2024 Admissions Information and Guide

The 2024 Admissions Information and Guide is a comprehensive view of our admissions process.  Find information about the following:

  • MSW Program Options
  • Criteria for Admission
  • Application Information
  • Admission and Enrollment Information

Admissions Related Questions

What is the application fee?

The non-refundable application fee is $65. 

Fee waivers are available for members or alumni of the following:

  • Americorps (Vista, Teach for America, Public Allies, etc.)
  • Peace Corps
  • TRIO (McNair and SSS only)
  • Fulbright Scholars
  • Active Military/Veterans

Find more information here: https://www.ssw.umaryland.edu/admissions/apply/application-process--instructions/?& 

Is the MSW program accredited through the Council on Social Work Education?

Yes. The Masters of Social Work Program at the University of Maryland is accredited through CSWE.

What is the admissions committee looking for in an applicant?
  • Applicants with promising academic performance.
  • Applicants with professional and volunteer experience related to the field of social work.
  • Career changers with solid rationale and clear plans to practice social work.
  • Well-crafted personal statements and resume.
  • Applicants with a commitment to social justice.
  • Applicants who contribute to the diversity of the student body, particularly in gender, ethnicity, and geography.

All applicants are considered based on a holistic analysis of their application. 

With limited to no social work experience, what can I do to make my application as strong as possible?

We are seeking applicants that possess:

  • Related volunteer or work experience
  • Clear goals after you complete the MSW program
  • Powerful experiences that led you to social work as a career path
  • Values aligned with the Code of Ethics
  • Strong skills and interactions with clients and/or disenfranchised populations
  • References that reinforce your fit and abilities with social work

Applicants should use the personal statement questions, resume, and references to create a compelling application that address these areas.

Can I start in the Spring?

Yes, Foundation and Advanced Standing students can enter either the Baltimore or USG campuses in the Spring. Students entering in the Spring must do so on a part time basis--enroll in ONLY 2 courses (6 credits) and then be prepared to enter Field Practicum the following Fall (both Foundation and Advanced Standing students).

To be eligible for Spring, applicants must already have their undergraduate degree, therefore December graduates are only eligible for Fall admission.

We do not offer a Spring start for the Online program at this time. 

Can I transfer credits?

Students enrolled in a non-MSW graduate program can transfer up to 6 credits that will be considered elective credits. Transcript review occurs after students have been accepted into the program and are conducted by the Registrar upon request.

Students who are enrolled in an accredited MSW program can transfer up to 30 credits, but must complete the remaining 30 credits at the UMB MSW program.

Do I have to take the GRE?

While there is no strict requirement, applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 2.99 or lower are encouraged to utilize the optional statement section to elaborate on how their past or current educational experiences have contributed to the development of strategies that will enable them to maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in our MSW program.

Can I change from full time to part time (or vice versa) once I’ve been accepted?

Although not guaranteed, students may request a change in enrollment status prior to the start of the academic year. All requests must be submitted to the Dean of Admissions for approval.

What is the distinction between full time and part time enrollment in terms of course load?

For our 60 credit program:

  • Part-time students begin with 6 credits upon entering the MSW program and can complete the program in either 3 or 4 years
  • Full-time students typically take 15 credits each semester to complete the program in two years

For our 36-credit Advanced Standing program:

  • Part-time students complete the program in two years 
  • Full-Time students complete the program in 1.5 years

For some examples of how our students move through the program, please refer to our Sample Plans of Study

Since tuition is per credit, a student will pay the same amount regardless of their enrollment status

How do I connect with a current student?

Please contact our Admissions Recruiter, Camille Johnson (camille.johnson@ssw.umaryland.edu) to set up a connection with a current student.

Can I switch campuses during the admission process?

During the application cycle, if an applicant is offered admission to the Baltimore or USG location, but wishes to switch locations, an email must be sent to the Dean of Admissions formally requesting to change locations. Not all requests can be granted. Students cannot switch to the Online program from either the Baltimore or USG campus, but Online students are allowed to switch to a traditional campus.  

