UC Berkeley - Fall 2012 MSW Admissions


301 posts in this topic

Posted

Does anyone know specifically the admittance rate, or any specific details about admissions to the MAP (Management and Planning) concentration at UC Berkeley? I've read through the forums, and no one has really posted any information on this concentration at UC Berkeley (which of course, is the one I applied for!)

Thanks!! :) :)

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Posted

Greetings, from a fellow MAP applicant :)

I attended one of their information sessions back around November, and they said that last year they received 674 applicants and enrolled 102, but that about 25% of enrolled students came from the wait-list, which is not ranked. If my mental math is right (which it probably isn't... hey, I was an English major!), that sounds like an acceptance rate hovering around 18-20%. Somebody, by all means, correct me if I'm wrong.

They also said that during the review process, it is not you vs. 673 applicants, but only you vs. the number of applicants in your concentration. After some cajoling from the crowd, the admissions rep told us that the most competitive concentrations were:

1. Child and Family Services

2. Community Mental Health

3. Management and Planning

4. Gerontology

I know there's also the Health Services concentration, but it wasn't mentioned at the session in this particular conversation.

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Posted

briefinterviews is right on. I attended an application session for Berkeley and the statistics released by the admissions coordinator is as follows:

- avg 700 apps last couple years

- 102 spots available last year

- Child/Family 32 spots / 200 apps

- Mental Health 28 spots / 200 apps

- Gerontology 10 spots / 50 apps

- Health & Management each had roughly 15-17 spots / 100 apps

- 3.58 avg gpa last year (last 60 units from semester or 90 units from quarters)

- 550 verbal score avg last year (they don't track or focus on quantitative score)

I didn't get specific stats on experience but from previous discussion boards, accepted folks have at least a year of experience in the field.

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Posted

Thanks so much for the information! That is helpful to know. I see that you had stats on every concentration but MAP...do you remember what those were? To my fellow MAP applicant, good luck!! Hopefully we will be classmates this fall :) :)

What are your goals with MAP? I'm curious to see what someone else wants to do at a macro level!

I'm excited to hear back!! The closer it gets the harder to wait!!

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Posted

Do you know how the weight the analytical writing from the GRE?

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the additional info, ATohCe!

@mswhopeful2012, I believe the stats for MAP and Health were lumped together and declared identical. So, for MAP it was 15-17 spots for 100 applicants. I wouldn't sweat the GRE scores; they flat out told us at the session I attended that as long as we weren't applying for the PhD program, to just take the test and forget about it. Sweet.

Best of luck to you as well! I've been working in direct services in one capacity or another for 6+ years, and my eye has always been on the bigger picture. To be somewhat vague, I'm very much interested in policy and being able to engage in advocacy and program evaluation. The massive disconnect between individuals/communities and social institutions (from mom-and-pop NPOs to The Man) is bothersome, and I'd like to help facilitate a more productive and even-handed relationship. I'm primarily interested in working for youth; I don't have my heart set on a specific youth population, but my work with children and families of prisoners definitely inspired my leap into the macro.

Edited by briefinterviews

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Posted (edited)

A 1 in 7 chance for Community Mental Health. That's rough. :blink:

Thanks for sharing those stats. "I didn't get specific stats on experience but from previous discussion boards, accepted folks have at least a year of experience in the field." I hope this was the main reason that got me waitlisted last year. My GPA is higher than their average, GRE verbal slightly lower, and I had about 7 months of full-time experience. I didn't change my GPA or GRE score this year but I do have an extra year of experience working as a case manager, so hopefully that helps. The first week of March is next week. So close.... yet so far!

Edited by mapletree

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Posted

Wow, thanks for sharing these stats! Very competitive. The wait is killing me as well. I've applied to the MSW/PhD program and now I'm just hoping to at least get a spot for their MSW. Good luck all! Anyone on this thread have Berkeley as their first choice?

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Posted

Thanks for the info! I'm hoping they do look at my GRE as I had medical issues while working my way through college and volunteering which impacted my GPA. Berkeley is most definitely my first choice!! I met with one of the professors and just know it's the right fit for me!

Good luck to all of you!!! Hopefully we can all be classmates/colleagues soon!!! :)

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Posted

What topics did you write about for the essays, specifically Personal History Statement?? Just curious to see what other ideas people had!

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Posted

Berkeley = only school I applied to. So, yes, first choice. I did that last year too. I like to live on the edge. :P

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Posted (edited)

What topics did you write about for the essays, specifically Personal History Statement?? Just curious to see what other ideas people had!

I had such a difficult time writing my personal history statement for Berkeley because they basically asked you for very specific questions - how you’re a minority and the hardships you went through (for lack of better words) and asked you to answer these questions in one page – ONE PAGE DOUBLE SPACED! I mean, really!? You’re asking me to talk about my personal history and what I went through in one page!? Talk about being succinct. Anyway, I basically talked about growing up and thinking that the hardships I went through were “normal” and then realizing that growing up and having to work since junior year of high school to help my parents pay for rent and car insurance wasn’t actually normal and that coming from a high school that had the highest fail rate in the district really didn’t prepare me for the rigors of undergraduate studies. I remember also talking about what I want to take from UC Berkeley were I to get in.

