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College of Social Work

Frequently Asked Questions

Your one-stop resource for information on the MSW admission process and curriculum.


Do I need an undergraduate degree in social work?

You do not need an undergraduate degree in social work to be considered for admission. Students with academic backgrounds including, but not limited to, psychology, sociology, public health, nursing, criminal justice and business may apply to the MSW program.

If you earned a bachelor’s degree in social work, you may be eligible for our Advanced Standing program. This program option is designed for students who earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited program.

Which semester will I start my MSW Program?

Full-time and Part-time students begin their graduate studies during the fall term. Advanced Standing students begin their graduate studies during the summer term.

What is required in the autobiographical statement?

The autobiographical statement is a critical component of the application. For additional details, refer to the autobiographical statement guidelines

What do I need to do as an international applicant?

Please refer to The Graduate School’s section for international students.

Do you offer application fee waivers?

Please contact The Graduate School or call 803-777-4243 for more details. 

How do I submit transcripts?

The Graduate School requires applicants for degree programs to submit official transcripts for all colleges attended, whether or not a degree was earned. Official transcripts are sent directly from your institution to The Graduate School, submitted in an envelope sealed by your institution or submitted through a secure, password protected transcript service (E-SCRIP, Parchment, National Clearinghouse). Opened copies of your transcript are not official.

Note: Previous University of South Carolina students (graduates and attendees who have completed coursework at any of our UofSC campuses) do not have to submit official transcripts as their academic history is on file.

For more information, visit The Graduate School website.

How are letters of recommendation submitted?

Include the name and email of each recommender in the online application. Recommenders will receive information to submit their form, with an attached letter, through the online system. Follow-up with each recommender to ensure they attach a letter of recommendation when filling out the online form. Send the letter to recommenders before they are sent the automatic request for a recommendation by The Graduate School’s application system.

When can I expect my admission decision?

Admission decisions are made following the Feb. 1 application deadline for Advanced Standing students and the March 1 application deadline for Full-time and Part-time students.

Can I defer my MSW admission?

Yes, you may defer your admission for one year. Refer to The Graduate School’s Update Request Form for more information.


How long does it take to complete the MSW program?
  • The Full-time program option in Columbia is designed to be completed in two years.
  • The Part-time program option in Columbia, Charleston or Greenville is designed to be completed in three years.
  • The Advanced Standing program option in Columbia is designed to be completed in 11 months.
When are classes held?

Courses are typically offered as follows:

  • Full-time courses are offered Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring terms.
  • Advanced Standing courses are offered during the summer bridge term, and Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring terms.
  • Part-time courses are offered on Saturdays during the fall, spring and summer terms. Field seminar courses are offered weekday evenings during the fall and spring terms.
Are all specializations offered in all program options?

The Community, Social, and Economic Development, Health and Mental Health, and Child, Youth and Families specializations are offered in the Full-time and Advanced Standing programs. Only the Health and Mental Health specialization is offered in the Part-time program.


When and how do I pay my seat confirmation fee?

MSW students must pay the $120 seat confirmation fee within 30 days of the date of their admission letter. You will receive information on how to pay the fee with you admission packet after you accept the admission offer.