Admission Requirements

For admission into the MSW – Accelerated Program, you must meet certain requirements. The GRE is not required for admission to the MSW Program.

To be admitted to the Accelerated Program, applicants must have: 

  • A bachelor’s degree within 5 years from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. (Please visit the CSWE website to see if your program is accredited.)
  • A 3.25 undergraduate grade point average (this is cumulative, taking into account all institutions attended)

  • A grade of B or higher in all social work courses

  • Three references supporting your ability to do advanced-level practice (preferably one academic and two professional). If you are currently in school, one of the references must be your field instructor. If you are currently not enrolled in a BSW program, a reference from a previous field instructor is preferred, or a current employment social work supervisor is acceptable.   

  • The following courses should be completed with a passing grade. If any are not completed, you may still apply to our program without penalty, but if you are accepted you will need to fulfill the deficiency(ies) before the end of the first year in the program:

  • One course in Biology (preferred), Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Astronomy, or Earth Science

  • One course in Statistics (the course needs to cover tests of significance, data analysis, and inferential & descriptive statistics), preferably from a social science (Sociology Statistics, for example)

  • One course in Psychology

  • One course in Sociology or Anthropology

  • One course in American History, Economics, or Political Science

International Student Requirements

If an applicant’s native language is not English, they must also take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum University of Cincinnati requirement for the internet-based TOEFL is 95. This requirement applies regardless of the program students choose. The Graduate School has additional information about the English Language Proficiency Requirements. General information for prospective international students can be found on International Services.

Students who have received a degree from China and are applying for admission during the Fall 2016 or later should view the Chinese Transcript Verification Process for directions on submitting transcripts. 

Field Placement Requirements

Social Work students are required to participate in field placement or other experiential opportunities.  Students must meet the requirements of the agency which may include vaccinations, background checks, drug screens, and other requirements. The University is not involved in establishing these requirements or reviewing or approving requests for medical or religious exemptions. These are in addition to any program requirements to participate. Students may request an alternative placement if one is available and meets the needed competencies; however, if a proposed alternative placement site is unavailable, this will affect the completion of academic requirements and graduation.  

Additionally, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, student placements may be postponed, interrupted, or canceled due to our agency partners’ focus on providing services to those in the community directly impacted by the virus. If this situation occurs, the School of Social Work will work to secure alternative placements, but no guarantee can be made regarding on-time program completion due to the pandemic’s uncertain progression.

Background Checks

Before applying for admission into the School of Social Work, please be aware that most social service agencies that serve as field placement sites now require background checks and fingerprinting as well as pre-placement offers and random drug screens. These requirements sometimes are at the student’s expense. 

Field supervisors also may have the ability to request a drug screen during placement if they suspect the student is impaired during placement hours. These are the policies of social service agencies, not the University of Cincinnati or the School of Social Work.

A criminal history may limit a student’s ability to obtain a field placement, as well as limit or prohibit students from obtaining a license in social work or employment in the social work profession. Students are encouraged to contact the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage & Family Therapist Board directly with questions about licensing.

Headshot of School of Social Work

School of Social Work

Health Sciences Building

PO Box 210108 | Cincinnati, OH 45221-0108

Phone: (513) 556-4615 | Fax: (513) 556-2077