Admissions Information & Requirements
Guidelines for Applying:
Please review the following helpful guidelines for applying to our MSW program:
It is important to apply to the correct program, so please read these carefully. If you need further assistance with choosing a program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Fall – May 1st (Main Campus, Panama City Campus (Advanced Standing Only), and Online Programs)
- Spring – October 1st (Online Programs, Main Campus Programs (Advanced Standing Only)
- Summer – March 1st (Online Programs Only)
College of Social Work:
Application and Guidelines:
Please read the application requirements below before moving on to the online application. You will be required to upload your statement of purpose and resume during the application process. The application will also ask for the contact information for the persons who will write your letters of recommendation. This information will need to include an email address.
If you are interested in the JD/MSW program please contact the College of Law. The College of Law has a unique admissions process independent of University Admissions. Please click http://www.law.fsu.edu for more information.
GRE Waiver Available:
The College of Social Work is now offering a GRE waiver contingent on meeting at least one of the criteria below. If you meet one of the following, you will not be required to take the GRE for MSW admissions. If you are applying for a joint pathway program (i.e., MSW/MBA, MSW/MPA, MSW/MS Criminology), please consult the other program for GRE requirements. Approval of the GRE Waiver Request does not guarantee admission to the program.
- Five years or more of social work experience in a traditional social work agency providing direct service delivery or macro services and a 3.0 undergraduate upper division GPA (advanced standing or traditional students) from a regionally accredited institution.
- A completed Master's, J.D., M.D. or Ph.D. degree with a 3.0 (or better) cumulative GPA from a regionally accredited institution.
- A 3.5 or higher undergraduate cumulative GPA from a regionally accredited institution.
- Any earned or anticipated baccalaureate degree from Florida State University, with a 3.25 upper division GPA at time of application.
You are able to seek approval for the GRE Waiver by submitting the following request form, and providing relevant documentation: GRE Waiver Request Form
*If you do not meet one of the above criteria, you are still eligible for admissions consideration. An official GRE score will be required along with your supplemental application materials.
Statement of Purpose:
Social Work is a profession that addresses the needs of vulnerable populations. We are bound by a professional Code of Ethics (see MSW bulletin) that mandates our professional behavior. Students admitted into our graduate program are expected to act in a manner that reflects these standards. We wish to evaluate as accurately as possible your qualifications for a professional education in social work and the appropriateness of the program for your educational needs and goals. Therefore, it is important that you respond to EACH of the following questions. Please type your replies, double-spaced, in three to six pages (total length.) This is one of the most important parts of your admission application. It is your opportunity to share with the Admissions Committee information about yourself that we will use to evaluate your appropriateness for the program and the profession. Before submission, please make sure to highlight significant work or volunteer experience that will demonstrate your commitment to the field of social work. In addition, please make sure that your Statement of Purpose is carefully edited as we do consider spelling, grammar and writing style. Remember, each of these questions is scored individually, along with your writing skills, so please answer to the best of your ability. **Please write and number each prompt and then write your answer.
- Give specific examples how your past experiences and academic achievements have led you to choose social work as a profession.
- The social work profession is guided by the NASW code of ethics: https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English
This code includes working with diverse populations and clients/communities whose values and beliefs may be different from yours. Discuss how your personal values and beliefs are or are not compatible with this professional standard. How will you reconcile any conflicts between your personal values and the requirement of the profession?
- Describe an ethical dilemma (Ethical dilemmas, also known as a moral dilemma, are situations in which there is a choice to be made between two options, neither of which resolves the situation in an ethically acceptable fashion) that you have faced in your life. How was it resolved?
If you feel that your present record does not reflect your potential, please share with the Admissions Committee in your Statement of Purpose why you think you can manage the demands of graduate education.
A resume gives you an opportunity to share information about yourself to the Admissions committee. It should be concise, easy-to-read, grammatically correct, well composed, and formatted. Below is a sample format of a resume. While it is not necessary for you to arrange yours in this manner, it is necessary that you include all the information listed (limit your resume to two typed pages or less if possible).
- Personal Data: name, address, phone number
- Educational Background: degrees earned
- Work/Volunteer Experience: List your work and volunteer experience in chronological order. Provide a brief (2-3 lines) job description and give beginning and ending dates for each position. Clearly identify those positions that were paid, internships, or volunteer.
- Special skills or Attributes: List skills or attributes that enhance your ability to work with others. For example, do you speak a foreign language? Do you know sign language? Are you skilled in athletics, art, music, or speech? Do you know how to use computers or special equipment?
- Professional affiliations and honors: Are you a member of any professional organizations? Did you receive academic honors form your college or university? Have you received honors from a community service or social group?
We also strongly encourage applicants utilizing the resume writing tips provided by the Florida State University Career Center: https://career.fsu.edu/sites/g/files/upcbnu746/files/Resume%20Writing.pdf
Letters of Recommendation:
The online application will ask you to submit contact information for your references in the “Recommendations” section. Letters must be submitted by your recommenders via the application status check. We do not accept letters sent directly from applicants.
Minimum of three (3). The three letters must be a combination of work or professional and academic references (minimally need to submit at least 1 academic reference if graduated in the last 3 years). If you graduated more than three years ago, you may substitute professional references in place of academic references. A good letter of recommendation should be from someone who knows you well professionally or academically and can speak to your strengths and your ability to succeed in a graduate program. It is always a good idea to have the person writing your letter describe how they know you. Do not have a relative, friend or personal therapist write a letter for you.
The references will become part of your admissions file. They will be used only for admissions consideration and will not be disclosed to any unauthorized individual without your consent.
Petition for Exceptional Consideration:
To be completed ONLY by the applicant whose Undergraduate GPA is below 3.0
An applicant who believes that her or his individual circumstances warrant exceptional consideration for a waiver of the minimum university admissions requirement of an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 must petition the MSW admissions committee.
The request should be a one page statement entitled “Petition for Exceptional Consideration”. The petition should include a statement indicating how not meeting the minimum admissions requirement of a 3.0 GPA should be waived, as it does not adequately represent the applicant’s capabilities. The applicant should briefly discus how he or she has indeed demonstrated a capacity for successful achievement in a rigorous graduate program. For example, an applicant might provide evidence of:
- Superior grades during the final semester(s) of work prior to graduation indicating a trend toward improved performance;
- Subsequent to receipt of the undergraduate degree, an applicant might demonstrate competence through achievement in another graduate program;
- Outstanding work experience in human services (volunteer or paid).
The applicant should also discuss how, if granted admission to the program, she or he plans to address potential obstacles to successfully completing the program (for example, if a low grade point average was viewed as the result of a “needing to work full time during my undergraduate studies” the applicant should discuss why that is not likely to be a factor during her or his graduate study).
Petitions must be submitted as part of the required Personal Statement.
University Admissions Office:
The following information is to be sent to the University Admissions Office.
- One OFFICIAL copy of your transcripts from all institutions you have attended. Transcripts must not be “Issued To Student.”
- Official GRE scores must be sent from ETS directly to FSU. The FSU institutional code is 5219. GRE scores must be submitted even if you meet the university minimum upper division undergraduate GPA requirement of a 3.0. These will be sent electronically by ETS if you indicate that scores should be sent to our institution during your test session.
- Mail transcripts to:
- The Florida State University
Office of Admissions
282 Champions Way
P.O. Box 3062400
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400
- The Florida State University
- Electronic transcripts to: email@example.com
**If you graduated from FSU your transcripts are on file with the University. You do not need to request that a copy be sent.