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MSW Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.


      Review important information about the online application.

    Returned Peace Corps Volunteers applying for the Coverdell Fellowship should check "yes" to the "Coverdell Applicant" question in the application.

    Application Fee 

    • $55 nonrefundable application fee
    • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

    Review important information about application fees.

    Returned Peace Corps Volunteers applying for the Coverdell Fellowship should upload their official Peace Corps description of service to waive the application fee(s).

    Transcripts & GPA 

    Transcripts & GPA for B.S.W. Holders (Advanced Applicants) 

    • baccalaureate degree in social work (B.S.W.) with regional and CSWE (Council on Social Work Education) accreditations, earned within the last ten years (Non-U.S. degrees must be equivalent to a four-year U.S. Bachelor’s degree. In most cases, three-year degrees are not considered. Visit our International FAQs for more information.)
    • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
    • a 2.9 overall GPA or 2.9 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
    • minimum 2.9 GPA in the last two full academic years of study
    • minimum 2.9 GPA in all undergraduate social work courses

    Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

    Transcripts & GPA for Non-B.S.W. Holders (Foundation/Regular Applicants)

    • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
    • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
    • a 2.9 overall GPA or 2.9 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)

    Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

    Test Scores 


    • GRE not required

    Approved English Proficiency Exam Scores

    Applicants are required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score that meets the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

    • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
    • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
    • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
      • minimum individual module scores of 6.0
    • official Duolingo scores required with a 110 overall
    • official TOEFL Essentials scores required with an 8.5 overall

    This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

    Review important information about official test scores.

    Documents & Other Requirements 

    • departmental application
    • resume/CV (maximum two pages)
    • statement of purpose addressing the following:
      • Please describe your motivation for pursuing a Master of Social Work degree including how your academic history and experiences have prepared you for graduate school.
      • Describe the responsibility a social work professional has to ethical standards, social justice, advocacy and cultural awareness.
      • Discuss how you will contribute to the field of social work, either through evidence-based practice, research participation, or exploration of practice modalities and how your contribution in these areas will distinguish you from other applicants.
    • interview

      Returned Peace Corps Volunteers applying for the Coverdell Fellowship should submit the following:

    • departmental application
    • official Peace Corps description of service
    • resume/CV (list Peace Corps Volunteer work) (maximum two pages)
    • statement of purpose (explicitly mention Peace Corps Volunteer work)
    • interview

    Review important information about documents.

    • On Campus for Non-B.S.W. Holders (Foundation/Regular)
    • Online for Non-B.S.W. Holders (Foundation/Regular) *
    • On Campus for B.S.W. Holders (Advanced)
    • Online for B.S.W. Holders (Advanced) *

    * The online program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis.

  • Foundation/Regular Track (Non-BSW degree holder)

    • The Foundation/Regular Track (Non-BSW degree holder) program is for individuals that do not hold a BSW degree from an accredited Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) social work program.
    • For full-time students, the foundation regular program takes seven (7) semesters to complete.
    • Part-time students complete the program in eleven (11) semesters.
    • The foundation regular track is a total of 62-credit hours.
    • Students take courses during fall, spring, and summer semesters until the program is completed.

    The Advanced Standing Track (BSW degree holder)

    • The Advanced Standing Track (BSW degree holder) program is for individuals who hold a BSW degree from a program accredited by Council on Social Work Education, earned within the last ten years are Advanced Standing applicants.
    • For full-time students, the advanced standing program takes four (4) semesters to complete.
    • Part-time students complete the program in six (6) semesters.
    • The advanced standing track is a total of 36-credit-hours.
    • Students take courses during fall, spring, and summer semesters until the program is completed.
    • On Campus for Non-B.S.W. Holders (Foundation/Regular)   62 Hours
      • 1st Fall Semester (e.g., August 2022) to Graduation in 3rd Fall Semester (e.g., December 2024)
      • 7 consecutive semesters (including Summer)
    • Online for Non-B.S.W. Holders (Foundation/Regular) *        62 Hours
      • 1st Fall Semester (e.g., August 2022) to Graduation in 3rd Fall Semester (e.g., December 2024)
      • 7 consecutive semesters (including Summer)


      • 1st Fall Semester (e.g., August 2022) to Graduation in 4th Spring Semester (e.g., May 2026)
      • 11 consecutive semesters (including Summer)
    • On Campus for B.S.W. Holders (Advanced)                            36 Hours
      • 1st Fall Semester (e.g., August 2022) to Graduation in 2nd Fall Semester (e.g., December 2023)
      • 4 consecutive semesters (including Summer)
    • Online for B.S.W. Holders (Advanced) *                                 36 Hours
      • 1st Fall Semester (e.g., August 2022) to Graduation in 2nd Fall Semester (e.g., December 2023)
      • 4 consecutive semesters (including Summer)


