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Master of Social Work Program


MSW Admissions FAQs

What is the deadline to apply?

The University of Texas at Arlington does not have application deadlines. UTA has priority application dates and will accept applications after these dates. UTA will process your application as quickly as possible and every attempt will be made to ensure consideration for the desired semester. However, applying early (by the priority date) gives you the best opportunity to be admitted early enough to later be eligible to apply for scholarships, grants, fellowships and assistantships.  A general rule is to have your application and supporting documents submitted at least two months before the desired semester start date. Click here for UTA priority application dates and check with the School of Social Work Admissions Office to determine if the application ApplyTexas portal is still open for your desired semester and cohort program. Generally, the ApplyTexas portal is open and still accepting applications up to 30 days before the start of the desired semester. International applicants should give themselves more lead time in the application process. International applicants should click here for more information.

Is the MSW program accredited through the Council of Social Work Education?

Yes, our BSW and MSW programs are accredited through the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE), and adhere to the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards which include the competencies that all BSW and MSW students are expected to achieve upon graduation.  Our MSW program is one of the oldest in the state of Texas. We graduated our first class in 1970, the same year we received our initial CSWE accreditation. In addition, The University of Texas at Arlington including the School of Social Work is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

What are the requirements to get into the master’s program?

To be eligible for our Quick Admissions process, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a grade point average of 3.0 or above in the last approximately 60 hours of university-level credit hours (not junior/community college credits). If the applicant’s GPA is less than a 3.0, but greater than a 2.7 in the approximately last 60 hours of undergraduate university-level study, you will be required to take and submit GRE scores, submit three completed recommendation forms, and write and submit a narrative to be considered for admissions by the selection committee.

What if my bachelor’s degree GPA in the approximately the last 60 credit hours is below a 3.0, but I have already earned a master’s degree or a post-graduate degree in another discipline such as an MBA, J.D. or Ph.D.?

You should list all degrees completed and note this in this in the comments section on the ApplyTexas application. In addition, you should submit all transcripts from higher education institutions attended. Furthermore, if you earned less than 3.0 GPA in approximately the last 60 undergraduate credit hours, you will still be required (regardless of post graduate degrees already attained) to take and submit GRE scores, submit three completed recommendation forms, and write and submit a narrative to be considered for admissions. The post graduate and professional degrees already conferred will then be considered by the selection committee along with the aforementioned items (GRE scores, recommendation forms and narrative).

What if I earn a grade of “C” or lower in any of my BSW classes?

If you earn a grade of “C” or lower in a required BSW course, the course will not be waived in the MSW program. You will be required to take the equivalent graduate course in the MSW program.

Are your required to have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree to earn the MSW degree?

No. Although there are many benefits to earning the BSW degree including possibly being eligible for Advanced Standing and having your first year waived, you are not required to have a BSW degree to apply for and matriculate through the MSW program.  About 50% of our MSW students are non-BSW graduates with bachelor’s degrees in fields such as psychology, sociology, criminal justice, nursing, business, education, communication, kinesiology, legal studies, public health, substance use treatment and other fields.  In addition, we have MSW students who have already earned a J.D., Ph.D. or a master’s degree in another discipline.

What if I do not have a 3.0 in the approximately last 60 undergraduate university-level credit hours?

We encourage applicants to first apply and submit transcripts to have their GPA officially calculated by the University.  Applicants will then be advised of the next steps. If you already know your GPA is below a 3.0, but greater than a 2.7, you can take classes as a degreed undergraduate at any 4-year institution. You may take any undergraduate 3000-4000 level textbook class (No PE or Music classes). If you apply and received a deferred admissions status because of your GPA, you can use the UTA GPA Calculator to determine how many credit hours and A’s you will need to raise your GPA. Once you’ve completed these additional degreed classes, you can apply or re-activate your application for a new GPA calculation by the University. Please consult with an SSW Admissions Counselor for additional information before attempting to take classes as a degreed undergraduate student. At no time, will undergraduate leveling courses be used to waive taking graduate courses when you are admitted to the MSW program.

