General FAQs

Master of Science in Social Work

  • Click to Show/HideONLINE LEARNING FAQs
    • What do I need to know to be a successful online student?

      For this information, please visit our Keys to Successful Online Learning page.

    • Are there special technological requirements for online students?

      For technical requirements please visit the Online Learning Technical Requirements page.

    • Will my diploma or transcript note that I am an online student?

      No. Your diploma and transcript look the same as the diploma and transcript for a student that completes the MSSW program on campus at UofL.

    • Are online courses “easier” than on-campus courses?

      Not at all. MSSW online courses have the same curriculum, course requirements and instructors as on campus courses. Many of our students who have taken both online and on campus courses report that online courses can be more challenging than campus courses in that they require stellar time management skills, frequent (and sometimes daily) interactivity, and excellent technology skills. For more information about online learning, visit the Online Learning Keys to Success page.

    • Am I required to come to campus at any point during the program?

      No. Coursework for the online program is 100% online. The Kent School of Social Work’s Practicum office helps enrolled students find a suitable placement in their community. Students are never required to come to campus. Upon completion, we encourage online students to come to Louisville to participate in graduation.

    • Will there be any synchronous class requirements for online students?

      Online MSSW applicants, must sign a statement during the admissions process in which they understand they will be required to participate in synchronous “real time” learning at designated times in some or all of your online courses. MSSW online instructors will identify any required synchronous classes and/or coursework on the class syllabus, which can be accessed during the registration process, in order to aid students in scheduling and planning. These sessions are typically offered at different times of day to accommodate students in various US time zones.

    • Are there Information Sessions to learn more about Kent School?

      For our online students, feel free to arrange a Skype meeting with the MSSW Coordinator of Admissions and to inquire about Information Sessions by email at msswkent@louisville.edu.

  • Click to Show/HideMSSW PROGRAM FAQs
    • Do I need a BSW to enter this program?

      No, the Standard 60-hour MSSW program is designed for those who have not yet attained a bachelor's degree in social work (BSW). If you currently hold a BSW from a CSWE accredited institution, earned within the last seven years, you may be able to enroll into the Advanced Standing 30-hour program. Applicants for the Advanced Standing 30-hour program must have a minimum undergraduate coursework GPA of 3.0 and a minimum Social Work coursework GPA of 3.25.

    • Is there a difference between MSW and MSSW degrees?

      Not really. A Masters of Social Work and a Master of Science in Social Work have similar required coursework as mandated by the accrediting body, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

    • Are specializations available to MSSW Online students?

      MSSW online students may specialize in: Mental Health, Gerontology, Psychosocial Oncology, and Alcohol & Drug Counseling and Military Social Work. There are also many other electives offered online and most Kent MSSW students do not specialize.

    • Are there any advantages or disadvantages to choosing a specialization?

      The majority of Kent MSSW students do not specialize; instead choosing a variety of MSSW electives. Some students have a very specific interest in gaining a knowledge base and practice skills with a particular population due to a desire to work with that population post-graduation. In this scenario, having specialized coursework and a practicum that provides experience working with that population can be an asset in making the graduate a stronger applicant in the job market in that particular area. Whether or not a graduate chooses to acknowledge their specialization on their resume is entirely optional. Students typically list their practicum placements on their resume, but whether or not to highlight the electives taken (whether specializing or not) is up to the graduate. The only disadvantage would be not having the ability to take a more varied approach to electives, given that most social workers tend to work with several different client populations over the course of their career. However, students can obtain permission from the Program Manager of Academic Affairs to take additional electives on top of their specialization electives if they so desire, or may wish to apply to return to Kent as a post-masters student after graduation to take additional electives whether for professional development or licensure preparation.

    • Are dual degrees available to MSSW Online students?

      Dual degrees are not available to online MSSW students.

    • What if I have questions about the practicum?

      If you have any questions regarding the practicum, please see our Practicum FAQ.

