Welcome to Arkansas State University!
Master of Social Work(M.S.W.)
Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Professions
Graduate School
Application Deadline: The 2nd Friday in February


This MSW offers one concentration which is rural based clinical social work practice.
Students learn the fundamental knowledge, skills, and ethics that guide social work practice
and the populations traditionally served by the profession. Students are prepared to acknowledge
and utilize the less formal social exchange between people and systems that exist in
rural communities. Students learn how to identify and develop resources, and how to use
natural helping networks. Students are expected to employ a broad range of approaches,
theories and models in their practice and to develop skills that enable them to perform multiple
roles in the helping process. Additionally, students learn the importance of examining issues
of diversity; social work values and ethics; how to identify, prevent and interrupt social and
economic injustice; and the importance of community empowerment.  Students can also complete a certificate in Addictions Studies while completing their MSW.

Note:  The MSW Program requires a completed Graduate School Application

Other required documents are listed below under Admission Process

  • Prerequisites

    Prior to submitting your application, the following courses must be completed with a “C” or higher.

    • Introduction to American Government
    • Human Biology
    • Introduction to Sociology
    • Social Statistical Methods & Lab OR Quantitative Methods & Lab
    • Introduction to Psychology
    • Introduction to Social Work
  • Admission Process

    Completed Online Graduate School Application
    Completed Social Work Application turned in to the Graduate School with the following:

    • Personal & Professional Orientation Paper (see details on pg. 2 of Social Work Application)
    • Department of Social Work Applicant Reference Form (3)
    • Recommendation letters (3)
    • Transcripts (GPA in last 60 hours of the undergraduate degree)
         Standard Program - 3.0 GPA
         Advanced Standing Program - 3.2 GPA
    • Resume

       Spontaneous Writing Assignment

  • FAQ about the MSW @ ASU

    FAQ about the MSW@ASU  

    Q: What kind of scholarships and financial aid are available for MSW students at ASU?
    A: The Martha Ivener Scholarship is awarded annually to a student pursuing a career in public child welfare. MSW and BSW students at ASU are eligible to apply. Loan forgiveness is available through the National Health Services Corp. Click on their link for details. http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/ Otherwise, check with Financial Aid. http://www.astate.edu/finaid/

    Q: Can I get my MSW from ASU on-line?
    A: While some courses are web only or web-assisted, we are primarily a face to face program. We schedule classes and arrange field experience sites so as to minimize student travel.

    Q: What is the job market like for Social Workers?
    A: Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the social work profession will grow by 25% from 2010 to 2020, a faster-than-average rate for all occupations. (NASW News, June 2012 p. 1)

    Q: I have been out of school for several years. How can I prepare for graduate school?
    A: Excellent question. Technology can be a challenge. Click on the link to SmartMeasure http://astate.smartermeasure.com which is designed to help you see whether or not you are ready for on-line and web-assisted courses. It also covers time management, technology use and access as well as class performance. Advisers are also available to assist you. Call us.

    Q: Do you offer part-time as well as full-time program options?
    A: Yes. We offer Advanced Standing both full and part-time for persons who have recent BSW degrees with a 3.2 in the last 60 hours. We also offer the Standard Program for persons with undergraduate degrees other than social work or persons with BSW degrees who don’t meet the above requirements.

    Q: I need to work while I go to school. How many hours can I work and still successfully complete the MSW at ASU?
    A: That depends on your MSW program option. Experience tells us that full-time students are more successful and less stressed if they work 15-20 or fewer hours/week. Part-time students often work full-time.

    Q: So when are the classes scheduled?
    A: Classes are scheduled in the late afternoons and early evenings to accommodate working student schedules.

    Q: How much does it cost to attend ASU?
    A: Since costs change year to year, please follow the link to Financial Aid to get the most current information. http://www.astate.edu/a/finaid/tuition-fees/_cost-of-attendance/

    Q: Do I have to take the GRE or Millers in order to get into the MSW program at ASU?
    A: Neither is required.

    Q: Where do I send my application materials?
    A: Submit all materials directly to the graduate school. 

  • MSW Curriculum Overview

    The MSW Program offers both full-time and part-time study for post-baccalaureate students.  The focus of the MSW Program is rural-based clinical social work practice.  The rural-based perspective is infused throughout the curriculum and the clinical feature is added to the Advanced Curriculum.  The tracks offered in the MSW Program are:

    Advanced Standing Program:
    This program is available only to applicants who have received a BSW degree within the last five years from a social work program that is accredited by CSWE. Students in this program complete the 33 credit hour clinical practice in a rural setting concentration.

