Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the accreditation status of this program?Program accreditation assures quality and transferability among graduate social work programs nationally. The UAA MSW program is accredited through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the social work program accrediting body. UAA itself is fully accredited through the Commission on Colleges of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.
- When are classes in the program scheduled?Classes required for the MSW are scheduled during the evening from 5:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Part-time students will attend one day per week. In addition, field education placement requires approximately 16-20 hours per week at the practicum site, typically between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
- How do I know if the distance-delivered MSW program is a good fit for me?This is a very good question. You can determine if distance education is a good fit for you by taking the 5-minute assessment Is Online Learning for Me.
- What undergraduate degree should I have?The UAA MSW will admit applicants with a wide variety of undergraduate liberal arts foundations, including (but not limited to): BA/BS degrees in psychology, sociology, criminal justice, history, English, religion, communications, management and accounting, and degrees in education, nursing and social work. The coursework required as prerequisites (applied statistics and human biology) can be incorporated into any liberal arts degree.
- What can I do to prepare myself for entry into this program?Obtain a liberal arts baccalaureate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better. BSW Students seeking consideration for advanced placement need a minimum GPA of 3.5. Be sure that your undergraduate work includes course work in applied statistics and human biology (grades in courses which satisfy these requirements must be "C" or better). Take every opportunity to improve your writing skills. Familiarize yourself with the social work profession and social services fields through employment or volunteer work.
- When will I learn whether I’ve been accepted?The Admissions Committee begins screening applications as soon as possible after January 15. Applications must be entirely complete (including transcripts, which must have been received and processed) before they can be reviewed. Admission is granted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applicants will be notified in writing by April 1. Formal notification from UAA Enrollment Services is typically received two to four weeks later.
- If I’m accepted, what should I do next?Stay in touch! We will have a considerable amount of information to provide newly admitted students concerning course registration, field education, student orientation, and other events. Students admitted to the full-time program will immediately need to complete and submit the application for field education. Students admitted to the part-time program should be aware of enrollment dates and deadlines, as their program enrollment usually begins that summer. Let the MSW Admissions Manager know immediately in the event of any mailing address, email address, or phone number changes.
- What do I do if I can’t attend the year I’m admitted, but still want into the program?
Applicants who are admitted or admitted with provisions to the MSW program may request to defer admission to the MSW program for one year. The MSW Admissions Committee reviews all requests for deferral of admission. Applicants may submit a request for a one year deferral of admission by completing the following steps:
- Submit the Intent to Enroll Form to the School of Social Work by the date specified indicating a request to defer admission for one year. Enclose a written request for deferral that is addressed to the MSW Admissions Committee. The written request should describe the reasons for requesting a one year deferral.
If a deferral is granted, applicants must complete and submit the UAA Graduate School Change Application for Graduate Admission to the School of Social Work by May 1. MSW program approval is required for this form.
- What should I do if I’m admitted but will not enroll?Please notify the MSW Admissions Manager immediately, in writing. If a waitlist has been established, another applicant may be waiting to hear if a seat in the class is available.
- What is the process for getting a practicum placement?Applicants admitted to the full-time MSW program are immediately sent the practicum education placement packet. The MSW Practicum Coordinator will use the information from the packet as well as an interview to begin the practicum placement process. Part-time program students begin practicum education during the second year of their programs
- I have a BSW degree. How will that affect my MSW program?Applicants who have received a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited program within the last five years may apply for advanced placement review. If granted, advanced placement may allow direct entrance into the beginning of the Concentration Year (second year) of the UAA MSW program. BSW graduates should be aware, however, that the BSW degree in itself is not a guarantee that the applicant will be granted advanced standing. Applicants interested in admission with advanced placement should carefully review the "Directions for Application" which accompanies the program application form.
- Will I have to come to the UAA Anchorage Campus?All students are required to attend a mandatory MSW program orientation on the UAA Anchorage campus in August of their admission year, as well as periodic MSW program intensives on the UAA Anchorage campus.
- Can I complete the MSW distance courses at my own pace?No, the MSW courses are not self-paced. Students must take required courses in a specific sequence. Although the MSW program is distance delivered, students and faculty are highly engaged in a community of collaborative learning. Most of the courses require students to attend regularly scheduled distance-delivered class sessions each week, which are typically scheduled in the evening (from 5:00 –8:45 pm).
- What will help my application succeed?Take a professional approach to the application – remember that the committee will base its evaluation of the application upon what is submitted. Submit a complete application (read every word on the application and instructions; answer every question directly and thoroughly, supply all materials requested). Submit the application on or before January 15. Early applications are very welcome. Order transcripts from every institution of higher education attended; order them early and send them directly to the UAA School of Social Work. Carefully review all responses to questions and other written submissions for grammatical correctness and proper punctuation.
- When will I be assigned an advisor?An advisor will be assigned by the School immediately after admission. In most cases the newly admitted student will be able to arrange an appointment with the advisor in person or over the phone right after receiving notification of admission. However, if the application review has been delayed past May 1, the assigned advisor may not be available, as most faculty are on nine-month contracts which end in mid-May. The MSW Program Coordinator will assist students during the summer; however, students should be prepared for appointments to take longer to arrange than during Fall or Spring semesters. The School's office is staffed and open during normal working hours and able to provide information.
What if I have other questions?
Please ask! We have tried to present answers to the most common questions; however, please don't hesitate to contact us if you need more information. If you wish to obtain an application, please keep in mind the application deadline and admission timelines.