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Division of Social Work

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about life in the MSW Program

Q: When does the program start?

A: We begin in summer term. There is only one required summer class for the standard program, and two for the advanced-standing program. Required classes meet only on intensive weekends, not during the evenings. We also offer electives during the summer, which can meet in person, online, or face to face.

Q: Would I be in the standard or advanced program?

A: The advanced-standing program is for those with a bachelor's of social work (BSW). The standard program is for those with any other bachelor's degree.

Q: My degree is in something other than the human services field. Will I fit in? Or will I struggle in the program?

A: We mostly have applicants come to us with criminal justice, psychology, sociology, family and consumer science, and nursing degrees, but it is not uncommon to have a few students every year from unrelated backgrounds, such as STEM fields. We find that students from unrelated disciplines do not do any better or worse than those from human services fields.

Q: Is the program online?

A: The MSW program is a hybrid model. We offer a combination of face to face, streaming video, and online classes. However, there is not an option to take the program solely online.

Q: Do I have to live in Wyoming to attend the MSW program?

A: Not necessarily, but you do need to live close enough that you can get to an outreach site a few times per week. Video classes are broadcast to outreach sites throughout the state, and currently, we do not broadcast outside state lines (though this may be an option for the cohort beginning in 2018, so check back for updates!)

Q: How is the program structured?

A: MSW classes take place on nights and weekends. Night classes take place weekly, 1-3 times per week, Monday through Thursday, from either 4-7 pm or 7-10 pm (though we always try to schedule the 4-7 slot whenever possible). These classes are available in person for students in Laramie, and through streaming video, which is broadcast to outreach sites across the state. Weekend classes take place 3 times during summer semester, 5 times in fall, and 5 times in spring. These are called intensive weekends. Classes on intensive weekends are scheduled between the hours of noon on Friday and 5:30 pm on Sunday. Intensive weekend classes are mandatory, and must be attended in person, in Laramie.

Q: Can I continue to work while in the MSW program?

A: If there is a need for a student to work, we recommend you work part time only while in the program. We find that when students try to work full time, they either do not succeed in the program or they get very burned out.

Q: What does the course schedule look like?

A: You can find the curriculum and more in the Current Students portion of our website.

Questions about Admissions

Q: When are applications due?

A: Applications are always due on January 15 prior to the summer you want to begin. For example, if you'd like to be considered for the cohort beginning in June 2018, your application is due January 15, 2018.

Q: What do you look for in an application?

A: A complete application will have the MSW Application Information Sheet, the online application, a resume, unofficial transcripts, a personal statement, an academic essay, and three letters of reference from professional sources. Prompts, templates, and instructions can be found on our website. In the resume, faculty look for experience in the human services field. For applicants coming from disciplines in other fields, volunteer experience in human services is helpful and is strongly encouraged. Transcripts must reflect an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above. If your GPA is under 3.0, your personal statement need to address circumstances surrounding a lower GPA, and volunteer and/or work history, writing, and recommendation letters should be as strong as possible. Faculty review applicant material based on writing that reflects an ability to organize thinking and ability to use the English language well, including grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. Correct use of APA in writing scholarly papers is required; the academic essay for the application is a scholarly paper. All application materials are to be submitted online, including letters of recommendation.

Q: Do you require the GRE?

A: No. Instead of the GRE, applicants are required to write an academic essay.

Q: I am an international student. How will my application process differ from a domestic student?

A: If you are a resident of a country whose official or co-official language is English, you do not have to submit a TOEFL/IELTS score. If you are not a resident of a country whose official or co-official language is English, you will have to submit a copy of your TOEFL/IELTS exam results with your transcripts. We will have your transcripts evaluated by the International Students and Scholars Office, and we will be in touch regarding any further documentation you need to provide or steps you need to take.

Q: What is the admissions process like?

A: Applications are due in January. Everything must be turned in electronically by that date. If something is submitted late, it will be marked as such, and the faculty will take this factor into account when evaluating your application. The one exception to this is the recommendation letters. We will not punish an applicant for their recommender's lateness. However, if your recommender is significantly late in turning in your letter, you may be asked to choose a different recommender.

Once an application is complete, it goes through two rounds of faculty reviews. The reviewers are asked to score the packet on a scale from 1-100, and then give their vote of admit or deny. Review sheets are removed after each round, and faculty do not make marks on the packets; no faculty member knows how another faculty member voted. If the reviewers' votes of admit/deny disagree, the packet is reviewed by a third, "tie breaker" faculty member. This faculty member does not know if the packet is a tie breaker or was held up due to late recommendation letters.

