Jun 17, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Social Work, M.S.W.

College of Behavioral and Community Sciences  
Department: School of Social Work 

Also offered as a Concurrent Degrees  

The online Advanced Standing MSW is a self-supporting program. A cost comparision of tuition and fees can be found here
The online Traditional MSW is also a self-supporting program.  A cost comparision of tuition and fees can be found here

Please note: with the exception of the Department of Childen and Family (DCF) waivers, all other waivers (*including State of Florida and USF employee) are not accepted for Self-Funded/Self-Supporting or Market Rate Tuition program courses. For additional information, visit: USF Tuition Waiver.

The School of Social Work offers a program leading to a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree. The M.S.W. graduate program in social work is a course of study designed to respond to an identified need in the region for skilled clinical social work practitioners. It is built upon a core of information basic to social work practice, followed by an advanced scholarly study in preparation for clinical work with individuals, families, and small groups. An intense field practicum gives students the opportunity to apply theory gained in the classroom to the problems of agency clients.


Accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • School of Social Work Application
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores are not required.  However, applicants can submit GRE scores for consideration.  If submitted, preferred scores are Quantitative 17th percentile or higher and Verbal 61st percentile or higher.
  • 500-word personal statement and a 500-word essay describing a social problem
  • It is preferred, but not required that all applicants to the Master’s Degree program in Social Work have completed one year of post-undergraduate work in a social service agency (in a service capacity) or its equivalent as determined by the MSW Graduate Admissions Committee. Experiences that might be considered as equivalent to one year’s work include supervised field practicum hours, extensive volunteer experience, or other professional work experiences.
  • An interview may be required; experience in the field preferred.
  • All Admission materials must be received by the Graduate Admissions Office and by the School of Social Work by the specified deadlines of the year for which admission is being sought.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum hours:

60 (non-BSW students)
35 (BSW students)

  • Foundations Courses - 17 Credit Hours (non-BSW)
  • Core Courses - 5 Credit Hours
  • Additional required courses - 15 Credit Hours
  • Field Experience - 13 Credit Hours (non-BSW), 8 Credit Hours(BSW) 
  • Electives - 9 Credit Hours(non-BSW), 6 Credit Hours(BSW) 
  • Comprehensive Exam (Capstone) - 1 Credit Hour

BSW Students (Advanced Standing) 
Students entering the major with a BSW have the opportunity of applying for advanced standing status if they have graduated from a CSWE accredited BSW program. Students qualify by receiving “B-” or better grades in all the undergraduate social work courses. (Students do not qualify with any grade below “B-” in these courses).

Foundations Courses (17 Credit Hours Non-BSW)

Students entering without a BSW are required to complete the following Foundation Courses:

Core Requirements (5 Credit Hours)

Additional Required Courses (15 Credit Hours)

Field Experience (13 Credit Hours non-BSW), (8 Credit Hours BSW)

A minimum of 8 hours is required for BSW students.  For non-BSW students all 13 hours is required.

Electives (9 Credit Hours non-BSW), (6 Credit Hours BSW)

All MSW students with a BSW are required to take a minimum of 6 clinical elective credit hours. Non-BSW students will take an additional elective (3 hours).  All clinical electives must be taken in the School of Social Work. Students may take clinical electives during any semester including summer sessions. However, part-time students should check the program course schedule for the recommended semesters for electives.

Comprehensive Exam (1 Credit Hour)

For their Comprehensive exam, students will complete a culminating experience involving content from across the curriculum. The School of Social Work will determine the format of the experience (i.e. exam, paper and/or project). All students will enroll in the SOW 8907 Social Work Capstone course for 1 (one) credit hour during their final semester in the program

Other Requirements

The M.S.W. places great emphasis on standards of professional behavior and ethics in the practice of social work.  Entrance into the M.S.W. does not guarantee graduation from the major. Students admitted to the M.S.W. must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00, in all social work courses, with no grade below “B-” counting toward graduation. Failure to maintain the specified GPA or to exhibit responsible professional behavior determined by the School may result in suspension or dismissal from the major. Courses with grades below “B-” must be repeated before progressing to the next sequence. Students must pass the comprehensive paper during the last semester in order to graduate from the major.

Students may pursue the M.S.W. on either a full- or part-time basis. The M.S.W. consist of 60 semester hours of study and is offered on campus and online. Students should check directly with the School of Social Work for applications and timelines. The full-time option takes four semesters to complete; the part-time option takes eight (8) consecutive semesters. The major offers graduates from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited BSW program the option of applying for advanced standing.  The advanced standing program is available on either a full- or part-time basis. The advanced standing program is also offered on campus and online. Students qualify by receiving “B-” or better grades in all the undergraduate social work courses. (Students do not qualify with any grade below “B-” in these courses). Both the full- and part-time options are heavily sequenced and students must stay in sequence.

Concurrent Degree

Also available as a Concurrent Degree