I am an international student, do I have additional application steps?

International students whose first language is not English and who have been in the United States less than five years are required to submit a TOEFL (minimum score of 94) or IELTS (minimum score is 7) score.  At the discretion of the Dean of Admissions, a waiver may be awarded.

Additionally, if international students earned any degrees abroad, they will need to have their transcript evaluated.  See more details in our Admissions Guide: https://www.ssw.umaryland.edu/media/ssw/admissions/new-site/2024-Admissions-Information-and-Guide.pdf 


Can I visit either the Baltimore or USG campus before I apply?

We would be happy to show you around!  Please contact our Admissions Recruiter, Camille Johnson (camille.johnson@ssw.umaryland.edu), to set up a visit to either campus.

Do I need to submit a transcript for classes that I took at another university?

If the grades from other schools you attended are listed on your transcript, Yes.

If the grades from other schools you attended are NOT listed on your transcript, Yes.

*All required transcripts must be received by the application deadline for your application to be complete.

Please submit all transcripts to:

University of Maryland School of Social Work

Office of Admissions

525 W. Redwood Street

Baltimore, MD 21201

When can I find out if I’ve been admitted?


Program Term Application Deadline  Decision By
60-credit Hybrid  Spring (part-time only) Nov 1 Dec 1
Fall (full & part-time)

Priority – Jan 15 

Final – Mar 15

Priority – Mar 1

Final – May 1

36-credit Hybrid Advanced Standing  Spring (part-time only) Nov 1 Dec 1
Fall (full & part-time)

Feb. 1

March 1

60-credit Online Fall (part-time only)

Priority – Jan 15 

Final – Mar 15

Priority – Mar 1

Final – May 1


Is a deposit required to save my spot after I am admitted?

Yes, after you are admitted, a non-refundable deposit of $300 is required. This deposit is submitted to reserve your space in the program and will be applied to your first semester's tuition bill.

If I’m accepted but cannot attend, can I defer?

Yes.  Students can defer only once, for up to one year.  The confirmation deposit must be paid first before requesting a deferral. After the confirmation deposit has been paid, students must email the Dean of Admissions and indicate:

  1. the reason for the request,
  2. enrollment status (full-time or part-time), and
  3. the term to which you wish to defer (spring/fall and year).

The confirmation deposit reserves the students' space in our MSW program.

I already have my MSW, but need to take a class in order to get my licensure. What do I have to do?

The Registration Office grants approval for Special Students. Please contact an Admissions Counselor upon approval.

Academic/Curriculum Related Questions

Can I exempt out of any classes?

Before classes begin, Foundation students may be eligible to take an exemption exam for one or more of the following courses:

SOWK 600- Social Welfare and Social Policy
SOWK 670- Social Work Research
SOWK 645- Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Note: If a student receives credit for an exemption exam, an advanced class is selected to replace the credits necessary to complete the 60 credit program.  For more information, visit this website

Currently, students in the Online program are not eligible for exemption exams.

Can I work full time and still complete the program?

The MSW curriculum is rigorous. Approximately three hours of preparation time is required for each hour spent in class. This time is used for library research, assigned readings, group meetings, writing papers, studying for exams, and completing other assignments. In addition, MSW students are required to work in their field practicum 2 days each week in the foundation year and 2-3 days each week in the advanced year.   

Attending the MSW program is demanding and requires significant time commitment. Students are expected to consider how they will manage competing demands in order to prioritize their academic commitments, including field placement. This will require flexibility and compromise. While possible, students have found working full-time while in the program to be onerous. 

When are classes offered?

Our courses meet once a week. Please view our Course Schedules to get a better idea of when classes are offered at the Baltimore and Shady Grove campuses.   

Field Placement Related Questions

Do I get to choose my field placement?

Foundation students submit a field application in which they include their resume and essays detailing their experience and expectations, but the Field Office is responsible for assigning the placement.  Students entering their Advanced year, submit a field application and choose the top three placements they would like, and the Field Office works diligently to place the student in one of their top choices.

