Master of Social Work

Photo of a smiling family in the park.

The UA Little Rock School of Social Work MSW program is nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The mission of the graduate program of the UA Little Rock School of Social Work, is to prepare graduates for leadership roles in clinical practice and in management and community practice within the social welfare system in Arkansas. Our commitment is to discover and disseminate knowledge, embrace diversity, to serve our communities and organizations, and to eliminate the barriers that oppressed and vulnerable people face.
Towards this mission, MSW program faculty prepare graduates not only for general social work practice but also one of two specialized concentrations: Advanced Direct Practice (clinical) work or Management and Community Practice (macro). Each student receives individual academic and professional advising from a faculty member.


3 STEPS TO YOUR CAREER IN SOCIAL WORK

Step 1: Apply to UA Little Rock Graduate School

Graduate School Admission

  • Apply for admission to the UA Little Rock Graduate School.
  • Pay a $40 non-refundable application fee via the link in the initial application email or request a waiver of the fee at the above link.
  • Submit all official transcripts from ALL previously attended colleges and universities (undergraduate and graduate).
    • International students must have their transcripts articulated. Transcripts that have not been articulated can be submitted for the application process; however, if a student is granted admission, WES-articulated transcripts must be submitted to the Graduate School before he or she can register for classes.
  • Provide proof of 2 MMR vaccines. Contact your program coordinator if you think you are eligible for a waiver. Only students in the UA Little Rock Online programs are exempt.
  • Provide proof of a grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.00 scale, including post-baccalaureate hours.
  • Provide a copy of your government-issued photo ID.

International Student Admission

Required documents for international admission:

  • Tuberculosis screening
    • All applicants must provide proof of a tuberculosis screening, which must be performed in the United States of America and can be done at the Health Services Center at UA Little Rock.
  • Health and accident insurance
    • All international students must purchase the health and accident insurance provided by UA Little Rock and maintain coverage year-round. Students will be billed at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. A student who enters in a summer semester will be billed for that semester as well, making the total number of times billed three instead of two. If you have any questions, please contact Health Services at 501-569-3188.
  • Transfer forms
    • Applicants transferring from another institution within the United States of America must also provide a Transfer and Visa form completed by the applicant’s International Student Services advisor from his or her current institution.
  • Financial statement (students with F and J visas only)
    • Before students can be accepted into the Graduate School, you must provide a financial statement showing that they are financially capable of pursuing a graduate education in the United States of America. For more information on this form, please contact the office of International Student Services at 501-683-7566.
  • All applicants must submit a copy of their visa.

Transfer Students

Students with coursework in other masters programs may request that prior coursework be transferred in. This request must be made prior to enrollment to the MSW Program to the Admissions Coordinator by email. No more than two courses will be allowed to transfer in. In most cases, students will only be allowed to transfer in elective courses; transfer courses are generally not accepted as required courses. Students must email the Admissions Coordinator at socialwork@ualr.edu with the request, have earned at least a grade of B in the course, include a syllabus for the course they wish to transfer and provide a statement regarding why they wish to transfer in and what course they want to have it transferred in as.

Step 2: Pick Your Pathway


There are three program options available to students pursuing an MSW degree. All programs are offered in both face-to-face and online options.

Full-time program

This full-time program is designed to be completed in two years. Students typically enroll in 16 credits, including internship, each semester during their foundation (first) year and 14 credits each semester, including internship, during their concentration (second) year.


Part-time program

The part-time program is designed to be completed in three years. Students attend part-time for the first two years and full-time for the final year. The foundation year internship may be completed during the second year or the summer following the second year while the concentration year internship must be completed during the concentration year.


Advanced Standing Program

This program allows qualified students who have earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education during the previous five years to complete the MSW degree in a shorter, concentrated program. This program may be completed on either a full-time (12 months) or part-time (21 months) basis. Students in the full-time program are expected to begin their coursework in late May and to be enrolled full-time in the summer, fall, and spring semesters. Beginning in Summer 2020, the Advanced Standing Program is being offered only to both those who attend the main campus and the online campus.


Special Student Status

Some social work elective courses are open to interested individuals for professional advancement or enrichment. Enrollment in these courses does not guarantee admission to the MSW Program.

