M.S.W. Admission Requirements

M.S.W. Application Materials

Application materials for the MSW can be found on the Graduate Office website at:


Admission Process and Policy

Applicants are encouraged to review the admission criteria before completing the application. The application form and required documents provide significant information upon which decisions for admission are based. It is critical that applicants for the M.S.W. program carefully follow the online application directions and give complete and accurate data. Omission of any information will delay the admission process or remove the applicant from the admission pool.


Admission Criteria

Traditional Program

  1. Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree that included a clear liberal arts base with a firm foundation in the social sciences. Students who do not meet this requirement may be accepted into the program but will be required to take courses to meet this criteria.
  3. A 3.0 overall GPA.
  4. Applicants must have 3 letters of reference, including at least one academic reference.
  5. Applicants must complete a Candidate Statement (see below).
  6. Submit a Resume
  7. Submit a transcript from undergraduate education. (Upon acceptance, candidates will be required to submit an official transcript).

Advanced Standing Program

  1. Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from a CSWE accredited social work program.
  2. A 3.2 overall GPA with a 3.5 GPA average in social work courses.
  3. Applicants must have 3 references, including at least one academic reference. It is highly recommended that students have their senior field instructor as one of the references.
  4. Applicants must complete a Candidate Statement (see below).
  5. Submit a resume
  6. Submit a transcript from BSW undergraduate education. (Upon acceptance, candidates will be required to submit an official transcript).
  7. Provide copies from all BSW Field Evaluations

Candidate Statement

The candidate statement must be submitted with the application for admission and can be uploaded to the relevant section of the on line application. Please provide a 4 page, double-spaced statement that addresses the following:

  1. Please tell us why you are interested in the social work profession.
  2. Describe how your personal and intellectual qualifications, your past human service experiences and/or future goals are relevant to assisting the most disadvantaged in our society?
  3. Provide a cogent assessment of your personal strengths and challenges.
  4. The Preamble to the NASW Code of Ethics is below. Please discuss how your personal values and beliefs are compatible with these values.

The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well­being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s focus on individual well­being in a social context and the well­being of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living.

Social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients. “Clients” is used inclusively to refer to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers are sensitive to cultural and ethnic diversity and strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustice. These activities may be in the form of direct practice, community organizing, supervision, consultation administration, advocacy, social and political action, policy development and implementation, education, and research and evaluation. Social workers seek to enhance the capacity of people to address their own needs. Social workers also seek to promote the responsiveness of organizations, communities, and other social institutions to individuals’ needs and social problems.

The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. These core values, embraced by social workers throughout the profession’s history, are the foundation of social work’s unique purpose and perspective:

    • service     
    • social justice
    • dignity and worth of the person
    • importance of human relationships
    • integrity     
    • competence 

This constellation of core values reflects what is unique to the social work profession. Core values, and the principles that flow from them, must be balanced within the context and complexity of the human experience. (http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/default.asp)

The personal statement will be evaluated regarding the above material and also will be considered a writing sample to evaluate your ability to express yourself in written form. Applicants who believe that they have extraordinary circumstances regarding the GPA requirements should include their rationale for this in their personal statement.

Though human services experience is not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to describe any prior volunteer or work experience in their personal statement.


Application Deadline

The closing date for receipt of all admission materials is March 1.


Notification of Acceptance

Notification of acceptance will occur on or about April 15, for study beginning in the summer semester (there are no mid-year admissions). Within ten days of receiving notification, accepted applicants must confirm in writing their intention to enroll in the program. Confirmation of acceptance should be mailed or e-mailed to the Program Director. Failure to confirm their intention within this time frame will result in that prospective student's place being awarded to another applicant.


M.S.W. Admission Committee

It is the policy of Ferris State University that all graduate admissions are reviewed by the specific program. All academic admissions will be reviewed by the M.S.W. Social Work Admission and Academic Standing Committee. This committee is comprised of four social work faculty, including the M.S.W. Program Coordinator and the Social Work Program Director. Criteria used in weighing each application include: undergraduate grade point average, professional training, references, and the individual's narrative candidate statement.

The M.S.W. Social Work Admission and Academic Standing Committee reserves the right to make exceptions to admission policy based upon individual circumstances.

The college and the social work program maintain and promote a policy of nondiscrimination against any person on the basis of race, gender, age, creed, ethnic or national origin, disability, political orientation, veteran status, marital status, or sexual orientation.