MSW - Application and Admission 

-A list of Admission Application requirements can be found on the Application Checklist form -

Admission Guidelines

Grade Point Average  

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale from a regionally accredited undergraduate institution. If a student has attended more than one undergraduate institution, all undergraduate GPAs will be used in the calculation of the overall GPA. To calculate your GPA, please click here.

Provisional Admission

In exceptional cases, applicants who lack the required grade point average, but whose other qualifications are outstanding, may be admitted on a provisional basis. Applicants admitted provisionally must earn a 3.0 grade point average by the end of the first 12 credits.


Applicants, whose GPA falls below the minimum standard of 2.8, must provide documentation that they have taken either the Millers Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE-General). Scores should not be more than five years old at the time of the application. The MAT is given at Shippensburg University and more information can be found on the Graduate Admissions webpage.

Liberal Arts Foundation Courses

Students must demonstrate that they have successfully completed coursework with substantial content in each of the following areas: Human Biology, Economics, Government/Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Statistics. Applicants can be admitted with up to two course deficiencies. These course deficiencies must be completed by the end of the foundation year or within the first 12 credits of Advanced Standing. The course deficiencies may be completed by enrolling in undergraduate classes in Shippensburg University or another institution of higher education. Another alternative for some areas are the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Applicants must complete and return the Liberal Arts form.

Advanced Standing Program

Students who apply for the Advanced Standing program need to submit the appropriate advanced standing recommendation form from their BSW program director indicating their readiness for graduate education in social work.  

Exemption from Foundation (first-year) courses.

Students who graduated with a baccalaureate degree from a CSWE - accredited social work program may be eligible to receive credit for those first-year foundation course equivalents for which they earned a B or higher within the past eight years.

Waiver of Courses 

All students may apply for waivers from courses when they have already demonstrated proficiency in the course content with a grade of B or higher. When requesting consideration for a waiver, a student must submit a Request for Waiver Form and the course syllabus to the program co-director. A waiver will not reduce the number of required credits for graduation but will allow a student to take a more advanced or an elective course.

Life Experience

This program does not grant academic credit for life or work experience.

Personal and Professional Qualities

Applicants must evidence a combination of personal qualities and values that are considered essential for the professional practice of social work. The following documents are required to serve as evidence of this purpose:

  • Three professional references with a minimum of one from a faculty member and one from a social service agency employer/supervisor. The third may be from either a faculty member or an employer/supervisor. No personal colleague references will be accepted. You must use the MSW Reference Form provided.
  • A written academic and professional statement. Prompt (Word Document)
  • A comprehensive resume of work and related volunteer experience. Resume requirements can be found on the MSW Resume Info sheet.   

The program may also request a personal interview or additional information about an applicant when necessary to make a fully informed admission decision.

Criminal Record 

Persons who have criminal records are not eligible to work in many human service fields. Applicants with criminal records should contact the MSW program director for additional information.

Admission Procedures

Application Dates

Students will be admitted into the 36-credit Advanced Standing Program and the 60-credit Regular Program during the summer term only. This term begins in mid-May. Applications are accepted beginning in the fall semester. Admission review of completed applications typically begins in January. Applications will be accepted until March 31 or until the program is full.

Transfer Students

Students may transfer a total of nine (9) credit hours. All nine may be from another MSW program, or up to six (6) credits may be from a related field. Graduate credit earned more than five years priror to the date you begin your graduate program does not qualify for transfer. Students may only transfer credits from other accredited schools provided they are in good standing at those institutions. Courses must be listed on an official transcript with a B or higher. Courses transfering must be approved by the program. Condensed one-week graduate courses do not qualify for transfer.

Campus Selection

Candidates may choose to apply through either Millersville or Shippensburg University. If all seats are full at one campus, successful applicants will be given the option to enroll through the other campus, if seats are available. Applicants desiring admission to a specific campus may also be placed on a waiting list if all seats are full. Once enrolled at a campus students take all required courses through that campus. No travel between campuses is required by students.