Step 3: Apply to the MSW Program

Program Admission

Regular admission to the Master of Social Work program requires:

  • A completed application forms for the Graduate School and School of Social Work.
  • A baccalaureate degree with a liberal arts background from an accredited institution as evidenced by submission of the Liberal Arts Verification Form.
  • An overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
    • An applicant whose undergraduate GPA is below a 3.0 may be considered for conditional admission.
  • Satisfactory scores within the last five years on either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
  • A narrative statement of professional orientation (format included in the application packet).
  • Three references from people who know the applicant in professional, academic, and volunteer settings that indicate a propensity for both academics and social work practice (included with online application).
  • Official transcripts with the baccalaureate degree posted prior to the student enrolling in a graduate level course.
  • A professional resume.

Advanced Standing Applicants ONLY
In order to be considered for the Advanced Standing program, applicants must:

  • Meet all the requirements outlined above for Regular Admission
  • Have a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program with a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Must have a 3.5 GPA in last 60 hours of undergraduate studies.
  • Have earned their degree within the last five years.
  • Submit a copy of all field/internship evaluations.
  • Submit one reference that is written by a faculty member in the applicant’s undergraduate social work program.

Volunteer, employment, and other life experiences relevant to the career choice of social work are considered in the admission decision.


Application Deadlines

Applicants to the Master of Social Work program may be admitted as full-time, part-time, or advanced standing students. Deadlines are as follows:

February 1st:

  • Full-time advanced standing program starting in the summer
  • Part-time advanced standing program starting in the fall
  • Main campus and online campus starting in the fall.

November 1st:

  • All students who wish to begin courses in the spring

Review of Applications and Admission

MSW applications are accepted at any time, but should be completed by the deadline provided above. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. All application materials must be received by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission.

Although we will admit students for the spring and fall semesters, core courses begin in the fall; only full-time advanced standing students may begin their coursework in the summer. The majority of the MSW courses are offered in a sequential fashion. Therefore, students admitted to the master’s program in the spring can only enroll part-time for the spring semester.



CHOOSING YOUR CONCENTRATION

Young woman with glass working on her laptop in a library.

All MSW students begin their course of study with core social work classes to build a strong generalist foundation. Prior to their final year in the program, MSW students have the opportunity to choose one of two concentrations:

  • Advanced Direct Practice (ADP): Clinical Concentration
  • Management and Community Practice (MCP) Concentration: Macro Concentration

Advanced Direct Practice (ADP)


Advanced Direct Practice (often called clinical social work) students take a series of advanced courses that provide knowledge and skills to work with individuals, families, and groups. Clinical social workers provide mental health care and other supportive resources directly to diverse individuals, families, and groups using a range of evidenced-based approaches. Working in settings such as community clinics, prisons, hospitals, schools, and client homes, clinical social workers collaborate with colleagues in medicine, nursing, criminal justice, education, and other human services to improve well-being one client a time.

The central focus of clinical social work is on the mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being of individuals, families, and groups. The clinical social worker is able to assess and intervene at multiple levels, addressing both the internal and external factors that impact client functioning. The clinical social worker is able to draw on both evidence-informed and traditional models of practice and is specifically trained in drawing on theory to guide practice.

Clinical social workers practice in a variety of practice settings including community mental health centers, hospitals, substance use treatment and recovery facilities, primary health care, child welfare agencies, centers for aging services, employee assistance programs, and private practice settings.

The ADP clinical concentration prepares students for advanced practice with individuals, families, and groups in a variety of practice settings. The concentration includes knowledge of a range of both contemporary and traditional evidence-informed theories and models that guide practice. One of the central goals of the clinical concentration is to help students link theory with practice and develop the skills of a beginning level clinical social worker.

Students in the clinical concentration learn:

  • Knowledge and application of cognitive behavioral approaches to practice.
  • Knowledge and application of ego supportive psychotherapeutic approaches to practice.
  • Knowledge and application of family systems theory and a variety of contemporary family therapy models.
  • Knowledge and application of interpersonal group theory.
  • Critical thinking skills as they apply to the processes of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation with individuals, families and groups.
  • How to demonstrate ethical integrity through the application of social work values in a variety of clinical situations.
  • Differential use of the professional relationship.
  • The importance of utilizing evidence-informed, or best practice approaches, with individuals, families and groups.
  • Increasing levels of self-awareness including the professional use of self to engage and work with diverse client populations.
  • Advocacy skills for practice delivery and policies that promote social and economic justice and equity when working with individuals, families, and groups.

Students who graduate from the advanced direct practice concentration have advanced skills in working autonomously and ethically with individuals, families, and groups in agency settings.

