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College of Social Work

Admission and Application Requirements

To be considered for the Master of Social Work program, you must meet the admission requirements of both The Graduate School and the College of Social Work.

Admission Criteria

Admission to our MSW program is competitive. Each application is carefully reviewed to determine if the candidate fully meets admission criteria. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 

Applications to the MSW program are coordinated by The Graduate School. Application reviews, including required supplemental application materials, and admission recommendations are made by the College of Social Work. Official notification of graduate admission decisions are made by The Graduate School. Prospective students are encouraged to review all application requirements before you applyOnly complete applications will be considered for review.

Admission Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  2. Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale). Applicants with a GPA below 3.00 must submit official Graduate Record Examination scores within the last five years. Successful applicants typically have a score of 4 on the analytical writing portion of the current general GRE. The GRE is not required of applicants with a master's degree and minimum 3.00 GPA from an accredited institution.
  3. Evidence of intellectual maturity, emotional stability, motivation and capacity to work with people.
  4. Minimum of two letters of reference from individuals such as professors, employers or supervisors who can provide a detailed assessment of the applicant’s specific qualifications for both graduate studies and master’s-level social work practice.
  5. Current resume that outlines education, work and volunteer activities.
  6. Autobiographical statement
  7. Demonstrated commitment to the values of the social work profession.


  • An interview may be required.
  • Applicants to the Advanced Standing program must have earned an undergraduate degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited program within the last six years.
  • Additional information for required official transcripts can be found in the Graduate Admissions Bulletin.
International students must also submit the following:

Satisfactory scores on the TOEFL or IELTS as required by The Graduate School for international applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants to the Korea-based MSW Program are exempt from this requirement.

Upon admission, you must submit a financial resource requirement (mandated by U.S. government regulations) and an application for immigration.

University of South Carolina International Student Services is a key resource and guide for immigration and cultural matters, such as obtaining and renewing visas, so that you can achieve your educational and personal goals in the United States.


Transfer of Course Credits

You may transfer course credits from another CSWE-accredited master's  program, according to the policy in the Graduate Academic Regulations Bulletin. Students in the Full-time and Part-time options may transfer up to 18 semester hours of graduate credit. Students in the Advanced Standing program option may transfer up to 15 semester hours of graduate study. A formal written request for transfer must be made at the time of application for admission.

If admitted, you must complete the Request for Transfer for Graduate Credit Form. Transcripts, course descriptions and syllabi must be submitted to the Admissions Office in the College of Social Work. The MSW Program Coordinator reviews and approves requests for transfer of course credit. 

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