Admissions

Do I need a BSW to apply?

No. The MSW is designed for students from all backgrounds.

What is the GPA requirement?

The recommended GPA is 3.0 for undergraduate coursework. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 will have the option to include a statement of explanation with their admissions packet.

Is the GRE required?

No. The GRE is not required.

Is it required that I submit a recommendation letter from a former professor?

We encourage applicants to submit one academic and one professional (e.g. work supervisor) reference, but we understand that this may not be possible for all applicants.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from a university outside the United States. Can I still be admitted as an Advanced Standing student?

Applicants with degrees from non-U.S. institutions must complete an International Degree Review through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). If CSWE determines that the undergraduate curriculum and degree meet the necessary educational standards, an international applicant will then qualify for Advanced Standing in our program. Instructions for completing this process can be found at this link: https://www.cswe.org/Centers-Initiatives/International-Degree-Review/Application-Instructions.aspx

I’m having technical issues with my online admissions application. Where can I get help?

The admissions system is managed by the UAB Graduate School, so for technical assistance with your application please contact them at (205) 934-8227.

Program Options

Is “advanced standing” offered?

Yes. Advanced standing is available for students holding a BSW from an accredited program.

Do you have a part-time program?

No. The program is currently only accepting full-time students.

Can I apply for a dual MPH Degree?

We do not offer a joint MSW-MPH program at this time.

Is this an online program?

No. While some courses may be offered in online or hybrid format, our MSW program is not an online program.

Program Entry & Course Scheduling

Are evening classes offered?

Yes. Some classes are offered in the evening. However, it is not possible to graduate taking evening classes exclusively.

On what days are classes offered?

MSW courses are scheduled on Mondays and Tuesdays (occasionally a Wednesday evening course may be offered). Daytime hours on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are reserved for students to be in their field placements.

Can I start the MSW program in spring or summer?

No, we only admit students for fall entry.

Can I take classes during the summer?

Yes, some courses are offered in summer, but these are usually electives.

Financial Questions

What is the cost of tuition?

Current tuition rates for UAB graduate students can be found here: https://www.uab.edu/students/paying-for-college/detailed-tuition-and-fees

Do you offer scholarships or other aid?

Yes. Information about financial aid offered through UAB including scholarships, grants, and loans can be found at this link: https://www.uab.edu/students/paying-for-college/

The College of Arts and Sciences also offers a number of scholarships for graduate students; information on each opportunity can be found here: https://www.uab.edu/cas/home/student-resources/scholarships

Finally, the Department of Social Work offers number of paid internships, traineeships, stipends, and scholarships to current MSW students. Each award has its own set of criteria and/or qualifications, and award availability and amount can vary from year to year. All available opportunities will be shared with students prior to beginning coursework (typically during the field placement process).

Field Placements

Are field placements available in the evening or on weekends?

Most MSW field agencies require to students to complete placement Monday-Friday during typical business hours. Placements that allow students to complete hours on nights/weekends are rare and cannot be guaranteed to any student.

Are field placement sites available outside the greater Birmingham area?

Most placement settings are located within the Birmingham-Jefferson County area, and placements outside this geographic area are possible, but uncommon. Such considerations involve very specific student needs, the availability of appropriate supervision, UAB Social Work Program budgetary and faculty time constraints, and an agency's ability to meet the requirements delineated in the Field Practicum Agreement. Any student with extenuating circumstances is advised to discuss the situation with the Field Office upon applying to Field.

Can new placement sites be suggested by students?

On occasion, a student may be familiar with a particular agency and want to complete the field practicum experience at that site. Students should discuss this with the Director of Field Education at the field applicant interview. It is the responsibility of the Field Office to evaluate any new placement site and to make the determination if said site is appropriate for MSW field placement.

Is it feasible for students to work full-time in an outside job during placement?

The MSW program at UAB is a full-time program. Students are in classes Monday and Tuesday and in field placement Wednesday-Thursday. Students who attempt to work 30 or more hours per week in an outside job typically find it extremely taxing, so to foster student success we encourage prospective applicants to find creative solutions that will enable them to complete field placement in the prescribed time allotment.

Can I complete my field placement at my place of employment?

Students who are currently employed in a social service agency may negotiate with employers for a reassignment of tasks that will provide appropriate learning experiences required for field practicum. The Field Faculty determine the suitability of tasks. Please see the Employment-based Field Placement Agreement in the MSW Student Handbook.

Are there placements with financial assistance or stipends?

The UAB Department of Social Work offers funding opportunities for several field placement experiences, including stipends and traineeships. Students must apply and be accepted for these opportunities. Information will be sent to students upon admission to the MSW Program.

How is the placement site selected? Do I choose my own placement?

The selection of field placement settings is based on consideration of the student's learning and interests conjoined with Social Work Program's curriculum goals and placement site criteria. The final determination of placement sites is the ultimate responsibility of the Field Coordinator. The Field Coordinator will attempt to place a student, but cannot guarantee the student’s first preference for a particular field agency.

What placements are available?

We have over 100 different partner agencies, and field placement opportunities are available with a wide variety of populations and practice settings including: addictions, aging, child welfare, community development, corrections, developmental disabilities, homelessness, domestic violence, international social work, immigrant and refugee services, LGBTQ individuals, military social work, program evaluation, school social work, and social policy.