      • 1st Fall Semester (e.g., August 2022) to Graduation in 2nd Summer Semester (e.g., August 2024)
      • 6 consecutive semesters (including Summer)
    • Yes, the MSW program has an online, distance education program, and an in-person, campus-based program.
    • No, a minor is not required.
    • Yes. The part-time program is only offered online. We strongly recommend that people who are working full-time attend school part-time.
    • To be a successful online student, students must be organized, self-motivated, and proactive. Additionally, students must have regular access to a computer with internet and an up-to-date operating system. The online curriculum is the same as our on-campus curriculum, and our online students are expected to meet the same high standards that we have for our on-campus students.
    • To see if on-line education will be a good match for you, please visit the Office of Distance and Extended Learning and take the Online Learning and Readiness Self-Assessment.
    • Tips for Success Online
    • The School of Social Work only accepts applicants each fall semester, with no spring or summer admits.
    • There are two application deadlines.
      • Fall Priority Admission:                       Deadline is January 15th
      • Standard/Regular Admission:             Deadline is March 15th
    • The School of Social Work will continue to process completed applications received one week after the deadline for our program, on a first-come, first-served basis, with no guarantees for admission consideration.
    • If the deadline passes and applications are not received or all required application materials are not received (e.g., transcripts) then the application will not be reviewed for that application cycle. To apply for admission consideration for a future term, the applicants must submit a new application, a new application fee, and updated support documents.
    • The GRE is not required, and you do not need any other type of graduate school admission test.
    • No. The Office of the University Registrar will provide that transcript to the Graduate College.
    • Yes. You may apply to and complete the MSW program if you live in a different state or country. This is most applicable to being admitted into the online program. Texas State can accept students from all states for online/distance education programs, with the exception of Kentucky.
    • Texas State University participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). For more information about state oversight of postsecondary distance education, please visit: State Authorization : The Office of Distance and Extended Learning : Texas State University (
    • The School does not require a background check for applicants to be admitted to the MSW Program.
    • However, Field/Practicum agencies may require a student to have a background check to ensure that the student is appropriate to work with the agency’s clients.
  • The School takes a holistic approach to the admissions process and reviews a number of factors to determine which applicants are most likely to succeed in graduate social work education. We examine:

    • Previous college GPAs
    • The content and clarity of the applicant’s essays
    • Work and volunteer history
    • The interview
    • One official transcript, from each institution where course credit was granted.
    • A college senior may apply. However, admission is contingent on the applicant’s proof that they have obtained a baccalaureate degree before the start of the semester in which they were accepted to begin their MSW program. An offer of admission may be rescinded in the event a baccalaureate degree is not earned.
    • No. A student must meet all admission requirements including at least a 2.9 GPA, as outlined on the Graduate College and School of Social Work web sites.
    • The School of Social Work does not offer conditional admission or a probationary period of admission.
  • Once a completed application packet is received by the Graduate College and their office completes the first vetting. The process is as follows:

    • The School of Social Work receives the applicant information and performs a second review process.
    • The applicant is contacted via the email address provided on the application to schedule an interview.
    • The applicant information is given to the admissions committee for review.
    • After the applicant attends an interview, the admissions committee convenes and makes a recommendation of acceptance or denial to the Graduate Director/Graduate Advisor.
    • The Graduate Director/Graduate Advisor enters the committee’s decision into the Graduate College SLATE application system.
    • The Graduate College sends an official decision notification to each applicant.
    • In general, an applicant should expect a decision letter within 4-6 weeks from the application deadline for the admissions cycle they are applying to.
    • Please note that the MSW program at Texas State is a highly competitive program and not being accepted does not mean that a student is not highly qualified.
    • If you are not accepted, consider reviewing each area of your application to determine potential areas for improvement and what could be strengthened to make your application as competitive as possible.
    • You have a right to appeal the School’s decision. The appeal is lodged with the Graduate College, and the appeal must be me made within three weeks of the date of the decision.
    • An applicant may reapply to the School as often as they wish. Reapplying does not guarantee or increase the chances of admission.
    • If you reapply, you will need to complete another application and pay the fee. You do not need to resubmit transcripts. However, it is recommended that you contact the Graduate College for additional information.
    • The MSW Program does not offer a deferment option to admitted students.
    • If an applicant fails to enroll in the term of your admission, you are not guaranteed admission for future terms.
    • If an applicant is unable to start the MSW Program in the semester in which they are accepted, then the applicant must submit another application during the application cycle for the next Fall semester in which they want to begin the Program.
    • The applicant must complete a new application and pay a new application fee.
    • The MSW Degree major is Advanced Practice Leadership (APL).
    • This major provides opportunities for the student to develop both micro and macro skills, so graduates of our Program are uniquely prepared to work in either direct practice or administrative work environment.
    • Students will be awarded the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree upon successful completion of the program.
    • Nine (9) academic credit hours during fall, spring, and summer semesters is considered full-time at the graduate level. However, dependent on the MSW cohort in which you are accepted there may be a semester in which you would register for fourteen (14) academic credit hours in one semester.
    • Yes, but it is not recommended. Working full-time while in a full-time program is like having two full-time jobs. The goal of graduate education in a professional program is not just to pass classes, but to obtain and retain the professional skills to be effective in that profession. Within Social Work, it is a part of our professional Code of Ethics to be able to practice with an expected level of competence.
    • We strongly recommend that people who are working full-time attend school part-time and read the Field Education Handbook to learn how working full-time will impact your ability to complete required practicums.
    • Tuition is based on the number of hours in which a student is registered for in each semester.
    • Graduate Tuition Rates are available on the Student Business Services web site.
      • Tuition and fee rates can vary based on student program, instructional method, or campus location. For more information about costs associated with Texas State University, please visit the Tuition and Fees Definitions page.
      • Tuition and fees are subject to change by legislative or Board of Regents action; changes become effective on the date of enactment.
  • If you are a financial aid recipient, we encourage you to only take the courses that count toward the completion of your degree.



