ADMISSIONS 

Thank you for your interest in West Chester University's accredited MSW Program.

Whether you're interested in enrolling at the West Chester or Philadelphia location, the admissions requirements and application process are the same.

Application deadlines vary per program (advanced standing, full-time, 3-year and 4-year) so be sure to review the dates carefully. 

In addition to meeting the qualifications required of all WCU graduate students, MSW applicants must demonstrate potential for the social work profession. We require three letters of recommendation and have specific guidelines for the Personal Statement. Please review the Application Requirements below.

WE'RE HERE TO HELP!

Questions about WCU or the application process? Our Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions, Jeanean Mohr, is happy to assist you. 


 

Applicants with BSW

Apply to the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work (MSW) Program, Summer Start Only

Applicants who hold a B.S.W. degree from a program accredited by the CSWE should apply for the reduced-credit, Advanced Standing program, which begins in the summer. Advanced Standing students take two summer "bridge" courses (Summer Session I and Summer Session II) before moving directly into specialized-level coursework and fieldwork in the fall.

Advanced Standing applicants should meet the following minimum criteria:

  • S.W. from a CSWE-accredited program within the last seven years
  • A GPA of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale) in the social work major

Applicants with Degrees other than BSW

Apply to the Master of Social Work (MSW) Program, Fall Start Only

Applicants who hold non-social work degrees should apply to our “regular” 60-credit MSW program, which begins in the fall. Students can complete the program in 2-4 years depending on the campus and course plan. More information regarding course plans and campus-specific information can be found on our Programs webpage.

Application Deadlines

ADVANCED STANDING PROGRAM

  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with priority given to applications received by January 4, 2021. This is a Summer start program only. For consideration, please select the Summer 2021 term on your online application. 
  • ALL application materials must be received in order to be reviewed for admission, so be sure to request transcripts and letters of recommendation early.
  • There are limited Advanced Standing seats available each year, so while applications may be accepted after January 4th, they may not be reviewed if the program has reached capacity.
  • Classes begin in late May 2021 in alignment with WCU's Summer Session 1.


REGULAR MSW PROGRAM

2-Year Program

  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with priority given to applications received by January 22, 2021. This is a Fall start program only. For consideration, please select the Fall 2021 term on your online application. 
  • ALL application materials must be received in order to be reviewed for admission. Be sure to request transcripts and letters of recommendation early.
  • We will continue to process applications after January 22nd for as long as space is available.
  • Early applicants will have more options for field placement.
  • Classes begin in Fall 2021.

3-Year and 4-Year Programs

  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with priority given to applications received by March 1, 2021. This is a Fall start program only. For consideration, please select the Fall 2021 term on your online application. 
  • ALL application materials must be received in order to be reviewed for admission. Be sure to request transcripts and letters of recommendation early.
  • We will continue to process applications after March 1st for as long as space is available, typically into the summer months.
  • Classes begin in Fall 2021.

Application Requirements and Evaluation

REQUIREMENTS

  • COMPLETED ONLINE GRADUATE APPLICATION
  • PERSONAL STATEMENT

In no more than 3 typewritten, double-spaced pages, please address the following points in separate sections using the section headers identified below.

  1. Interest and Background in Social Work. Describe your interest and background in the social work profession, including any personal, professional and/or volunteer experiences. If you are employed in a social service agency, describe what has compelled you to pursue a graduate social work education. How would a graduate social work education enhance your practice? If you have prepared for or been employed in another field, discuss your rationale for pursuing a graduate social work degree.
  2. Social Work Values.
    WCU's MSW program is committed to anti-racist, anti-oppressive social work practice. As social work students and practitioners, we must engage in ongoing reflection and analysis regarding dynamics related to power, privilege, and oppression and the ways in which social identities influence the privilege and marginalization of individuals and communities, including ourselves and our clients. Please describe how your thinking about these issues has developed over time, and how your views inform your desire to be a social worker. 

OPTIONAL ESSAY COMPONENTS

  1. Graduate Assistantship. 
    If you are interested in being considered for a Graduate Assistantship position within the Department of Graduate Social Work, please identify a faculty member whose research interests you and explain how your experience will contribute to their work. Learn about our faculty members. Selecting a faculty member in your essay does not preclude you from the potential of working with other faculty members.
  2. Transcripts
    If there is anything you would like the admissions committee to know about your academic transcripts (for example, a particularly challenging semester, issues related to GPA, etc.), please share it here.
  • LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
    • Advanced Standing Applicants: 
      Three letters of recommendation, including at least one academic reference (from undergraduate studies or another graduate program) and one work-related (internship, job, or community service) reference. The third letter is the applicant’s choice, but one of the three letters must be from an MSW (including LCSW/LSW) who can evaluate the applicant’s performance in field placement (field supervisor, practice professor) and can speak to the applicant’s preparedness for the Advanced Standing program. 
    • 2-year, 3-year and 4-year Regular MSW Program Applicants: 
      Three letters of recommendation, including at least one academic reference (from undergraduate studies or another graduate program) and one work-related reference (internship, job, or community service). The third letter is the applicant’s choice, but should be from someone with whom you have a professional relationship.
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS
    • Applicant must submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, including post-graduate work. Official transcripts should be emailed to the Graduate College at GradAdmissions@wcupa.edu
    • Applicants who are admitted to the program prior to completing a bachelor’s degree are required to submit final, official copies of all transcripts prior to matriculation. Transcripts must provide confirmation of degree conferred.
  • RESUME
  • INTERVIEW: Applicant may be asked to interview with members of the admissions committee. 
  • GRE examinations and other aptitude tests are NOT required.

EVALUATION OF APPLICANTS

Applications are evaluated holistically. Admission decisions for all MSW programs are based on a review of applicant’s transcripts, experience in human services (paid, volunteer, internships), the application essay, recommendation letters, and the admissions interview. In addition to meeting the minimum admissions requirements, applicants are evaluated for the following: communication skills, professionalism, social work values, emotional intelligence, critical thinking skills, and preparedness for field practicum.

Advanced Standing applicants who meet the minimum admissions requirements, but do not meet other admissions criteria for advanced standing status may be accepted to the program part-time, requiring coursework to be completed prior to the entering specialized field internship.

Advanced Standing applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement, but do meet other admissions criteria, may be admitted to the regular MSW program.

Transfer Applicants

Students seeking to transfer to the MSW Program are required to meet the criteria for admission and follow the application procedures. Students applying to transfer from another CSWE-accredited social work program are also required to have one of the academic references be from the program director in the program from which the applicant is transferring, and must address the academic standing in that program. A minimum grade of B is required for transfer credit. Transfer credits are subject to review and approval by the MSW Program Director.

Notification of Decision

You will be notified about your admission decision within 6 weeks after submission and after the application deadline. Notification will be sent via email and regular mail from WCU's Graduate School. Please be sure to check the email address you provided with your application.

Accepted students are encouraged to visit our New Students page for a checklist of what to do after acceptance. 

 

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