University of Vermont

Master's Degree in Social Work


Frequently Asked Questions

Undergraduate Program

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Graduate Program

Is it possible to work while enrolled in the MSW program?

Many of our full time students work some part time hours, successfully juggling this with the demands of 4 classes and 15-20 hours a week in a field placement each semester.  We discourage full time students from trying to work more than 20 hours per week.  In addition, part time students also might find it very challenging to work full time during the semesters in which they are in a field placement.

How flexible is the course of study?

The options for course of study as outlined in our bulletin and our website are the only options for enrollment at this time. Enrolled students can request minor adjustments to these by writing a letter of request for an exception to the MSW Program Coordinator and MSW Program Committee. Requests are carefully considered in light of the program curriculum and are not automatically approved.

Can I apply for spring enrollment?

At present we offer fall enrollment only.

How does UVM determine my residency status?

Students applying to the University often have questions regarding their residency classifications for tuition purposes. Follow this link for a general overview of the procedures and basic criteria used to determine resident status.

Is the GRE exam an admissions requirement?
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for admission to the MSW program; it is optional. However, taking the GRE is required for competitive teaching assistantships or Graduate College fellowships. Also, the GRE may be useful if you believe that it would strengthen your application and provide an additional indicator of your ability to successfully complete a graduate program.

Can the MSW Program prepare me for a career in mental health practice?
Absolutely! The MSW is one of the most common educational credentials of people employed in the field of mental health care.  Our courses prepare students for direct practice in a variety of settings, including mental health. In addition, completion of the MSW degree at UVM provides the base for someone to apply for a clinical social work license to practice as an independent clinical practitioner in most states in the US.

What is Advanced Standing and who can apply for this?
Only those applicants who have completed an undergraduate social work degree within the past 7 years from a bachelors program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) can apply for advanced standing status.  Acceptance as an advanced standing student is competitive, requiring at minimum undergraduate grades of B (3.0) or higher in all upper level social work courses and a satisfactory field evaluation.  

Is it possible for students with many years of experience in the field to waive some of the academic requirements for a shorter course of study?
We recognize prior human service experience as an important strength in the study of social work and a significant asset to an application. However, our accrediting body (CSWE) does not permit us to provide academic credit for life or prior work experience.

What recommendations do you have for someone who has not been a student for many years to prepare for graduate school?
 First, please be assured that the vast majority of our matriculated students successfully complete their degree requirements as planned, regardless of how long it’s been since they’ve been in school. Our faculty and staff are highly committed to student success.

 It’s important to be realistic about the time needed to engage in graduate study.  Students should plan on spending at least 3-6 hours per course each week for reading, writing papers, and working with other students on group projects. Most grad students find their first semester to be a time of adjustment and plan accordingly.

Prior to enrollment, students often find that taking one of our courses on a continuing education basis is helpful.

Any or all of these can be helpful in easing the adjustment into full time graduate study.

Will the MSW Program enable me to be licensed after I graduate?
Yes.  UVM’s MSW Program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This accreditation permits our graduates to use their MSW degree to meet the base educational requirement for multiple types of social work licenses available on the state level, as well as for other credentials.

Does the program offer any on-line or distance learning courses?
At this time, all MSW courses are offered on the Burlington campus at UVM.  In order to better serve students from out of town, courses are organized so that most students’ classes will be scheduled on two days in a row, which can reduce the expense and time needed for travel.

Are there national fellowship or scholarship opportunities available?

Yes, there are. Follow this link for more detailed information regarding these opportunities

How can I apply to this program?

Click here to learn about the process of applying to this program.


How do I get more information about this program?

We encourage prospective students to visit our beautiful campus and meet with our MSW Program Coordinator.

Appointments can be arranged through email by contacting Ken Bechtel or by phone at 802-656-8800.

Last modified August 17 2015 10:51 AM

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