Frequently Asked Questions - Master of Social Work (MSW)

The Department of Social Work determines admission using four criteria: Undergraduate GPA, Experience, Professional Statement, and References. The GRE or any other examination is not required; however, applicants with low GPA scores may submit results of the GRE if it is more indicative of their true potential.

Courses are delivered across semesters (fall, spring, & summer) throughout the year. Practice courses, in particular, are synchronous while others (e.g., research) may not have scheduled meeting times. For those courses, students view class lectures online and download assignments from eLearning. “Office hours” will be available for students who require additional assistance or have questions regarding the course content or assignments. 

See the "Next Steps" tab above for information. If you have any questions, please contact the program coordinator(s) and/or enrollment contact to the right or contact the Office of Continuing and Distance Education at

The program is planned so that students move through the sequence of courses as a cohort group. The first course forms a foundation for the program and includes an induction unit describing the program goals, sequence of courses, standards, rubrics and academic expectations. For that reason, it is important that you enroll and complete the courses in the same sequence. Program faculty expect that students have a growing knowledge of concepts built upon a prescribed sequence of courses. In addition, program faculty work to build an online community as students move through the course sequence together.

While it is often possible to make up courses that are missed, our commitment is to deliver the courses as outlined in the cohort schedule. This is not designed as a program in which students come and go. Rather, the cohort model requires that students take the prescribed sequence in unison. Should you need to miss a course, you should consult with your program advisor for options.

When you have completed the steps to admission and have been accepted into the program, we will send you details and information about how to enroll in the first course. After you participate in the first term of courses in the cohort sequence, the Office of Continuing and Distance Education will notify you with enrollment details for the next term of courses as they become available. You are required to enroll in your courses each semester. 

Successful applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. For those students who do not meet this requirement, the following criteria may be considered as an alternative:

  • The Admissions Committee may consider the student’s GPA for the final 60 semester hours from the degree school.
  • Nine semester hours or more of letter-graded graduate work may be used to replace the undergraduate GPA. Graduate level courses may be completed in the following areas: social work, psychology, sociology, family studies, political science, economics, and other areas that are related to the profession of social work. For graduate level courses to be considered, a minimum grade of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) is required for each course and an overall grade point average of at least 3.25 must be achieved. While successful academic performance is required, it does not guarantee acceptance into the Master of Social Work program.

Students who do not meet the GPA requirement and who demonstrate in their application other strengths or exceptional circumstances may be admitted on a provisional basis (provisionally admitted students will be required to achieve a grade point average of 3.00 in the first semester of course work). 

In general, students complete the full set of courses outlined in the program. It is possible to transfer a limited number of graduate credits. However, this credit must meet the following criteria:

  • Course must be a regular graduate course with a graduate course number (not professional development or college credit through an Educational Agency or conference).
  • Course must be taken by the student in graduate status, and the official transcript must show a grade of B- or better earned.
  • Course must be applicable as a graduate requirement at the institution where it is taken.
  • Course must be taught by regular graduate faculty.
  • Course must meet the UNI seven-year recency requirement.
  • Academic departments will determine whether or not they wish to accept transfer credit even if it meets the above requirements. These criteria were established to prevent credits not intended for use toward graduate degrees (i.e., Area Education Agency/professional development credits) from being used to meet UNI degree program requirements.

Please check with the program coordinator about specific situations and Transfer Evaluation forms.

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program at UNI offers two tracks. The Foundation track is for individuals whose baccalaureate degree is not from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited social work program. The Advanced Standing track is for individuals who have a social work undergraduate degree from a CSWE accredited program.