Master of Social Work

The foundation you need to answer your call to service.

The mission of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program is to be a distinctively Christian learning community that prepares graduates for lives of service as advanced social workers who promote wholeness, healing and reconciliation. In order to prepare its graduates for ethical and competent service, the MSW program:

  • Is academically rigorous and emphasizes mastery of the core knowledge, values and skills of the social work profession, application of the person and environment construct and integration of research and practice
  • Emphasizes promotion of human rights and social and economic justice as a reflection of God’s desire for justice and love for all of humanity
  • Promotes interdisciplinary collaboration in order to address the complex and multifaceted nature of human needs and concerns
  • Understands human diversity as a reflection of God’s creativity and imagination and prepares advanced social work practitioners who value diversity and practice with cultural sensitivity

The MSW program prepares students for service as advanced social work practitioners by offering concentrations in clinical social work and global community development. The program’s unique context, location and mission combine to offer students opportunities to develop advanced social work skills in rural, urban and international practice settings in both faith-based and secular organizations.

Why Samford?

Samford has a strong tradition of rigorous academics, as well as an emphasis on service to humanity and an explicitly Christian mission and vision. The Department of Social Work offers students rigorous social work education that prepares them to live out their call to serve others through careers as professional social workers.  We believe that the world will be better because of our graduates and their commitment to serving others.

Accreditation & Assessment

The Samford MSW Program was awarded full accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in June 2017.  

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Admission Requirements

Advanced Standing (individuals with a bachelor's degree in social work) 

Application Opens: August 29, 2017
Application Deadline: February 15, 2018
Entry Month: May 14, 2018

Applicants without a background in Social Work

Application Opens: August 29, 2017
Application Deadline:
May 1, 2018
Entry Month: 
August 2018

Applicants with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work

Individuals who have earned a Bachelor’s degree in social work may be eligible for Advanced Standing status, which will allow them to complete the MSW program in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. Advanced Standing applicants must meet the following criteria: 

  • Applicants must hold a baccalaureate social work degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), recognized through CSWE’s International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service, or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors. Please note: A completed bachelor’s degree in social work, as evidenced by an official college/university transcript, is required prior to enrollment.  Applicants may receive conditional acceptance into the MSW program by submitting a transcript that demonstrates that they are enrolled in their final semester of undergraduate coursework. The conditional status is removed upon receipt of an official transcript demonstrating that the baccalaureate degree has been completed. 
  • Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 on a 4.0 scale or a minimum of a 3.2 GPA during their last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework. Applicants who have a GPA of at least 2.8 may submit an application for consideration with an MAT or GRE score. Potential applicants who have a GPA lower than 2.8 may request an exception to the GPA requirement. Such requests must be made in writing to the MSW program director. All requests will be reviewed by the admission committee. GRE or MAT scores and additional supporting documentation of the applicant’s potential for success as a graduate student must be submitted with the request for an exception to the GPA requirement.
  • Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirement (i.e., a 3.0 cumulative GPA or a 3.2 GPA for the final 60 hours of undergraduate coursework) are admitted conditionally and must earn a grade of B- or higher in their first semester of MSW Program courses in order to move from conditional status to full acceptance status.  Students who earn a grade lower than a B- in any of their first semester MSW Program courses will be terminated from the social work program.  Students who are terminated from conditional admission status may follow the grievance procedure outlined in the student handbook to appeal their termination.
  • Applicants must have received a grade of B- or higher in all required undergraduate social work courses.  Please note: Applicants with a grade lower than B- in no more than two social work courses may apply for Advanced Standing. If accepted, these students will be required to complete analogous courses in the Samford University MSW program with a grade of B-  or higher. These courses will be required in addition to all courses required for Advanced Standing and may not be substituted for required MSW courses or for required MSW program electives. Applicants who have more than two courses with grades lower than B- are not eligible for Advanced Standing, but may apply for admission to the full MSW program if they meet the admission criteria.

Applicants without a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work

Individuals who do not possess a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold an earned bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by a recognized regional accrediting association. Please note: A completed bachelor’s degree, as evidenced by an official college/university transcript, is required prior to enrollment in the MSW program. Applicants may receive conditional acceptance into the MSW program by submitting a transcript that demonstrates that they are enrolled in their final semester of undergraduate coursework.  The conditional status is removed upon receipt of an official transcript demonstrating that the baccalaureate degree has been completed. 
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 on a 4.0 scale or a minimum of a 3.2 GPA during their last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework. Applicants who have a GPA of at least 2.8 may submit an application for consideration with an MAT or GRE score. Potential applicants who have a GPA lower than 2.8 may request an exception to the GPA requirement. Such requests must be made in writing to the MSW program director. All requests will be reviewed by the admission committee. GRE or MAT scores and additional supporting documentation of the applicant’s potential for success as a graduate student must be submitted with the request for an exception to the GPA requirement.  
  • The GRE or MAT is not required; however, an applicant who does not meet the GPA requirement may submit an acceptable GRE or MAT score for admission consideration. Acceptable scores are as follows:
    • MAT: 402
    • GRE: Verbal: 153; Quantitative: 144; Analytical: 4.0

