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Graduate Program Admission


In addition to the Department of Social Work's admissions requirements, applicants to the MSW program must meet all University requirements and must submit an application, application fee and transcripts to Graduate Admissions. All required immunizations for admitted students must be completed before enrollment. Graduate Admissions information and application forms may be found at or you may call 618-650-3770 for graduate school information.



Equal Opportunity


Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is committed to equal educational and employment opportunity and affirmative action (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Graduate Catalog, 2005-2006: 64). Consistent with this university policy, the Department of Social Work's educational programs, services, and opportunities are open to prospective students without regard to race, ethnicity, color, sex, creed or religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, veterans' status, political affiliation, or other prohibited categories. Racial, ethnic, gender, and other under-represented minority group members are encouraged to apply for admissions to the MSW program.



Admission Requirements


Prospective students must submit 1) an application to the Office of Graduate Admissions for degree seeking status and 2) application materials (described below) to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

To be considered for regular admission to the graduate program in Social Work, applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 (A=4.0). Students with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA may apply and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The baccalaureate degree should reflect a strong background in liberal arts and Sciences in which at least 30 semester hours (or the equivalent) have been earned in such courses with grades of C or better. Included in this total must be a 3 credit human biology course. Students must complete any deficiencies prior to their enrollment in the MSW program If any deficiencies are not completed prior to enrollment, the student's file will be reconsidered the next academic year. Undergraduates who are nearing completion of a baccalaureate degree may submit an application for admission as a degree-seeking student when they have earned at least 88 semester hours of credit toward the undergraduate degree with a grade-point average of at least 3.0 (A=4.0).A combination of commitment to the program's mission and sensitivity to diversity is evaluated during the admissions process through the applicant's personal statement and letters of reference. Students do not receive academic credit for life experiences or previous work experiences.

The following materials must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions before an application is considered complete:

 1.   Completed graduate application to the Office of Graduate Admissions including all necessary transcripts.

 2.   Completed application for Graduate Study in Social Work.

 3.   A personal statement of approximately 750 to 1000 words that discusses:

  • the applicant's reasons for pursuing a career in social work and career plans;
  • any special people and experiences that influenced the applicant's decision to pursue a career in social work, and narrative information on the previous work experience including volunteering and practicum experiences;
  • evidence of commitment to social and economic justice;
  • personal strengths and weaknesses.

 4.   Three letters of recommendation that discuss the applicant's potential for graduate-level academic work, leadership and interpersonal skills, and commitment to the mission and values of social work, are required. One letter must be from a past or current employer who was responsible for supervising the applicant in a paid or voluntary social service setting. Another letter should be from a former or current undergraduate faculty member. Applicants wishing to transfer from a CSWE accredited master's program should include a letter of recommendation from a graduate faculty member. All exceptions to the above stated requirements must be made in writing and submitted in advance for consideration to the Director of MSW Admissions. Each letter of recommendation must be submitted with the form found on the Department Website.

NOTE: Effective with applicants beginning their graduate work in the Fall of 2008, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is NO LONGER REQUIRED for application to the MSW program at SIUE.


Admission in Advanced Standing


Applicants may be considered for admission in advanced standing provided the following criteria are met:

 1.   The applicant holds a baccalaureate degree in social work (BSW) from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, and the degree was awarded in the 7-year period preceding application for graduate study at SIUE.

 2.   The applicant's grade point average is 3.0 (A=4.0) or higher in undergraduate study. Applicants with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA who completed all course work in the BSW foundation area with a grade of B or better in each course will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

 3.   Advanced standing students entering with a BSW from an accredited program must have completed a research methods course and a statistics course with a grade of B or better.

 4.   Students must complete any deficiencies prior to their enrollment in the MSW program. If any deficiencies are not completed prior to enrollment the student's file will be reconsidered the next academic year.




Transfer Credit


MSW course credits earned from other graduate CSWE accredited programs may be transferable to SIUE. Credit is transferable if a grade of B or better has been earned in a social work course(s) that clearly corresponds to courses in the MSW program curriculum. For regular standing (two year) students, up to one-third or 19 semester credit hours may be transferable for the 60 credit hour SIUE MSW degree. Regular standing students who wish to transfer more than the one-third credit hour limit (19 credit hours) may petition the Director or MSW Admission for consideration.

For Advanced Standing (one year) students, one-third or 10 credit hours of the 30 semester credit hour MSW concentration curriculum may be transferable. However, SIUE has a minimum of 30 semester credit hour residency requirement. This means that Advanced Standing students must complete 30 credit hours of enrollment residency at SIUE. Therefore, transferred credit hours must be made up by enrollment in alternative courses to achieve the 30 hours residency requirement. These alternative courses must be made up by enrollment in courses to achieve the 30 hours residency requirement. These alternative courses must be determined in consultation with the student's faculty advisor and approved by the MSW director. The alternative courses should provide a coherent purpose and content that supports the student's social work concentration and career objectives. Furthermore, only one transferred course may be applied to the student's required concentration course requirements.


Transferable credits are limited to those that were earned with in six years of the transfer request date and for which grades of B or better are earned.

Graduate course credit achieved for another graduate degree cannot be generally used or applied for course requirement in the MSW degree curriculum. See the SIUE Graduate Catalog for a summary of the graduate school policy on transfer credits and residency requirements.


Decisions regarding credit transfer are made independently of admissions decisions. The matriculation of transfer students in the Department of Social Work requires admission according to the procedures and standards outlined above.



Application Deadline


The Graduate School and the MSW applications, supporting information, and documents must be received no later than January 15th of the year in which the applicant wishes to enter the MSW program. This applies to both part-time and full-time program applicants. Students admitted to the MSW program begin their course of study in the Fall semester of the academic year. There are no Spring or Summer admissions.

Applications for graduate study at SIUE should be obtained from and submitted to the SIUE Office of Graduate Admissions (see front page for address of that office).

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