MSW - How to Apply
Thank you for your interest in applying to the University of Texas at El Paso’s Master of Social Work Program.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Before completing the application process described below, please review the following characteristics of our program to ensure that the structure and requirements of UTEP’s MSW program are consistent with your personal and educational needs and goals:
- The advanced concentration for the MSW program is Social Work in the Border Region.
- Please review Master of Social Work Fact Sheet on the Department of Social Work website to obtain an overview of our program and its unique mission to be sure that our mission fits with your learning goals.
- We do not require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
- Applications are open once per year and can be submitted between September 1 st and the third (3 rd) Friday in January. We strongly suggest turning your application in as early as possible to be sure you have all information completed.
- We are committed to offering a flexible program that meets student’s learning goals and needs. Therefore, we offer three degree plans described in this document (Full-Time, Part-Time, Advanced Standing), with a more detailed description found on the department of social work website.
- All MSW classes start in the summer; there is no option to start classes during another semester.
- Classes run continuously through summer, fall and spring semesters and are typically offered late afternoon (starting at 3:00pm) and evenings (starting at 6:00pm), with classes occasionally offered in the early afternoon (starting at 12noon or 1:00pm).
- No weekend classes are presently scheduled
- During the fall and spring semesters, classes meet once per week; in the summer, classes meet up to two times per week
- We are a small program. In most cases there is only one or two sections of a course offered in any given semester. Most courses are only offered once per year; there are a few courses that are repeated in different semesters in order to meet scheduling requirements.
- If you have not met the prerequisites (courses in biology and statistics), you may still be accepted “conditionally,” pending the completion of the requirements within one year of admission. A variety of courses meet these prerequisites. Inquire with the MSW Program Coordinator if you have questions.
- Additionally, you must complete four semesters (Full- and Part-time) or 2 semesters (Advanced Standing) of field practicum/internship.
- Each semester requires 16 hours per week of field work, including a Field Seminar course held every other week.
- Some or all of your practicum hours may be required during business hours Monday to Friday.
- While there are some agencies that offer alternative schedules for practicum (e.g., evenings and weekends) these are limited and/or may not be able to offer all hours within this arrangement.
- We recognize that many students must work while attending a graduate program, but we strongly encourage you to work no more than half-time. Graduate education is a rigorous and demanding course of study and working full-time while attending the MSW program is difficult and can compromise your learning potential. Graduate Assistantships and scholarships/grants may be available.
- We understand late afternoon classes and practicum hours can present challenges to work and family schedules. You are encouraged to meet with your employers and/or family members prior to applying to the program to ensure that you have their support and agreement to allow flexibility in your schedule in order to attend classes.
- Once admitted to the program, a student may request a deferment to begin the program in the following year. Deferments will only be approved for medical or family emergencies with appropriate documentation. Deferments will not be granted because of conflicts with one’s work schedule.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
The admission process begins with submission of the online application to the UTEP Graduate School, along with the application fee. Following are detailed steps to complete the application process. Please review this document carefully to ensure that you have not missed any of the requirements for admission to UTEP’s MSW program. Missing documents will delay the review of your admission application.
Students considered for admission to the Master of Social Work program must meet the following criteria:
- An earned bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by a recognized regional or international accrediting body.
- You may apply during your final year of college and receive conditional admission pending your graduation.
- A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (we will be paying close attention to the two most recent years of your undergraduate courses)
- An undergraduate course in statistics (within the past 5 years from point of admission with a grade of C or better)
- An undergraduate course in general biology, anatomy or physiology (grade of C or better)
- Any student who completed their undergraduate or other degree program in a country whose primary language is other than English must submit their TOEFL or English-Proficiency Exam scores. Contact Israel Arreola at the Graduate School for score requirements and more information ( email@example.com).
- For Advanced Standing, the following additional criteria must be met:
- A BSW from a college or university that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) obtained within 5 years of admission to the Advanced Standing Program
- An overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 with a 3.5 GPA in social work courses
- Completion of the Competency Assessment Form
All of the following application materials must be submitted to the Graduate School using the online application link. To download the documents or find detailed information, please visit the Department of Social Work Website, select “Academic Programs,” then “Master of Social Work.”
- The Graduate School Application is completed online and can be found at the link listed below.
- To begin your application, visit http://www.utep.edu/graduate/apply-now/apply-now.html . The next screen will prompt you select your current residency status. At the program selection screen, click the Summer option for the Social Work program, listed under the College of Health Sciences. Fill out the required information to create your account. If you have created an account, please use your previous credentials or click on “Forgot Username/Password.”
