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Master's of Social Work

Application Process

Simple Steps to Admission

Complete Your Application

The first step is to complete our online application and submit all the necessary documentation by March 15. This includes a candidate statement, references, and transcripts. Learn more about the candidate statement and references below.

Our early admission deadline for applications is December 1. Candidates that meet this deadline will receive an admission decision by December 18.

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Accept our Offer

You must notify us within ten days of your intent to accept our offer of admission to the program.

Complete Orientation

After you have accepted our offer, we will reach out with details on completing a required orientation over the summer.


Application Criteria and Requirements

  •  Admission Criteria

    Traditional Program

    • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or will have completed the program by the semester prior to entrance into the program.
    • Undergraduate degree that included a clear liberal arts base with a firm foundation in the social sciences. Students who do not meet this requirement may be accepted into the program but will be required to take courses to meet this criteria.
    • 3.0 overall GPA.
    • 3 letters of reference, including at least one academic reference.
    • Candidate Statement (see below).
    • Professional Resume
    • Transcript from undergraduate education. (Upon acceptance, candidates will be required to submit an official transcript).

    Advanced Standing

    • A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from a CSWE accredited social work program, or will have completed the program by the semester prior to entrance into the program.
    • 3.2 overall GPA with a 3.5 GPA average in social work courses.
    • 3 references, including at least one academic reference. It is highly recommended that students have their senior field instructor as one of the references.
    • Candidate Statement (see below).
    • Professional Resume
    • Transcripts from BSW undergraduate education. (Upon acceptance, candidates will be required to submit an official transcript).
    • Provide copies from all BSW Field Evaluations
  •  Admission Policy

    The applicant’s application form will be considered holistically and may include informal references with persons having a previous professional relationship with the applicant. The achievement of the basic criteria does not automatically qualify the student for admission into the program. The admission committee reviews the applications (with a focus on the Candidate statement) and references for demonstration of the student’s potential to meet the necessary skills and ability to become a professional master’s level social worker. The Admissions Committee will form an overall judgment of the application’s qualifications for the program by evaluating the following areas: academic preparation, writing ability, motivation, ability to provide a clear self- evaluation as a future social worker, adherence to social work values, and ability to demonstrate critical thinking. Applicants who are not able to show clear adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics will not be accepted into the program. Only the applicants who are most likely to excel in the program based on the above criteria will be admitted into the program. In addition to the required materials for the application, the Admissions Committee may request that some students participate in a formal interview with one or more members of the Admissions Committee.

  •  Application Deadline

    The closing date for receipt of all admission materials is March 15.

    Our early admission deadline is December 1.

    Admissions may continue past this date until cohorts are full; however, the committee will not consider applications once the cohort is full. In addition, early applications may be accepted prior to the deadline based on extremely high qualifications, so it benefits the applicant to apply prior to this date.

  •  Candidate Statement

    The candidate statement must be submitted with the application for admission and must be uploaded to the relevant section of the online application. Please provide a three page, double spaced statement with proper APA citation that addresses the following:

    1. Discuss your professional goals related to our MSW clinical program and further connect your professional goals with a social justice issue that you are passionate about.
    2. Provide a cogent assessment of your intellectual and professional capacity to complete the MSW program with examples of a time you faced a professional failure and how you overcame it and a time you had a professional success and the steps you took for the success.
    3. After reviewing the NASW Core Values, what core value have you demonstrated in the past and what core value (s) would you like to develop in the MSW program.

    The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well­being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s focus on individual well­being in a social context and the well­being of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living.

    Social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients. “Clients” is used inclusively to refer to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers are sensitive to cultural and ethnic diversity and strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustice. These activities may be in the form of direct practice, community organizing, supervision, consultation administration, advocacy, social and political action, policy development and implementation, education, and research and evaluation. Social workers seek to enhance the capacity of people to address their own needs. Social workers also seek to promote the responsiveness of organizations, communities, and other social institutions to individuals’ needs and social problems.

    The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. These core values, embraced by social workers throughout the profession’s history, are the foundation of social work’s unique purpose and perspective:

    • Service
    • Social justice
    • Dignity and worth of the person
    • Importance of human relationships
    • Integrity
    • Competence

    This constellation of core values reflects what is unique to the social work profession. Core values, and the principles that flow from them, must be balanced within the context and complexity of the human experience.

  •  MSW Admission Committee

    It is the policy of Ferris State University that all graduate admissions are reviewed by the specific program. All academic admissions will be reviewed by the MSW Social Work Admission and Academic Standing Committee. This committee is comprised of at least four social work faculty, including the MSW Program Coordinator and the Social Work Program Director. Criteria used in weighing each application include: undergraduate grade point average, professional training, references, and the individual’s narrative candidate statement.

    The MSW Social Work Admission and Academic Standing Committee reserves the right to make exceptions to admission policy based upon individual circumstances.

    The college and the social work program maintain and promote a policy of nondiscrimination against any person on the basis of race, gender, age, creed, ethnic or national origin, disability, political orientation, veteran status, marital status, or sexual orientation.

  •  Notification of Acceptance

    Notice of acceptance will occur on or about March 30 for study beginning in the fall semester (there are no mid-year admissions). Within ten days of receiving notification, accepted applicants must confirm in writing their intention to enroll in the program. Confirmation of acceptance should be mailed or emailed to the Program Director. Failure to confirm their intention within this time frame will result in that prospective student’s place being awarded to another applicant.