What are the requirements for Advanced Standing? How do I apply for the Advanced Standing Program?

Advanced Standing requires a BSW degree from a CSWE accredited program granted no more than six (6) years prior to the expected start date of your MSW program. If you have earned a BSW within the past six years, Advanced Standing will be considered, as long as you meet the 3.0 GPA Quick Admissions criteria and earned a B or better in all Social Work undergraduate required courses. Non-BSW degree graduates are not eligible for Advanced Standing.

What do you waive for Advanced Standing students?

In general, we waive courses in the MSW foundation year based upon earning a B or better in the equivalent BSW undergraduate course. Once admitted, Advanced Standing students should consult with their SSW Academic Advisor.

Will my previous work experience be considered for academic standing or to waive an admission requirement?

Unfortunately, previous work experience will not count. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), our accrediting body, does not allow work experience to be considered for academic standing or to waive admissions requirements.

In which semesters, do you accept students?

Advanced Standing students may apply for Fall, Spring or Summer. Traditional students may apply for Fall, Spring or Summer, but we strongly recommend starting in the Fall or Spring semesters. Advanced Standing students wanting to start in the summer should also consider our MSW Fort Worth Cohort program. If you are unsure of your program start date, consult with one of our SSW Admission Counselors before submitting your application. See also our MSW Program Options webpage for more information - https://www.uta.edu/ssw/academics/msw/programs/index.php

Is the GRE required?

No, the GRE is not required for applicants who meet our 3.0 GPA Quick Admissions criteria. The GRE is only required for students who have less than a 3.0 GPA in approximately the last 60 undergraduate university-level credit hours. If you know for sure that you will not meet our 3.0 GPA Quick Admissions requirement, then you should plan to take the GRE. However, we strongly recommend prospective students first apply and submit all transcripts and wait for the University to officially calculate their GPA.  You will then be notified by an SSW Admissions Counselor and/or will receive a deferred admissions decision email requesting you submit GRE scores, narrative and three recommendation forms. This is why we encourage applicants to apply as early as possible. Prospective students usually can apply about one year before their planned semester or summer start date. If you take the GRE, please send an official copy of your score from ETS to UTA Graduate Admissions Office. UTA's institution code is 6013. If you have already taken the GRE, you can request ETS to send a report by calling ETS at 1-888-GRE-SCORE or go to www.ets.org/gre, for more information. Do not send GRE scores to the School of Social Work Admissions Office.

What is the topic for the 2-3-page narrative?

Applicants who do not meet the Quick Admissions 3.0 GPA requirement will be required to submit a written narrative for the selection committee. These students are asked to respond to the following prompt:

Social Work practice is often classified as either micro or macro. Explain what is meant by micro practice and macro practice, and address why both micro and macro are essential to effective social work practice. Use three outside sources to support your statement and include complete in-text citations and references for each. You may also include your motivation to earn the MSW degree and practice social work.  The narrative should be written following APA or MLA writing style and format.

Applicants will be notified if they do not meet the 3.0 GPA requirement and need to submit the narrative, GRE scores and three recommendation forms.

When are face-to-face classes offered?

Each class meets one day a week for three (3) hours. Typically, graduate classes are offered Monday through Thursday. Classes typically meet from 9 a.m. to noon, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  See your desired cohort program or degree plan for more information.

Do you offer any Saturday or Sunday classes?

Not at this time.

Can I complete the MSW program fully online?

Yes, the MSW program can be completed fully online. In addition, we offer several cohort programs specialty options for online students (full-time and part-time). Online students, just like the face-to-face students, must meet the required field education internship requirements. Working with our Field Education Office, online students will conduct their field placement internship near where they reside.

Is the MSW online program accredited?

Yes, all of the degree plans offered in the MSW program are accredited through the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE), and adhere to the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. These include the competencies that all MSW students are expected to achieve upon graduation.  There is no distinction between earning the MSW degree online or face-to-face. The same faculty that teach our face-to-face classes teach our online classes.

