M.S.W. Degree Requirements

The Master of Social Work degree is conferred upon students who have:

  1. Satisfactorily completed 60 credit hours in accordance with the curriculum requirements as specified by the NCSSS faculty. Some students, who have received a B.S.W. degree from a C.S.W.E.-accredited school of social work, may meet the requirements with fewer than 60 credit hours by being awarded up to 30 credits. Transfer credits may be accepted in accordance with the school's policy.
  2. Successfully passed a foundation comprehensive examination during the university-designated comprehensive exam period in which the student is enrolled in the foundation field/seminar (SSS 674). Passing the foundation comprehensive is required for a student to proceed to the advanced curriculum.
  3. Designated any two scholarly papers that are already required in advanced courses and will have been completed and graded to fulfill the University writing requirement.

Qualifying Examinations

Qualifying examinations are offered to allow students to waive up to nine semester hours in the following areas:

  • Social Welfare Policy and Services I (581)
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment I and II (571, 572)
  • Social Work Research (590).

Students must apply to the M.S.W. program chair and be accepted to take the examinations. All students take the examinations on the same day in August, January or May. Students must take any qualifying exams within the first two semesters of their entrance to the school. They must verify that, through previous course work, they have mastered the course material.

The Council on Social Work Education mandates that life or previous work experience cannot be used as justification for application for a qualifying exam. A student must earn a grade of 85 or above on a qualifying examination to waive that course. No other course need be substituted, making it possible for a student to graduate with fewer than 60 credits.

Transferring Credits Toward the M.S.W. Degree

  • Under special circumstances and with the approval of the M.S.W. chair, students may transfer up to six semester hours from other accredited universities.
  • Students transferring from another C.S.W.E.-accredited M.S.W. program may transfer a maximum of 30 semester hours.
  • M.S.W. courses completed at other universities will be evaluated as to their relevance and similarity to NCSSS courses.
  • All courses that are applied toward the degree must have been successfully completed within five years of entrance into the program must be from an accredited graduate program, and the student must have earned a grade of B or above.