Master of Social Work Admission

Information Sessions

To learn more about the MSW program, please consider attending an information session in the fall. Please see the fall information session schedule:

On-Campus MSW Program Information Session

  • Friday, September 15, 2017            11:00-12:00    Edwin Duncan 200
  • Thursday, October 26, 2017            4:00-5:00        Edwin Duncan 200
  • Wednesday, November 8, 2017      4:00-5:00        Edwin Duncan 227

Sessions Specific to the 2018 Advanced Standing Hybrid Program in Hickory, NC

(learn more here:

  • Tuesday, September 12, 2017   6:00-7:00   Zoom web conference meeting*
  • Tuesday, October 3, 2017            6:00-7:00    Zoom web conference meeting*
  • Thursday, November 9, 2017     6:00-7:00   Zoom web conference meeting*

*To obtain information to connect to the conference call, sign up with Grad Connect

The application deadline for programs beginning in 2018 is February 1, 2018. All application materials must be received by this deadline. Completed applications will be reviewed prior to the deadline, and these applicants may be considered and offered early admission. Prospective students should apply through the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School's website. When applying to the program, please select the correct term of entry. Advanced Standing students must select Summer Session II and Regular students must select Fall. If you select the wrong term of entry, please email the Graduate School ( to move your application to the correct term.

Admissions Requirements

  • a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last earned degree OR a 2.5 GPA in the last earned degree and official GRE scores showing at least a 25th percentile level (scores between 25% and 100% in both the verbal and quantitative sections) (Note: This is a minimum requirement for initial application review and does not guarantee acceptance. Regardless of GPA, all students must submit GRE scores and these are considered as part of the application review process).
  • a complete Application Package (see all components listed below)
  • an undergraduate liberal arts background including knowledge from a variety of disciplines

Additional Admissions Requirements for the Advanced Standing Program

  • a BSW degree within the past seven years from a CSWE-accredited BSW Program
  • a GPA of 3.2 in social work major courses

Application Package

Program admission is competitive, and applications are evaluated based on the entire application package. A strong applicant is one who has at least a 3.25 overall GPA, GRE scores in the top 25th percentile (scores between 75% and 100% in all sections), evidence of a commitment to social work values, evidence of readiness to complete a professional graduate program, and a background of paid and volunteer work in human service agencies.

Applicants apply through Cratis D. Williams Graduate School's website. All application components must be received by the deadline in order for applications to be reviewed, and these components are:

  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended
  • Cratis D. Williams Graduate School's Application Form and Fee
  • Official GRE Scores (Note: Please plan to take the exam at least 4-6 weeks prior to the application deadline to allow time for scoring and mailing of official scores.)
  • Three Letters of Reference
    • Three professional letters of reference, preferably with at least one academic and one human service experience (paid or volunteer)
    • According to the Graduate School's FAQ, family members may not be recommenders, and character references or reference from well-known people are not desirable if they do not know you as an employee or student
  • Personal Statement
    • Reviewed to evaluate suitability for the MSW Program and the social work profession, writing skills, and English proficiency
    • Required format: 12 point font, double-spaced, one inch margins, 3-4 pages maximum
    • Required content:
    • Discuss the development of your interest in and commitment to a career in social work. Include the particular aspects of social work that most interest you. Describe the personal and professional experiences you have had that influenced your choice to pursue the profession of social work.
    • Discuss your personal traits and characteristics that you perceive as strengths for and/or as congruent with the profession of social work. Discuss the personal traits and characteristics you would like to change and/or improve and explain why.
    • Explain how completing a Master's Degree in Social Work will help you achieve your personal and professional goals. Discuss the contributions you hope to make on behalf of others.
    • NOTE: Applicants interested in the Advanced Standing program should indicate this by including a statement of readiness for entry into the advanced standing program within their personal statement. The statement of readiness should include information about how the BSW coursework, field placement, and other experiences have prepared you to begin your selected concentration.
  • Resume
    • Reviewed, in part, to determine the extent of the applicant's human service experience
    • In the absence of human service experience, reviewed for other indicators of effective interpersonal communication
    • Note reasons for any gaps in the resume
  • Program Selection Form
    • All applicants will utilize this form to select either the Advanced Standing or Regular program.
    • Program selection should correspond to your term of entry as explained on the form (summer II for advanced standing students, and fall for regular students). If you selected the wrong term of entry for your application, please follow the directions on the form to correct this error.
    • You can access the Program Selection Form here (DOCX, 24 KB).