Florida State University

Frequently Asked Questions

msw online

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 ProgramGRE waiver available*

If you are thinking about advancing your career in social work, then you may have some questions about FSU and online classes. Please see the video on the right to get an idea of why students choose FSU online.


See below for answers to some frequently asked questions:

    Field Placement


    How does field placement work?

    Field placement gives online students the opportunity to step out into the real world and gain valuable experience that will benefit them in the future. FSU provides field work coordinators for certain regions of Florida and holds many contracts within the state.

    For out of state students, you will work with a field work coordinator as a team, as you are going to be more familiar with agencies in your immediate community. A field work coordinator will reach out a semester in advance to assist with locating a placement.

    We should note, FSU cannot guarantee specific hours or placements and you should not rely on nights/weekends, as these are typically done during regular business hours.

    How will I get a field placement in the field I want?

    The College of Social Work’s Office of Field Education works with students and various agencies to place students in programs/organizations that match their goals. Some of the agencies FSU contracts with offer stipends as well as the potential for future employment.

    What guarantee is there that FSU can give me a field placement where I work?

    FSU can’t guarantee that students can have placement in their place of employment, but we will work with you to help you establish convenient field placements and suitable alternatives.





    Does the FSU Online MSW require the GRE?

    The GRE is no longer required for all applicants- however, in some cases, students may still need to take the exam. Those demonstrating exceptional performance (e.g., high GPAs, related work experience, success during other graduate programs) do not have to take the GRE.

    The College of Social Work is now offering a GRE waiver contingent on meeting at least one of the criteria below. If you meet one of the following, you will not be required to take the GRE for MSW admissions. If you are applying for a joint pathway program (i.e., MSW/MBA, MSW/MPA, MSW/MS Criminology), please consult the other program for GRE requirements. Approval of the GRE Waiver Request does not guarantee admission to the program.

    • Five years or more of social work experience in a traditional social work agency providing direct service delivery or macro services and a 3.0 undergraduate upper division GPA (advanced standing or traditional students) from a regionally accredited institution.

    • A completed Master's, J.D., M.D. or Ph.D. degree with a 3.0 (or better) cumulative GPA from a regionally accredited institution.

    • A 3.5 or higher undergraduate cumulative GPA from a regionally accredited institution.

    • Any earned or anticipated baccalaureate degree from Florida State University, with a 3.25 upper division GPA at time of application.

    If you do not meet one of the above criteria, you are still eligible for admissions consideration. An official GRE score will be required along with your supplemental application materials.

    If you want to learn more about eligibility and if the GRE will be waived from your application, contact an Advisor today.

    The GRE will be waived for all applicants applying for Fall 2021 and Spring, Summer, and Fall 2022. The waiver form will not be required.



    What are the requirements for me to apply for the online Master of Social Work program at FSU?

    Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, a 3.0 GPA, and a transcript from their undergraduate institution. The GRE is not required for those who meet waiver criteria.  For more visit the Advanced Standing page if you have a BSW and the Master of Social Work page if you have a bachelor’s degree in another area. 




    How will this program prepare me to get my license? What if I want to practice outside of Florida?

    FSU’s College of Social Work and the College’s Office of Professional Development work with students to make them career ready. While the MSW program meets all the licensure requirements for Florida, if you are a student who wants to practice in a different state after you graduate, contact the state board for licensure requirements and email, fax, or scan the requirements to the Office of Professional Development.

    What are expectations for checking the sites moving forward?

    It is important to stay informed while a student at FSU. That’s why it is recommended that you check all platforms on a regular basis. However, Canvas and FSU email should be checked every day. 

    What geographic areas does the FSU MSW online program cover?

    Florida State University is an NC-SARA approved institution. Therefore, we are able to offer our online program to all residents in the U.S.

    See how state and local authorization for our online MSW program works.

    Please see our interactive map of licensure requirements by state.

    What is the format of classes for Florida State University’s Master of Social Work?

    FSU gives students a robust learning experience in an online learning environment. The classwork can be conducted anywhere, and in many cases, when the student is available. The format of online classes varies based on the professor. Some courses are going to require discussion boards, others are writing intensive, while some professors provide recorded lectures. The program is asynchronous, and you will not be required to log in at specific times.

    What kind of technical support does FSU offer to MSW online students?

    Please email help@campus.fsu.edu after hours or if you are having a technical issue that is not related to the LMS.

    If you are having trouble with Canvas, you may find this article helpful.

    What’s the difference between the Advanced Standing and Traditional programs?

    Advanced Standing is available to students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited institution or students who are transferring from a CSWE-accredited two-year master's degree program with one year of generalist studies field placement. The Traditional program is for students who hold a bachelor’s degree, but their degree is not in the social work concentration.

    More information can be found on our Master of Social Work page.

    What’s the difference between the FSU portal, Canvas and FSU email?

    The FSU portal is where you can access registration, financial awards and your personal information.

    Canvas contains information about orientation, registration and your classes. Additionally, Canvas is where professors post all of their content/lessons for students.

    Finally, FSU email, accessed through Outlook, is your school email. Important academic emails come through here from the university and staff. All three allow students to study remotely and stay informed.

    What kind of computer or software do I need to take part in the online program?

    To come

    U.S. News Ranked Program

    Ranked #33 in social work in 2020 by U.S News & World Report.

    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