Headquartered at IUPUI
Locations on 8 IU Campuses

FAQ & Critical Information for All Applicants

IS SOCIAL WORK THE RIGHT CAREER FOR ME?

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has a comprehensive site which offers information about the profession of Social Work. Additionally, informative issues are discussed regarding advocacy and a copy of the NASW Code of Ethics is provided which you must be able to follow in practice. You are encouraged to review all these areas before deciding if Social Work is the right career for you. The web site address is http://www.socialworkers.org .

WHEN CAN I APPLY FOR THE PROGRAM?

A potential student can submit their application anytime. It is wise to submit it as early as possible, even before the priority date. Advanced standing applicants are asked to please wait to submit your application until your fall grades are on your transcript if you have not yet graduated. You can find the campus specific deadline dates on the MSW Program Application webpage

MY APPLICATION WAS SUBMITTED EARLY AND I STILL HAVE NOT HEARD ANYTHING. SHOULD I BE WORRIED?

No. The admissions committee reviews applications in the order in which they are submitted. Many applicants will not receive a decision prior to March 1. Remember the admission decision will be sent to the email address submitted with the application.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO APPLY TO THE MSW PROGRAM?

Your online application to the MSW program will not be processed without completion of the eApp and payment of the online application fee. Each of the following campus eApp has different a different fee:

  • IUPUI $60 eApp fee
  • IU Bloomington $60 eApp fee
  • IPFW Fort Wayne $60 eApp fee
  • IU East $50 eApp fee
  • IU Northwest $40 eApp fee
  • IU South Bend $40 eApp fee
  • IU Southeast $60 eApp fee
  • Direct Online Program $60 eApp fee

DO I NEED TO SUBMIT MY GRE SCORES?

No, IUSSW does not utilize the GRE scores – they will not be viewed even if submitted.

WHAT IS AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT?

An official transcript is one that comes from the University which typically has a raised seal or some other documentation that denotes authenticity. Sometimes, a student will get an envelope that says “not official once opened.” Please do not let that stop you from opening the envelope – as long as it is officially from the University, there will be no problems with IUSSW accepting it as official. Many institutions are moving to electronic productions of transcripts. These are acceptable as long as they are the institution’s official transcripts. Please check with your registrar to verify before submitting with your application. The electronic transcript needs to be sent to you and printed to be included in your application.

HOW ARE GPA’S FIGURED?

IUSSW requires a GPA of 3.0 for the final 60 credit hours (or 90 quarter hours) of an undergraduate degree. Each applicant should review their transcripts to ensure that they have a clear understanding of their GPA. IUSSW uses a four point scale when calculating GPA. For admission review, a grade forgiveness policy is not used. This requires us to calculate all undergraduate grades shown on all transcripts. Therefore, you need to be aware that the Cumulative Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) used for our review may not correspond with what is listed on your final transcript. Each applicant should check their transcripts to determine the value placed on each grade that was used to calculate their final GPA. Each school may vary in the scale they use for GPA calculation. In order to be equitable, IUSSW will figure all applicants GPA based on the following four-point scale:

A = 4.0 B+ = 3.3 C+ = 2.3 D+ = 1.3 F = 0
A- = 3.7 B = 3.0 C = 2.0 D = 1.0
B- = 2.7 C- = 1.7 D- = .7

Every course is assigned a grade. The cumulative GPA is based on a formula that includes the number of credit hours of the course and the grade assigned divided by the total number of credit hours. [# credit hours X value of grade / total credit hours]. Use the GPA Calculator to assist with calculating your GPA.

As an example:

S100 3 credits B+ = 9.9 (3 X 3.3)
S150 4 credits A- = 14.8 (4 X 3.7)
7 24.7
24.7/7= 3.52 (GPA)

Each student needs to look at their final 60 credit hours (or 90 quarter hours), apply the above scale and formula to determine the exact GPA. When calculating your GPA, do not break semesters in half, but calculate approximately 60 credit hours to determine your GPA. You may have more than 60 when calculating, depending on your semester load. If you are very close to 3.0, you may want to fill out the Petition for Exceptional Consideration. This petition, if necessary because of your undergraduate GPA, is required even if you have completed more recent graduate level coursework with a higher GPA. Also, do not round GPA numbers. For example, a GPA of 2.98 is not rounded up to 3.0. You are asked to calculate your GPA with these guidelines and record it in the application.

WHAT IF MY GPA IS LOWER THAN 3.0? MAY I STILL APPLY?

IUSSW recognizes that every applicant has not necessarily enjoyed the same access to and opportunities for undergraduate education. However, it is necessary that an applicant address the issues that impacted their lower GPA. The MSW application will have a field for you to request a wavier to the 3.0 GPA requirement. Please indicate why you will now be able to be successful at the graduate level. 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ADMITTED TO THE MSW PROGRAM ON PROBATION?

If an applicant demonstrates limited scholarly writing skills, he/she may be admitted on probation with the addition of a 4-credit hour writing course that must be passed successfully prior to beginning MSW coursework. The writing class requirements will be explained in your acceptance letter.

