2011 - 2012 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Social Work, M.S.W.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall:   May 15

Spring: November 1

Summer (Advanced Standing Only):  April 15

Applications are processed as they arrive up to the deadline date. Because admission to the M.S.W. program is competitive, applicants are advised to apply early and to ensure that all supporting documents are received before the deadline date.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

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 an official of the degree-granting institution.

If seeking advanced standing, applicants 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 completed an undergraduate course of study reflecting this liberal arts foundation.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of an accredited baccalaureate degree. A bachelor's degree in Social Work (B.S.W.) is not required except for advanced standing applicants. 

Statement of Goals:

A statement of professional plans and goals is an important component of the admissions application in Social Work. It provides an opportunity for the applicant to share her/his motivation for pursuing graduate study in the field of Social Work, relevant personal and professional experiences, and knowledge of diversity and social justice. This essay is evaluated based on the following criteria: ability to reflect on and summarize significant and relevant experiences; ability to conceptualize and think critically; and writing proficiency.

An essay of 4-6 pages (double-spaced, 12-point font, with name and page numbers in the header) should be composed in which the applicant reflects on the following areas:

  • Reasons for undertaking graduate study in Social Work at Temple
  • Significant experiences (work, volunteer, community, and/or field placement) with people of various ethnic, religious, national origin, social class, gender, sexual orientation, and/ or racial backgrounds and the impact/relevance of those experiences
  • A population and/or social problem that is of special interest and the reasons for that interest
  • Issues of social justice as it relates to this population and/or problem

Applicants should submit their essay in Microsoft Word or PDF format to:

  • Erin Brosious at MSW@temple.edu, if applying to Temple University Main (Philadelphia), Ambler (AMB), and Center City (TUCC) campuses
  • Kari Leaver at kari@temple.edu, if applying to Temple University Harrisburg and other locations

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is not required.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based. 


Generally, an interview is not necessary for admission purposes. 


A resume is required.

Advanced Standing:

Applicants from a B.S.W. program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) may be eligible for advanced standing. This enables students, after a  required summer "bridge" course that begins in June, to start the second year of study at the advanced curriculum level in their area of concentration. To be considered for advanced standing, students must have:

  • Earned the B.S.W. no more than 5 years prior to applying.
  • Achieved an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  • Earned a GPA of 3.0 in their junior and senior years.
  • Received no more than one "C" in Social Work courses.
  • Submitted three references (preferably one from the senior seminar professor, one from the applicant's field instructor for senior practicum, and the third from another academic source). 

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.  

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 60

Required Courses:

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. Students 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 occurs concurrently with Social Work practice courses or can be taken as a block placement in the Summer sessions. In order to ensure a quality learning experience for students, the Office of Field Education is responsible for arranging and overseeing field practica.

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. Finally, students employed in social service settings may serve their practicum at their place of employment.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Program Contact Information:


School Information:

School of Social Work

Ritter Hall Annex, 5th Floor

1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Philadelphia, PA  19122



School Contacts for Main Campus:


Marie Leonard, M.B.A.

Assistant Director of Recruitment

528 Ritter Hall Annex



215-204-9606 (fax)

Erin Brosious

Student Services Coordinator

521 Ritter Hall Annex


215-204-6108 (fax)

Field Education:

Valarie Clemmons, M.S.W.

Field Education Coordinator



School Contacts for Harrisburg Campus:


Mary Foxhaven

TUH Recruitment/Outreach Coordinator




Field Education:

Tammy Carson-Sandman, M.S.W.

Field Education Coordinator



About the Program

The School of Social Work 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. and includes:

Regular Standing — Applicants with a bachelor's degree may apply for the 60-credit M.S.W. degree, which has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE):

  • Full-time students pursue a degree (15 credits per semester) for two years, excluding summers. Admission is in the Fall only.
  • Part-time students pursue their degree (6 then 9 credits per semester) over a three-year period, including summers. Admission is in the Fall or Spring.

Advanced Standing — Applicants must have earned a B.S.W. degree within the last five years from a CSWE-accredited school of Social Work and be selected for advanced standing status:

  • Full-time students begin in the Summer II session and finish in 18 months, taking 15 credits per semester for two semesters. Admission is in the Summer only.
  • Part-time students begin in the Summer II session and finish in 18 months, taking six or nine credits in their first Fall, Spring, Summer, and final Fall semesters. Admission is in the Summer only.

Students who are accepted for advanced standing are awarded 25.5 credits as a result and complete 34.5 credits to earn the 60-credit M.S.W. degree accredited by CSWE.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 5 years

Campus Locations:

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 for student cohorts in Center City, Ambler, Lancaster, Mansfield, Misercordia/Dallas, and Dubois. 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.

School Information:

School of Social Work

Ritter Hall Annex, 5th Floor

1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Philadelphia, PA  19122



Interdisciplinary Study:

The College of Health Professions and Social Work offers a dual degree in Social Work and Public Health. Interested applicants apply separately to each program.   


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:

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.


In 2008, according to U.S. News & World Report, Temple University's M.S.W. program was ranked 71 out of 159 accredited schools of Social Work.


The M.S.W. degree program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

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.

Centers such as the Center for Intervention and Practice Research and the Center for Social Policy and Community Development offer rich opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to engage in Social Work practice and Social Work research.

Job Placement:

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-Matriculated 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.

Financing Opportunities

The School of Social Work awards a substantial amount of aid each year to assist meritorious applicants and continuing students in meeting the cost of their educational program. Awards include partial scholarships, research assistantships, government training grants, and stipends provided by local public and voluntary agencies.

Awards are made on the basis of academic merit and the overall promise shown by an applicant for contributing to the School and to the profession. Additional considerations include interest in particular areas of practice for which special funding is available and the School´s commitment to maintaining diversity in the student body.

Most awards made by the School ordinarily meet only part of a student´s total educational expenses. All students are therefore expected to make use of available family and other resources as well as Federal grant, loan, and work-study assistance to help meet the cost of their education. The University´s Office of Student Financial Services provides assistance with the Federal grant/loan/work-study application process.

Notification of awards from the School of Social Work is generally made at the time of admissions.

Updated 5.16.12