Social Work

MSW FAQ’s

Is the TCU MSW Program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education?

Yes, the TCU MSW Program achieved full accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education in 2015.

How many students enter the program each year?

We currently admit approximately 20-25 graduates students each year.

How do students apply for the MSW program?

Students apply to the our graduate program through our online application. The application for fall 2017 will open on October 1, 2016. There is an application fee of $60 paid directly to TCU. In addition to the online application, which includes essay prompts, we will require the following:

  1. Official transcripts from all universities attended
    1. Send transcripts to:
      1. HCNHS/Graduate Studies, Attn: Sybil White, TCU Box 298625, Fort Worth TX 76129
    2. 3 Letters of Recommendation (1 of which should be from a Field Instructor)
      1. Those writing letters for you will be notified electronically to submit a letter, after you have completed the application

What are your GPA Requirements?

We require a minimum of 3.0 to qualify for our Advanced Standing program. Students who have a BSW degree from a CSWE accredited program but do not have a 3.0 in the last 60 hours of coursework must apply for the Traditional program. Any student applying for the Traditional program that does not have a 3.0 in the last 60 hours of coursework MUST complete the Petition for Academic Exception. Petitions must be uploaded along with all other application documents.

What types of programs do you offer?

TCU offers the MSW with an Advanced Generalist concentration. We offer traditional (2-year, 60 hour) and advanced standing (2- semester [Fall and Spring], 30 hour) options. A dual degree with the Brite Divinity School is also available. There is a Women and Gender Studies Certificate option available for 2-year MSW students. The Advanced Standing and Traditional Programs offer full-time courses of study only.

What is an Advanced Generalist?

Advanced Generalist social workers possess the knowledge and skills needed for effective and autonomous practice with systems of all types and sizes. Unlike some other programs, our graduates will not choose concentrations in direct practice or community/administrative practice. Students will have the ability to practice across complex environments ranging from individual and family interventions, group and community work, and larger policy evaluations. Students will have the opportunity to focus on their specific area/population of interest through their field placement and our offering of elective courses.

Are you offering any specializations?

Beyond the advanced generalist concentration, the TCU MSW program offers two specializations: (1) Children and Families and (2) Health and Mental Health. Students can choose a specialization following successful completion of the foundation year in the program, or upon admission to the program for advanced standing students. Specializations will be incorporated into the student’s area of study through additional focused electives on the specific topic and through their field placement. Field placement will allow the student to not only practice in this area of study, but to create a final research project in this area of specialization.

When do you admit students?

We accept applications into our MSW Program throughout the year. Our students go through the program in cohorts that begin August of each year. The priority deadlines for admission into our next cohort (Fall 2017) are February 13, 2017 and April 3, 2017. The final deadline for admission for Fall 2017 is August 1, 2017. Students admitted into Advanced Standing must have a BSW degree from a CSWE accredited program and meet the other admission requirements discussed below.

Is the GRE required? Is there a thesis or comprehensive exam?

The GRE is NOT required for admission or financial aid. All students complete a research project during the concentration year of the program, therefore no thesis or comprehensive exam is required.

How much does it cost to attend TCU’s MSW program?

Graduate tuition at TCU is $1,550 per credit hour. The Department of Social Work, however, reduces this cost by 40% to $933 per semester hour. With the 40% discount, tuition costs for our 30-hour Advanced Standing program are $27,990, a savings of $18,660 dollars. With the 40% discount, tuition costs for our 60-hour Traditional Program are $55,980, a savings of $37,660.

To help further defray the cost of attending our program, additional financial aid, scholarships, and graduate assistantships are available. To learn more about graduate financial aid at TCU, go to: http://www.financialaid.tcu.edu/.

Do you offer online courses?

No. Our curriculum is residential, where all coursework is offered on site.

What are your admission requirements?

All students admitted to the MSW program must meet the requirements of TCU, Harris College, and the Department of Social Work. Only a limited number of qualified students will be admitted from the pool of applicants.

