MSW Frequently Asked Questions
When will I hear back regarding a decision on my application for Fall 2021?
We plan to start notifying applicants with a decision in late March or April 2021.
How do I become a Licensed Social Worker?
The title "Social Worker" is protected under Oregon Rules and Statutes. In order to represent yourself as a "Social Worker," you must be licensed, certified or registered with the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers. Visit the Board's Website for detailed information. If you are planning on gaining licensure in another state, please review that state's rules and statutes. All graduates of the MSW program are eligible to apply, regardless of their advanced concentration.
Can I do an international field placement?
Maybe. While we do not have an international field education program, we will explore options with any admitted student. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to identify a field placement outside of the United States that meets CSWE standards and can provide a student with the required practice and supervision opportunities. Additionally, students in the Online option are not guaranteed a specific advanced concentration (HAL or PLCO) as this is dependent on our ability to secure a suitable field placement in the student's home community that aligns with that concentration. In any situation where a student lives outside of Oregon, we ask the student to provide information regarding potential social work internship opportunities in their home community which we will then research and vet to determine whether it meets the standards of the field education program.
Can I apply to all of the options: Portland, Online, Central Oregon, Eugene, Salem and Southern Oregon?
No. Applicants can apply to only one option. Applicants are admitted to the option they apply to.
Do you accept late applications?
No, the MSW Program does not accept applications which were submitted after the deadline. Application packets must be completed before an applicant will be considered for admission. Applications without all the letters of recommendation will be considered incomplete.
What type of undergraduate education will best prepare me for the MSW program?
You must have a baccalaureate degree with a liberal arts perspective from an accredited college or university, or its international equivalent to be considered for admission to the MSW program. Applicants must demonstrate attainment of a liberal arts perspective by having successfully completed course work from each of the following three curricular areas:
1) Social and Behavioral Sciences,
2) Natural Sciences, and
3) Humanities and Fine Performing Arts.
Do I need to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)?
GRE scores are not required for admission to the MSW Program. However, applicants applying to the combined MSW/MPH options will need to check with the School of Public Health to see if GRE scores are required for the MPH application.
What is the minimum GPA for the MSW program?
The program does not have a minimum GPA requirement. We use an applicant's upper division GPA to predict the likelihood of success in the MSW program. Students are provisionally admitted to the School of Social Work pending the University's decision to admit an applicant. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 can be admitted to PSU as a regular degree student. Students are admitted conditionally if the undergraduate GPA is between 2.50 – 2.74. When admitted conditionally, a student has nine graded hours to achieve a GPA of 3.0.
On occasion, the School of Social Work can petition the University to admit an individual whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.50.
I graduated from a school that used narrative transcripts. How do I calculate my GPA?
Applicants who attended institutions using non-graded transcripts do not complete the GPA sheet. The full narrative transcript should be submitted with your application. We will evaluate your academic performance based on instructor reviews.
Do I have to undergo a criminal background check?
I do not have an academic reference. What should I do?
If you do not have an academic reference, ask one of your references to include information on those skills you often use in work settings such as organization, report writing, speaking, training, research, etc.
When are the MSW classes scheduled?
First-year Portland Option students attend classes on campus Mondays, Tuesday evenings and Wednesdays. Classes generally meet once weekly and most are scheduled in three-hour time periods. Multiple sections of most required courses are distributed in these time periods, and it is possible for the student to build a course schedule to accommodate part-time work and other responsibilities. We encourage students to plan to be on campus more than one day a week. We cannot guarantee that a student can schedule all classes in one day.
Online Option students will be expected to periodically participate in online face-to-face meetings with other students and faculty via video conferencing. Students will be expected to come to the Portland campus for 2-day intensives at the beginning of each year (late September). These intensives will allow for community building between students and faculty and allow for some in-person instructional time and assessment of student learning.
How difficult is it to get into the MSW program?
In the past, we have had more qualified applicants than we were able to accept. Generally, we admit one out of every three (1:3) students who apply to the Portland Option and a similar ratio in the Online, Central Oregon, Eugene, Salem, and Southern Oregon Options.
Can I waive the PSU Graduate Application fee?
Qualifying graduate applicants may submit a request for a fee waiver. To see if you qualify and for instructions on how to submit a request, please see the Application Fee Waiver page.
I decided not to attend the MSW Program at PSU. Can I have access to my application materials?
Once an application is received it becomes property of the University and may not be returned to the applicant. Additionally, we do not provide copies of the application materials to the applicant. Applicants are encouraged to make copies of their application (with the exception of the confidential letters of reference) for record keeping prior to submission.
I have been working in the social services/mental health/counseling field for a long time and have a lot of experience. Can I get credit toward my MSW degree for this experience?
No, we do not give credit for prior life or work experience.