How do I get in-state tuition?

Click here to review all residency requirements. The School of Social Work does not determine residency. The University residence determination official can be found in the UTA Office of Admissions, Records, & Registration. The Residency Determination Official for UT Arlington's Office can be reached via e-mail grad.admission@uta.edu or phone 817-272-6287.

How do I get scholarship, grants and fellowship information?

The School of Social Work offers scholarships, and limited fellowships and paid graduate research assistantships at the MSW level. Click here for a list of School of Social Work scholarships such as the Roy Dulak scholarship, the Lila B. Hagins scholarship, the Peter Guapp scholarship, and more. In addition, click here for UTA scholarships, fellowships, grants and assistantships information for graduate students. We encourage prospective students to apply to the MSW program as early as possible, so they can be admitted and then be eligible to apply for scholarships, fellowships, grants and assistantships before the deadline for these funding opportunities. School of Social Work Scholarships usually open for applications for about 30 days around April 1 for the fall semester and around November 1 for the spring semester.

Where do I send my transcripts?

Applicants should submit official transcripts of all higher education institutions attended to the UTA Office of Admissions, Records and Registration. Do not submit transcripts to the School of Social Work Admissions Office. Current UTA students and alumni do not need to request their UTA transcripts be sent to the University (the University will automatically pull the UTA transcripts). In addition, unofficial transcripts can be submitted and uploaded during the application process with ApplyTexas, but if you are offered and you accept admission, official transcripts must be sent prior to enrolling. Newly admitted students will not be allowed to enroll or register for classes without the University receiving your official transcripts. After being offered admission and before meeting with your MSW academic advisor, please ensure all official transcripts of institutions attended have been submitted and received by the University. If you have been offered a provisional admission, please ensure that all final official transcripts listing bachelor degree earned have been submitted and received at the University prior to meeting with your MSW Academic Advisor. Click here for more information on how to submit transcripts.

Should I take and submit my GRE scores now?

The GRE is required for students who have less than a 3.0 GPA in approximately the last 60 undergraduate university-level credit hours. If you know for sure that you will not meet our 3.0 GPA Quick Admissions requirement, you should plan to take the GRE. However, we strongly recommend that prospective students first apply and submit transcripts and wait for the University to officially calculate their GPA. This is why we encourage applicants to apply as early as possible. Prospective students usually can apply about one year out from their planned semester or summer start date. When you take the GRE, please send an official copy of your score from ETS to UTA Graduate Admissions Office. UTA's institution code is 6013. If you have already taken the GRE, you can request ETS to send a report by calling ETS at 1-888-GRE-SCORE or go to www.ets.org/gre, for more information. The GRE is not required for applicants who meet our 3.0 GPA Quick Admissions criteria. Do not send GRE scores to the School of Social Work Admissions Office.

If I am an out-state Texas resident, may I apply for the online MSW program?

At this time, you must be a Texas resident currently living in Texas to apply to the Online MSW program. However, contact the School of Social Work Admissions Office for questions and additional information.  Texas residents who are military Veterans, Active Duty, Reserves, National Guard and their spouses who are on military orders outside of Texas are eligible to apply for the online program regardless of current living location (we would need to work closely with you for field internship placements).

What types of specializations does your MSW program offer?

The MSW program offers two Professional Concentrations:
Direct Practice (Micro Social Work) Concentration or Community & Administrative Practice (Macro Social Work) Concentration.

If the student chooses Direct Practice (Micro Social Work) Concentration, they must select from one of the four advanced specialties:

  • Direct Practice in Aging
  • Direct Practice with Children & Families
  • Direct Practice in Health
  • Direct Practice in Mental Health & Substance Abuse
Do you offer any certificate programs?

Currently, we only offer the Administrative Certificate for students that matriculate through our MSW Fort Worth Cohort program. We have plans to add other certificates soon, so check with our SSW Admissions Counselors or your Academic Advisor for more information.

Are there any dual/joint degree opportunities with other programs?