Management and Community Practice (MCP)


Management and Community Practice (MCP) students take a series of advanced courses that provide knowledge and skills to lead human services and governmental organizations, develop and evaluate social policies, develop grant and other funding applications, and advocate for change. While always a social worker, upon graduation these students may take positions with titles like policy analyst, grant writer, lobbyist, program evaluator, director, and coordinator. MCP social workers collaborate with elected leaders, government officials, community leaders, nonprofits, and advocacy groups to improve well-being one policy at a time.

Faculty pursue the School’s mission both by educating new social workers and by serving Arkansas communities directly by serving on agency boards, consulting on practice and evaluation, performing innovative research, and working directly with clients.

The central focus of the management and community practice concentration is on preparing social workers for leadership within the social service community at the macro level. Students are also able to assess and intervene at multiple levels, addressing both the internal and external factors that impact organizational and community functioning. The community practice social worker is able to draw on both evidence-informed and traditional models of practice and is specifically trained in drawing on theory to guide practice.

MCP social workers practice in a variety of organizations and practice settings such as child welfare agencies, policy and advocacy centers, aging services, educational facilities, employee assistance programs, public health organizations, and community based agencies. They also carry out a range of responsibilities such as policy analysis, program development and oversight, grant writing, fundraising, administration, outreach and volunteer coordination, and program evaluation.

The MCP concentration prepares students for advanced practice with individuals, groups, and organizations in a variety of practice settings but primarily focuses on the macro level. The concentration includes knowledge of a range of both contemporary and traditional evidence-informed theories and models that guide organizational practice. One of the central goals of the community concentration is to help students link theory with practice and develop the skills of a beginning level community social worker.

Students in the MCP concentration learn:

  • Knowledge and application of program planning.
  • Knowledge and application of program evaluation.
  • Knowledge and application of organizational and management theory and practice.
  • Knowledge and application of organizational effectiveness tools.
  • Critical thinking skills as they apply to the processes of leadership, engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation with individuals, groups, programs, organizations and communities.
  • How to demonstrate ethical integrity through application of social work values in a variety of community and organizational situations.
  • The importance of utilizing evidence-informed or best practice approaches, with individuals, groups, programs, organizations, and communities.
  • The importance of utilizing culturally competent practice with individuals, groups, programs, organizations, and communities.
  • Increasing levels of self-awareness, including the professional use of self to engage and work with diverse client populations.
  • Advocacy skills for practice delivery and policies that promote social and economic justice and equity when working with individuals, groups, organizations and communities.

Students who graduate from the MCP concentration are prepared with the conceptual, analytical, technical, and interpersonal skills needed for planning, organizing, coordinating, evaluating, and leadership associated with management and community practice in community-based programs, hospital social services, and state health and human service bureaucracies.

Master of Social Work/Juris Doctor Concurrent Degree Program


The Master of Social Work/Juris Doctor concurrent degree program is offered with the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law. Students enrolled in the concurrent MSW/JD program shall use specified courses to earn cross-credits to be applied toward the fulfillment of both degrees.

Students must obtain admission to both programs to receive cross-credit. To learn more about Bowen School of Law’s admission procedures and requirements, visit their Admissions page. Once admitted, students must submit a Declaration of Intent to Pursue Joint Degrees form. This form is also available in the School of Social Work and the School of Law admissions offices. Students are not considered enrolled in the concurrent program until both programs receive a copy of the completed form.

Current MSW program students may enter the concurrent program by gaining admission to the UA Little Rock School of Law and submitting a completed Declaration of Intent to Pursue Joint Degrees form to each program prior to completing the MSW. Students currently pursuing a JD must apply for admission to the MSW program prior to receiving the JD. To obtain maximum benefit for cross-credits, students should apply for the MSW program and UA Little Rock School of Law at the same time.

Students applying to the UA Little Rock School of Law and the UA Little Rock School of Social Work at the same time are not required to meet the GRE or MAT admission requirements for the MSW program. LSAT scores are used in lieu of those test scores.