Can I receive credit for previous life and work experience?

Academic credit for life experience and previous work experience is not given in whole or in part in lieu of the field practicum or of courses in the foundation curriculum.

Do I start my field placement during the first semester?

All full-time students begin a field practicum during the Fall semester. If students enter the program as part-time in Spring, they automatically transition to full-time in the following Fall. Students who begin as part-time in Fall begin field in the following Fall semester.

What days will I be in my Field Practicum?

Baltimore Foundation field placement days are determined by the student’s last name:

  • A-L: Monday/Wednesday
  • M-Z: Tuesday/Thursday

USG Students are in Field on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Advanced students at both the Baltimore and USG campuses complete their hours Tuesday through Thursday during traditional working hours.

Please keep in mind that students are responsible for scheduling their classes around their field placement hours.

Can I complete my field placement where I work?

Students are allowed to complete their field placement at their place of employment if a list of criteria are met.  Students must receive permission from and work with the School's Field Education Office.

Tuition/Financial Aid Related Questions

How much is tuition?

Click here for information on tuition costs and here to view the total cost of attendance breakdown for the academic year.

Please keep in mind that the cost of tuition does NOT include the cost of living, health insurance, student fees, etc. 


Do you offer scholarships or financial aid?

All students are encouraged to apply for Scholarships & Fellowships. A list of scholarships available for foundation and continuing students can be viewed on our scholarships and fellowships webpage. 

The university also offers Federal Stafford loans as well as GRADplus loans to help cover the cost of attendance.  Please keep in mind that the Financial Aid Office is responsible for disseminating any information regarding loans and Federal Work Study, and should be contacted directly with any questions or concerns. 

Note: Applicants who would like to be considered for school-based scholarships are strongly encouraged to complete their applications by the priority deadline date (January 15th).

How do I apply for federal work study, and how does it work?

Upon submitting your application to the program, you should also submit the Federal Application for Student Aid online and list the University of Maryland Baltimore (School Code: 002104). The Financial Aid Office will review your FAFSA and send you an email with your aid package.  Students have a certain amount of time during which to accept any amount of aid and should contact the financial aid office with any questions or concerns.

How much money will I get? What do the loans cover?

Financial aid packages vary from student to student, but generally are designed to cover the total cost of attendance, which includes the cost of living, health insurance, travel, books etc.

Baltimore Campus Life Related Questions

What are my options for housing?

We offer on campus housing for students and information regarding options and cost can be found on the housing website: http://www.umaryland.edu/housing. The housing website includes information about on campus housing, as well as off campus apartments available near the university and students looking for roommates.

The student housing website has a section of postings where students looking for roommates can list an available room for rent, and people looking for a place to live can also post something.  Feel free to check the student lounge for flyers about roommates.

What resources does the school provide to ensure a student's well being?

The campus has a broad range of services and amenities to provide a successful and robust campus experience. 

Universities at Shady Grove Questions

How many students are enrolled in the MSW Program at USG Campus?

Each year, a cohort of approximately 65 students enters the USG program. The total number of students taking courses at USG is approximately 180. Classes are between 22 and 28 students.

Are all the Concentrations available at the USG Campus?

No. Only students who intend to pursue the Clinical concentration may apply for admission to the MSW program at the USG campus. Students interested in the Macro concentration  will need to apply for the Baltimore campus.

What is the USG campus like?

The Universities at Shady Grove (USG), Maryland’s largest regional center, is an innovative partnership of nine University System of Maryland (USM) universities on one campus in Montgomery County. USG currently serves more than 4,000 students (2,600+ undergraduates and 1,400+ graduates). Students attending the University of Maryland School of Social Work at the USG campus have the opportunity to interact with students in different programs. Small classes, a friendly and collaborative atmosphere, state of the art technology and facilities and a strong record of success are hallmarks of the USG community.  USG offers on-campus services such as academic coaching, career advising, internship preparation, personal counseling, and leadership training. 

