MSW Program

MSW Program Overview

(Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education from 2011-2024)

The M.S.W. degree is offered by the College of Arts and Humanities to prepare students for clinical practice with vulnerable children, families and adults throughout the lifespan. Students can take additional courses that will prepare them academically for the state clinical licensure examination for social workers (LCSW).

MSW Program Mission

Social Work Mission and Competencies 

The mission of the Master of Social Work program is to advance social and economic justice by preparing students for competent, empowering clinical practice with vulnerable children, adults and families of diverse backgrounds. In its efforts to enhance the dignity and rights of all people, particularly of historically oppressed populations, the MSW Program seeks to partner with diverse individuals, groups and organizations at university, local, state, national and international levels. Degree Concentration The MSW program is designed to prepare students for responsible, professional social work practice with children and families across the lifespan. Coursework prepares students to assume practice and leadership roles and responsibilities in clinical social work practice, public child and family welfare programs, the protection of abused and neglected children, home-based services, foster care, adoption, school-based services, group and residential care settings, child guidance, parent education, family courts, family violence programs, military social work, adult protective services, child and family advocacy, as well as in major social service systems that include mental health, physical health, and corrections.

MSW Application Procedure

How to Apply

Albany State University invites you to submit an application for admission to the graduate program of your choice. The information provided below will provide instructions and a list of all materials needed to complete an application for admission to the Master of Social Work Program offered by Albany State University and can be accessed on the Graduate Studies How to Apply page.

Required Application Materials:

  • Graduate Application– For individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • $25 Non-refundable application fee (check or money order made payable to Albany State University)
  • Official college transcripts from ALL institutions attended (including transcripts from Albany State University)

ALL of the aforementioned materials must be submitted by the deadline (please see the Graduate Studies web page on the How to Apply page for deadline dates) in order to process your application and render an admissions decision.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the admission requirements of the Office of Graduate Studies, applicants requesting admission into the MSW Program must also send the following materials to the Office of Graduate Studies:

  1. Three professional letters of recommendation. These letters are from persons who can address the Applicant’s ability and potential for successful graduate education and professional social work practice (e.g., former professors, employment supervisors, etc.). These letters must carefully address the items as outlined in the “Letters of Reference” section of the MSW application packet. These letters are in addition to the reference letters required by the University’s Office of Recruitment, Admissions and Financial Aid.
  2. Completion of the Personal Narrative Statement. This section must carefully follow the outline in the MSW application packet.
  3. A current professional resume. The Applicant will submit a current resume that includes her/his complete work history. The Applicant is asked to include a notation to explain any gaps in the work history.
  4. A completed criminal background check. The Applicant must include the completed criminal background check.
  5. Personal Interview. Because the Master of Social Work is a professional program, a personal interview with the MSW Admissions Committee is required of an Applicant in order to better-evaluate his/her potential for successful completion of the graduate program in social work.

Advanced Standing

In order to ensure that students entering the Master of Social Work program with a baccalaureate social work degree do not repeat content that has been achieved in the BSW program (CSWE EPAS M31.1), the MSW program allows students to receive credit for successfully completed generalist social work courses. A student is eligible to receive credit for generalist-level social work courses taken from a CSWE-accredited BSW or MSW program of social work if the following criteria are met:

  • You must have earned a grade of “B” or better in each generalist course you are requesting a waiver for (3.0 on a 4.0 scale)
  • The course must have been taken in the past five years

Students who hold a BSW from a school other than Albany State University are asked to attach the syllabus for each course that a waiver credit is applied. In this way, the MSW Admissions Committee can determine if the course offered in the generalist year of the MSW program at Albany State University is comparable. Courses most frequently granted advanced waiver credit includes such generalist social work courses as Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Social Welfare Policies and Programs, Social Work Practice, Social Work Research, generalist-level field courses, and some electives.

In accordance with CSWE EPAS 3.1.5, the MSW program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.

