Sep 25, 2023  

Social Work, Regular Standing–Two-Year Program MSW

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MSW (Master of Social Work)

The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is a professional degree enabling the graduate to enter practice as an advanced-level practitioner. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of interpersonal clinical or administration and development practice emphases. The foundation curriculum for the MSW consists of 12 core competencies: (1) Professionalism, (2) Values and Ethics, (3) Critical Thinking, (4) Diversity and Differences, (5) Human Rights and Social Economic Justice, (6) Research, (7) Human Behavior and the Social Environment, (8) Social Welfare Policy and Services, (9) Contextualization, (10) Social Work Practice, (11) Global Worldview, and (12) Christian Perspective. Accreditation for the MSW degree has been granted through the Council on Social Work Education through 2019.


Students have the opportunity to apply for graduate assistantships—teaching or research. These assistantships give students the opportunity to develop their expertise. Students interested in becoming social-work educators—especially those with years of clinical experience—may teach undergraduate courses. Research assistantships offer experiences in community consulting, grant writing, and/or conducting research.

MSW Student Handbook

The MSW Student Handbook has been designed as the social work student’s aid in understanding the program requirements, Social Work Department, and relevant policies of Andrews University.  Inside the handbook you will find information such as expectations of students, the MSW curriculum, departmental policies, and other relevant information.

You are responsible for the information found in this handbook, so please take the time to familiarize yourself with the handbook and know where to find questions and answers if the need arises.

Field Manual

The Field Manual has been designed as your aid in understanding field education requirements, your role as a student in a field agency, and relevant policies of Andrews University.

You are responsible for the information found in this handbook, so please take the time to familiarize yourself with the handbook and know where to find questions and answers if the need arises.

Admissions Criteria

Applicants to the MSW program must meet the requirements in the Graduate Admission section of this bulletin. They must also meet the requirements outlined below.

  • An overall minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75

* Admissions criteria may be refined and changed as necessary to improve the process and address accreditation issues.

English Language Requirement

For those applicants whose native language is not English, the following is required:

1. Demonstration of English proficiency by obtaining at least a minimum score on any one of the following exams.  Exam must be taken within two years prior to enrollment.

  • TOEFL ITP (paper-based) - A minimum score of 550
  • TOEFL iBT (internet-based) - 80 with a minimum of 20 on each section
  • MELAB - 80 with a minimum of 80 on each section
  • IELTS (Academic version) - 6.5
  • PTE (Academic version) - 54

2. Nelson Denny - score of 13 and

3. Personal interview with MSW program director or designee

Applicants who fail to meet any of the above may be admitted only after committee consideration of the specific circumstances. Additional course work in English may be required.

A student who graduated from a four-year English-speaking high school, college or university may be exempted from all or parts of the above requirements.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Students who are applying for admission to the MSW program have two options related to the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). For those students who are seeking a graduate scholarship, the GRE must be taken. The amount of a potential scholarship is related to the score achieved on the GRE as follows:

GRE Score Scholarship
320 50% tuition reduction
310 25% tuition reduction
300 10% tuition reduction

For students who do not seek a graduate scholarship based on the GRE score, the GRE examination is not required.

Regular Standing—Two-year Program

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Provide transcripts that demonstrate course work with a strong liberal arts background.

    Required Liberal Arts Background Minimum Semester Credits
    • Human Biology or Anatomy and Physiology—3
      (or pass challenge exam)
    • Communications/Language Skills (foreign languages, speech, grammar, linguistics, written communication, media)—6
    • Social and Behavioral Science (sociology, anthropology, psychology, social psychology, diversity)—8
    • Humanities/History (philosophy, religion, arts, government, political science, economics, or literature)—14
    • Take STAT 285 3
    • Previous computer skills, either in course work (1 credit) or extensive hands-on experience evidenced by the Computer Skills Assessment Form.
    • Satisfy one of the criteria below:
      • Have an overall GPA of at least 2.75 in undergraduate courses.
      • Have a GPA of at least 2.75 on last 50% of undergraduate courses.
      • Have a graduate GPA of at least 3.5 on 8 semester credits or more earned in courses graded A–F.
      • Hold a previous master’s degree.
    • A professional résumé documenting related experience
    • A statement of professional interest and purpose for MSW graduate study
    • Two strong professional references

The faculty may request a personal interview or a third reference and/or other information.

MSW Degree Requirements*

  • Satisfactory completion of the MSW curriculum listed by programs below:

Degree Requirements

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 in Social Work Program
  • No grade of D or F (or U) may count toward a graduate degree.
  • The maintenance at all times of professional conduct and behaviors appropriate for a social worker according to the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics.
  • Defense of the professional degree portfolio. This portfolio is a demonstrative collection of professional competencies.
  • Other Andrews University degree requirements as presented in the Graduate Academic Information section of this bulletin.

* Subject to change as necessary to improve the process and address accreditation issues.

Past experience strengthens all MSW student applications. However, following Council on Social Work Education requirements, no social work course credit can be given for life experience or previous work experience.

MSW Curriculum

Core advanced interpersonal practice courses supplemented by optional emphasis areas of focus are offered. Students wishing to enroll in core graduate social work courses must be enrolled in the MSW Program and/or have the instructor’s permission. Students in the regular two-year program are required to take all foundation year courses. All students, both regular and advanced placement, must take all core advanced year courses, as well as those listed for any specific emphasis they select and elective courses to complete the total credits required. Students who are accepted into the advanced one-year program must also take SOWK 515 . Students may transfer up to 20% of the credits from one degree into the MSW program. All courses are subject to change based on accreditation needs.

MSW Areas of Emphasis

Students may choose to specialize in the following areas of emphasis: Administration & Development, Mental Health, School Social Work, Marriage & Family, Christian Ministry, International Social Work, Medical Social Work, and Aging & Social Work. Please refer to the Department of Social Work website for further information: Students are not required to choose an emphasis area.

Total Credits: 56

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