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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

To officially request a fee waiver, proper documentation must be emailed to your Admissions Counselor at least 7 days prior to the application deadline. Invitation letters will NOT be accepted as proper documentation.

When is the application due?

DEADLINES (please apply before deadlines for best consideration)

Spring:                                 November 1
Priority Fall:                       January 15
Advanced Standing Fall:     February 1
Foundation Fall:                  March 15 
*Advanced Standing applicants must have a BSW degree

What are the components of a complete application?

There are two components of the application:

  1. Application Submission

        Students must submit an application with the non-refundable $65 application fee

     2. Completion of All Supplemental Items
        All required items must be received no later than the deadline.

If accepted as an Advanced Standing student, how many credits are awarded from a Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) program?

Accepted Advanced Standing students who received their Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) degree within the last 5 years can be awarded up to 24 credits. Advanced Standing students are required to take 36 credits based on their selected Concentration and Specialization.

Advanced Standing credit is given only for courses in which the applicants earned a "B" or higher grade. Credit will NOT be awarded if a grade of "C" is received in ANY social work course and therefore, will need to be repeated in our MSW program. 

Please note: Applicants who receive a "C" grade in their practice class (also called Methods or Interventions) or their field practicum are NOT eligible for Advanced Standing.


I am applying for Advanced Standing. Who should complete the Advanced Standing Chair Recommendation form?

The Social Work Chair Recommendation form: This form is to be completed by the (BSW) Social Work Chairperson.

I am applying for Advanced Standing. Who should complete the Field Instructor Supervisor form?

Social Work Field Supervisor This form is to be completed by the undergraduate field supervisorwho supervises at the field placement.

How many words for each essay question?

Limit each answer to three hundred (300) words.

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 are the admission requirements?

A baccalaureate from a regionally accredited college or university.

A minimum of 60 credit hours in the liberal arts.

To be admitted, a 3.0 GPA is preferred. However, all applicants are considered based on a holistic analysis of their application. Eligibility is based on May 31st degree conferred graduates. If you need to take a summer class, you are ineligible for Fall. Applicants must submit a GRE or MAT score if their overall GPA is 2.5 or below; GRE or MAT scores are strongly encouraged for applicants with GPA between 2.51 and 2.99.

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.

What is the admissions committee looking for in an applicant?

Students 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 statement and resume.

Students with commitment to social justice.

Applicants who contribute to the diversity of the student body, particularly in gender, ethnicity, and geography.

What type of references are you looking for?

Applicants must also provide three current references, usually including professors, employers, supervisors, and professional colleagues. They will be asked to comment on your academic aptitude, ability to work with others, capacity for self-development, and dependability.

Do not ask pastors, friends, relatives, friends of family or other personal relationship sources for references. In addition, do not use clients or other individuals to whom you provide services, or therapists or other individuals from which you receive services.

Can I start in the Spring?

Yes. Students entering in the Spring must do so on a part time basis--enroll in ONLY 2 courses (6 credits).

To be eligible for Spring, applicants must already have their undergarduate degree.

December graduates are only eligible for Fall.

Note: Students are not eligible for field until they have reached 15 credits. Shady Grove Foundation and Advanced Standing students must enter field the following fall.

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?

Applicants with a GPA of 2.5 or below on the last 60 credits of their undergraduate degree, must submit their GRE or MAT scores. If GPA is between 2.51 and 2.99, it is strongly recommended that applicants submit GRE or MAT scores. These scores are not used to lower your overall score.

GRE Score: Minimum of 146; MAT Score: 30/386

Both the GRE and MAT scores are valid for five (5) years. For example, scores for a test taken on July 3, 2021, are reportable through July 2, 2026.

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.

Can I change the status of my enrollment once I’ve been accepted (part-time to full-time)?

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

What’s the difference between full time and part time in terms of course load?

Part-time students take 6 credits upon entering the MSW program.

Full-time Foundation students completing the program in two years take 15 credits each semester.

For details about enrollment classification based on course load, please refer to our sample plans of study.

*Part time students pay tuition on a per credit basis, and full time students pay flat rate tuition.

How do I connect with a current student?

Please contact our Admissions Recruiter, ViNiceia Carter at: viniceia.carter@ssw.umaryland.edu.

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.  

Do I need to take an English Proficiency exam if I am an international student?

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.

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 our website at: https://www.ssw.umaryland.edu/admissions/msw-program/explore/program-options/curriculum/exemption-exams/


I earned my degree abroad, do I need to have my transcript evaluated?

Yes. Applicants who earned their bachelor’s degree from an international college or university must have their transcript evaluated and sent to the Office of Admissions. 

Applicants who earned a BSW degree from an international college or university must have their transcript evaluated by the International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service (ISWDRES) in order to be considered for admission into our Advanced Standing program.

We accept evaluations from the following companies:

World Education Services

The Knowledge Company

Educational Credential Evaluators

Can I visit the school before I apply?

