Master of Social Work
Millersville and Shippensburg universities are jointly offering a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program. It is designed for students who want to either further their education in social work or join the social work profession. The program was developed to support both the full-time student and the working professional. State-of-the-art technology permits students to acquire social work knowledge, skills, and values through multiple educational methods, including traditional campus classes, teleconferencing, and web-based activities. Because this is a joint program, students benefit from the quality faculty and resources of both universities.
An MSW permits graduates to work in a variety of human service programs and agencies in an advanced clinical and/or administrative capacity. The flexibility of the social work degree provides graduates with many options as they pursue their careers in the helping fields.
The mission of the joint MU-SU MSW Program is to provide accessible social work graduate education in the south-central region of Pennsylvania in order to prepare students for advanced generalist practice and to provide professional leadership and contribute to the development and dissemination of social work practice knowledge.
The MU-SU MSW Program goals are to:
1. Prepare students for competent advanced generalist practice, with a focus on rural client systems, through the acquisition and demonstration of social work knowledge, skills, and values.
2. Provide leadership and service for the social welfare systems and the social work profession.
3. Foster commitment to professional development and the creation and dissemination of knowledge.
Goal 1 is met through the program's 13 Foundation Education Objectives (FEOs) and 11 Concentration Education Objectives (CEOs). Goal 2 is met through the leadership and service objectives. Goal 3 is met through the 4 professional development and knowledge objectives.
To ensure that the program meets these goals, the MU-SU MSW Program has an assessment plan to determine whether or not the objectives are met and to obtain data to continuously improve the curriculum and program.
Grade Point Average
Applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale from a regionally accredited undergraduate institution. If a student has attended more than one undergraduate institution, all undergraduate GPAs will be used in the calculation of the overall GPA.
In exceptional cases, applicants who lack the required grade point average but whose other qualifications are outstanding may be admitted on a provisional basis. Applicants admitted provisionally must earn a 3.0-grade point average by the end of the first 12 credits.
Liberal Arts Foundation Courses
Students must demonstrate that they have successfully completed coursework with substantial content in each of the following areas: Human Biology, Economics, Government/Political Science, Psychology, Sociology/Anthropology, and Statistics. Applicants can be admitted with up to two-course deficiencies. These course deficiencies must be completed by the end of the foundation year or within the first 12 credits of Advanced Standing.
Advanced Standing Program
Students will be considered for the Advanced Standing program if they have earned a baccalaureate degree in the last eight years from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited social work program with an overall GPA of 3.0 and a major GPA of 3.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale. If a student has attended more than one undergraduate institution, all undergraduate GPAs will be used in the calculation of the overall GPA. A recommendation from the Program Director or designee of their BSW Program is required.
Exemption from Foundation (First-Year) Courses
Students who graduated with a baccalaureate degree from a CSWE-accredited social work program may be eligible to receive credit for those first-year foundation course equivalents for which they earned BS or higher within the past eight years.
This program does not grant academic credit for life or work experience.
Personal and Professional Qualities
Applicants must show evidence a combination of personal qualities and values that are considered essential for the professional practice of social work. The following documents are required to serve as evidence for this purpose:
- Three professional references with a minimum of one from a faculty member and one from a social service agency employer/supervisor. The third may be from either a faculty member or an employer/supervisor. No personal or colleague references will be accepted.
- A written personal statement.
- A comprehensive resume of work and related volunteer experience.
The program may request a personal interview or additional information about an applicant when necessary to make a fully informed admissions decision.
Applicants need to submit a four to five-page personal statement describing the following:
- Events and experiences that led you to apply for a master's degree in social work as a profession.
- How the MSW will further your career goals.
- Your experiences with issues of diversity in practice and/or life.
Persons who have criminal records are not eligible to work in many human service fields. Applicants with criminal records should contact the MSW program director for additional information.
Students are admitted into the 36-credit Program and the 60-credit Program during the summer term only. Applications will be accepted until February 1 or until the program is full.
All applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA of 2.80 must take either the Millers Analogies Test (MAT) or the General Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as part of the admission process. Scores should not be more than five years old at the time of application. Both MU and SU are official MAT testing sites. To find the location of GRE testing, contact the Graduate Studies office at MU or SU.
Students may transfer a total of nine (9) credit hours. All nine may be from another MSW program or up to six (6) credits may be from a related field. Graduate credit earned more than five years prior to the date you begin your graduate program at MU-SU does not qualify for transfer credits. Students may only transfer credits from other accredited schools provided they are in good standing in those schools. Courses must be listed on an official transcript with a B or higher. Courses transferring must be approved by the program. Condensed one-week graduate courses do not qualify for transfer.
Candidates may choose to apply through Millersville University or Shippensburg University. If all seats are full at one campus, successful applicants will be given the option to enroll through the other campus, if seats are available. Applicants desiring admission to a specific campus may also be placed on a waiting list if all seats are full.
Students enrolling in the 60 Credit Program must complete 15 credit hours of field practicum, 6 credit hours of electives, and 39 credit hours of required coursework. BSW graduates in the Program may receive an exemption for some coursework, as per admission guidelines.
Students enrolled in the 36 Credit Program must complete 9 credit hours of field practicum, 9 credit hours of electives, and 18 credit hours of required coursework, including a summer "bridge" course.
Due to the cohort nature of this program, all courses must be taken in sequence. The 60 Credit Program can be completed in two years full time (four courses a semester) or four years part-time (two courses a semester).
The 36 Credit Program can be completed in one-year full time or two years part-time. Both programs are year round.
The joint MSW program was designed according to the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation guidelines. At the January 2007 meeting of the Accreditation Commission of CSWE, the MU-SU MSW Program was awarded candidacy, which is the first major action in the accreditation process. In February 2008 the second year of candidacy was granted and the self-study process, which takes two years to complete, was begun. February 2010 the Master of Social Work program operated jointly by Millersville and Shippensburg universities has earned accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Fall 2006 until February 2014. It will be retroactive to include the students who entered the program in Fall 2006.
Fall 2013/Spring 2014 Costs
Graduate Student Total Per Credit Cost:
Graduate PA Resident Tuition, General fee, and Technology fee.
Graduate Non-Resident Tuition, General fee, and Technology fee.
Graduate Non-Resident Tuition, General fee and Technology fee online programs (MSEM and Gifted Certificate).
PA Resident Tuition
PA Non-Resident Tuition
Non-Resident online programs (MSEM and Gifted Certificate) Tuition
General Fee (required fee)*
$101 – per credit (up to 11 credits)
$50.50 – per credit online programs (MSEM and Gifted Certificate)
$1,213.50 maximum – (12 or more credits)
Tuition Technology Fee (required fee)*
PA Resident $21 per credit
Non-Resident $31 per credit
This school offers programs in:
Last updated January 21, 2018