For my statement of purpose I mainly talked about my research experience. I put an emphasis on research because 1) my background is mainly in mental health policy research and 2) because I applied to the MSW/PhD program.

Hope this helps and I am also interested to see what others have written!

Edited by rjose

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Posted

Wow! Thanks for sharing!! I wrote about a personal circumstance that enabled me to continual develop advocacy skills as I had to often advocate for myself. I get why they make you do it in one page (or at least I hazard a guess). It's like an elevator pitch. I work with start-up companies and one of the most important things is to be able to convey yourself to an investor in 30 seconds where they want to learn more to give you money. With social work, it's similar...you don't always have a bunch of time when pitching an idea, trying to get funding, helping someone in a crisis. I also assume its because they don't have a lot of time, but either way, the ability to be succinct is key!

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Posted

I just remembered that I got an email from the admissions office the day the application was due. It was helpful, and I'm not sure if everyone got it, especially if you submitted your app before the due date. Here it is in its entirety:

Dear Prospective MSW Student,

Thank you for your interest in the School of Social Welfare at UC Berkeley. We are pleased that you have started an application to our MSW program. Our deadline for application submission is today, December 16th. If you have already submitted your application, thank you! You can check on your admission status beginning in March. If you have not submitted your application, you have until 11:59pm tonight to submit. Some applicants have many of the same questions while filling out the application, so we have provided a list of frequently asked questions and answers that may be helpful to you.

Letters of Recommendation

  • Do I have to wait until all three of my recommenders have sent in their letters before I can submit my application?

    No, you do not have to wait for your letters before submitting.
    • Can I check to see if my letters have been received after I have submitted my application?

      Yes, you will be able to sign in to your application after you have submitted to check on letters received and to see if your official GRE or TOEFL scores have been received.
      • Can I send reminders to my recommenders?

        Yes, the application allows you to send a reminder to your recommender. We encourage you to do so if the recommender has not submitted the letter close to the deadline.
        • The application asks for two professional letters and one academic letter. Can I submit only one professional letter and two academic letters instead?

          Yes, this will be fine. If you have a recommender who is familiar with your research capacity, then that recommender can count as a professional or academic letter writer.

          Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement
          • How long should the Statement of Purpose be?

            The guideline is 3 pages, double-spaced. However, this is only a guideline. If you need to go to 4-6 pages to tell your story, then please do so.

            • What should be included in my Statement of Purpose?

            The Statement of Purpose should address your goals in the program and why you have chosen to pursue a graduate degree in the field of social welfare. You may also wish to address why you have chosen your specific concentration in the program.

            [*]How long should the Personal History Statement be?

            The guideline is one page, double-spaced. However, this is only a guideline. Please feel free to submit 2-3 pages or more if you need to.

            [*]The instructions for the Personal History Statement are long and do not necessarily pertain to me so do I need to address everything in the question?

            No, you do not need to answer all facets of the question. Please use this statement to speak about your background and how it may have informed your decision to pursue a graduate degree in Social Welfare. The following may be helpful: http://www.grad.berkeley.edu/admissions/personal_statement.shtml

            GRE Scores and GPA

            [*]Are there minimum GRE scores required?

            No, the School of Social Welfare does not require a minimum score on the GRE.

            [*]How are the GRE scores evaluated in the application review process if there is no minimum score? Does it help if I have a high or low GPA to offset low GRE scores?

            We evaluate your GRE scores and your GPA as it relates to academic preparation. However, we also look at your course work completed and writing skills in the statements to gauge your academic preparation. If you feel your scores and/or GPA are not competitive, don’t be discouraged. Your experience (volunteer, paid or research), letters of recommendation, writing sample, and your dedication and understanding of the field as evidenced in your statements can make you a strong, competitive applicant!

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Posted

Does anyone know specifically the admittance rate, or any specific details about admissions to the MAP (Management and Planning) concentration at UC Berkeley? I've read through the forums, and no one has really posted any information on this concentration at UC Berkeley (which of course, is the one I applied for!)

Thanks!! :) :)

I am a current MAP student and they told us that they had 130 applications to our concentration and 15 admits. GRE seems pretty irrelevant, and I didn't have that great of a GPA from a small public school. Mostly, it seems that they are looking to create a cohort of people who come from different backgrounds and interests. For MAP in particular, they want a lot of experience in the field. If your interests are really similar to many other applicants interest, it may be difficult. However, if you have something unique to bring to the cohort you have a better shot. Good luck, hope to see you next year!!

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Posted

Wow, great info! Thanks! How have you liked it do far? What are your specific goals with MAP? What type of experience did you have prior to your application process?

