MSW Application Criteria & Process

Application Process for Advanced Standing, Traditional, Part-time, & Online Options

  • Electronically submit the application to the Graduate Admission Office.
  • Submit official college transcripts of all colleges attended.
  • Complete and return the enclosed Confidential Report Form.
  • Applicants with a BA or BS degree will be evaluated as a two-year MSW candidate.
  • Applicants with a BSW degree will be evaluated as an Advanced Standing MSW candidate.
  • Must have a cumulative grade point average of "B" or better
    • Applicants from countries where English is not the native language or from non-U.S. institutions are required to demonstrate a proficiency in English by submitting the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Official TOEFL scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service. Minimum TOEFL scores include:
      • BT 88 points total AND a minimum of 20 points in each section
      • CBT: 230 points
      • PBT: 570 points
  • International applicants must provide documentation verifying resources to meet financial needs for the designated period of study at Virginia State University. 
  • Social work course credit is not granted for life experience or previous work experience.

Criteria for Traditional, Part-time, & Online Options

For admission into the MSW program, applicants must

  • Have “B” or better in the last 60-core credits (includes any previous graduate-level coursework).
  • Submit three letters of recommendation (i.e., employers, faculty or other individuals who have evaluated applicant’s work and can speak to the applicant’s academic abilities and/or related paid social work or volunteer experience).
  • Submit a Personal Statement describing the applicant’s 
    • Understanding of the social work profession
    • Their suitablilty for this program
  • Resume

The Graduate Record Examinations is not required. For admission to Advance Standing see below.

Criteria for Advanced Standing (1-year) Option

Advanced standing admissions classification are only available to students who have received a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited program within the last 5-years. In addition to the criteria for admission to the Traditional, Part-time, & Online Options, advanced standing applicants must have:

  • A cumulative 3.5 BSW GPA.
  • At least a “B” grade in a practice class (frequently called “methods” or “interventions”).
  • Passed all field practicums with at least a “B” grade.
  • A recommendation letter from their undergraduate department chair.
  • A recommendation letter from an agency field placement supervisor.
  • A personal statement that demonstrate applicants’:
    • experience in providing service to people (1-2 years of social work-related or volunteer experience preferred), along with the potential for professional competence.
    • a strong interest and motivation, and commitment to social work values such as appreciation for cultural and ethnic diversity, belief in the dignity and freedom of every individual, promotion of social justice and equal access to resources, and institutional responsiveness to human needs and social change.
    • personal qualifications such as professionalism, sensitivity and responsiveness in relationships, capacity for self-awareness, concerns for the needs of others, ability for abstract reasoning, conceptual thinking and strong communication skills are also core requirements.
  • Social work course credit is not granted for life experience or previous work experience.

Qualified applicants are considered for fall and summer (advanced standing only) admissions. Social work course credit is not granted for life experience or previous work experience.

We’d love to speak with you! Please contact us at:
Department of Social Work

(804) 524-1435
(804) 524-3853
(804) 524-1217