  • Click to Show/HideADMISSION FAQs
    • Do I need a BSW to enter this program?

      No, the Standard 60-hour MSSW program is designed for those who have not yet attained a bachelor's degree in social work (BSW). If you currently hold a BSW from a CSWE accredited institution, earned within the last seven years, you may be able to enroll into the Advanced Standing 30-hour program. Applicants for the Advanced Standing 30-hour program must have a minimum undergraduate coursework GPA of 3.0 and a minimum Social Work coursework GPA of 3.25.

    • How do I start my application to Kent School?

      Apply online at: http://graduate.louisville.edu. The fee is $60, payable by credit card or check. Paying by check delays your application by 8 days. Note: Recipients of certain government assistance programs may ask to have the fee waived. For details, contact Graduate Admissions at 502-852-3101 or gradadm@louisville.edu

    • What admissions materials are needed to complete my application?

      Refer to the MSSW Application Checklist for specific requirements.

    • Where do I send my admission materials?

      All admission materials may be emailed to Graduate Admissions at gradadm@louisville.edu or mailed to the following address:

      Graduate Admissions
      University of Louisville
      Louisville, KY 40292

    • What is the deadline to apply?

      Application deadlines are based on the preferred curriculum plan. Review the curriculum plans for the Standard 60-hour and the Advanced Standing 30-hour programs on the online MSSW website Degree Map page to learn more about curriculum plan options and application deadlines.

    • How long does it take for a decision to be made on my application?

      When all admission materials have been received at Graduate Admissions, the applicant’s file goes before the Kent Admissions Committee for a decision, starting in January. The applicant is notified of the decision by email. From the time the application is complete, the process usually takes 8-9 weeks. Applications will not be reviewed until all documents have been received.

    • Do I need to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) for admission to Kent?

      For Standard 60-hour applicants, if the cumulative undergraduate GPA is 2.75 or above, no test scores are required for admission to Kent. Otherwise, applicants need to submit an acceptable score on either the GRE or the MAT. The School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies standards require a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, therefore students applying to the Kent School with a GPA of 2.5 or less will rarely be considered.

    • Are there any prerequisites for admission?

      The three prerequisites are Human Biology, Statistics and Research Methods. Applicants who need to complete any of the prerequisites have the option of taking the courses online at Kent School. For details, visit the MSSW Prerequisite page.

    • What are the admission requirements for international students to the online program or US students living abroad (including active-duty military stationed overseas)?
      • U.S. citizens living abroad and international students will not be accepted for the Fall 2014 except in rare circumstances, specifically:
        • When no language barriers exist
        • A qualified practicum supervisor is readily available (e.g., the supervisor has a MSSW degree from a CSWE-accredited institution or similar CSWE-type accreditation)
        • UofL’s Kent School of Social Work has previously established partnerships with practicum sites and faculty liaisons
      • Students with International Credentials should refer to the Application Checklist for specific admission requirements.
  • Click to Show/HidePRACTICUM FAQs
  • Click to Show/HideFINANCIAL AID FAQs
    • What are the options for financial aid?

      Federal financial aid for graduate students is limited to loans and is based on a student’s FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Assistance). For instructions on completing the FAFSA, visit: http://louisville.edu/financialaid/how-to-apply/start-to-finish. If you have questions or need assistance, contact UofL’s Student Financial Aid Office: finaid@louisville.edu or 502.852.5511.

    • Are there scholarships available?

      The Kent School of Social Work offers various scholarships that cover a variety of interests. There are scholarships available to students who plan to practice in rural Kentucky, students with an interest in working in gerontology, policy or legislative areas. The scholarship application and information can be found here: http://louisville.edu/kent/PROSPECTIVE%20STUDENTS/mssw-scholarships. The scholarship application deadline is May 15.

For answers to questions not covered above, please contact the Online Learning office at online@louisville.edu or submit an Information Request Form.


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