Yes, we offer several dual degree program options. MSW students may participate in one of six dual degree programs at UTA where they can earn an MSW degree and 1) a Master of City and Regional Planning, 2) a Master of Public Administration, 3) a Master of Urban Affairs and Policy, 4) a Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice, 5) a Master of Arts in Sociology, or 6) a Master of Business Administration degree. Click here for more information about the six dual degree programs. To participate in the dual degree program, students must make separate application to each program and must submit a separate Program of Work for each degree. You do not have to wait to apply to one program before applying or being accepted to the other. Students are encouraged to consult concurrently with the graduate advisors in the appropriate degree programs for further information on course requirements. Please also see the statement on Dual Degree Programs in the Graduate Catalog.  By participating in a dual degree program, students can apply some semester hours jointly to meet the requirements of both degrees, thus reducing the total number of hours which would be required to earn both degrees separately. The number of hours which may be jointly applied ranges from 6 to 18 hours, subject to the approval of Graduate Advisors from both programs. Please Note: After a Social Work student completes more than 24 hours of advanced graduate Social Work coursework, they will not be able to add a dual degree.

How many credits does it take to complete the MSW Program?

For Advanced Standing students (qualified BSW graduates), the MSW program is 38 credit hours and includes one field placement internship. For Traditional students (mostly non-BSW students), the MSW program is 61 credit hours and includes two field placement internships.

How many field work placement and field work credit hours must I complete in order to graduate?

It depends on whether you are admitted as an Advanced Standing student or a Traditional student.  Advanced Standing students must complete 480 hours of one field placement internship and Traditional students must complete 960 hours split between two field placement internships (one in the foundation year and one in the advanced year).  Students can complete each field placement in one block in one semester or split over two semesters.

Does the School accept transfer students and transfer credits?

Yes, we accept transfer MSW students. However, the transfer student must meet our admissions criteria as if they were applying as a new student.  We will accept up to 15 graduate transfer credit hours based on the approval of the SSW Director of Graduate Programs.  The applicant must have earned a B or better in the courses seeking to be transferred. Prospective transfer students must first apply at ApplyTexas.org and be accepted, before a complete and official review of the requested transfer courses can take place. Students must be attempting to transfer graduate credit hours from a CSWE accredited program.  Often the MSW program director will need the graduate course description and syllabus for each course that is being considered for transfer to make a proper determination if the credit hours will be accepted. At no time, may the total transfer credits awarded exceed 75% of the total program credits needed for the degree. At no time, will Pre-Thesis, Thesis or Integrative Seminar courses be accepted for transfer credit.

How does one apply for financial aid?

All students wishing to receive federal and state financial aid must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please include UTA's school code (003656). Beware of scams and companies who ask for money to complete the FAFSA. The application is always free and is found at StudentAid.gov. For more information, contact the UTA Financial Aid office by clicking here.

What are the costs to attend the UTA MSW program?

UTA offers an excellent education with low tuition rates, financial aid, and scholarships that keep your costs low and your debt manageable. Expenses will vary depending on several criteria, including Texas residency, how many credit hours you are taking, online, face-to-face or cohort programs, where you live, and much more. Therefore, we recommend students use the UTA Tuition Estimator to determine estimated costs. Please click here to go to the UTA Affordability webpage for more accurate numbers and information. In addition, click here for the Seek UT website that provides more data on affordability, expected earnings and graduation rates for UTA graduates.

Do you offer your MSW program at locations other than Arlington?

Yes, in addition to offering face-to-face classes at our Arlington campus, and having a fully online MSW program, we also offer through a cohort model, classes at our UTA Fort Worth location.  Advanced Standing students start in the summer at our Fort Worth location and Traditional students start in the fall at UTA Fort Worth located in downtown Fort Worth at 1401 Jones Street.  We also offer our MSW program through a partnership at Lubbock Christian University This program at LCU starts every odd year in the fall (e.g., Fall 2021).

What can you do with an MSW degree?

