Social Work, M.S.W.
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL ADMINISTRATION
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Fall: February 15 [December 15 for international applicants]
Spring: November 1 [August 1 for international applicants]
Applications are processed as they arrive up to the deadline date. Deadlines are particularly critical for international applicants and for Advanced Standing and Dual Degree applicants, who must meet the February 15 deadline. Because admission to the M.S.W. program is competitive, it is to applicants' advantage to apply early and to ensure that all supporting documents are received by the School of Social Administration before the deadline date.
Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3
From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from faculty and professionals familiar with the applicant's academic competence and/or professional work experience. Applicants who have graduated from college within the last 5 years should submit at least one reference from a professor or official of the college.
Applicants seeking Advanced Standing status should obtain two references from their college, one of which must be from their senior seminar professor. Those with employment experience in the social services or a related field should submit at least one reference from a supervisor or administrator at their place of employment.
Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:
Social Work education draws heavily from the rich and broad foundation provided by a liberal arts curriculum. All applicants are expected to have had an undergraduate course of study reflecting this liberal arts foundation, including at least one course with content in human biology.
Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:
All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of the appropriate baccalaureate degree at Temple University, although a bachelor's degree in Social Work (B.S.W.) or a related human services discipline is not required.
Statement of Goals:
A statement of professional plans and goals, limited to six double-spaced pages in font size 12, should address the following:
- Why you are seeking graduate education and where your educational and career interests lie.
- Your experience with people of different ethnic, religious, or racial backgrounds.
- An area of practice in which you have a special interest.
- The type of position or organization in which you would like to work in the future.
- A specific instance or issue of social injustice about which you have some concern.
- The reasons for your concern about that social injustice.
- Plans for financing your education.
Students who have matriculated in another master's program should also include the following: where you attended and the type of program, the number of courses completed, your reason(s) for not continuing, and a statement about your experience.
Standardized Test Scores:
The GRE is not required.
Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed to be accepted:
575 paper-based, 230 computer-based, or 88 internet-based. Any student admitted with a TOEFL score below 600 on the paper-based, 250 on the computer-based, or 100 on the internet-based examination must pass an English skills course during the first semester of enrollment at Temple University. Those having taken the paper-based or computer-based test have the additional option of testing out of the English course by taking and passing the SPEAK test at Temple.
Generally, an interview is not necessary for admission purposes. Applicants should feel free to request an interview, however, if they would like to further explore the M.S.W. program before applying or accepting an offer to matriculate. Additionally, some applicants may be invited to an interview if there is a desire to explore specific questions.
A resume is required.
Applicants from a B.S.W. program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may be eligible for Advanced Standing. This enables students, after a required summer "bridge" course that begins in June, to begin the second year of study at the advanced curriculum level in their area of concentration. To be considered for Advanced Standing status, students must have:
- Earned the B.S.W. no more than 5 years prior to applying.
- An overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
- A GPA of 3.0 in their junior and senior years.
- No more than one "C" in the major.
- Two academic references (one of which must be from the senior seminar professor).
Students who have completed their foundation year at another graduate school of social work may also be eligible to transfer in their foundation year credits if they meet the criteria.
General Program Requirements:
Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 60
Students are exposed to multiple methods of intervention throughout their foundation courses, which include Human Behavior (6 s.h.), Social Policy (6 s.h.), Research (6 s.h.), Practice (6 s.h.), and Field (6 s.h.). They then select from a range of advanced level courses, which allow them to concentrate on practicing one method of intervention in greater depth. The three major methods offered are: Clinical Practice; Communities and Policy; or Management and Planning. They also choose to specialize in a specific field of practice. Two major areas of specialization are currently offered because they are considered to be of critical importance in social work practice: Children and Families, and Health and Mental Health. Students can also propose a different area of specialization for consideration.
Internship: An internship in the form of a field practicum is required. A field practicum is an essential part of Social Work studies and is deliberately linked in an integral way with classroom learning. The practicum always occurs concurrently with Social Work practice courses and requires students to spend the equivalent of three days per week in a social agency for a total of four semesters.
