Professional Program in

Social Work

Admissions Criteria

The MSW Program seeks applicants who have demonstrated academic potential for graduate study, readiness and suitability for advanced level social work, and who are able to articulate a commitment to social work. In addition, the Program seeks applicants with demonstrated human services experience and sensitivity to multi-cultural practice, social justice, and leadership/advocacy. Admission to the MSW Program is competitive and, in order to provide the highest quality education and meet accreditation requirements, the number of students admitted may be limited by resources.

Admissions Criteria

Required Qualifications
To be considered for admission to the MSW Program, the following criteria must be met:
  1. An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited university by the time classes start.
  2. A 3.0 grade point average (GPA), measured on a 4.0 scale. Consistent with Graduate Studies policy, students from schools not using a grading system will be evaluated on an individual basis. Students who do not meet the 3.0 GPA requirement or who have other deficiencies may be admitted on a provisional basis. Provisionally admitted students who receive at least a B grade in courses totaling nine credits of graduate work, after acceptance, will be fully admitted.
  3. An academic background in the liberal arts with completion of a minimum of 12 credits in the social sciences. Examples include coursework within or across the following disciplines: Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, and Political Science.
  4. A total of four prerequisite courses are required and include one course from each of the following areas: Biological Life Sciences, Lifespan Development, Statistics, and Research Methods.  Students who have a BSW degree are considered to have met all four prerequisites.
  5. International students must provide evidence of English proficiency. Please see the Graduate Studies website for more information:
Preferred Qualifications
In addition to meeting the required admissions qualifications noted above, the following areas are considered by the MSW Program faculty members who evaluate admission applications:
Demonstrated post-high school human services-related experience. Examples include paid employment, volunteer work, and internships. Written communication that demonstrates clear and succinct conceptualization of ideas, application of critical thinking, the ability to coherently communicate and organize ideas, and the ability to write using correct grammar, spelling and syntax. Commitment to social justice, advocacy, and multicultural practice on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed populations.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required.
Advanced Standing Policy
Applicants may receive Advanced standing status in the MSW Program if they meet one of the two options referenced below.

Option One: BSW degree from a baccalaureate social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or those recognized by the International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service. BSW degree must be obtained within seven years of the year of admission to the UW Green Bay MSW program.

Option Two: Must meet all three of the following criteria*:
  1. BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited program.
  2. Current Wisconsin Social Work certification (training certificate excluded), and
  3. Post-BSW social work practice experience equivalent to three full-time years (approximately 6,240 hours). Work experience must be obtained within 10 years of the year of admission to the MSW Program.
*Applicants are responsible for providing evidence of meeting the above criteria.
Credit for Life or Work Experience
In keeping with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Accreditation Standards, the MSW Program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience regardless of the undergraduate degree attained.
Criminal Background and Caregiver Background Checks
Criminal background and caregiver background checks may be required for your field placement and are a required component of obtaining Social Work certification/licensing in Wisconsin. As a general policy, the agency in which a student will be conducting her or his placement will complete these checks, often for a fee. In some situations, the agency will require the student to have UW Green Bay conduct the checks. In such instances, a student will request, and pay for, the service at the Office of Public Safety (OPS). When the checks are completed, the student will retrieve the reports from OPS and provide directly to the agency. Students who have resided in states other than Wisconsin since the age of 18 will also be required to complete an out-of-state background check and pay additional fees. Students are encouraged to apply for their checks a minimum of three weeks before they are scheduled to begin a field placement.

A student may be denied access to a placement site based on the nature of past offences. Certain offences may also prevent a student from being certified or licensed as a professional social worker and/or the ability to work in certain agency settings. The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) is the credentialing organization for the state of Wisconsin. According to the DSPS, “a criminal conviction is not an automatic bar to licensure. Conviction reviews will occur on a case-by-case basis. See Wis. Stats. S.457.26(2).” If you have questions about how your criminal background may impact your placement or certification/licensing options, you are encouraged to talk with a Social Work Advisor and/or contact the DSPS directly.

Gail Trimberger, MSSW, PhD, LCSW
Social Work Professional Programs
Associate Professor of Social Work
(920) 465-2049

Jeanne Berg
Social Work Professional Programs
Student Status Examiner
(920) 465-2679