prospective students can attend open house events, virtual sessions, or group sessions, which are held during the fall and spring of each year. Please continue to visit www.cosw.sc.edu website for details about information sessions and open house events. The college can also arrange an individualized visit for prospective students, which includes a campus tour and a meeting with the recruiter or admissions coordinator. Please contact the recruiting office at 803.777.3702 to schedule an individual appointment.

HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT CERTIFICATION AND LICENSURE?

To learn about certification and licensure levels and eligibility requirements, click here to download a PDF.

end faq

You can apply as early as August or September of each year.

Applications received after the deadline date will be considered on a seat-available basis only.

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