Appalachian’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program educates social workers who contribute to the well-being of others through skills in advanced clinical practice, leadership and supervision, community development and advocacy, and innovative program planning and administration. You will become qualified to engage in advanced social work practice with individuals, families, organizations and communities and be eligible to apply for a clinical social work license and/or social work manager license.
The MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and offers two concentrations:
- Community and Organizational Practice – Prepares students for advanced practice in the range of settings that focus on social problems and social change at the community, organizational and societal levels. The emphasis is on developing and implementing services, social programs and social policies based within the social work value system while providing leadership within communities and organizations. Coursework in this concentration focuses on community organizing and development, social planning, political and social action, government and nonprofit agency administration, and resource development.
- Individuals and Families – Designed for students who intend to go into advanced direct and clinical practice upon graduation. This concentration prepares students for agency-based practice with diverse children, adolescents, adults and families. Coursework in this concentration integrates social work values and ethics, and focuses on the development of the professional relationship, theoretical perspectives, advanced clinical assessment, evidence-based practice and intervention.
Course titles and information can be found in the Graduate Bulletin at these links:
Required Entrance Exam: GRE (score must be no more than 5 years old)
Required number of references to specify in the online form: 3
Supplemental Information: Resume (Required upload for application submission); personal statement (upload on the Additional Information page in the on-line application)
Basic Conditions for Consideration of Admission: Meeting or exceeding the conditions below does NOT guarantee admission. All applications for a given entry term will be considered based upon the number of seats available and the quality of the complete application packages. With special permission from the Graduate School, a program may admit a limited number of students with exceptional circumstances who do not meet the graduate school minimums.
Graduate School: 3.0 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores from the appropriate admission test(s), OR 2.5 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores at the 25th percentile level from the appropriate admission test(s).
Admission to Social Work: Both qualitative and quantitative aspects of applications are reviewed in comparison to the current applicant pool. Academic credit is not awarded for life or previous work experience.
Additional Criteria for Advanced Standing Consideration: Applicants who are graduates of Council on Social Work Education-accredited Bachelor of Social Work degree programs during the seven years preceding application and who have earned a grade point average of 3.2 or greater in their undergraduate social work course work may apply, for the Advanced Standing program.
With an MSW degree, individuals will be prepared for clinical licensure as well as direct practice and supervisory or administrative positions in:
- Hospitals and nursing homes
- Health departments
- Mental health centers
- Child and family service agencies (including adoption, counseling, foster care)
- Substance abuse programs
- Group homes and residential education programs
- Adult and juvenile correctional facilities
- Departments of social services
- Adult and child welfare services
- Disability services
- Housing programs and shelters
- Domestic violence programs
- Advocacy agencies
- Legislative offices
- Military branches
- Community development / community planning organizations
- Non-governmental / community-based organizations
- Non-profit / grassroots organizations
- International programs / development
- Other public and private human service agencies and programs
- Spring: x
- Summer Session 1: x
- Summer Session 2: 2/1 (Advanced Standing)
- Fall: 2/1
*See full deadline information below under Application Essentials.
- The MSW program’s two concentrations have a crossover design, in which students specializing in one concentration gain vital exposure to content from the other concentration.
- Graduates demonstrate firm generalist practice knowledge and skills as well as specialized practice knowledge and skills to successfully serve individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations.
- The Department of Social Work is housed within the Beaver College of Health Sciences. Graduates are connected to a network of professionals and are prepared for professional partnerships and collaborations with individuals from nutrition, health care management, nursing, communication sciences and disorders, recreation management, physical education, exercise science, health administration, athletic training, health promotion, and more.
- We offer an Advanced Standing Program for individuals with an undergraduate degree in social work. Advanced Standing students can complete the MSW program in one year. Admission is competitive.
- We offer a hybrid distance program with coursework that is both face-to-face and online. Face-to-face coursework is in the evenings at the ASU Center at Hickory.
- The Department of Social Work provides a collaborative and supportive community with dedicated faculty and quality instruction. The department offers academic, social, service, and international/study abroad opportunities for students as they develop into social work professionals.
Method of Delivery
On campus and off campus
- Social Worker
- Clinical Social Worker
- School Social Worker
- Hospital Social Worker
- Medical Social Worker
- Hospice Social Worker
- Child Protective Services Worker
- Adult Protective Services Worker
- Agency Director
- Supervisor / Administrator
- Policy Worker
- Community Organizer
- and more
Dr. Deborah Phillips