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HELP! MSW program info

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Hi guys,

I am currently a Psych. Major at Florida State University. In December I applied to PhD counseling programs and needless to say it didnt work out. I started to weigh out my options and have decided to attend an MSW program and get a LCSW. Potentially I want to do counseling/therapy in the future. But I am so new to all of this.

I talked to an advisor at FSU, who basically told me to use the CSWE for accredited programs and that most of the programs have later deadlines. However as Ive been doing my research on schools, it seems like a lot of schools have deadlines that have already passed.

Thus I was wondering when do most MSW programs have deadlines? (because it seems to vary a lot online) For instance with psychology you want to apply between december-jan. Does the same apply to MSW programs

Also I noticed that for some MSW programs they offer spring admissions only to those with a BSW, is this true for most programs? and do a lot of programs offer spring admissions? would it be wise to wait until the spring to apply?

In other words is it too late to apply to a lot of programs? and or if you were me would you wait it out until next year to apply or would you apply for the spring semester? Help!!!

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Welcome to the board! I think it's great that you're interested in going the MSW route, but would caution against rushing the application process. Compiling a thoughtful and purposeful application will serve you best. Additionally, I don't know the particulars of your background, but a lot of programs like to see a minimum of 1 year of relevant full-time experience in the field. Some programs will take a handful of students right out of undergraduate, but every program I applied to reiterated the importance of social work experience in admissions.

Applications typically become available around September/October, with priority deadlines set for December/January; some programs have Advanced Standing available to BSWs--some don't. I can't say I ran across too many instances of spring admissions outside online MSWs, so I can't speak to that point. Honestly, it is very hard to generalize the admissions process as every program is a little different.

Take your time, research programs, talk to current students, attend information sessions, and really get a feel for what will be best for you and your goals :)

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What do you mean by 1 year of relative experience?

The one good thing is that I'm not making a major change, I'm going from psychology to social work. I don't know if this is considered relative field experience but I have worked in 3 different psychology labs doing psychological research, one which included administering assessments to preschool aged children. I volunteered as a hotline counselor, where I answered 4 different hotline, worked over 200 hours and had 75+ hours of training. I also did some volunteer work at an elderly community in Tallahassee.

Would you say this is the sort of thing they are looking for? or what exactly do you mean by "relative experience?"

Edited by Daniela Tullio
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Like briefinterviews mentioned, it will vary among programs. Generally, I have seen most programs begin accepting applications from October through January. Some Cal State schools take applicaitons til March. I would encourage sending in your application a little early, at least by December. Most students do not hear from the program until March or April.

A LCSW is great! I'm happy you are exploring that option. I'm not sure what your experiences are, but I would take these next months building up your experience. Most MSW programs will have an option you can declare: Child and Family, Mental Health, Nonprofit Management, etc. Make sure you look at the available options. With background experience and a potential focus on the population you want to serve, this will strengthen your personal statement. Oh, and some programs might require the Revised GRE (in which case, you will need to study!)

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By relative experience, I mean experience related to providing services to vulnerable, high-risk populations. You have a good foundation from which to build, and I would venture to say your best bet is to take time to build on your paid and volunteer work experience with the population you hope to eventually serve as a LCSW.

I echo Inspired10's advice regarding state schools, and other programs on rolling admissions--the earlier in the application cycle, the better.

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