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Master of Social Work

Virtual Open House

Saturday, November 14th: 10am-Noon

Join us at one of our upcoming virtual Graduate School Open House events on Zoom! You'll have the opportunity to learn more about Western Carolina University,  understand the Graduate School application process, and meet key program representatives.

Register Today

A Master of Social Work Degree (MSW) prepares graduates for work in a variety of settings, including public agency work, private clinical practice, integrated healthcare, social service management and administration. A MSW is required for individuals who want to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). In addition, social workers with a MSW are eligible to obtain certifications from the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW), and as a Qualified Clinical Social Worker (QCSW), or a Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (DCSW). These credentials are especially important for those in clinical practice who depend on health insurance providers to reimburse them for services.

students at hhs

 

Entry into the MSW Program does not require a bachelor's degree in Social Work, but courses in Psychology, Biology, Economics, and Political Science are strongly recommended. Transfer students may have up to twelve semester hours of graduate credit with grades of B or better transferred from another CSWE-accredited MSW program.

The MSW program offers full-time (2 years of study) and part-time (3 or 4 year option) study and a full-time and part-time Advanced Standing Program for students with a BSW awarded in the prior 5 years. Change of status requests for movement between part-time and full-time is at the discretion of the MSW Program Director. Please note that the university considers students enrolled in the part-time program taking 9 or more hours as full-time students and tuition rates reflect this. Students who are pursuing integrated healthcare or addictions training may be eligible for a $10,000 stipend that is available during their final year of study. Classes are taught at both the WCU main campus in Cullowhee and in Asheville at the WCU Biltmore Park instructional site. For details, please see the sample schedule. Advanced Standing MSW Program. MSW Full-time or Part-time Program.

The MSW Program at Western Carolina University is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). For additional information please refer to the MSW STUDENT MANUAL

Admission to the Program

Western Carolina’s Department of Social Work is seeking applicants who demonstrate a personal and professional commitment to the values of the Social Work profession. Consideration for admission will be given to those applicants who exemplify the greatest potential for successful scholarship through their past academic and/or work experiences.

The Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) Program requires  62 hours (two years) of graduate coursework beyond the bachelor degree from an accredited college or university.

Only complete application packets will be considered.

These following requirements are  for admission to the regular full- or part-time  Master of Social Work (MSW) Program at Western Carolina University:

  • (Please note: The GRE is no longer required for admission)
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework, or a 2.85 on a 4.0 scale cumulatively
  • Adequate undergraduate preparation (18 semester hours) with a range of studies in the liberal arts, humanities, physical sciences, diversity, and behavioral sciences- an undergraduate degree in Social Work is not required for admission
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least  one should be an academic recommendation)
  • Some Human Services-related experience, including volunteer work desirable

Funding Your MSW

There are a number of ways that you can finance your Master's Degree. 

  1. HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Stipend: This $10,000 stipend is available to second-year students who are interested in integrated care. There are approximately 30 available each year.  Learn More
  2. HRSA Opioid Workforce Expansion Program Stipend: This $10,000 stipend is available to second-year students who are interested in addictive disorder treatment. There are approximately thirty available per year. Learn More
  3. Graduate Assistantships: Teaching and research graduate assistantships are available to a limited number of qualified graduate students. An assistantship is a paid academic appointment made to a graduate student that involves part-time teaching or research employment. Learn More
  4. Fellowships and Scholarships: Graduate students can be considered for a number of scholarships. In order to be considered for scholarships awarded by WCU, you must submit the online scholarship application prior to February 1st for the following fall. Explore More
  5. Financial Aid: Federal loans, grants, and more are available by filling out your FAFSA and applying. Discover More

For more information on funding your Masters of Social Work please contact Dr. Tonya Westbrook at twestbrook@wcu.edu or 828.227.2578.

Application Checklist

MSW Graduate Application Checklist 

_____ Graduate School Application
_____ Official or unofficial transcripts: Send directly to the Graduate School or upload to the online application
_____ 3 professional recommendations (at least one must be academic)
_____ Professional resume
_____ Personal Narrative Statement/supplemental questions
_____ List of liberal arts courses taken as an undergraduate
_____ Criminal Record Statement
_____ Nonrefundable $65.00 application fee

MSW Learning Outcomes Spring 2020

COMPETENCY

COMPETENCY BENCHMARK

GENERALIST

PERCENT OF STUDENTS ACHIEVING
GENERALIST BENCHMARK

COMPETENCY BENCHMARK

ADVANCED GENERALIST SPECIALIZATION

PERCENT OF STUDENTS ACHIEVING ADVANCED GENERALIST BENCHMARK

1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior

80%

88.17%

80%

95.51%

2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice

80%

90.90%

80%

91.30%

3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice

80%

91.19%

80%

89.89%

4: Engage In Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice

80%

83.26%

80%

96.73%

5: Engage in Policy Practice

80%

83.90%

80%

88.35%

6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

80%

83.90%

80%

90.66%

7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

80%

90.80%

80%

92.81%

8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

80%

92.49%

80%

89.94%

9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

80%

86.63%

80%

96.99%

Field Work

Students in the two-year program will participate in two different field placements, while advanced standing students will participate in one specialized field placement.

LEARN ABOUT FIELD WORK


Child Welfare Education Collaborative (CWEC)

Participation in the Child Welfare Education Collaborative Scholars Program is available at both the BSW and MSW levels. 
LEARN ABOUT CWEC


Integrated Healthcare

MSW students interested in integrated healthcare may participate in this focus area and be eligible for a $10,000 stipend.
LEARN ABOUT THE INTEGRATED HEALTHCARE FOCUS AREA


Substance Abuse Studies Certificate (SASCP)

MSW students who apply and are accepted must complete four elective classes focusing on Addictive Disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery, and complete their two semester specialization year internship with an approved Addictive Disorder treatment agency under a CSI or CCS level supervisor.
LEARN ABOUT THE SUBSTANCE ABUSE STUDIES CERTIFICATE PROGRAM


School Social Work Certification

MSW students who apply for and are accepted to the School Social Work certification program must complete the online School Social Work elective (SOCW 528), an additional course from an approved list offered through the School of Education,  and must complete their two semester Specialized year internship in an accredited school setting. Upon graduation, these students can apply for and receive North Carolina School Social Work Certification.  
LEARN ABOUT school SOCIAL WORK CERTIFICATion

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