Apr 23, 2019  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, M.S.W.

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Verl Pope, Ed.D., Department Chair

Karen Tapp, J.D., MSSW, Graduate Program Director


Northern Kentucky University’s Social Work program educates competent and ethical Master of Social Work graduates who demonstrate leadership and social work values in their profession and communities, advance social and economic justice; and work to improve the quality of life for all people. With a concentration in children and families, MSW students learn to engage in professional practice at multiple levels with a wide variety of evidence-informed interventions. The program is CSWE accredited.

Contact Information

Counseling, Social Work, and Leadership Graduate Office - MEP 295

msw@nku.edu or 859-572-7892

Admission Requirements

Individuals applying must meet all requirements for admission to graduate study at Northern Kentucky University as defined by the Graduate Catalog at the time of application in addition to the criteria below. The Standard MSW (also referred to as traditional or full MSW) is designed for individuals who do not hold a bachelor’s in social work (BSW) and wish to pursue an education and a career in social work. The Standard MSW is also for individuals who hold a BSW but do not meet the additional academic requirements of the Advanced Standing MSW. The Advanced Standing MSW is designed for individuals who have finished their BSW with particular GPA standards (see below) within the past seven years.

Standard MSW Track - Admits in Fall only

To be eligible for admission to the Standard MSW track applicants must have:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, with a total cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The program will consider applications from candidates who have a slightly lower GPA; however, admission decisions are based on a review of all candidates.
  2. Undergraduate foundation courses, completed with a C or higher, in psychology, sociology, and statistics.

Advanced Standing MSW Track - Admits in Summer only

To be eligible for admission to the Advanced Standing MSW track applicants must have:

  1. A Bachelor in Social Work (BSW) degree from a CSWE accredited program, with a total cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The BSW must be from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.
  2. A statistics course with a C or higher.
  3. A minimum of 3.5 GPA in social work courses.
  4. Admitted students must start the Advanced Standing MSW in no more than 7 years from the semester of graduation with a BSW.

Application process for both tracks:

  1. Submit an online application for admission and application fee to the Office of Graduate Education.
  2. Submit official transcripts of undergraduate and any graduate coursework sent directly from all institutions of higher education previously attended.
  3. Submit the MSW Supplemental Application. This includes a situational essay and letter of intent available at msw.nku.edu.
  4. Three recommendations from people (former instructors, supervisors, colleagues, etc.) who are qualified to evaluate academic and professional potential in the field of social work must be submitted. MSW recommendation forms are located at msw.nku.edu.
  5. Submit a professional resume tailored to your educational goals, including educational background, employment history, awards, and accomplishments.
  6. Successfully complete an interview* with the Master of Social Work Admissions Committee to ensure that the candidate’s qualifications, disposition, and character uphold the ethical standards of the profession and are a good match for work with vulnerable populations.

* After a thorough review of application materials, the admissions committee will select candidates to be interviewed. The committee will review all available data to assess the fit and overall potential of the candidate for success in the program before making a final offer of admission.

♦ Indicates prerequisite.

Curriculum Requirements

Exit Requirements

  1. Application to graduate must be submitted by the posted deadline through myNKU student portal;
  2. Students must continually adhere to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics;
  3. Students must complete all coursework with a minimum 3.0 GPA;
  4. All required coursework leading to the degree must be a C or higher; and
  5. Individuals applying for graduation must meet all Northern Kentucky University degree completion requirements as defined by the Graduate Catalog in effect upon the candidate’s admission to the program.

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