MSW Frequently Asked Questions
- I haven't been in school for a long time. Do I really need transcripts from every college or university I ever attended?
- What if I haven't finished my degree yet?
- Do I need to submit GRE scores?
- How will I know what classes to take? How do I register for classes?
- If I have a B.S.W., can I get credit for my previous social work courses?
- How can I get more information before applying?
- What happens if I'm accepted, but can't enroll?
- Who should I ask to provide recommendations for me?
- Can I get transfer credit for courses taken somewhere else?
- Who decides where I will do my field work?
- Does the GCSW have a part-time or evening/weekend program?
- Can you tell me more about the specializations you offer?
- What happens if I need to change my enrollment status?
- How will I know about the status of my application?
Questions and Answers
I haven't been in school for a long time. Do I really need transcripts from every college or university I ever attended?
Yes, this is a university record keeping requirement.
What if I haven't finished my degree yet?
You can submit transcripts showing all academic work to date, but before you can enroll in graduate courses, you must submit an official transcript that show the degree has been awarded. Your admission will be considered provisional until all required documentation has been received in our office.
Do I need to submit GRE scores?
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board requires all graduate applicants at Texas public universities to submit official GRE scores. However, you may apply to the GCSW without scores, but must submit them prior to enrollment in the program. There is no minimum GRE score requirement.
How will I know what classes to take? How do I register for classes?
Once admitted to the GCSW, you will be asked to attend a summer advising meeting at which you will receive specific information about your degree plan and registration. Registration is done online through the university’s system, myUH.
If I have a B.S.W., can I get credit for my previous social work courses?
Applicants who hold the B.S.W. degree (Bachelor's in Social Work) from a CSWE accredited program are encouraged to apply for Advanced Standing. For more information, see Advanced Standing under “Special Admissions Categories” on the main admissions page of this website. Not everyone who applies for Advanced Standing will be admitted with the advanced status; the admissions committee may deny advanced standing but still approve admission to the regular program.
How can I get more information before applying?
What happens if I'm accepted, but can't enroll?
If you can't start the program in the semester in which you applied, you can request that your admission be deferred for one year. A limited number of deferrals are allowed each year; you may be told to reapply for the following year.
Who should I ask to provide recommendations for me?
Admissions reviewers want to hear from persons who can address your interest and commitment to social work, who can describe your readiness for graduate education, and/or who can describe your previous academic performance. Current or former professors, employers or supervisors (especially if in social work) often provide recommendations for applicants. If you graduated from college within the last 5 years, one recommendation from a professor or instructor is required. If you are applying for Advanced Standing, one of your three recommendations must be from your faculty advisor or chairperson of your B.S.W. Program.
Can I get transfer credit for courses taken somewhere else?
Transfer credit may be granted for courses taken in other disciplines provided that: a grade of B or better was earned; the course was completed within five years of enrollment in the GCSW; and the course is relevant to your course of study in this program. Generally, no more than six hours credit is approved. Requests must be discussed with your advisor. We regret that we do not have the resources to provide course transfer evaluation prior to admission.
Who decides where I will do my field work?
Field practicum assignments are handled by the Office of Field Education. An overview of field is given at the summer advising meetings. Other required meetings are held in the fall to provide more information. The GCSW has more than 500 approved field settings in which students are placed.
Does the GCSW have a part-time or evening/weekend program?
We currently have two enrollment options for students who cannot attend full-time during the day. We have the 3-year model and 3-year model Weekend College. The 3-year model is available for students who are unable to take courses during the day. For the first semester, students take the required foundation courses (15 hours) on evenings and weekends. However, all new students will meet together Thursday and Friday of the first week of the semester, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. For the first week only, every incoming student must make arrangements to attend these two days of classes – no exceptions. After the first semester, students can take day or evening classes. All MSW students are required to complete 900 clock hours of field work in community agencies. Part-time students are not exempt from this requirement, even if they are currently working in a social service agency. Students must be able to do field work from October to May of their first year for 16 clock hours per week sometime during Mondays through Fridays 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Three year students complete advanced field work in the last year of their program. They again must be able to complete 16 clock hours per week sometime during Mondays – Fridays, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.
We also have a 3-year Weekend College in which students will have the same foundation class schedule as other part-time students but will be able to complete their field work, for their first field placement, on the weekends instead of during the week. For the foundation field placement, weekend college students will be placed at an agency selected by the field office. For the advanced field placement, weekend college students will complete a block placement during business hours on weekdays in their last summer in the program. The location for the placement will be determined through the standard placement process used for all students. The Weekend College is limited to students in the clinical concentration. All advanced classes for Weekend College students will be on weekends and evenings.
Can you tell me more about the specializations you offer?
The GCSW offers four specializations in addition to the two concentration choices of Clinical Practice and MACRO Practice. The specializations offer an opportunity to further develop expertise in a specific area of social work by taking electives in focused content areas. The opportunities include Gerontological Social Work, Political Social Work, Social Work Practice with Latinos and Health Disparities. Each require 9 credit hours, but these hours are completed within other requirements, not in addition.
What happens if I need to change my enrollment status?
Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for the enrollment model they are able to manage. The GCSW reserves the right to limit the number of full-time and part-time students admitted in a given year. Students who wish to change their status prior to their initial enrollment may have to postpone starting the program for a full year if all slots are full. Once a student has successfully completed the first semester of the program, students may work with the academic advisor to change their status.
How will I know about the status of my application?
You can check the status of your application on UH at my.uh.edu.