How Difficult is it to get into an Online MSW Degree Program?
If you’ve been considering a career as a social worker, you might be asking yourself if you’ll be able to get into an online master’s of social work (MSW) program. The answer depends on what type of social work you want to practice, what undergraduate statistics you have and what career experience you have. Everyone is capable of getting into an MSW program, but you may need to readjust your goals based on your background.
What Is Your Undergraduate GPA?
The best way to measure your preparedness for graduate school is to look at your performance in a similar area. A master’s program is like a more difficult version of your undergraduate studies. If you struggled in 300- and 400-level classes, schools will think that you’ll also struggle in 500- and 600-level courses. You can still get admitted with a low undergraduate GPA. However, if you have an average below 3.0, it will be more difficult for you to get accepted into an online MSW degree program. You might need to take a few high-level social work classes and do well in them or try to work in the field for a year or two.
What Is Your Graduate Readiness Examination (GRE) Score?
The Graduate Readiness Exam, or GRE, is administered by Education Testing Services for a range of master’s and doctoral programs. The test measures your analytical ability, reading comprehension and overall academic ability. It is possible to be admitted to an online MSW program with a low GRE score, but it’s not easy. If you don’t do well on tests, you should try to build a strong application in other areas by volunteering, working in human services and doing well in undergraduate classes.
What Type of School Do You Want to Attend?
If you have your heart set on an MSW from Harvard University, it’s going to be very difficult for you to be accepted into their online program. First, Harvard doesn’t offer an MSW program. Secondly, top-ranked schools have low admission rates. You’d need a high undergraduate GPA, great scores on the GRE and strong letters of recommendation if you wanted to enter an Ivy League or well-regarded research university. If you’re willing to attend a local school with less prestige but equally passionate professors, you’ll face fewer hurdles.
What Type of Social Work Do You Want to Practice?
Social workers practice in many different fields. If you want to become a clinical social worker, you’ll need background classes in psychology. A leadership-focused track will want to see undergraduate coursework in finance, non-profit management or organizational leadership. Research-based programs are some of the hardest online MSW programs when it comes to admission rates. You’ll need undergraduate research experience in the social sciences with strong letters of recommendation from professors you worked with. High scores on the GRE and at least a 3.5 undergraduate GPA will significantly boost your chances.
Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Master of Social Work Online (MSW) Degrees
You can increase your odds of admission by writing a great personal statement, showing your commitment to the field of social work, and targeting smaller universities. No matter your circumstances, you can achieve your goal of getting into an online MSW program if you’re willing to face a few difficulties.