Social Workers with an MSW degree have a promising future in the job market. According to a new Burning Glass report, 71.8% of 26,691 recent job postings for Social Work titles requested an MSW degree. According to the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career field is expected to more than double the national job-growth rate at 16% between 2016 and 2026. MSW specialty areas such as mental health, substance abuse and health care surpass those numbers. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), professional Social Workers are the nation’s largest group of mental health services providers. There are more clinically trained social workers—over 200,000—than psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychiatric nurses combined. Federal law and the National Institutes of Health recognize social work as one of five core mental health professions.

Additionally, there's a new trend of hiring Social Workers to head corporate client care, employee motivation efforts, or roles in which relationship development is key at insurance companies, financial corporations, nonprofits, and more. The MSW degree is a versatile degree allowing graduates to work in a variety of fields and areas such as Hospitals, Private Clinical Practice, School Social Worker, Substance Abuse Counselor, Medical Social Worker, Sports/Athletics Social Worker, Public Health Administrator, Police/Victim Services Officer, Public Policy Social Worker, Multicultural/Diversity Officer, Gerontology, Children and Family Services, Criminal Justice/Corrections, Community Organizations/Lobbying, Non-Profit Management, Higher Education Leadership, Advising and Student Affairs, Social Worker Courts/Legal Services, and much more.

Can you do counseling with this degree?

Yes, Social Workers are trained as counselors and therapists, which generally requires a Social Work clinical license after completing the MSW degree. According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), clinical Social Work is a specialty practice area of Social Work which focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness, emotional, and other behavioral disturbances. Individual, group and family therapy are common treatment modalities. Social Workers who provide these services are required to be licensed or certified at the clinical level in their state of practice. Clinical Social Workers perform services in a variety of settings including private practice, hospitals, community mental health, primary care, and agencies.

Can you get a professional license with the MSW degree?

The UTA MSW program is designed to meet the requirements of the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners, and graduates of the program will be qualified to take the LMSW licensing exam in the state of Texas.  Other states’ licensing requirements vary, so students who anticipate practicing Social Work in another state should inquire with the licensing board in the state to which they wish to apply for licensure. Similarly, licensure in fields other than Social Work, such as Marriage and Family Therapy, Play Therapy, professional counselor, and chemical dependency, among others, is governed by individual independent licensing boards.  Students desiring to be licensed in fields other than Social Work should inquire about the requirements in these respective fields independently. For more general information about licensure and the various possible licenses you can obtain with an MSW degree, click here. For Texas, licensure requirements for the Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW) or the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) click here.  Click here for Texas Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) information. Click here for Texas Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) information. Click here for Texas Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) information.  HB 1508 Notice. The MSW program may lead to an occupational license for which a prior criminal history may make a student ineligible for the license. For more information about HB 1508, please click here.

How diverse is the School of Social Work and UTA?

The School of Social Work student body, faculty and staff is very diverse. Please click here for Enrollment and Student Profile information. UTA is consistently ranked among the most diverse higher education institutions in the country. In addition, UTA is listed as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Title V Grant University. UTA is also recognized as one of the top institutions in the state and the country awarding more bachelor’s and master’s degrees to African Americans.

here and how do I go to apply for the MSW program?

Students applying to the MSW program must complete the application at ApplyTexas.org. You will be required to complete the application, pay the application fee and submit transcripts of all institutions attended before your admissions file will be reviewed. Before submitting your application, be sure you select the proper semester start date for which program or cohort you are eligible. Otherwise, you may have to pay an additional fee later to switch semester start dates. When completing the application at ApplyTexas, you do not need to complete the goals/essay portion or academic references information. You may initially upload unofficial transcripts during the application process, but later if you are accepted, you must submit all official transcripts to the University before being allowed to enroll for classes. However, to avoid any delays, we strongly urge you to submit all official transcripts of institutions attended to the University as soon as possible. Click here for a short video about the two-step quick application process for the MSW program.

How much does it cost to apply?