    Standard Program:                                                                                                                  This 60 credit hour program is designed for students with a baccalaureate degree in any discipline, who graduate from an accredited BSW program more than five years ago, and any other student who does not meet requirements for the Advanced Curriculum option. Students in this program complete the Foundation curriculum consisting of 27 credit hours of work. They then complete the 33 credit hour clinical practice in a rural setting concentration.

    Each of the two tracks has two options: part-time and full-time. Students completing the Advanced Standing Program will complete 33 graduate credit hours. Advanced Curriculum students will complete a total of 600 field hours of work along with their coursework.

    1. The Advanced Standing Full-Time Program consists of three semesters of study which is spread over 15 calendar months. This includes two summer courses at the beginning of the program and two complete semesters immediately following   
    2. The Advanced Standing Part-Time Program consists of two academic years of study which includes two summer terms; the first summer term in the beginning of the program and the first summer term in the middle of the program. 

    Students enrolled in the Standard Program complete 60 graduate credit hours.  They complete a total of 400 field hours during the foundation curriculum field placement and 600 field hours during the advanced curriculum field placement.

    1. The  Standard Program Full Time consists of two academic years of study; and
    2. The Standard Program Part-time of four academic years of study.

    The time allowed for completion of the master's degree is six years, exclusive of time
    spent in the armed forces of the United States. Graduate work completed prior to six years
    from the students' date of completion of the degree cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements. Transfer credit taken prior to admission at Arkansas State University will be included in the six year limit (See ASU Graduate Bulletin section on “Graduate School Master’s Degree Policies.” The 2012-2013 bulletin is available here.

  • Applying for Financial Aid at Arkansas State University

    Eligibility Criteria

    In order to receive financial aid, you must:

    • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
    • Have a valid Social Security Number
    • Be registered with the Selective Service, if required
    • Be enrolled at least half time in a degree program
    • Not be in default of any federal funds
    • Make satisfactory academic progress

    Application Procedure

    Step 1. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    For the each academic year, the FAFSA can be filed on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov, or via paper copy from the ASU Financial Aid and Scholarships office or from your Guidance Office.

    Priority filing deadline is February 15th

    Online applications can be signed electronically through the use of a PIN given by the federal processor, or by printing the final signature page and mailing it to the processor. Those who have not received, or wish to recover a lost PIN can do so by visiting www.pin.ed.gov.

    Step 2. ASU Data Form

    All students who wish to receive federal student aid must fill out an ASU data form and return it to the Financial Aid & Scholarships office at ASU. Data forms are available in Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, online through http://finaid.astate.edu, and are mailed upon receiving FAFSA results.


    The verification process affects 1/3 of all federal aid applicants and is based upon random selection. Those who are selected for verification must provide signed copies of student tax records, parent tax records (if applicable), accompanied by an ASU verification form. Verification forms are available on line at www.astate.edu or from the ASU Financial Aid & Scholarships Office and are mailed upon being selected for verification.

    Step 3. Award Letter

    Upon completion of the necessary paperwork, an award letter will be constructed and sent to the

    student. The purpose of the award letter is to outline the types of aid individual students are eligible for and to allow for acceptance or denial of each aid type. Award letters, unless marked “No Signature Required”, must be signed and returned to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office in order to receive federal aid.

    First Time Borrowers

    First time borrowers must sign a master promissory note (MPN). Directions for the MPN will be sent to the student following the return of their award letter.  Funds will not be disbursed without a signed MPN.  Loan funds for first time borrowers, in their first enrollment period, are delayed for 30-days from their first class date.

    Disbursement of Funds

    All funds awarded by Financial Aid & Scholarships are placed directly into the students account. Student accounts can be monitored at www.astate.edu through the Web for Students link. Payment information, as well as access aid balance can be viewed from this secure site.  If excess aid is awarded, the amount of excess aid will be available through direct deposit or in the form of a check mailed to the students billing address.

    For further information please contact:

    Financial Aid/ Scholarships Office:
    P.O. Box 1620
    State University, AR 72467-1620
    (870) 972-2310
    Website: http://finaid.astate.edu

  • Checksheets & Degree Plans


    Checksheets list all of the requirements and university obligations for degree completion.

    Standard Standing
    Advanced Standing