    • All types of Graduate Assistantships (GRA and GIA) allow students to work with faculty members, receive financial support, and in some instances tuition assistance.
    • Several School of Social Work faculty members have funded research projects and seek Graduate Research Assistants (GRA).
    • The School of Social Work also has GRA opportunities, and Graduate Instructional Assistant (GIA) opportunities.
    • The selection process usually begins at or slightly before the start of the semester in the Fall. Students receive information along with the rest of the Social Work students during Orientation (i.e., during the Summer months prior to the start of the semester) and at the appropriate time in the Fall. Note: These are not awarded pre-semester as part of any financial award package.
    • The Graduate College consistently posts funding opportunities and information on behalf of graduate students. Students should regularly visit the funding page to review opportunities and resources for financial assistance.
  • Tuition and fees are subject to change by legislative or Board of Regents action; changes become effective on the date of enactment.   

    Note: On the Graduate Tuition Rate (resident or non-resident) table the numbers at the top of the chart are the credit hours. To find the cost of tuition and fees for a given semester utilize the MSW Degree Plan that corresponds to your anticipated cohort.  

    Once the correct degree plan is identified, please note that the second number of the course is the credit hours associated with the course.

    An example: A full-time non-BSW degree holder student registers for twelve (12) credit hours in their first semester. The courses are SOWK 5308 – the number five identifies a course as a graduate level and the second number is the credit hour; in this case the course is three (3) credit hours. The next course is SOWK 5313 for another three (3) credit hour course, and SOWK 5314, which is also a three (3) hour course, and SOWK 5317, another three (3) credit hour course for a total of twelve (12) academic credit hours in the first semester. Using this information, you would use the corresponding table (resident or non-resident) and find the twelve at the top of the table, then scroll down to the total, to view the tuition and fees associated with the twelve academic credit hours for the semester. Repeat the process for each remaining semester to give a projected cost of tuition and fees.




    • On-campus MSW classes are scheduled Monday thru Friday between the hours of 9:30am and 6:30pm.
    • Online classes are offered consistent with the semester schedule, both start and end dates.
    • MSW classes are offered during fall, spring, and summer semesters and are based on degree plans.
    • The Academic Calendar can be accessed from the Office of the University Registrar's homepage.
    • Additionally, instructors assign due dates to assignments and tests. Deadlines are strictly enforced. Online students may complete assignments at their convenience, but still must comply with stated syllabi deadlines.
    • When possible, we attempt to schedule on-campus graduate courses on the same day. However, it is not always possible to limit classes to one day per week. Therefore, it is important to note that a full-time on-campus student may have to come to campus two or more times a week. Graduate SOWK courses meet one time a week for three hours.
    • There is a sequence in which courses MUST be completed each semester, and it is not possible to finish courses before their assigned end date.
  • YES. There is a fieldwork requirement consistent with CSWE standards.

    • The School of Social Work has a very comprehensive process to help match students with high quality Field/Practicum settings. Questions about Field and the practicum experience can be found here:

    • Full-time Regular/Foundation and Advanced Standing students’ complete field in block placements of 40 hours per week. Students in block placement may not take other courses while taking field.
    • To register for Advanced Practicum I and Advanced Practicum II courses, students must have completed all other coursework.
    • Regular/Foundation Track part-time or online students must complete four part-time semesters. Advanced Standing part-time or online students are required to complete two part-time semesters.
    • Online students participate in identifying local internship opportunities in their home area.
    • Field students engage in seminars with other field students in addition to their individual practicum placement setting.
    • If an applicant wishes to take graduate courses but does not want graduate degree credit, they may enroll as a non-degree seeking student. Admission is contingent upon completion and submission of the Non-Degree-Seeking student application, and approval of the Graduate College and MSW Graduate Director/Advisor. Direct all Non-Degree Seeking student questions to the Graduate College.
    • MSW Program adheres to the Graduate College Transfer Credit policy. Please review all applicable details for transfer credit.
    • A maximum of 9 (Advanced Standing) or 12 (Foundation/Regular) credit hours can be transferred.
    • If graduate courses are not social work courses, then they can only be reviewed for elective credit.
    • Only accredited social work courses can be reviewed for non-elective/core social work credit.