The application fee for U.S. citizens and permanent residents with no foreign transcripts is $75. The fee for applicants with foreign coursework is $90. The application fee can be paid by credit card on the ApplyTexas application portal or online through the UTA website here.

After I apply, is there a way to check my application status?

Yes, you will be sent an application receipt email 5 to 10 business days after you submit your application. This email contains your NetID and instructions to activate your MyMav account. You can check your application status in MyMav at any time. If you have not received an email, be sure to check your email spam and junk folders for your respective email account. Current or recent UTA graduates should also check their MyMav email student account.

How long will it take for me to receive an admission decision?

It depends. If you correctly complete and submit the graduate application in ApplyTexas, pay the fee and properly submit all transcripts, it usually takes no more than four weeks after the University receives all of your transcripts for you to receive an admission decision. Most applicants receive a decision within two to three weeks. You will be sent an application receipt email 5 to 10 business days after you submit your application. This email contains your NetID and instructions to activate your MyMav account. You can check your application status in MyMav at any time. If you have not received an email, be sure to check your email spam and junk folders for your respective email account. Current or recent UTA graduates should also check their MyMav email student account.

Are all the classes located in the School of Social Work Complex?

Most of our Social Work graduate classes offered at the Arlington campus are held in the Social Work Complex (Buildings A, B or the General Academic Classroom Building (GACB)).  However, occasionally a graduate course will be offered in other academic buildings on the UTA campus. Fort Worth cohort classes are held at UTA Fort Worth.

Do I need an interview as part of my application process?

The selection committee reviews your admission file and an interview is generally not required. The SSW Admissions Selection Committee may at their discretion request an interview.

What if I have not finished my bachelor’s degree yet?

You can submit transcripts showing all academic work to date, but before you can enroll in graduate courses, you must submit an official transcript that shows the degree has been awarded. Your admission will be considered provisional until all required documentation has been received in our office.  Before submitting your MSW application, UTA undergraduate students please ensure your expected graduation/completion date is updated in MyMav and reflects you completing your bachelor’s degree before the semester or term you request on the application to start the MSW program (for example if you apply and plan to start the MSW program in the fall semester, be sure in MyMav your expected bachelor completion date is listed in the spring or summer before your MSW program start date).  

What happens if I am accepted, but cannot enroll?

If you cannot start the program in the semester in which you applied and were admitted, you can request that your admission be deferred for up to one year. You will be required to submit a reactivation form for the new semester you plan to start and pay the University fee. Upon submitting a reactivation form to UTA Graduate Admissions, you may also be required to update required admissions materials. A limited number of deferrals are allowed each year. You may be told to reapply for the following year. Once accepted, we strongly encourage you to accept your offer of admission as soon as possible, and then enroll and matriculate.

How will I know if I am accepted?

You will receive an email from the University indicating the admission decision. For current and recently graduated UTA students, the email may be sent to your Mavs email account.  Once you are admitted to the MSW program, you will also receive an email from the Director of Graduate Programs with additional information about selecting a program/cohort/specialty, orientation, advising and enrolling. Once you are admitted, it is important for you to activate your Mavs email account and accept the offer of admission.

hat if I have applied, but been denied, deferred, want to update my application, or want to be readmitted?

Please click here for more information and instructions. In some cases, a payment fee will be required.  If you have been given a Denied or Deferred decision and you want your application reconsidered, you must update/reactivate your application. If you have Applied, but want to change your semester of enrollment, program of admission or academic level of admission before you have been given a decision, you must update/reactivate your application. If you have been given an Admitted decision, but you want to change your semester of enrollment, program of admission or academic level of admission, you must update/reactivate your application. If you have previously been Enrolled as a graduate student and want to resume graduate work after an absence of a fall or spring semester or longer (summer excluded), you must select update/readmission of your application. If you have questions, please contact an SSW Admissions Counselor for guidance before completing any of the above actions.

Can I take MSW courses as a non-degree seeking or special student?

