Social Work

Master of Social Work

Location: Uptown Campus East
College: College of Allied Health Sciences
Duration: 2 Years

What is Social Work?

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares you for a career in advanced social work practice. The program is designed to promote the integration of learning in the classroom with learning in a field practicum in an agency setting. The School uses the concurrent model of field education (unpaid internship), meaning students take classes and have field education requirements concurrently.

Throughout the program, you will be assigned to an agency for 14 to 17 hours per work to work under the supervision of a qualified field instructor, who is a social worker employed at that agency. Typically, field placement hours must be scheduled sometime during the work week (i.e. Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm); there are no field placements available with exclusively evening or weekend hours.

After completion of the generalist curriculum (which includes a generalist year field placement) or upon admission to the Advanced Standing Program, students select an area of study that include specialized curricula and field placements. 

The advanced curriculum in Direct Practice is designed to provide the knowledge and skills needed for specialized practice with Children and Families, in Mental Health, or in Health and Aging. Students in Direct Practice learn to use evidence-based interventions to assist individuals, families, and groups to make change, solve problems, and become empowered.

Admission Requirements

For admission into the MSW Program, you must meet certain requirements, which vary depending upon the program to which you apply. The GRE is not required for admission to the MSW Program. 

Advanced Standing Program

To be admitted to the Advanced Standing Program, applicants must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree 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 required social work courses.
  • Three references supporting your ability to do advanced level practice. If currently in school, one of the references must be your field instructor.
  • Complete the following courses with a grade of "C" or better*:
    • 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

 *You may apply to the program if you have not taken all of these courses, but we ask that you fulfill the deficiencies the summer before beginning the program, either at UC or at another accredited institution, with a grade of "C" or better. 

Full-Time and Part-Time Programs

To be admitted to either the full- or part-time programs, applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Have an overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0. (This is cumulative, taking into account all institutions attended.) In some cases, provisional admission may be granted for those with a GPA slightly below a 3.0. Please see below for more information on our Pathways Program.
  • Complete the following courses with a grade of "C" or better*:
    • 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

*You may apply to the program if you have not taken all of these courses, but we ask that you fulfill the deficiencies the summer before beginning the program, either at UC or at another accredited institution, with a grade of "C" or better.

As a matter of policy, the MSW Program does not accept life or work experience as a substitute for field placement or any other required social work courses. 

Pathways Program

If your cumulative GPA is between 2.75 and 3.0, you may qualify for our Pathways Program. We would review your application as all others, and if you receive a favorable review you would be asked to take 2 graduate-level Social Work courses as a non-matriculating student during the Summer term. Upon earning a grade of B+ or better in both classes you may continue forward with the MSW program. 

If you have specific concerns about your GPA and application, please email the program director, Dr. Cathy Kerr.

Social workers practice in many settings, working with people and communities to find solutions to problems. Fields where social workers provide direct service to individuals, families, and groups include:

  • Children and family services in child protective services, foster care agencies, adoptions, schools, and counseling agencies.
  • Health services in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes.
  • Mental health and substance abuse services in treatment and case management agencies and private practice.
  • Aging service in home care agencies and senior  living communities.
  • Legal services in correctional facilities, treatment agencies, and mediation services.

Other social workers work with community members to improve conditions in their area. Still others work in leadership roles in social service organizations.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics social work is an occupations expected to grow “faster than average” in the coming years. Job prospects in social work are considered excellent.

Thinking about applying to the UC School of Social Work Master of Social Work Program? We hold annual information sessions from September to December. Specific dates will be announced in August. Check the School of Social Work website for more information.

School Social Worker Certificate Program

The purpose of this certificate program is to prepare professional school social workers who can perform their unique role in conjunction with traditional educational and auxiliary professionals in the school system.
This role encompasses the special knowledge and skills of school social workers, including:

  • Social work assessment and intervention
  • Locating and utilizing community resources
  • Facilitating the development and implementation of school, family, and community linkages
  • Graduates of the program provide a critical dimension to the shared goal of maximizing the educational experiences of students

The Ohio Department of Education, through the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services, licenses the School Social Worker Program. This program, and the certification of its graduates, involves close collaboration with the College of Education.

If you transfer from another accredited social work graduate program to the MSW Program, you may transfer up to 30 semester or 45 quarter credit hours for the courses you have already completed. To receive transfer credits, you must have:

  • Completed those courses within 5 years of being admitted to the MSW Program
  • Earned a B grade or better in each class.

If you are interested in transferring to the MSW Program, please contact the program director Dr. Cathy Kerr.

Application Deadlines

The deadline to apply is January 14, to begin either in the second half of the following Summer semester (for the Advanced Standing program) or in the Fall semester (for the Full-Time or Part-Time programs). This deadline applies to application materials as well as all 3 recommendations. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Contact Information

Johnny Arguedas
1515 French Hall West
PO Box 210108
Cincinnati, OH 45221
513-556-4615
johnny.arguedas@uc.edu

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Program Code: 35MAS-SW-MSW