Prepare for Social Work Practice

With nationally recognized faculty, MSW weekday and weekend options, and a program that prepares you for social work practice, we're ready for you to take the next step. 

Now enrolling in the Master of Social Work Weekday Program at our Springfield campus for the fall weekday evening 2020 semester.

School of Social Work Students Enjoy Classroom Discussion

Admissions Information

Accepting applications for fall enrollment. 

Now enrolling in the Master of Social Work Weekday Program at our Springfield campus for the fall weekday evening 2020 semester.

Submissions

All application materials should be mailed to:
Springfield College
Office of Graduate Admissions
263 Alden Street
Springfield, MA 01109

If you choose to email your application documents, please note that transcripts and letters of recommendation will not be considered official unless they are emailed directly from the original source and not from the applicant. Please submit materials via email to graduate@springfield.edu. Upon submission of your application, you will receive an email noting that your application has been successfully submitted/processed. This email will allow you to upload your professional statement and resume directly into the online portal. 

Requirements

If you are interested in applying to the Springfield College Department of Graduate Social Work, for either the weekday or weekend program, you will need:

Admissions Requirements

Completed application (no admissions fee at this time)

All applicants should have social work experience as an employee, volunteer, or in an undergraduate field practicum.

*The 2020 Admissions Fee has been waived due to current circumstances. 

A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university that reflects a broad background in liberal arts, with at least twenty semester hours in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences with an emphasis on human biology. Social and behavioral sciences include anthropology, economics, education, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. Biological sciences include botany, biology, physiology, and zoology. The School looks favorably on transcripts that include coursework in writing and in research methods or statistics.

Additionally, applicants should have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 for all undergraduate work and 3.0 in the last two years of academic work. Some exceptions are made, and the faculty considers other evidence that demonstrates the candidate’s ability to conduct graduate study in social work. Applicants who do not meet the GPA minimum will be considered for admission on probation if space is available.

A professional statement and a copy of your resume

Your professional statement should describe (1) professional goals and reasons for pursuing an MSW degree in this program; and (2) the education, professional/work experience, and personal characteristics that make the applicant a good candidate for an advanced generalist MSW program.

Two professional or academic references

Two professional or academic references that address the applicant’s ability, potential, and readiness for graduate education and professional social work experience.  A recommendation form must also be submitted by each professional or academic reference. 

Transcripts from all undergraduate institutions

Transcripts must be in English. If the transcript is not in English you will be required to submit a professional credential evaluation completed by any member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. In some cases, including if you plan to request coursework be transferred, a course-by-course translation is required. For this we recommend the World Education Services or Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.

Transfer Credits

Although all work for the MSW is usually completed at the Springfield College Department of Graduate Social Work, transfer credit may be awarded on a course-by-course basis for up to nine graduate credits earned at a CSWE-accredited graduate program in social work. Following admission, a student’s coursework with grades of B or better that have been taken within five years of the anticipated date of completing the MSW Program at Springfield College will be considered by the faculty committee.

International Students

International Applicants from non-English speaking countries must demonstrate English language proficiency by way of one of the following examinations:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)

MSW/JD Dual Degree Program

Applicants interested in the MSW/JD Program must successfully meet the separate admissions requirements of each institution and be accepted into the dual degree program. The dual degree program is only open to the students in the full-time MSW and JD programs.

Although admission to the dual degree program is usually decided at initial enrollment, it is possible to begin studies in either the MSW or JD program and then enroll in the dual degree program. Application to the second institution must be made before completion of the first year of studies at the first institution.

Neither the Springfield College Department of Graduate Social Work nor the Western New England University School of Law admits new students for the spring semester.

Additional Information

Loan Forgiveness

The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-MA) recently published an informative article about loan forgiveness/repayment with information about available programs, advice on applying, and web links. Read the article at naswma.org.

Financial Aid

Federal grants and loans are available. Click here for more information.

Field Education

Read more about the field education portion here.

International Center

Explore international and intercultural opportunities, for international and all students, offered by the International Center at Springfield College.

Academic Success Center

Explore the Academic Success Center at Springfield College.

Fellowships

Explore available fellowships available to you.

Making It Work

Q. What can I do with an MSW degree after I graduate?

There many different settings in which a social worker may work after completing the MSW degree. Some of the options are private and public agencies, hospitals, schools, private practice and courts. Social workers are committed to the process of planned change and may work with individuals or groups; help communities or groups provide or improve social and health services; and participate in relevant legislative processes that affect the quality of life for all citizens. You can explore different opportunities in the field of social work from engaging in field experiences.

Q. What do I need to do to practice in the social work profession?

Each state has different licensing requirements. You will need to check with the state you plan to practice in for their specific requirements. Most states require a license, the license can be obtained by taking a standard licensing test after completion of your MSW. Keep in mind your MSW must be from an accredited institution (Springfield College Department of Graduate Social Work is accredited by CSWE). Prior to setting up an independent practice at NASW recommends at least two years post MSW supervised experience.