Application Process

A student who is applying for an advance waiver credit must complete the “MSW Advanced Credit Approval Form.” The application and supporting documents are to be sent to the MSW Admissions Committee, 504 College Drive, CMH 317, Albany, GA 31705. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. The MSW Admissions Committee requires applications to be submitted with the completed MSW Application packet.

  1. How to apply for advanced standing:
    1. Complete the “MSW Advanced Credit Approval Form” online (See the Advanced Credit Policy Tab) and submit it with your MSW Application.
    2. Upon acceptance into the MSW program, you may be asked to supply copies of your undergraduate research papers, field education contracts/plans, field evaluations, college catalog, and course syllabi, unless the Department of Social Work at Albany State University has them on file for your BSW degree from ASU.
    3. Advanced standing waivers are assessed after your acceptance into the graduate social work program.
  2. The Outcome:
    1. You may be waived from any or all of the MSW foundation courses – up to 32 credit hours –that repeat content that you already mastered in your undergraduate program with a grade of “B” or better. The materials from each applicant are evaluated individually. Waivers are not automatic.
    2. An individualized plan of study will be developed to guide you in completing any required foundation courses and beginning your advanced concentration courses.

Due to the limited acceptance of Advanced Standing students in the MSW program, enrollment is extremely competitive and will be awarded only to outstanding applicants that clearly demonstrate the knowledge, experience, and skills required for direct admission into the advanced year of the MSW program. Students admitted into the Advanced Standing program who fail to earn a grade of “B” or better in their coursework will be removed from the Advanced Standing program. The Student may be given the option of continuing in the regular two-year MSW degree program.

The MSW Program Director, in consultation with Faculty, will assess competencies already achieved for students requesting advanced standing. Deadlines must be met to allow adequate time for review of materials and to arrange for special advising.

The Review Process

The admissions process is carried out by the MSW Admissions Committee. In evaluating applications, Faculty Admission Reviewers take into consideration many factors and no one criterion alone automatically determines acceptance or non-acceptance into the MSW Program. Among the factors examined carefully is the Applicant’s undergraduate course work in relation to a strong liberal arts base and past academic performance, as reflected in the cumulative grade point average (last 60 credit hours of academic work). Consideration is also given to employment or volunteer efforts in social work, strong letters of recommendation, demonstrated ability to follow directions carefully and communicate effectively in writing (as evidenced by the completion of the MSW Admissions packet and other written forms of communication presented by the Applicant), and the Applicant’s stated motivation for a career as a professional graduate-level social worker.

After carefully reviewing the student’s application package, the MSW Admissions Committee votes on whether to admit, deny or defer the application. This decision is then forwarded to the Chair of the Department of Social Work on a “Graduate Student Status Form” for official departmental signature and approval. The decision is then sent to the ASU “Office of Graduate Studies” and the Applicant is notified via mail of her/his acceptance or denial into the MSW program. The MSW program is then notified by the University on the final status of the application. All accepted students are then contacted by the MSW Program via a letter informing them of upcoming orientation dates and pertinent information they need to know as new graduate students in the MSW program.

Decisions regarding the Applicant’s admission status may be appealed. Information regarding appeal procedures may be secured from the Office of Graduate Studies.

MSW Advanced Credit Policy

A student may be eligible to receive credit for generalist-level social work courses taken from a CSWE-accredited BSW or MSW program of social work if the following criteria are met. The following criteria must be met for advanced waiver credit to be considered:

  • You must have earned a grade of “B” or better in the course (3.0 on a 4.0 scale)
  • The course must have been taken in the past five years

Students are asked to attach the syllabus for each course that a waiver credit is applied for in order to determine if the course offered in the MSW program at Albany State University is comparable. Courses most frequently granted advanced or waiver credit includes generalist social work courses, including Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Social Welfare Policies and Programs, Social Work Practice, Social Work Research, and generalist-level field courses.

Application Process
A student who is applying for an advance waiver credit must complete the “MSW Advanced Credit Approval Form.” The application and supporting documents are to be sent to the MSW Program, 504 College Drive, CMH 317, Albany, GA 31705. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. The MSW Admissions Committee requires applications to be submitted with the MSW Application packet.