The Master of Social Work (M.S.W) degree program at Oakland University provides students with the requisite theoretical knowledge, skills, and ethical framework for advanced social work practice with diverse client systems across practice settings. OU M.S.W students will be uniquely trained through an integrated advanced generalist. All M.S.W students will demonstrate advanced mastery of nine Core Competencies dictated by the CSWE, which will allow them to assume clinical and macro social work practice roles upon graduation. Students who wish to pursue licensure as clinical or macro social workers after graduation will have the necessary course preparation and field experience to do so.
Those students who seek more intensive training in a specialized area will have the option to complete one of three specializations (integrated health, community and organizational leadership or school social work). Depending how students enter the M.S.W program, (Advanced Standing versus Traditional) students have two options for completing the proposed M.S.W degree: a Traditional curriculum, including 64 hours of coursework and 900 hours of field education, and an Advanced Standing program that requires 34 credit hours of coursework and 450 hours of field education.
The traditional program of study includes one year of foundational coursework on the principles of social work as a profession (including issues of social justice, diversity, and professional ethics), conducting and critiquing research, generalist practice in social work across a variety of scales and systems, and understanding human behavior. In their second year, students master advanced generalist practice across the life course, and may choose two courses focused on practice in distinct contexts (restricted electives). Students also complete 450 hours of supervised field education in the first year, and 450 hours in the second year, to reach the 900 hours.
The Oakland University M.S.W. program is in the candidacy of accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Any student who earns an M.S.W degree while the program is in candidacy is considered graduated from an accredited social work program.
Admission terms and application deadlines
Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Oakland University Graduate School by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.
Prospective students will apply through the OU Graduate Admissions for admittance into the program for the Summer Semester (advanced standing) and Fall Semester (traditional program).
- February 15 (regular) and April 15 (late) for fall semester for the traditional M.S.W Program or until our cohort is filled or until June 1st, whichever comes first. Students may apply for an early admission decision is submitted by December 15.
- International applicants
To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:
- Additional department application requirements
Additional documents students must include in their application package are:
- The two recommendation forms must include letters attached to the forms and must speak to the applicant’s academic and/or professional suitability for advanced study in Social Work; at least one of these must be from a professor or instructor;
- A personal statement that will be used to assess preparation for and commitment to advanced study in Social Work, suitability for the profession, and skills in written communication; and
- One-page resume including volunteer, internship or paid work experience relevant to Social Work practice.
Admission review and assessment
Admission to graduate school at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.
Undergraduate preparation for the M.S.W.
Degrees in a wide variety of majors will prepare the student for admission, providing that the record includes:
- For admission into the traditional 2-year M.S.W program, a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or its equivalent from a foreign institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all work attempted in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study is required.
Students must have successful completion (grade of C- or better) of undergraduate courses in social and behavioral sciences (12 credit hours, drawing from sociology, psychology, government, economics, or related disciplines), research (4 credit hours), and biology with human content (4 credit hours). These courses may be completed at the introductory level.
Students with lower GPAs may be considered for provisional admission when combined with volunteer work and work experience, or when there are extenuating circumstances. The Admissions Committee will assess a GPA between 2.7 and 3.0, generally for provisional acceptance. Provisional applicants will be admitted on a part-time basis. These applicants may petition the admission committee by explaining reasons for their lower GPA and how the student plans to overcome such difficulties while attending full-time. Students with GPAs lower than a 2.7 will need to provide a strong rationale in the personal statement and may require an interview with the admission committee for a decision.
Students otherwise qualified for admission to the program but lacking in this area may be admitted with the requirement that the deficiency be corrected during the first year of the program by appropriate coursework. A departmental adviser will plan with the student an appropriate way of addressing the deficiency. Credits earned to meet these standards will not be counted toward the total credits needed for the degree.