Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ: Is the Web-Based Program entirely online?
The web-based cohort is an online "hybrid" program (blends web and face-to-face content). The program takes three-years and has five required weekend visits per semester to the Valdosta campus. The face-to-face class meetings are held Friday evening and all day Saturday (once per month). The remainder of the course work is completed online. Web-based students are required to complete 2 separate year-long practicum experiences (16-18 hours per week) in their second and third years.
FAQ: Where can I complete my Practicums?
The Field Office maintains educational contracts with over 120 agencies Georgia representing many different areas of Social Work Practice. You can learn more about Field Practicums options at the MSW Office of Field Instruction.
FAQ: Are applications accepted after the March 15th Deadline?
Applications received before the March 15th deadline are given priority consideration. Applications received after the deadline are reviewed on a space-available basis.
FAQ: Is this program accredited by CSWE? Does that really matter?
The MSW program at VSU is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. In order to take theState of Georgia Social Work Licensure Exams (LMSW and LCSW), a MSW degree from a CSWE accredited program is required. CSWE Accreditation is also important because it ensures that students will receive a high quality professional education.
FAQ: Can I transfer electives to the Master of Social Work Program?
The policy of the Division of Social Work is to allow students to apply for up to 6 credit hours of "course substitution"/transfer credit for previous master's coursework. However, the content of those classes must closely match courses in our program. The process is to submit a course substitution request form with the syllabus and course description from the class(es) you completed for faculty review.
FAQ: Can I start taking classes in the summer or spring semesters?
Students are not able to begin the program in the spring semester due to the cohort structure of the MSW program. All students are required to take a 1 credit hour "Introduction to Professional Social Work Education." New students are strongly encouraged to take this in the summer after they are admitted. This class meets for two extended sessions (usually on a weekend) and covers the use of WebCT/Vista instructional technology, writing style, and other important preparatory material. Students who take it in the summer have a "head start" on their fall coursework and usually feel more comfortable starting the academic year. It is also offered in the fall semester if you can not take it in the summer. Students admitted as Advanced Standing must start coursework in the summer semester (June).
FAQ: Where do MSW graduates work?
MSW graduates work in state and federal agencies as well as private organizations and offices. VSU graduates are working in almost every field mentioned in the career section of this web site (and NASW career brochure). Career paths in social work are varied - from school social work, medical social work in public and private facilities, community resource centers, child welfare, etc. You can also look at the SOWKNEWS Listserv Archive or the Employment Links on our web site to see examples of the types of openings that are available in social work. Examples of specific agencies are: Hospice, Greenleaf Center, Public Schools, DFCS, Child Advocacy Center, Behavioral Health Services, United Way, Hospitals.
FAQ: What does it cost to attend the MSW program?
The financial services office has fee schedules online. With an MSW degree you can generally expect an increase in pay scale by at least $5,000-10,000 and much greater upward mobility. With this pay increase, a graduate could reimburse themselves within the first two years of work. See also Financial Assistance Information.
FAQ: Can I work full time and attend the MSW program?
Graduate school takes a significant commitment of time. Students must realistically consider the time they will need to spend in class, time outside of class studying and working on projects, travel time, and field practicum requirements. Each person has to negotiate the best balance of work, education and family for themselves. Field placements are usually not available in the evenings or weekends because licensed MSW field supervisors are seldom available to supervise during these hours. Information about possible worksite field placements is available at the Office of Field Instruction.
FAQ: What if I don't meet the listed admission requirements?
The graduate admissions committee uses a holistic approach to the evaluation of your application. If you have an area of weakness, try to improve it (study and retake an exam, take a graduate level course and make a high grade, etc.). If you feel that you can't make improvements, try to emphasize other areas of strength (such as work experience, references, strong personal statement, high GPA and/or solid test scores) . . . you may be able to balance out one area that is a little bit lower. Think about how you can present the strongest application. We usually have more applications than we have available seats so it is competitive in that sense . . . and you want to make sure that you highlight your strengths.