A Master of Social Work Degree (MSW) prepares graduates for work in a variety of settings, including public agency work, private clinical practice, social service management and administration. A MSW is required for individuals who want to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). In addition, social workers with a MSW are eligible to obtain certifications from the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW), the Qualified Clinical Social Worker (QCSW), and/or the Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (DCSW). These credentials are especially important for those in clinical practice who depend on health insurance providers to reimburse them for services.
Entry into the MSW Program does not require a bachelor's degree in Social Work, but courses in Psychology, Biology, Economics, and Political Science are strongly recommended. Up to twelve semester hours of graduate credit hours with grades of B or better may be transferred from another accredited MSW program.
The MSW program offers full-time and part-time study and an Advanced Standing Program for students with a BSW awarded in the prior 5 years. Second-year students also have $10,000 in stipends available for their program study. Classes are taught at both the WCU campus in Cullowhee and in Asheville at the WCU Biltmore Park instructional site. For details, please see the sample schedule.
The MSW Program at Western Carolina University is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). For information regarding employment and time limitations, full/part-time/advanced standing and eligibility requirements, please refer to the MSW STUDENT MANUAL
Western Carolina’s Department of Social Work is seeking applicants who demonstrate personal and professional commitment to the values of the Social Work profession. Consideration for admission will be given to those applicants who exemplify the greatest potential for successful scholarship through their past academic and/or work experiences. The Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) Program requires 62 hours (two years) of graduate coursework beyond the bachelor degree from an accredited college or university.
Only complete application packets will be considered.
These following requirements are for admission to the regular full- or part-time Master of Social Work (MSW) Program at Western Carolina University:
MSW Graduate Application Checklist
_____ Graduate School Application
_____ Official GRE Scores: Sent directly to the Graduate School
_____ Official or unofficial transcripts: Send directly to the Graduate School or upload to the online application
_____ 3 professional recommendations (at least one must be academic)
_____ Professional resume
_____ Personal Narrative Statement/supplemental questions
_____ List of liberal arts courses taken as an undergraduate
_____ Criminal Record Statement
_____ Nonrefundable $65.00 application fee
Students in the two-year program will participate in two different field placements, while advanced standing students will participate in one concentration field placement.
MSW students who apply and are accepted must complete four elective classes focusing
on SA and SA treatment, and complete their two semester Concentration level internship
with an approved SA treatment agency under a CSI or CSS level supervisor.
LEARN ABOUT THE SUBSTANCE ABUSE CERTIFICATE PROGRAM
MSW students who apply for and are accepted to the School Social Work certification
program must complete the online School Social Work elective (SOCW 528), an additional
course from an approved list offered through the School of Education, and must complete
their two semester Concentration level internship in an accredited school setting. Upon
graduation, these students can apply for and receive North Carolina School Social
LEARN ABOUT school SOCIAL WORK CERTIFICATion