Florida State University

Admissions Info and Requirements

Download MSW Program Information

Download MSW Program Information

Get all the need-to-know details in our 16-page Online MSW program guide.

  • Admission Requirements
  • Tuition & Financial Aid
  • Master of Social Work Tracks
  • Curriculum
  • GRE Waiver Criteria

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  • Online MSW Program - Clinically Focused Licensure OptionClinically Focused Licensure Option
  • Online MSW Program - Part TimePart-time for
    Busy Professionals
  • 100% Online MSW Program*GRE waiver available

Admissions Information/Requirements

To speak to one of our Recruitment Advisors about admission to our MSW online program, please email admissions@onlineadvising.fsu.edu or call 888.368.0834

College of Social Work Application and Guidelines:

Please read the application requirements below before moving on to the online application. You will be required to upload your personal statement and resume during the application process. You also will be asked for the contact information for the persons who will write your letters of recommendation. This information will need to include an email address.

If you are interested in the JD/MSW program please contact the College of Law. The College of Law has a unique admissions process independent of University Admissions. Please click  http://www.law.fsu.edu for more information.

Statement of Purpose:

Please put your first and last name on all documents that you submit and indicate if you are interested in the Clinical or Social Policy and Administration (SPA) concentration. The SPA concentration only is available in Tallahassee.

Social Work is a profession that addresses the needs of vulnerable populations. We are bound by a professional Code of Ethics (see MSW bulletin) that mandates our professional behavior.  Students admitted into our graduate program are expected to act in a manner that reflects these standards. We wish to evaluate as accurately as possible your qualifications for a professional education in social work and the appropriateness of the program for your educational needs and goals. Therefore, it is important that you respond to EACH of the following questions. Please type your replies, double-spaced, in three to six pages. This is one of the most important parts of your admission application. It is your opportunity to share with the Admissions Committee information about yourself that we will use to evaluate your appropriateness for the program and the profession. Before submission, make certain that you give the committee members a clear picture of your interests, experiences, and objectives. Remember, each of these questions is scored individually, along with your writing skills, so please answer to the best of your ability.

Type each of the questions below in your personal statement, then next to them answer each accordingly:

  • Discuss the major reasons for your interest in the profession of social work.
  • Describe any experience that you have had in working in a helping capacity to serve people in either paid or volunteer position. Share the length of time, population, the type of setting and discuss your personal strengths and limitations in these roles.
  • What personal traits and/or abilities do you possess that facilitate your understanding of people with differences in gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disabilities, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status? Give a brief example of your experience with people who are different from you.
  • Discuss a personal or professional situation where you were challenged to look at an issue from another person’s viewpoint. What was the outcome?

If you feel that your present record does not reflect your potential, please share with the Admissions Committee in your Personal Statement why you think you can manage the demands of graduate education.

Please also use our advice for Tips on Writing a Great Statement of Purpose


Below is a sample format of a resume. While it is not necessary for you to arrange yours in this manner, it is necessary that you include all the information listed (limit your resume to two typed pages or less if possible).

  • Personal Data: name, address, phone number
  • Educational Background: degrees earned
  • Work/Volunteer Experience: List your work and volunteer experience in chronological order. Provide a brief (2-3 lines) job description and give beginning and ending dates for each position. Clearly identify those positions that were paid, internships, or volunteer.
  • Special skills or Attributes: List skills or attributes that enhance your ability to work with others.  For example, do you speak a foreign language? Do you know sign language?  Are you skilled in athletics, art, music, or speech? Do you know how to use computers or special equipment?
  • Professional affiliations and honors: Are you a member of any professional organizations? Did you receive academic honors from your college or university? Have you received honors from a community service or social group?

Letters of Recommendation:

The online application will ask you to submit contact information for your references in the “Recommendations” section.

Minimum of four (4). Two must be work or professional references and two should be academic references. DO NOT include relatives. If you graduated more than five years ago, you may substitute professional references in place of academic references. The references will become part of your admissions file. They will be used only for admissions consideration and will not be disclosed to any unauthorized individual without your consent.

Copy of final field Evaluation:

Advanced Standing Applicants must submit a copy of their final field evaluation. If final field placement is not completed, a letter from the Field Instructor regarding applicant’s performance will suffice.

If you do not have access to an electronic copy of this document, please mail the document to:

College of Social Work Admissions

Florida State University

2500-C University Center

P.O. Box 3062570

Tallahassee, FL 32306-2570

Petition for Exceptional Consideration:

To be completed ONLY by the applicant whose Undergraduate GPA is below 3.0

An applicant who believes that her or his individual circumstances warrant exceptional consideration for a waiver of the minimum university admissions requirement of an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 must petition the MSW admissions committee.

The request should be a one page statement entitled “Petition for Exceptional Consideration”.  The petition should include a statement indicating how not meeting the minimum admissions requirement of a 3.0 GPA should be waived, as it does not adequately represent the applicant’s capabilities.  The applicant should briefly discuss how he or she has demonstrated a capacity for successful achievement in a rigorous graduate program. For example, an applicant might provide evidence of:

  1. Superior grades during the final semester(s) of work prior to graduation indicating a trend toward improved performance;
  2. Subsequent to receipt of the undergraduate degree, an applicant might demonstrate competence through achievement in another graduate program;
  3. Outstanding work experience in human services (volunteer or paid).

The applicant also should discuss how, if granted admission to the program, she or he plans to address potential obstacles to successfully completing the program (for example, if a low grade point average was viewed as the result of a “needing to work full time during my undergraduate studies” the applicant should discuss why that is not likely to be a factor during her or his graduate study).

Petitions must be submitted as part of the required Personal Statement.

University Admissions Office:

The following information is to be sent to the University Admissions Office.

One OFFICIAL copy of your transcripts from each undergraduate and/or graduate school you have attended. Transcripts must not be “Issued To Student.”

Official GRE scores must be sent from ETS directly to FSU. The FSU institutional code is 5219. GRE scores must be submitted even if you meet the university minimum upper division undergraduate GPA requirement of a 3.0. These will be sent electronically by ETS if you indicate that scores should be sent to our institution during your test session.

Mail to:

The Florida State University

Office of Admissions

282 Champions Way

P.O. Box 3062400

Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400


**If you graduated from FSU your transcripts are on file with the University. You do not need to request that a copy be sent to the college.

Voted #1 MSW in the State of FL

Ranked the No. 1 online Master of Social Work program in the state of Florida (2017), and No. 38 in the nation for "Best Graduate Schools" by U.S. News & World Report (2019)

A Top 25 Best Value

Ranked in the Top 25 "Best Values in Public Colleges" by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

CSWE Accredited

We rigorously adhere to the accreditation standards established by the Council on Social Work Education

Connect with a Friendly MSW Admissions Advisor

Whether you just have a simple question or need advice to determine if this Master of Social Work program is right for you, our friendly MSW advisors are here to guide you. They can chat with you on your schedule and guide you through the entire admissions process so you can feel confident in moving forward with an Online MSW program.

Get in touch with an Online MSW advisor

My Advisor has impacted me tremendously ... she supported me the entire way through my MSW application process. She made it easier to complete all the necessary requirements and apply for the social work program I was meant to take. 
- S. Thompson

Pursue a License in Social Work with In-Field Placements

As an online MSW student, you’ll participate in social work field placements that will qualify you to pursue a license in clinical social work upon graduation. Both our Advanced Standing and Traditional online Master of Social Work programs are clinically-focused so you’ll get the real-world experience you need to be career-ready. Our social work programs are part-time to accommodate busy working professionals.

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