MSW Admission and Academic Requirements

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

  • The GVSU Advanced Standing programs are only available to graduates from an accredited B.S.W. program who meet Advanced Standing admission requirements.
  • The Regular Standing programs are available to all majors who meet admission requirements.
  • The Advanced Standing Part-time Weekend hybrid program has year-round rolling admission has year-round rolling admission, online course work and meets 4 Saturdays (2 per class) a semester on campus.
  • 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.
  • Applications are reviewed after the semester deadlines, but will be subject to availability of classroom space. Applicants to the full-time Advanced Standing program are strongly encouraged to apply by the February 1st. deadline to secure a field placement opportunity.
  • Information Sessions are held regularly (see the GVSU M.S.W. Admissions site) and are held virtually for convenient connections. See the information sessions schedule here:

Apply Now

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

For more information:

  • Contact Professor Borst to discuss the M.S.W. program, application process, advanced standing criteria, your graduate school options, or your career objectives. The email to contact Professor Borst is: borstj@gvsu.edu
  • 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.

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

Information sessions are for potential applicants interested in more information regarding the Masters of Social Work program, application tips and more. No prearranged appointment is necessary, see the link below.  Please join us!  

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

  • Wednesday, November 3 - 12pm to 1pm
  • Wednesday, November 10 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, December 8 - 12pm to 1pm
  • Wednesday, January 12 - 12pm to 1pm
  • Wednesday January 26- 6:30pm to 7:30pm
  • Wednesday February 8 - 12pm to 1pm
  • Wednesday, February 22 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Click on the Following Link to Join the Information Session

https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/2e91117367344df2ae537ffc4b0e9e84

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

Applicants for all MSW program options are welcome to apply for Fall Semester except full-time Advanced Standing applicants. Advanced Standing full-time applicants must apply by February 1, 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

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

Yes. Applicants who meet the admission requirements are welcome from all majors and professions. 

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 eight 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 professional or academic references (GVSU Admissions will collect references via online communication)
  • 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.