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Before You Apply

The decision to enter a graduate, professional program leading to the M.S.W. is a significant one. The combination of coursework and field practicum is demanding and requires careful planning in order to move through the program successfully. Prospective applicants are encouraged to consider the following information.

Course Scheduling: The GCSW strives to maintain a diverse student body, many of whom are employed outside the home, and many of whom have child care responsibilities in addition to school and/or employment. As a result, students must make numerous adjustments in their schedules in order to attend classes and to fulfill the clock hour requirements for field practicum. While we are aware of the multiple demands placed on our students, the foundation semester of the program is highly structured. If a student is unable, for whatever reason, to complete the semester as shown in the enrollment models, the student may have to take a leave of absence from the program and begin again when he/she is able to complete the semester as prescribed. Applicants are strongly encouraged to plan carefully in order to ensure successful completion of the program. Students must be prepared to adjust work hours, child care arrangements, and other time constraints during the entire program.

A Caution about Full-time Employment: If you plan to enroll as a full-time student, we strongly advise against simultaneous full-time employment. From past experience, we know that this heavy load creates problems in class attendance, generates significant barriers to the completion of field practicum courses, and generally results in academic failure. The recommended balance of employment and graduate enrollment is:

Recommended Employment to Enrollment Balance
Employment Hours per Week Semester Hours Enrolled
Up to 10 15 Credit Hours
20 - 30  9 Credit Hours
More than 30 6 Credit Hours

Field Practicum: Part of the uniqueness of the M.S.W. degree is in its applied focus as reflected by required field practicum courses. In field courses, students are assigned as interns under the supervision of a social work field instructor in various practice settings. The GCSW has affiliation agreements with more than 300 agencies in the greater Houston area that have met our criteria as approved field practicum sites. Students are required to complete a total of 900 clock hours in field courses, starting in their first year. With the exception of the hybrid weekend program, students should not expect to find field agencies available for night or weekend placements.

Academic and Professional Advising: The GCSW has an academic advising office which plays a pivotal role in the student's academic life. Advising sessions are held each semester as part of an ongoing process to help students negotiate the curriculum, discuss academic progress, and ensure that all requirements are being met successfully. Advisors are also available to meet individually with students.

Transfer Credit: Students admitted to the GCSW who have previous graduate course work may discuss transfer of credit with their academic advisor; typically no more than six hours of graduate course work may be applied to the M.S.W. degree. Course reviews for possible transfer credit are not initiated until the student's first semester of enrollment when they can be discussed with the advisor. Under no circumstances will credit toward the M.S.W. degree be approved for correspondence courses, extension courses, continuing education courses, or life/employment experience.

Tuition and Fees: Tuition and fees are based upon rates established by the State Legislature and/or the University of Houston Board of Regents and are determined by residence status and the number of hours taken.

Check the university's website for the latest tuition and fee rates.

Note that these are minimum figures and that other fees may apply to a specific situation (e.g., off campus fees for courses taken at an off campus location, distance education fees for taped courses). Hybrid weekend college and the online program incur additional distance education fees.

The university reserves the right to change tuition and other charges without notice as necessitated by university or legislative action.