Two field practicum experiences are available. The first focuses on developing proficiency in generalist practice/basic Social Work skills. This includes learning to engage and assess a range of clients, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Students learn to identify issues, needs, resources, and strengths. They also acquire skills in planning, communication, supervision, and consultation as well as intervention, cultural competence, evidence-based practice, and evaluation. In the second practicum, students develop expertise in the particular area of concentration they have chosen and in the specialization/field of practice they have selected.
Students employed in social service settings may serve their practicum at their place of employment if the specific arrangement meets the School's requirements. In order to ensure a quality learning experience for students, the Office of Field Education is responsible for arranging and overseeing field practica.
Language Examination: No language examination is required.
This program has no culminating events.
Program Contact Information:
School of Social Administration
Ritter Hall Annex , 5th Floor
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Department Contacts for Main Campus:
Gradette Willis, M.S.W.
Director, Office of Admissions and Student Services
Cheryl Hyde, Ph.D., M.S.W.
Assistant Dean, Field Education and Continuing Education
Department Contacts for the Harrisburg Campus:
Link Martin, M.S.W.
Assistant Dean and M.S.W. Program Director
Lynn Notestine, M.S.W.
Harrisburg Field Education Coordinator
About the Program
The School of Social Administration is dedicated to the pursuit of societal transformations that eliminate social, political, and economic injustice for poor and oppressed populations and advance the quality of life for all through:
- Education emphasizing the discovery of knowledge, use of critical inquiry, and application of professional ethics to effect social change among social workers in front-line, supervisory, managerial, and leadership positions.
- Research and scholarship that advances applied knowledge and generates evidence-based strategies to resolve problems between people and their social environments at the local, state, national, and global levels.
- Public service that aids in the dissemination of knowledge and evidence-based strategies.
- Collaborations and partnerships with communities, agencies, and organizations in response to the needs of constituents.
Flexible programming is offered for the M.S.W. This includes:
- Advanced Standing: A one-year program for applicants with a bachelor's degree in Social Work from an accredited B.S.W. program in the United States.
- Two-Year Program: Students pursue a degree full-time for two years, excluding summers.
- January Program: Coursework begins in January, thereby enabling students to finish their classes on a part-time basis in two and a half years, including three summers.
- Extended Program: Courses are taken over a three-year period.
Time Limit for Degree Completion: 5 years
Main Campus, Harrisburg
The entire M.S.W. Program is available at both campuses, but only on a part-time basis in Harrisburg. Courses are also offered in Center City (cohort), Ambler (cohort), Lancaster, Huntingdon, and Pottsville. Course times are structured so as to offer a broad range of flexible options for students, many of whom are employed while engaged in their program of study at Temple.
Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).
School of Social Administration
Ritter Hall Annex , 5th Floor
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19122
The School of Social Administration offers a dual degree in Social Work and Public Health.
Students are permitted to complete up to 6 credits in elective courses abroad. They should consult with their advisor about the timing of degree requirements.
The M.S.W. degree program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Areas of Specialization:
Faculty are engaged in a number of program evaluation projects and other research pertaining to child welfare, family and community violence, gender and sexual orientation, HIV-AIDS, homelessness, involvement of fathers in families, mental and physical health, poverty, and substance abuse.
Two of the School's centers—the Center for Practice and Intervention Research and the Center for Social Policy—also offer rich opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to engage in Social Work practice and Social Work research.
Graduates of the M.S.W. program find employment in public and private social service agencies, as well as in profit and non-profit organizations. Their work encompasses a broad range of responsibilities, including community organizing, counseling, management, program design and implementation, supervision, and training. Graduates are also employed in many different fields of practice, such as adoption support, aging, child protection, developmental disabilities, employment-based social work, HIV/AIDS, hospice care, medical social work, mental health counseling, school social work, and substance abuse.
States vary in their requirements for a license to practice social work. Many also offer different levels of licensing. Graduates should contact their local chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for information on the specific requirements for licensing in their state.
Non-Degree Student Policy:
Students may take up to 9 credits on a non-matriculated basis. If students later matriculate in the M.S.W. program, those credits may be applied toward degree requirements.
Research assistantships are often available for students to provide staff support to various faculty projects. Assignments are made in consultation with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and the Associate Dean of Research. Interested students should include a statement of previous research experience and areas of interest as part of the application narrative.
Other Financial Opportunities
Information on available scholarships may be obtained from the School of Social Administration's Office of Admissions and Student Services.