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Frequently Asked Questions about the Online MSW

What is the student/instructor ratio of the online MSW classes?
The majority of classes are capped at 25 students. Integrative field seminars are usually capped at 12 students.

What is the advantage of an MSW with a clinical concentration?
A clinical concentration curriculum gives you extensive preparation in the understanding and use of theory in evidence-based practice, which readies you for real-world application after graduation. Upon graduation, you will be prepared to work directly with a variety of populations in various settings.

Do you offer an Advanced Standing program?
The Catholic University of America’s online MSW program does offer an Advanced Standing option. Admissions benchmarks for the Advanced Standing are:

  • A bachelor's degree in social work from a CSWE accredited program (received within five years of enrollment in the M.S.W. Program);
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 in all the social work courses in the undergraduate program;
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 in all courses applied toward the bachelor's degree
  • A minimum of a “B” average in each social work course taken;
  • A recommendation from the chair of the undergraduate program explicitly supporting admission directly to the advanced year of the M.S.W. program, as one of the three reference letters; and
  • Satisfactory completion of an undergraduate generalist practicum that is comparable to that expected in the NCSSS foundation practicum, including 480 hours of field education, as evidenced in the final field evaluation submitted as part of the admissions packet.

Can I choose where I go for my field placement?
Our online MSW program is designed to connect you with social service providers in your community. The Field Education Office at NCSSS will work with you to identify agencies interested in providing MSW internships. The foundation year is a generalist practice internship where you learn micro, mezzo, and macro skills that are transferable across agency settings and populations. In your second internship, you will learn advanced clinical skills.

Field education is the signature pedagogy of the profession. The field office will work with you to identify an internship, ensure that your learning goals are met, and make certain that the agency and field instructor meet our requirements.

The referral process for field is formalized. After an agency has been approved, the student will receive a referral letter to the agency. The student schedules an interview with the identified field instructor, and then notifies the Field Office of the outcome of the interview.

What is the cost of the program?
The online MSW from The Catholic University of America is an investment. As an institution, we strive to keep our tuition competitive, offering the best value for you, the student. Currently, the tuition rate for the online MSW is $940 per credit hour for 2017-2018.

Are international students eligible for the online MSW program?
Currently, you must be a resident of the United States to enroll in the Catholic University of America online MSW program.

Is the program offered full-time or part-time?
At six credit hours per semester, the program is considered part-time. You will complete your online MSW in 10 semesters.

How much time should I schedule to study on a weekly basis?
You should expect to spend approximately 20 hours per week on assigned readings and projects.

Are scholarships available for the program?
Scholarships are not available. Students may apply for federal loans for the program by completing and submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at The Federal School Code for CUA is 001437.

Is this program accredited?
Yes. The MSW program at The Catholic University of America is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, 1701 Duke Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 683-8080.

Online MSW Application Process

What is the application fee for the online MSW?
The application fee is $60.

Is there a Statement of Purpose required?
Yes. A statement of purpose is required and should be developed according to the guidelines below (four to six typewritten, double-spaced pages):

a. Profession of social work as a career goal. Why does the profession of social work appeal to you? What aspects of social work are of greatest interest to you? Discuss proposed career goals. Why did you choose to apply to NCSSS?

b. Life and relationships. Discuss how your background (e.g., family, cultural, religious, economic, ethnic, racial) has affected your desire and ability to work in social work.

c. Work experience. Describe current and/or past work experience, including volunteer work, as it relates to the profession of social work. How have these experiences helped prepare you for social work practice?

d. Experience in the helping role. Social work is concerned with helping individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Using an example from your professional, volunteer or personal life, discuss and analyze a situation in which you have observed the helping role, including how it changed a problem situation.

e. Experience as a student. Evaluate yourself as a student. What differences in performance between your previous educational experiences and your forthcoming graduate experience might you anticipate? Discuss any special circumstances affecting your undergraduate performance.

f. Planning. Describe your ability and commitment to undertake graduate education at this time. What family, work or other responsibilities do you anticipate during the course of your studies at NCSSS? Evaluate your ability to fulfill these obligations, including the ability to spend 16 hours per week in the foundation curriculum and 20 hours per week in the advanced curriculum in field placements.

Is a resume required?
Yes. The resume should include educational history, and work and volunteer experience.

Are reference letters required?
Yes. Three current letters of reference from persons, other than family or friends, who are able to address personal, professional and academic capabilities. If possible, the three references should not come from a single source.

What are my career options upon graduation?
The need for competent, caring clinical social workers is quickly increasing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the field will increase 12 percent between now and 2024, faster than average for all occupations.

Are there any academic assistance options available for online MSW students?
Yes. The Writing Lab is available for all registered MSW students. The program is designed to assist students who may struggle with effectively communication their ideas, allowing for growth as a writer, helping to create a stronger academic output. Assigned tutors are experts at connecting with students and motivating them to become better writers. They’ll identify areas of deficiency and will craft a personal plan for the duration of the academic journey.

What else is required?
Transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate college attended. Offers of provisional admission are made to those enrolled in undergraduate degree programs pending receipt of the final transcript showing conferral of a bachelor’s degree.

To learn more about our online MSW, visit the MSW program overview page or call 855-295-5711 today.