Information for Prospective MSW Students
About the Program
The Master of Social Work is a 62-credit
degree program that can be completed full time in two years or part time in three to four years.
In the foundation year, students take two direct practice courses, two policy and organizing courses, two human behavior courses, a research course, and a data analysis course.
In the advanced year, students choose a concentration: (1) clinical practice or (2) macro practice. Students also complete three required practice courses, three electives, one professional development course, and two advanced research courses. In both foundation and advanced years, students complete a required field internship. Many students opt to take electives during a Summer Session or early spring to lighten their course load in the final year of graduate study.
For information contact:
Paula C. Coutinho, MSW, LICSW
Director of Admissions
Rhode Island College
School of Social Work
600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue
Providence, RI 02908
To achieve full-time status in either year, a student must register for field instruction and at least three courses each semester. Students who are admitted full time are expected to complete the program in two years. This would require that students register for 15 credits in their first semester, 14 credits in their second, 17.5 credits in their third, and 15.5 credits in their fourth. Students are encouraged to take at least one summer or early spring course to ease the third semester workload
Applicants who intend to retain full-time employment while attending the M.S.W. program or who have significant responsibilities in other areas should apply to the part-time program. Admission requirements and procedures are the same as those for full-time study. Part-time students are normally expected to take a minimum of two courses during the academic year. A field placement will occur in a public or private nonprofit agency after the completion of 11 credit hours of course work. Degree requirements must be met within four years. At the discretion of the M.S.W. chair, students may switch from part-time to full-time study after completing the foundation year on a part-time basis.
Advanced Standing Students
Preference in admission to advanced standing is given to students who have completed a B.S.W. during the last five years from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. All students accepted into this program are expected to enroll in and successfully complete an online summer preparatory course. Advanced standing students should expect to pay $375 to participate in this class.
Applicants who obtained a B.S.W. degree more than five years prior to their application year can still apply to the Advanced Standing Program.
Students who are granted admission to advanced standing are exempt from the foundation year, pending completion of comparable course work. Students in the program must complete 33 credit hours and may do so in one or two years.
All students, except those in the advanced standing program, are required to complete SWRK 500 (240 hours), 501 (240 hours), 600 (300 hours), and 601 (300 hours) for a total of 1,080 hours. For full-time and part-time students, this is accomplished over two academic years. Students in the advanced standing program complete SWRK 600 (300 hours) and 601 (300 hours) for a total of 600 hours. All students are expected to be available at least one day during the week for field experience. All students must take the first-year placement concurrently with SWRK 532 and 533. It is possible to do one year of fieldwork in the student’s place of employment, provided that the placement meets all the criteria for supervision and placement settings. Plans to do a placement in a student’s place of employment need to be discussed with and approved by the director of field education. For all continuing students, this approval must be obtained no later than April 1 for field placements to begin in September. For all incoming full-time students, this approval must be obtained no later than July 1 for placements to begin in September.
Admission Requirements/Application Process
The deadline for MSW applications is February 1.
Admission to the Master of Social Work program is on a selective basis and is determined by the quality of the total application. Certain admission requirements may be waived under special circumstances if the applicant demonstrates sufficient cause.
- Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. Students who have completed all but their last semester of baccalaureate work may also apply.
- Evidence of the intellectual capacity to participate successfully in academic work at the graduate level. A diverse academic background with a liberal arts perspective that includes course work in the human biological sciences, social sciences, humanities, and mathematics. Specifically, an applicant is required to have:
- A minimum grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale in undergraduate work;
- At least 15 credit hours drawn from course work in psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science;
- Course work in human biology; and
- Course content in the humanities (English, visual and performing arts, philosophy, language, and Western and non-Western history).
- Evidence of a combination of personal qualities considered essential to professional social work practice, such as responsiveness and sensitivity in relationships, commitment to improving social conditions, and the ability to function both independently and collectively with others.
- A commitment to social work as a profession, based in part on personal experience in the field. This experience may have been attained in a variety of ways, such as through volunteer work, fieldwork experience in conjunction with course work, life experiences, etc.
To complete the admission process, the following must be submitted to the Rhode Island College, School of Social Work, MSW Department, Providence, Rl 02908-1991, by February 1.
online application and a nonrefundable fifty-dollar application fee.
Official transcripts. It can take six weeks to receive your transcripts, so please order them early. It is the responsibility of the applicant to upload transcripts from ALL undergraduate and graduate programs previously attended, including community colleges to the on-line application. Even if the student transferred into RIC or into another college, transcripts must be requested from the previous college. Please order your transcripts from all schools, scan your transcripts and upload your transcripts to the online application. Each transcript MUST be in one separate file. After you scan and upload your transcripts, mail your official transcripts to the School of Social Work at Rhode Island College, Building 9, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence, Rhode Island 02908.
Letters of recommendation and rating scale. Please ask individuals to write letters of reference for you. Once an individual has agreed to write a letter of reference for you, provide that individual's email address to the College Net application. Suggested references include a professional social worker, a professor, and an employer, all of whom are familiar with your work.
Personal statement. The personal statement is six to eight double-spaced pages and aids the Admission Committee in assessing the applicant’s qualifications for social work practice. Among these qualifi cations are: the ability to think analytically and conceptually; clarity in self-expression; responsiveness and sensitivity in minority and culturally diverse relationships; the ability to develop professional self-awareness and self-evaluation; commitment to improving social conditions; and the ability to function creatively, responsibly, and independently.
1) Tell us how your life experience have influenced your decision to pursue social work as a career.
2) Social justice is a key component of social work's mission. What social justice issues are important to you? Why?
3) What experience have you had with oppressed populations (racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, persons with disabilities, etc.)? How has that experience influenced you and your decision to pursue social work?
4) What do you see as your personal strengths and challenges as a professional social worker?
5) Graduate social work education requires sophisticated writing and critical thinking skills. Discuss the reasons why you believe you will be able to meet the academic requirements of a rigorous graduate program? Include evidence that indicates you are able to do graduate level academic work successfully.
6a) If your grade point average is below 3.0 please discuss.
6b) If there are any gaps in your work history or short -term positions, please explain.
NOTE: The School of Social Work immediately processes applications that are complete. Applicants are encouraged to submit application materials early.
The closing date for receipt of all admission materials is February 1. Applicants whose admission files are not completed by February 1 may not be considered for the academic year which begins the following September. Normally, four to six weeks are required for the School of Social Work to receive transcripts; applicants should therefore make every effort to ensure that all relevant documents are requested well before the deadline date. The School of Social Work reserves the right to change the closing date for the receipt of application materials. Notice of any deadline extension will be given by the School of Social Work.
MSW Financial Aid
To be considered for any financial aid administered through the college, prospective students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A copy of this form may be obtained from the Offi ce of Student Financial Aid or downloaded from
www.fafsa.ed.gov. It is very important that the completed form be submitted to the federal processing center by May 15. Applicants are encouraged to complete this form as soon as possible. No student can be considered for aid through the college until the college has received the results from the student’s FAFSA.
The School of Social Work actively seeks funds for tuition assistance. There are a limited number of graduate student traineeships. These traineeships are available only to full-time students and carry a full tuition waiver in return for ten hours per week of work at the School of Social Work. The traineeships are for one year only. Recipients of traineeships in their first year must reapply for the second year. Please contact the school for information and an application. Applications are available after April 1 and are sent with letters of acceptance to all students accepted into the full-time program.
Other forms of financial aid include MSW scholarships and research and graduate assistantships. Students are also advised to contact the
Office of Student Finanical Aid at (401) 456-8033 about educational loans, federal work study, and college administered aid.
Financial Aid Guide