AM I REQUIRED TO HAVE ALL OF THE PRE-REQUISITES COMPLETED BEFORE I APPLY TO THE MSW PROGRAM?

No, the pre-requisite classes, including statistics, must be completed before the start of your MSW coursework. There will be no exceptions to this requirement. An applicant can be admitted conditionally, based on the successful completion of the required pre-requisite course(s). If the conditions are not met by the required date, the offer of admission will be withdrawn or delayed for a year.

IS THERE A MINIMUM GRADE FOR THE PRE-REQUISITE COURSES? WILL A LOW GRADE IN THESE COURSES NEGATIVELY IMPACT MY ABILITY TO BE ADMITTED?

While there is no minimum grade for each course, you must receive a passing grade. IUSSW wants each student to possess the knowledge/content of the course. An applicant that is unsure of their abilities is welcome to take the course on a pass/fail basis.

WHAT ABOUT REFERENCES?

Applicants are required to obtain three letters of reference using the electronic Request for Reference Form that is automatically sent to the referee from your application. All references must be current; one reference should be from either a current supervisor or academic professional, when available. For the remaining references, we highly recommend you use academic and/or professional (paid or volunteer) references when possible. IUSSW prefers that not all three references be from academic professionals or the same category. Not every applicant has a current professional affiliation with former professors. We encourage each applicant to choose those persons who can best speak to their abilities to practice social work and succeed in graduate school. Please note that applicants should never use friends, neighbors, family members or significant others. Additionally, please carefully consider the use of clergy or counselors – sometimes these individuals are limited in their scope of answers due to confidentiality issues. It is never recommended to use an old reference letter as they do not provide the most current information regarding the applicant. Advanced standing applicants need 3 references and there is a separate form for the field instructor and a faculty reference. If the field instructor is not available the advanced standing applicant may choose to submit the final field evaluation from their BSW program. The third reference may be from an employer, volunteer supervisor, or another faculty member of your choice.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN I SIGN THE REFERENCE WAIVER?

Once you submit your application to IUSSW, it becomes the property of the school and its content or copies of its content will not be released under any circumstances. This includes reference letters, even when you sign the waiver. The waiver only allows admitted students to read these letters. Some referees and application reviewers feel letters written in total confidence are the strongest references possible.

I AM CONFUSED ABOUT THE ON-LINE UNIVERSITY APPLICATION PROCESS. DO I HAVE TO APPLY TWICE?

You will first need to apply to the Graduate Office at your prospective campus. Each campus uses an online eApp. Once your have received your Application Number from completion of the eApp you then can apply to the MSW program.

WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR FINANCIAL AID?

The majority of the resources for graduate students in the MSW program are in the form of student loans. All students are encouraged to search for individual opportunities for financial aid. Utilizing internet sites such as www.fastweb.com  or www.finaid.org  can be helpful. Do not pay for any searches for financial aid awards. This information is free to anyone. More information about financial aid can be found in this application under “Financial Aid”.

DOES A FIELD PLACEMENT ABROAD DELAY GRADUATION?

Students interested in an international practicum need to understand that it may extend their graduation date because some classes are only offered in the spring when they may be abroad.

When does the MSW program begin at IU East?

The next part-time evening cohort begins in the fall term of 2017. If you do not begin the program at the above start time, you must wait to apply with the next IU East cohort 2020. You may also check with IUPUI, IUSB, and IUN for their specific start dates.

IF I AM HESITANT ABOUT MY WRITING SKILLS WHAT CAN I DO?

Campus Information
IUPUI In Indianapolis, a 4-credit hour writing course (S460, Scholarly Writing for Social Work) is currently being offered every spring semester and anyone can enroll on a first come/first serve basis. It is an undergraduate course meant to help students improve their scholarly writing skills. If you wish to enroll at IUPUI in order to enroll in this course you must apply as an undergraduate, non-degree student. Get instructions online at http://enroll.iupui.edu/admissions/undergraduate/non-degree./
IUE Contact the social work program at IUE to speak with one of the faculty advisors. The advisor can help you select a writing course that will help you improve your scholarly writing skills.
IPFW In Indianapolis, a 4-credit hour writing course (S460, Scholarly Writing for Social Work) is currently being offered every spring semester and anyone can enroll on a first come/first serve basis. It is an undergraduate course meant to help students improve their scholarly writing skills. If you wish to enroll at IUPUI in order to enroll in this course you must apply as an undergraduate, non-degree student. Get instructions online at http://enroll.iupui.edu/admissions/undergraduate/non-degree./
IUN At IUN, a 4-credit hour writing course (S460, Scholarly Writing for Social Work) is currently being offered and anyone can enroll on a first come/first serve basis. This course is offered only Summer II. It is an undergraduate course meant to help students improve their scholarly writing skills. Students interested in, or required to take, the writing course should contact Kesha Hearn King at khearnki@iun.edu
IUSB A 4-credit hour writing course (S460, Scholarly Writing for Social Work) is currently being offered Summer II in South Bend and is open to anyone who wishes to enroll. It is an undergraduate course meant to help students improve their scholarly writing skills. Contact Diane Banic at dbanic@iusb.edu for more information on writing support.