MSW admissions requirements for traditional program students:

  • Prior Degree: Students accepted for the MSW Traditional Program must have completed a baccalaureate (e.g. BA, BS) degree reflecting a liberal arts foundation from an accredited college or university.
  • GPA: Applicants should have strong academic preparation as demonstrated by an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in the last 60 hours of coursework.
  • Course Prerequisites: Applicants must have one college-level course in each of the following: statistics, sociology, and psychology before registering for the first semester in the MSW Program.
  • References: Applicants must submit three reference forms with letters from people who can address the applicant’s academic abilities, interpersonal skills, and potential for graduate education and professional social work practice. It is required that at least one reference be an academic reference from an academic advisor or instructor.
  • Professional Statement: Applicants must submit a well-written professional statement (no more than 1500 words) that addresses the following:
    a. What motivated you to decide to pursue a MSW?
    b. How do your personal values connect with the values of the social work profession?
    c. What are strengths and weaknesses that will impact you as a social worker?
    d. Describe any experiences and leadership opportunities that will help you be successful in this graduate program?
    e. Discuss any significant volunteer and/or work experiences related to social work.
    f. What are your professional goals and plans in social work?
  • Resume: Applicants will submit a current resume or vitae with their application.
  • Interview: Applicants may be asked to interview with the Admissions Committee prior to final decision.

Petition for Academic Exception:
MUST be completed by applicants whose Undergraduate GPA is below 3.0.
An applicant who believes that his or her individual circumstances warrant consideration for a waiver of the minimum university admissions requirement of an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 must petition the MSW admissions committee.
The request should be a one page statement entitled “Petition for Academic Exception”. The petition should include a statement indicating how not meeting the minimum admissions requirement of a 3.0 GPA should be waived, as it does not adequately represent the applicant’s capabilities. The applicant should briefly discuss how he or she has demonstrated a capacity for successful achievement in a rigorous graduate program. For example, an applicant might provide evidence of:

  • Superior grades during the final 60 hours of undergraduate coursework indicating a trend toward improved performance;
  • Competence through achievement in another graduate program;
  • Outstanding work experience in human services (volunteer or paid).

The applicant should also discuss if granted admission to the program, how he or she plans to address obstacles to successfully complete the program (for example, if a low grade point average was viewed as the result of a “needing to work full time during my undergraduate studies” the applicant should discuss why that is not likely to be a factor during his or her graduate study).

Petitions must be uploaded along with all other application documents.

MSW admissions requirements for Advanced Standing students:
Required qualifications for admission:

  • Prior Degree: Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW, BSSW) degree or other Bachelor’s degree (BS or BA) with a major in social work from a CSWE accredited program at the time of enrollment and have graduated within 7 years or worked extensively in the field of social work.
  • GPA: Applicants should have strong academic preparation as demonstrated by an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in the last 60 hours of coursework.
  • Course Prerequisites: Applicants must have one college-level course in statistics before registering for the first semester in the MSW Program.
  • References: Applicants must submit three reference forms with letters from people who can address the applicant’s academic abilities, interpersonal skills, and potential for graduate education and professional social work practice. It is required that at least one reference be an academic reference from an academic advisor or instructor. It is preferred one of these references be from a field instructor.
  • Professional Statement: Applicants must submit a well-written professional statement (no more than 1500 words) that addresses the following:
    a. What motivated you to decide to pursue a MSW?
    b. How do your personal values connect with the values of the social work profession?
    c. What are strengths and weaknesses that will impact you as a social worker?
    d. Describe any experiences and leadership opportunities that will help you be successful in this graduate program?
    e. Discuss any significant volunteer and/or work experiences related to social work.
    f. What are your professional goals and plans in social work?
  • Resume: Applicants will submit a current resume or vitae with their application.
  • Interview: Applicants may be asked to interview with the Admissions Committee prior to final decision.

What types of jobs should your graduates expect to secure?

Based on our strong relationships in the north Texas community and the excellent reputation of the TCU Department of Social Work, our graduates will stand out in the job market. As advanced generalists, graduates can pursue careers in a variety of settings, including either direct practice or administration in child welfare, aging, medical social work, mental health practice, policy formation and school social work, just to name a few. Ideally, each student’s final field placement will be selected based on a field of practice they would like to enter after completing the MSW program. The final field placement is selected with careful consideration, including input from the Director of Field Education and the student.

Can I work while attending your graduate program?

Our graduate program is full-time and intensive. We encourage students to use their time in graduate school to focus on academics and their social work field experience.