Yes. A person holding a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or its foreign equivalent wishing to take MSW courses at UTA, but not planning to earn an MSW degree from UTA may apply for admission as a special non-degree seeking student. Applicants will go to ApplyTexas and select MSW Non-Degree Seeking. Please consult with an SSW Admissions Counselor before submitting this application. In most cases, admission as a special non-degree seeking student is granted only for the purpose of participating in special graduate course offerings, or for taking MSW courses to be transferred to another institution. A student who has been denied admission to or been dismissed from UTA graduate programs may not be permitted to enroll as a special non-degree seeking or graduate certificate student. Please click here to read the UTA Graduate Admissions Catalog for the full policy and additional information.

I am an international student. What do I need to score on the TOEFL?

Satisfactory scores on the TOEFL or the TSE must be submitted to the UTA Graduate Admissions Office. Applicants must submit a score of at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL, a score of at least 213 on the computer-based TOEFL, a minimum score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or a minimum TOEFL iBT-Internet Based Test total score of 79 with sectional scores that meet or exceed the following:

  • 22 for the writing section
  • 21 for the speaking section
  • 20 for the reading section
  • 16 for the listening section


If the international applicant does not meet the TOEFL requirement or the sectional test scores, the applicant will be required to complete the Gateways to English Success Program (GESP). International applicants should click here for more information.

What resources and support do you have for military veterans?

UTA, as a Purple Heart designated university, and the School of Social Work prides itself on being military veteran friendly and supportive. UTA has a new Military and Veterans Services Center located on campus with a full-time staff, part-time veteran student workers, tutors, computer/printer lab, student veteran lounge area, VA Benefits Certification Office staff and an Executive Director to assist veterans in applying for benefits, matriculating, graduating and connecting to the community for jobs and resources. Click here for more information about the center and click here for a video. If you want to get involved on campus and in the community, UTA also has a military veteran student organization called MavVets. More than 10% of our Social Work students are military veterans or immediate family members. We have several Social Work faculty and staff members who are veterans and military retirees and the School has a long history of supporting veterans starting with our founding dean, who was a retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel and a Military Social Worker. Click here for School of Social Work military veteran information, student video and for information about the Military and Veteran Social Work career field. 

When do classes start?

To find out when classes begin each semester, see the Academic Calendar.

How can I learn more about the MSW program?

About once a month MSW Admissions Information Sessions are held in Arlington, Fort Worth or Dallas.  In addition, web conference online information sessions are available. Click here to register for an upcoming MSW Admissions Information Session. In addition, prospective students can schedule an individual telephone, web conference or face-to-face meeting with an SSW Admissions Counselor. Click here to complete the interest form and to make an appointment. In addition, we accept walk-ins during normal working hours Monday through Friday (excluding holidays and staff trainings). However, we strongly encourage prospective students to make an appointment or attend an SSW Admissions Information session. The SSW Admissions Office main phone number is 817-272-1044 or email sswadmissions@uta.edu. The SSW Admissions Office is located in Building B (Southside) of the School of Social Work Complex at 211. S Cooper Street, Arlington, Texas 76019.

Course Work

What is the minimum and maximum number of hours that I can take each semester?

All students must take a minimum of six (6) credit hours in the fall and spring semesters. Students can take three (3) or more hours during the summer session. The maximum course load for full-time graduate students is fifteen (15) semester hours for fall or spring semesters and twelve (12) hours for the summer session. Registration in excess of this maximum may be approved by the Director of Graduate Programs only in exceptional circumstances. International students must be enrolled for a minimum of nine (9) semester hours to maintain their visa status.

If I am taking only six (6) credit hours, can I drop a course?

No, because the requirement is that students must take six (6) hours each fall and spring semester, you may not drop a course. However, a student can petition to have this requirement waived temporarily provided that you can develop a plan with your academic advisor that will bring you up to six (6) hours per semester as soon as possible.

Must the Integrative Seminar course be taken in the final semester of course work?

Yes, the Integrative Seminar is equivalent to a final exam/capstone course and therefore must be taken in the final semester.  Students choosing the thesis option do not have to complete integrative seminar. Instead, these students will register for the thesis course during their final two semesters.

