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Unusual path planned to MSW


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Hello all,


I am considering a rather unorthodox plan to complete an MSW and I wanted to run it by the forum to see what the members here think.  I have a BA in psychology that I received 8 years ago, but I have been working in a business field since I graduated.  I would like to go to graduate school, but I face a few challenges.  I haven't kept in touch with any professors, nor do I think I was particularly memorable, despite quite good grades.  I only did 1 semester as a research assistant and only did 1 internship in a tangentially related area. Truthfully, I had no idea what I was doing.  


I have been considering going back to school to get a certificate in Addictions Studies because it would allow me the opportunity to gain certification in my state to work as an addictions counselor and it will also allow me the chance to make connections and experiences that I could use get into an MSW program.  I could do the addictions studies course either at a local community college for a certificate or at an easy to get into local state school where I would obtain an MA.  I'm leaning towards the state school because the price difference is not really that much and both take about the same amount of time.


Am I crazy to consider pursuing 2 master's degrees one after one another?  Does this seem like a decent plan? 

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I would try to get a reference from one of your old profs. You never know, one of them might remember you. It would be better for them to see you in person to help jog their memory and show them any old assignments you have if you kept them. Otherwise, try to sign up for one or two night school courses and get references from those profs, because you will need one or two academic references to apply to grad school.


It's your choice if you want to do the MA is Addictions or an MSW first. It sounds like you are on the right track by identifying what you want to do career wise and identifying which degrees will allow you to get there. One advantage to your plan is that after getting the MA in Addictions, you could try to get your future employer in addictions to pay the tuition fees for the MSW if you do it part time and outside of working hours.


Best of luck!

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Regarding LORs: Do not stress about having an academic reference, particularly if you have been out of school for a while. The MSW is a professional degree program, and they by and large understand applicants have typically been out in the workforce prior to pursuing the degree. I would emphasize pursuing solid references you know will sing your praises rather than trying to break your neck to get an academic reference that might not be as stellar or from individuals who know you as well.


I was only out of school for about 2-3 years prior to applying to MSW programs, but all three of my references came from my community and professional work--even for programs that "required" at least one academic reference--and I was accepted to all seven programs to which I applied. 



Edited by briefinterviews
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