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Frequently Asked Questions About Our MSW Program

1. Why should I pursue a Master of Social Work degree?  

A degree in social work prepares students for professional social work practice, a growing and dynamic profession in which you promote the well-being of individuals, groups, and communities. Social workers are employed by hospitals, schools, child welfare agencies, criminal justice settings, advocacy organizations, organizations that serve veterans and active-duty military, mental health service providers, and more. The degree also provides an excellent foundation in problem-solving, communication, and inter-professional collaboration, skills which are valued by many professions.

2. When is the deadline for applications? 

  • March 1st is the deadline for admission in the following fall semester.
  • January 1st is the deadline for admission in the following summer semester.
  • The Traditional 60 Credit Hour Program only begins in the fall semester.
  • The Advanced Standing 42 Credit Hour Program (must have a BSW to be admitted) only begins in the summer semester.
  • For other application details, visit here:

3. What courses will I be taking during the program, and when will I take them?

All versions of the curriculum plan, as well as course descriptions and available electives, can be found in our MSW Student Handbook.

4. What grades do I need?  

  • Students in the master’s degree program of the School of Social Work must meet the Graduate School requirements for good academic standing of a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
  • No more than one “C” in foundation courses regardless of overall grade point average.2
  • No more than one “C” in concentration courses (including electives) regardless of overall grade point average.
  • No grades of “D” or “F” in any class regardless of overall grade point average.
  • No grade of “fail” in field education (SW 590/591 or SW 595/596).
  • Because the academic requirement for good standing in graduate-level education is “B” or better performance, a student’s work in field education evaluated as less than “B” work is graded as “fail.”
  • It is the responsibility of a student who earns a C in any course to meet with his/her advisor. Please see the MSW Student Handbook for more details.

5. Can I transfer credit from another institution?

  • Students must submit a written request to the School of Social Work Registrar specifying the courses to be evaluated for transfer and syllabi for the course(s) for which transfer credit is being requested. Please note, transfer credit will only be evaluated after admission to the MSW Program.
  • With the approval of the student’s department and the Dean of the Graduate School required coursework for a graduate degree may be transferred from another institution. All credit toward the master’s degree, including transfer credit, must have been earned during the six years (18 fall, spring, and summer semesters) immediately preceding the date on which the degree is to be awarded. The School of Social Work will accept up to 12 hours of transfer credit towards the Traditional (60 hr) Program and up to 9 hours of transfer credit towards the Advanced Standing (42 hr) Program.
  • Please contact the Coordinator of Student Services, Aubree Cuip, for more details.

6. Do you offer coordinated degree programs?

  • We offer two different coordinated degrees.
  • The Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health is coordinated between the School of Social Work at the University of Alabama and Population Health at The University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Public Health.
  • The Master of Social Work/Juris Doctorate Degree Program is coordinated between the UA School of Social Work and UA School of Law.
  • More information on these programs can be found here. Contact our Coordinator of Student Services, Aubree Cuip, for further details and questions.

7. Where can I find a list of campus resources for students? 

These can be found on our Resources for Students page. 

8. What financial assistance is available?

Several types of financial assistance are available to MSW students, including MSW stipends, Field Education/Agency Stipends, Title IV-E stipends, scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. Once admitted MSW students will be sent an application for scholarships and stipends offered by the School of Social Work. Students admitted to the primarily online MSW program option may also apply for scholarship opportunities through the College of Continuing Studies. Additionally, you may want to visit the UA Financial Aid website for information on how to apply for FAFSA. We do not provide graduate assistantships for MSW students; some of our MSW students, however, apply for assistantships in other divisions.