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Posted

Wow, great info! Thanks! How have you liked it do far? What are your specific goals with MAP? What type of experience did you have prior to your application process?

The program is great, but as a MAP student you receive NO clinical training which is really unusual for a MSW program. My area of interest is working with female returning veterans and their families. Prior to going to this program I managed a crisis hotline for 3+ years and worked with the Dept of Veterans Affairs.

While this program is great, I do believe that it is really quite similar to other MSW programs in both academic work and internships. Considering how competitive it is to get in I encourage you to remember that once out of school most employers don't care where you got your MSW. And, its super expensive to live here! :)

Hope thats helpful

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Posted

Ah, thanks for the insight. Yes, most social work programs are prescriptive in nature so my reasoning for desiring to attend Berkeley reaches far beyond that. And for me, it's not about the prestige, it's about the people. I would say my reasoning for selecting the graduate schools I applied for are not the "typical reasons"

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Posted

The reason I started this discussion is not really about statistics. I needed a distraction while waiting, wanted to meet people with a connection to Berkeley (applicant, student, graduate), and wanted to have a conversation about our admissions process :). I know discussing statistics absolutely won't change how an admissions committee reviews and reflects on my application file

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Posted (edited)

The program is great, but as a MAP student you receive NO clinical training which is really unusual for a MSW program. My area of interest is working with female returning veterans and their families. Prior to going to this program I managed a crisis hotline for 3+ years and worked with the Dept of Veterans Affairs.

While this program is great, I do believe that it is really quite similar to other MSW programs in both academic work and internships. Considering how competitive it is to get in I encourage you to remember that once out of school most employers don't care where you got your MSW. And, its super expensive to live here! :)

Hope thats helpful

Renay, is that true of the other concentrations, in terms of a lack of adequate clinical training? I'm getting the sense from other posts that Berkeley does not particularly value clinical training.

I applied to the Community Mental Health concentration, and I'm worried that Berkeley will not provide the needed training I will need as a mental health social worker.

If I get in to Berkeley, it will be between:

  • Berkeley: overall great school, great location, and other factors - boyfriend lives there, plan on living & working out there after MSW, been in Michigan my entire life & went to Michigan for undergrad; I need a change of pace!
  • Michigan: strong program, plenty of courses on clinical training, CBT-oriented program, already have residency, already know the area

Just by comparing the course offerings alone in the concentrations, it is clear that Berkeley is not as clinically focused as Michigan.

Do you have any insight on this matter? Thanks!

Edited by cdweaz

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Posted

Renay, is that true of the other concentrations, in terms of a lack of adequate clinical training? I'm getting the sense from other posts that Berkeley does not particularly value clinical training.

I applied to the Community Mental Health concentration, and I'm worried that Berkeley will not provide the needed training I will need as a mental health social worker.

If I get in to Berkeley, it will be between:

  • Berkeley: overall great school, great location, and other factors - boyfriend lives there, plan on living & working out there after MSW, been in Michigan my entire life & went to Michigan for undergrad; I need a change of pace!
  • Michigan: strong program, plenty of courses on clinical training, CBT-oriented program, already have residency, already know the area

Just by comparing the course offerings alone in the concentrations, it is clear that Berkeley is not as clinically focused as Michigan.

Do you have any insight on this matter? Thanks!

It would be correct to say that Berkeley does not focus on clinical training and more on research. The other concentrations do definitely have more of a clinical focus. However, I haven't seen an MSW program that fully prepares students for clinical work. All the programs are accredited by the same body that dictates the required coursework, so most programs don't differ significantly. It is my opinion that no one can be fully trained to do clinical work in a two-year program, its a long process that the MSW sets the foundation for.

Its a good idea to go where you have residency, unless your pretty wealthy. But, if you do plan on working in the bay area it is to your advantage to do your internships here to get your foot in the door. Otherwise, when you move here you are competing with Berkeley grads who are familiar with the area and the populations. They are both good programs and anything you miss in one program you can easily find in the community. Good luck.

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Posted

It would be correct to say that Berkeley does not focus on clinical training and more on research. The other concentrations do definitely have more of a clinical focus. However, I haven't seen an MSW program that fully prepares students for clinical work. All the programs are accredited by the same body that dictates the required coursework, so most programs don't differ significantly. It is my opinion that no one can be fully trained to do clinical work in a two-year program, its a long process that the MSW sets the foundation for.

Its a good idea to go where you have residency, unless your pretty wealthy. But, if you do plan on working in the bay area it is to your advantage to do your internships here to get your foot in the door. Otherwise, when you move here you are competing with Berkeley grads who are familiar with the area and the populations. They are both good programs and anything you miss in one program you can easily find in the community. Good luck.

Thank you! I really appreciate it :)

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Posted

Great insight! Thanks!

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Posted

Does anyone have specific information about how and when Berkeley gives out notices of acceptance?

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Posted

Does anyone have specific information about how and when Berkeley gives out notices of acceptance?

I called last week and the woman on the phone said they'll be notifying people the first week of March.

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