- You must complete the application and pay your application fee to place you on the list of applicants.
- When all documents have been received, the application is forwarded to the Department of Social Work Admission Committee for review.
- You can monitor your application process online. On the Graduate School website http://www.utep.edu/graduate/), click on “Check My Application”, found on the left-side menu.
- Copy/copies of the undergraduate transcript(s) and transcripts for all other relevant university work at accredited U.S. institutions or equivalent work and degrees at foreign institution must be submitted. Please upload unofficial copies in the application; official transcripts are required after admission to the program.
- If you graduated from UTEP, your transcripts are accessible on your GoldMine account.
- If you attended any other colleges or universities before or after attending UTEP, including transfer credits from EPCC, you must contact these programs and have them submit an official copy of your transcript to the Graduate School.
- If you are admitted in the final semester of your undergraduate year, you will receive a “Conditional Admission” pending final verification of graduation from an undergraduate program. Students may NOT start the MSW Program until they submit their final transcript verifying that they have completed an undergraduate degree
- The Degree Plan Preference Form can be accessed on the Department of Social Work website.
- This form provides important information about the program, and informs the Admission Committee as to which of the three degree plans the student is interested in pursuing:
- Full-Time (24-month), Part-Time (36-month), and Full-Time Advanced Standing (12-month) for recent BSWs.
- You must rank your order of preference from 1 (first preference) to 3 (last preference). If you are not willing or do not qualify for one of the degree plans, put a 0 next to this option.
- A personal essay based on the following four questions (NOTE – do not use the guidelines for the personal statement contained within the Graduate School Application Form)
- Please discuss the significant factors that have influenced your decision to pursue the Master of Social Work degree, including how this decision fits with your career goals.
- What is it about work in the U.S./Mexico Border Region that attracts you to this program?
- Please describe what you believe to be an important social issue to the border region and why it is of interest to you.
- Describe how your personal qualifications and experiences, especially those in working with diverse populations, have prepared you for this educational direction. Please describe the strengths you bring to the social work profession and areas of needed improvement that you have identified, including how you plan to address them
- Experience Summary Form captures all work and volunteer experiences.
- The form contains the dates of these activities, how long you engaged in this activity, your job/volunteer title, the name of the organization and a description of your duties.
- The form will also capture any type of leadership role you held, whether elected or volunteered (e.g., elected officer in a student or professional organization, volunteer coordinator of a food drive at your church, supervised employees in your work setting, etc.).
- Please submit a copy of your resume and be as comprehensive as possible, including all education (with dates of degree awarded), and work, volunteer, and professional activities.
- Three Letters of Recommendation
- Recommendations must be completed by references that have direct knowledge about your performance at work or school. Recommendation letters are preferred to be on organization letterhead.
- Recommenders must be registered through your Graduate School application by name and email.
- Recommendation letters are accepted ONLY through the Graduate School online application, no paper copies or email letters will be accepted.
- Waiving your rights to view the recommendation letter:
- If you check the box to waive your rights, you cannot upload the letters yourself, and they MUST come directly from the recommender. Even if you only upload one of the three letters, you cannot check the box to waive your rights. (Preferred option)
- If you do not check the box to waive your rights, you can upload your own copy of the recommendation letter instead of having the recommender directly upload through their email.
- As recommenders complete and submit their letters, you will receive notifications on the “Check My Status” of which are finished or still pending. If one of your recommenders is still pending after you submit your application and you would like to change to a new recommender, please contact David Vizcaino in the Graduate School office ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Advanced Standing ONLY: The Competency Assessment Form must be completed with applications to the Advanced Standing degree plan.
- If applying for Advanced Standing, one of your references must be from a social work professional who was either a) your BSW Clinical Supervisor or, b) your Social Work Supervisor if you are working in a social service agency.
- This individual must complete the Competency Assessment Form for Advanced Standing in addition to their recommendation letter.
- The Competency Assessment is submitted by the applicant, not the recommender. Recommendation letter and Competency Assessments must be submitted separately.
If after reviewing these documents you still have questions, feel free to contact Ms. Julissa Corona, Graduate Assistant for the MSW Program by email at email@example.com who should be able to answer any questions you may have. If you require a face-to-face meeting, Ms. Corona will be able to schedule a meeting with me. We look forward to hearing from you.