The mission of the University of Southern Indiana MSW program is to prepare students with the knowledge, skills, and values for advanced social work practice with diverse populations and emerging social issues. The MSW program prepares students for competency-based practice utilizing the systems model for planned change through generalist and advanced social work practice. In response to evolving community needs, the department has developed a solid clinical concentration and an optional School Social Work Specialization program.
The Department of Social Work offers both full-time and part-time graduate programs leading to the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. The MSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
The program offers admission to advanced standing and nonsocial work majors. Applicants for the advanced standing programs must have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. All other applicants, including non-social work majors, must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in a field other than social work. Several possible courses of study are available. Not all options are offered every year. Applicants are advised to consult the MSW program information available on the web site at www.usi.edu/socialwork/index.asp
All requests concerning admission to the MSW program should be addressed to the Social Work Department, University of Southern Indiana, 8600 University Boulevard, Evansville, Indiana 47712. Send a message to www.usi.edu/socialwork or telephone 812/464-1843 to request information. Students may find instructions and application materials on the web page at www.usi.edu/socialwork. Each student must apply to both the Office of Graduate Studies and the Social Work Department. Admission decisions for the MSW program are based on a review of past academic performance, relevant work and/or volunteer experience, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, written academic or professional work, and an admission interview when required. March 1 is the deadline for submission of the application. When the application deadline falls on a weekend, the application will be due the next business day. Applications will be reviewed when all materials have been received by the Social Work Department MSW Admissions Committee. Students should note the MSW program admits students in the fall semester only. The minimum criteria for admission to the MSW program are:
- admission to Graduate Studies;
- an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university prior to registration for MSW courses;
- evidence of good standing (verification forms available from the Social Work Department) of students transferring from other graduate programs; and
- completion of the following prerequisite requirements with a grade of C or better in each course.
Applicants may enroll in these courses during the time in which their MSW applications are being evaluated; however, the following prerequisite requirements must be met by the first day of the semester a student begins the program. All offers of admission are conditional upon the completion of these prerequisites. Any exceptions are handled on an individual basis.
- 18 hours of social/behavioral sciences including one social science research foundation course and one social science statistics foundation course. The research and statistics courses must have been completed within 10 years of beginning the MSW program;
- prerequisite course content older than 10 years will be reviewed for currency. Applicants may be required to validate these courses to ensure adequate preparation for the MSW program of study. An applicant can have a course validated by submitting a course description from the catalogue during the year in which the course was taken and, if possible, a course syllabus;
- deficiencies in these prerequisites must be rectified before the student is eligible to be fully admitted into the MSW program;
- an overall 2.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale on all undergraduate work completed; or a 3.0 GPA on the last 60 credit hours, or equivalent, taken in the undergraduate program. Rare exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis;
- evidence of writing skills compatible with graduate-level standards. All written products submitted will be evaluated;
- evidence of potential to develop into a sound professional social worker. A personal interview and/or additional evaluative data may be required of applicants;
- international students will be required to meet additional requirements, e.g., a score of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or 213 on the computer-based TOEFL, an official or certified true copy of all grade reports, diplomas, and academic records attesting to the completion of undergraduate work; Supplemental Information Form for international students which includes a financial summary stating amounts and sources of support for the duration of study; and an international student transfer form if attending another school in the United States; and
- successful completion of the application process.
NOTE: The program does not grant academic credit for life or work experience in lieu of social work course or field content. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide all required materials to the Department of Social Work by the application deadline.
Advanced Standing Requirements
Students who have earned undergraduate degrees in social work from programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) may be eligible for advanced standing. To be considered, they must have met the requirements listed above, and the following additional requirements must be met.
- Graduation within the last five years with a BSW from an undergraduate program accredited (or admitted to candidacy) by the Council on Social Work Education. A student who is in a program admitted to candidacy must submit one copy of all social work course syllabi for review.
- An overall 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale on all undergraduate work completed; or a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credit hours, or equivalent, taken in the undergraduate program. Rare exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.
- Applicants must have satisfactorily completed a minimum of 400 hours of generalist-based field instruction in direct practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities under appropriate social work supervision.
Advanced standing students will have transcripts and/or program content evaluated to determine if foundation content has been met. Students may be required to present copies of course descriptions, course syllabi, and/or assignments in order to document that appropriate content has been covered in their previous course of study.
Indiana Public Law 11-1994 and MSW Admission
In order to fully comply with Indiana Public Law 11-1994 (conviction of sexual offenses against children), the Department of Social Work will conduct a criminal history check of students requesting admission to the Master of Social Work program. This check will be conducted at the point of admission and upon entering the field placement. A student who has been convicted of sex offenses against children as identified in P. L. 11-1994 will not be granted admission to or allowed to continue in the Master of Social Work program.
Individuals who were convicted of such crimes outside of the state of Indiana are required to report their intent to reside more than seven days in the area within Indiana to local law enforcement authorities having jurisdiction in the area of intended residence.
Admission decisions for the MSW program are based on evidence of:
- demonstrated academic competency through previous academic work;
- a commitment to social work values and ethics;
- a basic understanding of the social work profession;
- emotional maturity, stable mental/emotional processes;
- good writing skills (the written materials submitted are evaluated on punctuation, spelling, grammar, syntax, organization, and the ability to clearly express ideas);
- critical thinking and analytic ability, including evidence of good judgment;
- relevant work and/or volunteer experience;
- successful completion of required course prerequisites;
- potential to develop into a sound professional social worker (a personal interview and/or additional evaluative data may be required of applicants); and
- references (students are encouraged to review the reference form and select individuals who will be able to answer a majority of the questions asked. References from faculty, supervisors in employment or volunteer positions, and individuals with professional knowledge of social work or human services are preferred).
Applications are not reviewed until all materials have been received by the Department of Social Work. Students will be notified when the application is complete. A student may be fully admitted to the program due to completion of all requirements, admitted on a conditional status, or admitted on a probationary status. A student who is denied admission may appeal in writing to the Admissions Committee. If the appeal is denied by the committee, the applicant may appeal the decision to the chair of the Department of Social Work. All information submitted during the application process becomes the property of the Department of Social Work and will be kept confidential.
The MSW program and options are available on the web site at www.usi.edu/socialwork/index.asp