How long can I take to complete my MSW course work?

By taking a minimum of six (6) hours per semester, the MSW can be completed within four (4) years on a part-time basis. You must complete the degree within six (6) years from the original program start date. Most Advanced Standing students complete the program in about one year as full-time students and most Traditional students complete the program in about two years as full-time students.

What prerequisite courses are required before I begin the program?

There are no prerequisite courses required to begin the MSW program.

What is a cohort?

A cohort is a group of students that start together at the same time, complete a sequence of prescribed courses each semester, and graduate the program together. The purpose, broadly speaking, of cohort groups is to encourage a more dynamic, collaborative, and supportive learning environment to carry students through their program. Students in cohorts receive priority placement with course offerings. If there are not enough students registered for a particular cohort, students may be asked to move to another cohort or matriculate without being in a cohort. Although there are numerous benefits to being in a cohort, students are not required to choose a cohort. You can also choose to complete the MSW program as a non-cohort/regular matriculation.

What is Advanced Standing?

Advanced Standing is a designation for students who earned a BSW degree from a CSWE accredited institution within the past six years and before the start of their MSW Advanced Year matriculation. The student must also have met the 3.0 GPA Quick Admissions criteria and earned a B or better in all social work undergraduate required courses.

What is a Traditional student?

Traditional is a designation for students who earned a bachelor’s degree in another discipline/field/major or a BSW graduate who does not meet the Advanced Standing criteria for whatever reason. Traditional students must complete the Foundation and Advanced years which consist of 61 credit hours and includes two field internship placements. About 50% of our MSW students are Traditional (non-BSW graduates) students.

What is the Foundation Year and Advanced Year?

Foundation Year is the first year of the MSW program. Traditional students must first complete the Foundation Year which consists of 23 credit hours including a field internship placement and then Traditional students complete the Advanced Year of 35 credit hours including a field internship placement. The Foundation Year is waived for Advanced Standing students. Advanced Standing students will begin their matriculation in the Advanced Year which for them consists of 38 credit hours including a field internship placement.

Advising

Will I be assigned an academic advisor and a field advisor?

Yes, at the School of Social Work, once admitted, each MSW student is assigned an Academic Advisor and later assigned a Field Advisor.  All of our SSW academic and field advisors are full-time staff who have already earned the MSW degree. Academic advisors assist, provide advice and counsel students on degree plans, course offerings and career options. Academic Advisors also assist and connect students who are struggling academically or having personal challenges with School and University resources. Academic Advisors will help students develop Self-Care principles. Self-Care is an essential Social Work survival skill. Self-Care refers to activities and practices that we can engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and maintain and enhance our short and longer-term health and well-being. Self-Care is necessary for your effectiveness and success in honoring your professional and personal commitments. The Office of Advising and Student Success has MSW Advisors to help students navigate their MSW degree plan whether you are a cohort or non-cohort student. MSW students are not required to be advised every semester. Academic advising is required prior to registration for the first semester in the program and prior to registration for Integrative Seminar or Thesis Research courses (usually the last semester(s) in the program). Students who have a cumulative MSW GPA of less than 3.0 must be advised every semester before registration. Once admitted to the program, new students will be assigned an academic advisor and are required to meet (email, phone, face-to-face or web online) with their academic advisor prior to registering for the first semester. Click here for more Advising information and here for Field Education information.

Other

Where is the School of Social Work located?

The UTA School of Social Work Complex is located on the north side of campus at 211. S. Cooper Street, Arlington, Texas 76019. The complex includes three buildings. Building A includes the Dean’s office and staff, MSW Program Director’s office, faculty, and academic and field advisors' offices. Building B includes the SSW Admissions, Communications and Community Outreach offices, some faculty and staff offices, and the Center for Child Welfare. Building C or the General Academic Classroom Building includes the PhD Program Director’s Office, the Office of Research and additional faculty and staff offices. Click here for the map of the School of Social Work and click here for UTA campus map.