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Hi, everyone! I just graduated in December with my BASW. I have applied for several MSW programs, and I was wondering if anyone knew the acceptance rate or if I even have a chance of getting in. I applied to Columbia University, NYU, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Michigan, Case Western Reserve, Hunter College, and the University of Louisville. First, is that too many? I feel like I applied to a lot of programs. I just want to make sure I have options. During undergrad, I participated in the Bonner Program (a college scholarship program based on service hours throughout high school). I had two Bonner internships at different nonprofits. I also interned as a social work student at an elementary school, an after-school program for low-income students, and my state's LGBT advocacy and lobbying campaign. While working with the LGBT group, I got the chance to apply for and start a SAGE affiliate (a program for LGBT older adults) in my city. I graduated with a 3.5 GPA and received 3 amazing recommendation letters (two from former internship supervisors and one from a professor). Do I appear to be a competitive candidate and does anyone know the acceptance rates of these schools? Thanks!

Edited by mec2015
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@mec2015 Hello there! I'm responding to this because I remember how I felt when I was initially applying back in November for Anthropology PhDs to Duke, UMich, Notre Dame, UCB, UCLA, UCSD, and Northwestern. I was desperately searching the internet and the respective schools' websites for information about admittance statistics/students academic profiles. I searched to no avail; and that's basically what I'm here to tell you. Sites/forums like these are your best shot at getting an understanding of who is admitted where and why. Graduate schools typically do not disclose what "kind" of student gets admitted; and I've finally learned it's because it varies so much, especially with liberal arts/humanities disciplines. Check Magoosh for a limited list of schools and the average GRE scores for each one, but besides that, you really have to just hope that whatever you intend to pursue is integral to the interests of whatever school you're applying to. 


I'm sorry if that wasn't more helpful! What has helped me in the stress of not knowing if I'll get in to the programs I've applied to, is looking at the current students and their interests. Of course, programs don't just admit one kind of foci/interest, but it is helpful in gauging the interests of the department and whether or not you're in line with them. I wish you luck! 

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@mec2015I feel it cuts both ways depending on the faculty.  Obviously you need to find a faculty on which at least two or three sitting members share some of your research interests.  Therefore, a program that has no one interested in your interests is a bad fit, no matter the reputation.  On the other hand, programs do tend to look for diversity, and one would think that research interests somewhere outside the norm would be refreshing.  As @olivialucilec noted, you never know, and the reality is that some schools probably take a more conservative approach and only align their candidates strongly to their faculty, while other schools have faculty that are intrigued by research that may go in a different direction from their own.  To answer your first question, you probably are competitive, but acceptance rates vary as applicant pools do, so it is tough to say.  You could always ask the admissions office how many applications they received this year and how many spots are open.  I doubt they'd say at this point, but it couldn't hurt.  Then you'd know your unweighted statistical probability.

I say this as someone who is wondering which side of that coin I'll fall.  I am applying for a PhD. in Education, but my research interest is in Behavior Disability programs in urban settings.  Suffice to say, this is not a mainstream Education interest, so while I think it's a fascinating topic, I'm relying heavily on the faculty of any school that accepts me to believe I am passionate enough to drive a good portion of my own research because not a lot of doors spring open the merits of this research topic alone.  I feel like I am competitive otherwise: two MAs, interdisciplinary background, high GRE, and a recommendation from the director of a Pedagogy program at a University.  But really, who knows?

My seven schools are: WashU, Northwestern, BC, NYU, Rutgers, CUNY Grad Center, and Montclair State (a smaller NJ school). Best of luck to you!

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