Master of Social Work


“My experience at BGSU was most valuable in shaping my career in social work. There is something special about being part of a program that truly cares about its students and the profession. I credit the faculty and curriculum with providing me the tools to successfully complete a graduate program and to adapt my skills across all areas of social work.”

Julie Pratt, MSW, LISW-S
Clinical Director, Harbor Behavioral Health

Why a Master of Social Work degree?

The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree gives students the skills and knowledge they need for advanced social work practice, especially in the field of aging/gerontology. If you are passionate about social justice, policy, and developing or improving services, the MSW degree may be for you! This degree sets you on a path to becoming a leader capable of contributing to solutions for the numerous challenges facing our society

The social work department will provide a blend of online, face-to-face, and evening courses tailored to meet the needs of working professionals and newly graduated students. A low student-to-teacher ratio provides opportunities for quality connections between students and faculty, and small cohorts mean students receive personalized attention.

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A bachelor’s degree in social work is NOT required for admission. Students are not required to take the GRE. Students who have completed their undergraduate social work degree more than six (6) years previously are not eligible for Advanced Standing. Entrance into the MSW Program is a competitive process, therefore meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. The following are the application requirements for all applicants:

·         Course completion in research methods and statistics, with a grade of C or better, during their undergraduate education.  If those courses were not included as part of the undergraduate degree, the applicant will need to complete those courses prior to or during the first semester in the Program.

·         A minimum 3.0 undergraduate cumulative GPA from a regionally accredited institution. For Advanced Standing, a minimum 3.2 GPA in the major required coursework is also required.

·         Submission of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.  

·         A 3-5 page typewritten essay which addresses (a) why the applicant want to be/is a social worker; (b) why a graduate degree is felt to be necessary to fulfill personal or professional objectives; (c) the applicant’s views regarding diversity in society; (d) a situation in which the applicant was the recipient/provider of help, emotionally, socially, or economically; and (e) a description of previous social work/human service work experience.

·         References completed by two individuals with knowledge of the applicant’s qualifications and ability to successfully complete graduate study.

·         For Advanced Standing, there are additional requirements:

o   A minimum GPA of 3.2 for major coursework

One reference needs to come from the undergraduate field instructor or field director. If the field instructor is not available, a letter from the applicant’s current employment supervisor is required.

The DEADLINE to apply for Fall 2019 admission is February 15, 2019. For students seeking Advanced Standing, applications are due February 1, 2019.

MSW Student Handbook  


Dr. Peggy Adams, Graduate Coordinator
College of Health & Human Services


Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the graduate degree, students in Social Work are expected to be able to:

  • Students will be able to demonstrate competence in all phases of the helping process in social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.  
  • Students will be able to analyze the impact of social policy on client well-being and service delivery systems.  
  • Students will be able to advocate for human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. 
  • Students will be able to integrate research, policy and theory into social work practice.

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and is in good standing.

Professional Licensure (If applicable)

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Social Work program requires professional licensure.

Gainful Employment (If applicable)
Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The Social Work program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.