All Applicants

All applicants must:

  • Submit three letters of reference through SocialWorkCAS. The three required reference letters should be from a current or previous professor, a work supervisor and a professional colleague. 
  • Have completed an undergraduate level statistics class with a grade of C or higher. Applicants who have not completed a statistics course may receive conditional acceptance. Such applicants will be required to submit evidence of completion of a statistics course prior to enrollment in the program.
  • Academic Writing Sample:  Please upload an academic paper that you have written in the past.  If possible, submit a research paper in which you have cited books or journal articles.  The paper you upload should demonstrate your ability to collect information from multiple sources and synthesize it into a coherent product.  If you do not have access to an academic paper you have written in the past, please write and submit a 3-5 page paper about a topic of your choice related to the social work field.  Please be sure to cite academic sources in the paper.
  • Personal Statement:  Please write a personal statement (3-5 double spaced pages) that discusses your interest in the social work profession and your reasons for pursuing the MSW degree.  Please address the following points in your statement:
    • The reasons you are pursuing the MSW degree at this time
    • Your field of career interest within social work and the ways that you envision the MSW degree preparing you to work effectively in that field
    • Your career goals following graduation
    • Your reasons for choosing Samford’s MSW program

Advanced Standing Applicants

Advanced Standing Applicants must also submit:

  • Field Evaluation:  Please submit the final evaluation from your undergraduate social work field placement experience.  This evaluation should be completed by the social worker who supervised your field placement and/or the faculty member who oversaw the field placement.  If you don’t have a copy of your field evaluation, please have your field supervisor write a letter that discusses the nature and quality of the work that you performed during the field placement, then upload that letter.

The Samford University M.S.W. program does not award academic credit for life experience or previous work experience. 

We cannot issue an I-20 for this program at this time.

Application Process

The steps below outline the application process for the Master of Social Work program. To apply, you are required to submit both an application through SocialWorkCAS as well as a Master of Social Work Supplemental Application.
Before starting this application, we recommend that you complete the following checklist:

  • Obtain copies of your college transcripts to assist you in completing the coursework section for the application.
  • Create an application account at SocialWorkCAS. Once the account is created, the Instruction Manual is located under the Question mark icon at the top right side of the page. SocialWorkCAS simplifies the process of applying to MSW programs. Complete one application and send it along with other information to our centralized service. SocialWorkCAS will verify your application for accuracy, calculate your GPA and send your materials to all Master of Social Work programs of your choice.
  • Complete the form, submit it to the registrar's office of each institution attended and instruct them to enclose the form with your official sealed transcript. Transcripts must be sent to the SocialWorkCAS Transcript Department:
    SocialWorkCAS Transcript Processing Center
    P.O. Box 9212
    Watertown, MA 02471
  • SocialWorkCAS accepts official transcripts sent directly from the registrar's office only. Please send transcripts as early as possible and no less than four to six weeks before the application deadline due to the time needed by SocialWorkCAS to verify your application.
  • Pay the initial service fee of $75 when submitting the SocialWorkCAS application.
  • Obtain three letters of recommendation from 1) current or previous professor; 2) supervisor and 3) professional colleague. These letters of recommendation will be submitted through SocialWorkCAS. The references should attest to the applicant's academic ability and potential.
  • Please fill out all sections of the application.
  • Submit official test scores to Samford University – Code: 1302.
  • Samford University's Department of Social Work reserves the right to interview any applicant.
  • The preferred browsers for SocialWorkCAS are Google Chrome or Firefox. If you need any assistance, please contact SocialWorkCAS’ technical support team at 857-304-2016 or email at Socialworkcas@liaisoncas.com .

Plans of Study

Full-time and part-time study options are available. Courses for part-time study options are scheduled during evenings in order to allow students to remain in their current employment positions while pursuing the M.S.W. degree.

Clinical Concentration

Global Community Development Concentration

Tuition, Fees & Scholarships

Tuition and Fees
Tuition/FeeAmount
Per credit, per semester (degree or audit) $789
Application Fee SocialWorkCAS $75
Campus life fee, per semester $25
Technology fee, per semester $175

Scholarships

Partial tuition scholarships are available for a limited number of qualified MSW students. Applicants who are accepted into the MSW program will receive an email informing them of their acceptance and inviting them to apply for a scholarship.

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