Admissions Criteria

The DEADLINE for application to both the Advanced Standing and Traditional MSW Programs (see definitions below) is February 1st .

In order to apply to the MSW program, you must apply through the School of Graduate Studies. They will manage your application and once it is complete, send it to the MSW program for review. All materials must be received by the School of Graduate Studies prior to February 1st to be considered for admission. There are two sets of admission criteria, one each for the School of Graduate Studies and the ETSU MSW program. They are as follows:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Degrees from non-accredited institutions will be evaluated on an individual basis.

  • A completed application form.

  • One official transcript from every college or university where the applicant has taken courses, except for previous course work at ETSU. Applications will not be considered without all transcripts.

  • A personal essay of 150-300 words, detailing your interest in a graduate program at ETSU.

  • A non-refundable application fee of $35 ($45 for international students).

  • An undergraduate GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. * (some programs require a higher GPA)

ETSU Master of Social Work Admissions Criteria
  • A four-year degree from an accredited college/university (liberal arts background).

  • Minimum overall GPA of 2.75 with 3.0 (4.0 scale) in the last 60 hours of bachelors degree.

  • Autobiographic Statement (~300 words detailing your interest in social work, including personal experiences, strengths, values and beliefs that will contribute to your competence as a social worker).

  • Resumé detailing your academic and professional experience.

  • Three reference/recommendations (at least one from a previous professor/instructor or supervisor of a paid or unpaid social services agency.

To Complete Your Application:

Fill out the application on the School of Graduate Studies web site (or request a mail-in copy) and finish by paying your application fee.

Download and print three recommendation reports  from the School of Graduate Studies web site to mail to those writing reference letters for you. They may choose to hand write their comments on the form or attach a typed letter.

The Personal Essay and Autobiographic Statement: the School of Graduate Studies requests a 150-300 word essay detailing "your interests in a graduate program at ETSU." The ETSU MSW program requests a 300 word Autobiographic Statement "detailing your interest in social work, including personal experiences, strengths, values, and beliefs that will contribute to your competence as a social worker." you may satisfy both in the same document by making it 300 words and addressing requests from both the School of Graduate Studies and the MSW program in the same document. If you do this, submit this document both in the application for the School of Graduate Studies and as a separate document titled "Autobiographic Statement" that you send to the School of Graduate Studies to include in your application file.

Send your resumé and have official transcripts sent from all institutions you previously attended. (EXCEPTION: The School of Graduate
Studies automatically provides transcripts for academic work at ETSU.)
A few things to keep in mind:

  • The MSW program's minimum GPA requirement is slightly higher than the School of Graduate Studies (2.75 with a 3.0 in the final 60 hours).

  • We do not require the GRE

  • Indicate on the application if you are interested in a Graduate Assistantship .

  • Indicate on the application if you are applying for the Traditional or Advanced Standing MSW Program. See definitions below.

  • No academic credit will be given for work experience.

  • It is always a good idea to follow up with the School of Graduate Studies once you have sent all of your materials (and they have had time to receive them) to make sure everything is in order.

MSW Program Information PowerPoint

Traditional Full-Time
The full-time MSW program is completed in two years. The degree requires completion of 63 hours of coursework, including 18 credit hours of field practicum and one elective. Students admitted into the program begin in the Fall Semester. There are 32 hours of Foundation courses in the first year including Social Work Practice I & II, Social Welfare Policy & Programs, Human Behavior I & II, SW Research I, Multicultural Practice, Foundation Field I & II and 8 hours of an Elective. The concentration or second year of the program consists of 31 hours of full-time coursework in advanced clinical practice. Concentration courses include Advance Practice with Individuals, Advanced Practice with Families, Advanced Practice with Groups, and Advanced Practice with Human Service Organizations, SW Research II & III and 10 hours of concentration field practicum.

Advanced Standing Program
Requires a transcripts denoting a BSW degree. The Advanced Standing program allows students to complete their MSW degree in a summer and two semesters and requires 37 hours of coursework and field practicum, which includes a three-hour foundation bridge course. Students are admitted into the program beginning in the Summer Semester.

Part-Time Program
A part-time program is available for students unable to commit to full-time study. Admission criteria are the same as for the full-time program. It typically requires completion of the Foundation course in two years (6-9 hours per semester). In the third year students are encouraged to enroll full-time to complete the program, but may complete the concentration or the second year part-time in two years.

Field Experience
Field experience is an essential component of social work education and provides opportunities for supervised application of knowledge and skills. A range of agency experiences are available for student field practice. Students are assigned to a Faculty Advisor upon admission to the program. Once a student is in field practicum a faculty liaison will be assigned to monitor field activities.

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