MSW Admission and Academic Requirements

The GVSU School of Social Work welcomes applicants from all majors to the Master's program.

  • Saturday/hybrid program has year-round rolling admission.
  • The traditional cohorts have different application deadlines and starting date depending on a student's regular or advanced standing and full- or part-time availability.
  • Applicants are welcome after the deadline and will be considered on an individual basis subject to available seats.   

For more information:

  • Contact Joan Borst to discuss the M.S.W. program, application process, advanced standing criteria, your graduate school options, or your career objectives.
  • Attend an M.S.W. program information sessions for prospective students, which are held once or twice a month. Please see the schedule below.
  • See the FAQ's listed below.
  • See the MSW admission policies and procedures.

Apply Now

The $30 application fee is waived for undergraduate alumni of Grand Valley.

M.S.W. Program Information Sessions for Prospective Students

Sessions are for potential applicants interested in more information regarding the Masters of Social Work program. No prearranged appointment is necessary.  Please join us!  

M.S.W. Information Sessions held virtually on these dates:

  • Wednesday, September 15 - 12pm to 1pm
  • Wednesday, September 29 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, October 13 - 12pm to 1pm
  • Wednesday, October 27 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, November 3 - 12pm to 1pm
  • Wednesday, November 10 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, December 8 - 12pm to 1pm

Click on the Following Link to Join the Information Session

Join by Phone:
+1-571-392-7650 PIN: 913 065 1472

Early Application Deadlines

Early application is strongly encouraged to secure course enrollment. Those applications received after the deadline will be considered on an individual basis and program availability. Late applicants should contact the program director.

March 15 for a Fall Semester start

All students can start in Fall Semester except full-time, traditional student with advanced standing. These students must start in a Spring Semester.

October 15 for a Winter Semester start

Only part-time, regular-standing, traditional students and Saturday/hybrid students can start in Winter Semester.

February 1 for a Spring Semester start

Only full-time, advanced standing students and Saturday/hybrid students can start in Spring Semester.

Frequently Asked Questions

Joan Borst

Dr. Joan Borst
Associate Director of MSW Admissions

Office Address:  377C DEV
Phone Number:  (616)331-6581
Email Address:

I did not major in social work. Can I still enter the M.S.W. program?

Yes. A student with any undergraduate major can earn their M.S.W. Over a five-year period, students came to us with 51 different undergraduate majors. Other than social work, the top 20 majors were psychology, sociology, criminal justice, family studies, health professions/science, human services, Spanish, behavioral science, English, international relations/studies, liberal studies, religion, biomedical sciences, women & gender studies, art, communication studies, film and video, legal studies, management, and philosophy.

Can I take an M.S.W. course if I have not been admitted to the M.S.W. program?

Applicants who are not seeking the MSW degree or have not completed all of the admissions requirements are considered to be Non-Degree seeking. These students may earn up to six social work credits in the School of Social Work by selecting up to two of the following courses: SW600, SW601, SW610 and SW620.

Can I apply for Advanced Standing?

Applicants can apply for advanced standing if they have earned a baccalaureate degree in social work through a CSWE-accredited program within the five years prior to enrollment in the M.S.W. program. Advanced standing students may accelerate their graduate study by completing as few as 38 credit hours of curriculum in one calendar year.

What will I need to complete my application?

You can start your electronic application now, and save it to finish later. To complete it, you will need:

  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended, other than Grand Valley, sent from those institutions directly to the GVSU Admissions Office.)
  • Names and contact information for three references
  • Resume detailing work and volunteer experiences
  • Coursework requirement form
  • Five-page personal statement (see instructions under Program-specific Application Requirements)
  • $30 nonrefundable application fee (unless you have previously applied to Grand Valley)

Can I get course credit for life experiences or previous work experience?

The School of Social Work does not grant academic credit for life experience and previous work experience, in whole or in part, in lieu of social work courses.

Can I take the Saturday/hybrid option if I do not qualify for advanced standing?

Yes. You can take the M.S.W. foundation classes first, either online or in-person. Then you can complete your M.S.W. with the Saturday/hybrid option.