When the initial review is completed, the faculty meet to decide who to interview. Interviews take place over 1-2 weeks, depending on the number of interviewees and the number of faculty members available to conduct interviews. They usually take place in the last two weeks of February. You will have a limited selection of times to choose from. If none of the selections work for you, you can ask for additional options, but please note that due to time constraints, special accommodation is not a guarantee. After interviews, the faculty meet to make their final decisions, and you will be notified of our decision by mid-March.

Q: I have not taken one or both of the prerequisites. Can I still apply?

A: Absolutely. Prerequisites must be completed before you begin your first fall in the program. Many applicants prefer to wait to complete their prerequisites over the summer, after they have received our decision.

Q: How do I know if I need to take prerequisites?

A: If you are an advanced-standing applicant, you are not required to have prerequisites. If you are a standard program applicant, you will need to have Human Biology (anatomy) and Statistics. If you are unsure if your classes will count toward one or both of the prerequisites, please email a copy of your transcripts to sowkmail@uwyo.edu and ask that they be reviewed for prerequisites.

Q: I will graduate the May before the start of the MSW program. Can I apply before I obtain my bachelor's degree?

A: Absolutely. If admitted, your admission is contingent upon successful completion of the bachelor's degree by the beginning of the program. If graduating from a school other than University of Wyoming, please have final transcripts submitted to UW after all your grades are in and the degree is reflected on your transcripts.

Q: Can I mail my application to you?

A: No, everything must be turned in electronically through the admissions portal on our website. However, if you have trouble submitting your materials, please email sowkmail@uwyo.edu and ask for assistance.

Questions about Tuition and Fees

Q: How much does the program cost?

A: Tuition and fee estimates can be found on Financial Aid's website. Please note, their estimate is for 9 credits per semester. Standard program students will have 3 credits during summer, 16 their first fall and 15 their first spring. Students in our advanced-standing program carry 6 credits in summer; all students in their second year of the program carry 16 or 17 credits in fall, and 16 or 17 in spring (the 16 or 17 depends on whether you choose a Plan B or Thesis as your final project).

Q: I am a resident of a state other than Wyoming. How does residency affect my tuition?

A: The University of Wyoming participates in the WICHE program. If you are a resident of a WICHE state, you will be eligible for in-state or significantly reduced tuition as a graduate student at the University of Wyoming. Please contact Financial Aid for more information. If you are not a resident of Wyoming and not a resident of a WICHE state, you must pay out-of-state tuition.

Q: What kind of financial assistance is available?

A: The Division of Social Work is fortunate to have generous alumni, who have allowed us to give out over $15,000 total in financial assistance per year. We also have a number of graduate assistant positions in Casper and Laramie available every year. You must apply for scholarships and graduate assistantships. Applications are due in April, and decisions are made in May. Both are need-based awards. Scholarships are allocated in varying amounts to individual students. Graduate assistantships are awarded as either half or full awards; half awards pay for 5 credits of tuition, half of student fees, half health insurance, and a monthly stipend. Full awards pay for 9 credits of tuition, full student fees, full health insurance, and a monthly stipend. Most graduate assistantships are awarded as half-time positions.

Questions about Field Education

Q: I have a job that I think would work well as a field placement. Can I be placed at my job?

A: This is a possibility, but it is the exception, rather than the rule. You will need to petition the Field Committee to allow your employment placement. Please see the Field Education Student Handbook for more information.

Q: Are there paid field placements?

A: Very rarely, we get the opportunity for a paid placement. This is highly irregular and should be considered a bonus rather than an expectation.

Q: I have a work schedule that is heavier during the academic year and lighter in the summer. Can I take my field placement over the summer instead of during the school year?

A: This is a possibility, though you will need to petition the Field Committee and obtain the Committee's approval. Please see the Field Education Student Handbook for more information.

If you have questions about any of the above information, or if you have questions that are not listed above, please don't hesitate to contact us at sowkmail@uwyo.edu. We understand that pursuing a graduate degree can be a daunting process, and we're here to help!


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Division of Social Work

College of Health Sciences

University of Wyoming

Dept. 3632

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071-2000

Phone: (307) 766-6112

Email: sowkmail@uwyo.edu

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1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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