Q. What are the employment prospects for social workers?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of social workers is expected to increase much faster than the average for all occupations through 2016. The need for social workers is on the rise. Because of the demand for social workers in so many different areas, it would be difficult to assign a range for social work salaries or positions available. From our 2007 Alumni Survey, 84% of our graduates reported full-time work in the field. The average amount of time to secure a full-time position was 2.2 months.

Q. How do I find employment upon graduation?

While engaged in your field experiences there are many opportunities to network with other social workers and agencies. Networking is a valuable tool in finding agencies that share your philosophy and serve populations with whom you would like to work. Another great resource can be the internet. We also post job opportunities at the School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences. The Springfield College Career Center is another Campus resource. Finally, The National Association of Social Workers is the largest professional membership organization for social workers. NASW has membership chapters in each state and most state chapters have Job Banks.

Q. As a working parent, would the course work and field placements be too much for me to handle?

Many of our students must balance work and family responsibilities, as well as further their education. For this reason we have part-time weekend programs to help with busy schedules. For field placements, we consider student input in the field agency placement assignment process.

Q. I’m thinking of enrolling in the full-time program. How will it fit into my already busy life?

In the full-time program, classes are held on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM leaving the remaining days open for field work and your studies.

Q. As a returning adult student, would I be at a disadvantage compared to students fresh from the undergraduate level?

Not at all! Many of our students are returning to further their education after being away from the academic setting for years. The life experiences these students bring to their education is invaluable. Adult students are represented in both the full-time weekday and part-time weekend programs.

Q. How long does the program take to complete?

Students who have a bachelors degree in a field other than social work may choose to complete the MSW degree in either a full-time weekday program, which takes two years, or a part-time weekend program, which takes three years. Students who hold a BSW from an accredited BSW program received within the last five years and who can demonstrate a mastery of course content and field experience are eligible to apply for advanced standing. A limited number of students are accepted into this program. The full-time advanced standing program is completed in one summer and one year of full-time study.

Q. Is there anything I can do to prepare before actually entering the program?

Before entering the program consider volunteering your time or work in an entry level position in a social work agency. This is a great opportunity to explore your interests. Volunteering also shows a dedication to the field and to serving others, which is a great addition to your resume. It is also useful to build a credentials file. People who are in a position to evaluate your work such as professors, employers, or supervisors where you volunteered are the kinds of people you may ask to write letters of recommendation for you. Also, it is important to have had some introductory experience with word processing computer programs.

Q. I understand not all social work programs are accredited. Is Springfield College Department of Graduate Social Work?

Yes, Springfield College Department of Graduate Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, Commission on Accreditation. This is the official accrediting body for social work programs in the United States. Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education permits graduates to sit for social work licensure examinations in all states.

Q. How is my application evaluated? When should I expect to hear from you?

Each application is reviewed by faculty members and assigned a score. The score is based upon the overall record of accomplishment, references, and the personal statement. When the faculty members review applications the following are considered: (1) academic potential, (2) the effectiveness of the professional statement, (3) the applicant’s congruence with social work professional values, (4) letters of recommendation, (5) work and volunteer experiences, (6) graduate courses and training courses, and (7) strength of the applicant’s entire application materials.

Q. Who reviews applications and do they look for anything specific?

All full-time faculty share in the review process. The review does not emphasize just one part of your application. Faculty are usually looking for someone who is a good fit in the field of social work and who has the academic background to do well in graduate school.

Q. As a transfer student, do I still go by the regular deadline dates? How do I go about transferring classes from my current institution?

Yes, you do you have to abide by the application deadlines. Normally, all work for the MSW degree is at Springfield College Department of Graduate Social Work. Transfer credit may be awarded on a course by course basis, up to nine graduate credits earned at a an accredited graduate program in social work. Courses are eligible for consideration if they have been taken within five years of candidacy (projected date to receive the MSW) at Springfield College and if the student earned a B or better in the course. No course credits are granted for life experience or previous work experience. The School will not grant credit for graduate courses already used for another awarded degree. Decisions concerning the transfer of credit are made the summer immediately following your acceptance.

Q. Can I receive my financial aid and grants?

Financial aid availability for students varies from year to year. All students seeking financial aid assistance should apply for aid through the Springfield College Office of Financial Aid. This office will also provide information about federal loans. Students may apply for a limited number of graduate teaching/research fellowships(which pay a monthly stipend) available through Springfield College. Application materials for these positions are available from the College Graduate Admissions Office each spring or as positions become available. The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program is another resource. Contact: NHSC LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM, 2070 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 450, Vienna, VA 22182, (800) 221-9393.

Q. What happens after I am accepted?

Following your acceptance, you will receive details concerning most aspects of the College, the School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences, your program of study and the field practicum.

Learn More About the Department of Graduate Social Work