    Undergraduate coursework cannot apply /satisfy MSW degree requirements.

    Graduate coursework completed and where a degree was awarded cannot be utilized to satisfy MSW degree requirements.

  • No. The MSW Program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.

    • Be prepared to use digital technology to complete MSW requirements, including computer related hardware (e.g., computer or tablet with computer related functioning and a web camera), academic related software, and academic related apps.
    • Students are required to have regular use of a computer or tablet with computer related functioning with Microsoft Office (or similar) and high-speed internet.
      • Computer access will allow students to consistently access and complete course materials on-line as required, to communicate with instructors and school administration in a timely manner, and to complete all course requirements.
    • Any costs related to the above computer and technology requirements should be considered in addition to any listed educational costs related to completing the MSW program.
    • Students are expected to maintain their degree plan as outlined in the MSW contract that is signed upon enrollment. However, if there is a crisis or emergency then students may request a status change.
    • Decisions are made at two times per academic year, in September (for changes beginning in Spring), and in February (for changes beginning in Fall). If a student would like to request a status change, they can complete the degree status change request form with the details of their circumstances by September 15th (for Spring changes) or by February 15th (for Fall changes).

    Review and Complete a Status Change Request

    • That there is an emergency or crisis does not guarantee the ability to switch cohorts, but we do consider each situation carefully alongside the existing space and availability. 
    • The MSW program is dependent on keeping cohorts intact. Changes in student status have direct ripple effects on other enrolled students because it changes cohort sizes and class sizes. For example, if enough students move from one cohort to another, then it could prevent our ability to offer a course because it falls below the minimum class size allowed at the University.
    • Adding to this challenge is that courses are not available each semester. In many instances if a student does not take a course in a given semester, then they are not able to take it again until one calendar year later. In summary, we prioritize emergency and crisis situations on a case-by-case basis, and factor in disruptions to cohorts and class sizes when making decisions. 
    • If you get waitlisted for the MSW program it is important to first recognize that you are an extremely competitive student and are graduate school caliber. The Texas State University School of Social Work has an extremely competitive graduate program including high-quality applications for a limited number of available spaces.
    • Whether or not a waitlisted applicant is eventually admitted depends on whether openings develop after admitted students accept or deny their offer of admission. The waitlist is according to specific degree and cohort. Therefore, openings only develop according to a specific degree and cohort (e.g., Online Advanced Full-time).
    • If you are waitlisted, the first thing to do is decide whether you “accept” being on the waitlist and notify the Graduate College of your decision before the deadline. If you do not accept being on the waitlist your application will be withdrawn for consideration from admission.
    • There is a formal two-day orientation for the MSW program.
    • Students are expected to make arrangements to set aside two full days (usually in late June) for orientation. This is the official Orientation for MSW students.
    • Orientation is synchronous online, or in-person on campus (depending on COVID-19 trends), meaning all students are expected to be in attendance, live, and engaging in the day’s discussions and activities. 
  • Yes. It is important that a student follows their specific degree plan as not all SOWK courses are offered every semester and /or in the format that may be needed. If a semester course is dropped or a student fails to register for the required courses this may impact their subsequent semesters and/or their eligibility to enter field during the designated semester reflected on their degree plan. If this occurs, the student schedules a meeting with the MSW Program Director/Graduate Advisor to discuss a potential solution to rejoin their cohort.

  • If a graduate student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 during any term of enrollment at Texas State, the student will be placed on academic probation. In the next term of enrollment, the student must raise their cumulative graduate GPA to 3.0 or above or be suspended from further graduate study at Texas State. When the student has achieved a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 at the end of the term of probation, the student will be removed from probation status.

  • Readmission

    A student on suspension may petition the graduate dean for permission to re-enroll in The Graduate College. An appeal form for the graduate dean is available on The Graduate College's website. This written appeal should include additional supporting documentation. The appeal will be reviewed by the graduate advisor and subsequently by the dean of The Graduate College. Each readmission decision is made on an individual basis and the dean of The Graduate College's decision is final. If a reinstatement is approved, the date of the reinstatement depends on the timing of the appeal, program policies, and/or conditions of the reinstatement. If a student is readmitted after being suspended, the student must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA or be suspended again. Individual graduate programs may also impose additional cumulative GPA or course restrictions for their students.

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