To mandate precautions due to Covid-19, prospective applicants cannot visit the school.  However, we have several chat sessions scheduled throughout the year for which you can register at: Chat Session.  If none of these dates fit into your schedule, you can contact an Admissions Counselor.

Ms. Natalie Flowers - nflowers@ssw.umaryland.edu (Applicants with last names starting with A-K)

Ms. Shannon DeGross - sdegross@ssw.umaryland.edu (Applicants with last names starting with L-Z)


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 addresses these areas.

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?

We consider the application for graduate school to be an applicant-driven process. Once you have completed the applicant checklist on your applicant dashboard, we recommend logging back in to check the status of your application on a weekly basis.

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

Yes, a non-refundable deposit of $300 is required.  The deposit is submitted to hold the applicant’s space in the program, and will be applied to the student’s first semester tuition bill.

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 complete the program online?

No. (temporarily during the Covid-19 pandemic) we offer several courses online, but due to the nature of social work most classes are held in a classroom.  Students benefit the most from interacting with each other as well as their professors, so only certain courses are offered online.  Please view our course schedule to get a better idea of how many classes can be taken online.

Can I do the program part-time?

The MSW program can be done part-time, but must be completed within 4 years.  Please view the course catalog to see sample plans of study.

Can I work full time and still complete the program?

It is incredibly difficult for a student to work full time and complete this program. Students are required to be in a foundation field placement for 16 hours a week and 24 hours a week during their advanced field placement. At the same time, students must take between 1 and 4 additional classes (3-12 credit hours) per week.

This program is very rigorous and requires students to dedicate at least 3 hours a week of outside classwork (course readings, writing assignments, group work, etc.) for each course. All students have different circumstances, but it is not recommended to work full time while in this program.

Can I complete the program at The Universities at Shady Grove (USG)?

Yes.  Students whose concentration is Clinical and specialization is Behavioral Health or Families and Children may apply to join the cohort to complete the program at The Universities at Shady Grove.

When are classes offered?

Courses are offered Monday through Friday (Saturday - Baltimore ONLY) and meet for three hours once per week.

Please view the course schedule to get a better idea of when classes are offered. 

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.

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 are the hours for field?

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

A-L: Monday/Wednesday 8:00 am to 5:30 pm

M-Z: Tuesday/Thursday 8:00 am to 5:30 pm

Advanced students 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 on the following links for tuition costs:


Shady Grove


Note: The most cost-effective way to complete the program is the two year plan of study (full-time for four semesters). Each part-time semester adds to the overall cost of attendance.

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

Please click on the following link to view the total cost of attendance breakdown for the academic year.

Do you offer scholarships or financial aid?

All foundation students are automatically considered for scholarships based on their application and FAFSA, and there is NO separate scholarship application. If you are awarded a scholarship by the University, you will be contacted directly.  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 (March 1st).


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.

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.

What is the cost of living in Baltimore?

The cost of living for students in Baltimore varies between each individual and depends on the needs and expectations of each student.

How can I find a roommate?

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 educational experience. 

Universities at Shady Grove Questions

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

The School of Social Work expanded its course offerings and it is now possible to complete the Clinical Behavioral Health or Families and Children specializations at USG. Each year, a cohort of approximately 60 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 of the Concentrations/Specializations available at the USG Campus?

No. Only students who intend to specialize in Clinical Behavioral Health or Families and Children may apply for admission to the MSW program at the USG campus. Students interested in the other concentrations/specializations 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. The motivated students enjoy many activities outside the classroom, taking advantage of leadership opportunities, social events, and volunteer service. Students taking classes at USG can also attend lectures on special topics, brown bags, student groups and other events at the School of Social Work Baltimore campus. You may want to check out the USG web site for more information: http://www.shadygrove.umd.edu/

What is the admissions process for the USG Campus?

Students applying for admission to the MSW program may complete their plan of study at the USG campus if they intend to specialize in Clinical Behavioral Health or Families and Children. The admissions criteria and deadlines are the same for students applying to take classes at the USG and Baltimore campuses. There are a limited number of students accepted into the USG program. 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 at: www.ssw.umaryland.edu/admissions  

Can I take classes at USG as a part-time student?

A limited number of part-time MSW students will be admitted to take classes at the USG campus.

Can I apply to the USG campus for the Spring Semester?

A limited number of foundation and advanced standing students will be admitted to the USG campus in the spring semester.

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 of 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?

A limited number of advanced standing students will be admitted to the USG campus in the spring semester.

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

The Clinical Behavioral Health and Families and Children 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.

Do the faculty and staff have office hours available at the USG campus?

The faculty and staff are available to students via appointments, email and phone communication. Dr. Joan Pittman, Program Director; Ms. Jessica Rider Amin, Assistant Program Director; and Ms. Barbara Nathanson, Field Coordinator have office hours at the USG campus.    

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.