You may want to check out the USG web site for more information. 

What is the admissions process for the USG Campus?

The admissions criteria and deadlines are the same for students applying to take classes at the USG and Baltimore campuses. The University of Maryland School of Social Work MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Information about application deadlines and program requirements can be accessed on our admissions home page.

If I am admitted to the MSW Program at USG can I take classes on the Baltimore Campus?

Students who are admitted to the program at USG are expected to take all their classes at USG. However, students may seek approval to take an elective class (not offered at USG) at the Baltimore campus.

Are Advanced Standing Students admitted to the USG Campus?

Yes, advanced standing students will be admitted to the USG campus in the fall and spring semesters.

How is the curricula taught; and who are the faculty?

The curricula are the same at both locations. Our outstanding faculty teaches courses on both campuses. Diverse field placement opportunities are conveniently available in the DC Metropolitan area, including Montgomery, Prince George’s and all central Maryland counties.

What social and professional activities are available to students at the USG location?

Students are able to join any of the social fraternities or professional organizations that are available on the Baltimore campus.  In some instances, however, this will require the student to travel to Baltimore for activities. Many organizations hold meetings via teleconference between campuses, or broadcast to the USG campus using technology.

What services are available at USG?

Besides the School of Social Work administrators and faculty members who work at the USG campus, the USG campus provides services in areas such as academic support, tutoring, and student activities. (USG Student Services)

What housing options will be available for incoming students?

There is no on-campus housing at the Shady Grove campus. Housing options include apartment or housing rentals in the surrounding area.

Online MSW Program Questions

Tell me more about the Online MSW Program

The Online MSW program is a 3-year Foundation program for students interested in the Clinical concentration (working with clients directly).  At this time we are only accepting applicants with a Maryland address for the Fall 2024 cohort. 

Coursework for the entire 3 years has been set and will be offered in a mostly synchronous format, meeting once a week virtually either on Tuesday or Thursday evenings.  Similar to the hybrid part-time program, students will complete two in-person practicums at social work related agencies in their second and third years of the program. 

What is the admissions process for the Online MSW Program?

The admissions criteria is the same for students applying to take classes at the USG and Baltimore campuses, however, there is a separate application specifically for the online program that includes an additional personal statement.   

Information about application deadlines and program requirements can be accessed on our Admissions home page.

Can I take classes in the online program as a full-time student?

At this time, we are not offering the online program in a full-time, 2-year format.

Can I apply to the online program for the Spring Semester?

At this time, we are not offering a Spring start for the online program.

If I am admitted to the online MSW Program, can I take classes on the Baltimore or USG Campuses?

No. Students who are admitted to the program can only take the specified coursework developed for the Online program. See the Sample Plans of Study. 

Are Advanced Standing Students admitted to the online program?

At this time, we are not accepting Advanced Standing students to the online program. 

How is the curricula taught; and who are the faculty?

Our coursework is provided in both asynchronous and synchronous virtual formats.  Our synchronous courses will meet weekly either on Tuesday or Thursday evenings.  Our asynchronous courses have no mandatory face-to-face component, but will have weekly readings and assignments. 

Fall and Spring semesters are 15 weeks long, and the Summer semester is 8 weeks long.

Our outstanding faculty teach courses for both the online and hybrid programs.

How will I engage with our students in the online program?

An important component of our Online program is its structured nature with specific coursework, ensuring you progress with your cohort from start to finish. This intentional design fosters a supportive learning community, allowing you to build lasting connections with your peers as you navigate this transformative journey in clinical social work.

Additionally, many of our on-campus student organizations hold meetings virtually, allowing you to connect with not just your fellow online program students, but also those across programs and even schools.

What students services are available to me in the Online Program?

Many of the services offered by the University of Maryland Baltimore have virtual options, including, but not limited to, the Counseling Center, the HSHSL Library, the Educational Support and Disability Service Office, the Writing Center and the Wellness Center.

Ready to be a Changemaker?