Once students are admitted to both programs and the concurrent degree forms are on file in both offices, cross-credit for courses is earned according to the following conditions: a minimum grade of B in LAW courses Diversity and Oppression and Social Welfare Policy and a minimum grade of C in LAW 6331 or Law 6270 and LAW 6329 or LAW 6338 program cross-credit courses (up to 12 hours) while maintaining a 3.0 cumulative GPA in courses counted for the MSW degree

MSW/JD Concurrent Degree Plan

MSW Courses Approved for Credit in the JD Program

  • SOWK 7301 Foundations of Social Work Practice I
  • SOWK 7331 Foundations of Social Work Practice III
  • SOWK 8305 Management and Community Practice I
  • SOWK 8306 Management and Community Practice II
  • SOWK 7396 Crisis Problem Solving
  • SOWK 8253 Law and Social Work
  • SOWK 8242 Global Perspectives in Social Work
  • SOWK 8320 Family Mediation

JD Courses Approved for Credit in the MSW Program

  • LAW 6390 Diversity and Oppression
  • LAW 6350 Social Welfare Policy
  • LAW 6338 Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • LAW 6329 Mediation Seminar
  • LAW 6331 Family Law
  • LAW 6270 Juvenile Law

Download the Academic Advising Certification Form for the MSW/JD Program (PDF)



CURRICULUM AND COURSES

Students taking notes in a auditorium classroom.

The MSW curriculum consists of 60 hours of graduate work, including 32 foundation hours, 22 concentration hours, and 6 elective hours. Internships are an integral part of the curriculum design, totaling 18 hours of the 60 hours coursework. Advanced-standing students are given credit for 17 hours of graduate work and need 43 hours of coursework to graduate.

Curriculum


Students may enroll in the main campus or online campus and each campus has three program options available to students pursuing an MSW degree: full-time, part-time, and advanced standing. Once admitted into the School of Social Work, students will formulate their degree plan with their academic advisor.

Master of Social Work Curriculum Plan (60 hours)

Below is an overview of the MSW degree plan. For a more detailed view of the regular MSW curriculum, please view our Advanced-Standing curriculum plans. Click on the tabs on the bottom of the page on the above link to see the plan for the program you are interested in.

Foundation Courses (32 hours)

The first academic year for full-time students or the first two years for part-time students is referred to as the foundation year which grounds students in the common body of knowledge, values, and skills of the social work profession transferable among settings, population groups, and problem areas. In the classroom, students are given content on social work values and ethics, diversity, social and economic justice, populations-at-risk, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, and research. In the internship, the student is expected to apply foundation knowledge, skills, values, and ethics to practice.

  • SOWK 7330 Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
  • SOWK 7350 Social Welfare Policies & Services
  • SOWK 7390 Diversity & Oppression
  • SOWK 7301 Foundations of Social Work Practice I
  • SOWK 7403 Social Work Internship I
  • SOWK 7302 Foundations of Social Work Practice II
  • SOWK 7370 Social Work Research Methods
  • SOWK 7391 Assessment and Differential Diagnosis
  • SOWK 7331 Foundations of Social Work Practice III
  • SOWK 7404 Social Work Internship II
Concentration Courses (28 hours)

The second year for full-time students or the third year for part-time students is referred to as the concentration year and prepares students for advanced practice with a concentration in advanced direct practice or management and community practice. Students gain additional knowledge and skills in their chosen concentration through internships and electives.

Advanced Direct Practice Concentration
This concentration is open to both Main Campus and Online Campus students.

  • SOWK 8301 Advanced Directed Practice I
  • SOWK 8371 Statistics for Social Work
  • SOWK 8503 Advanced Direct Practice Internship I
  • SOWK 8302 Advanced Directed Practice II
  • SOWK 8390 Advanced Direct Practice III
  • SOWK 8504 Advanced Direct Practice Internship II
  • Electives (6 hours)*

Management and Community Practice Concentration
This concentration is only open to Main Campus students.

  • SOWK 8305 Management and Community Practice I
  • SOWK 8259 Evaluation Research I
  • SOWK 8371 Statistics for Social Work
  • SOWK 8507 Internship I Management & Community Practice
  • SOWK 8306 Management and Community Practice II
  • SOWK 8159 Evaluation Research II
  • SOWK 8508 Internship II Management & Community Practice
  • Electives (6 hours)*

All core courses are offered only once a year.

Master of Social Work Advanced Standing Curriculum Plan (43 hours)

Below is an overview of the MSW Advanced Standing degree plan. For a more detailed view of the Advanced Standing MSW curriculum, please view our Full-time Advanced Standing Degree Plan (PDF) or Part-time Advanced Standing Degree Plan (PDF).

Foundation Courses (15 hours)
  • SOWK 8316 Advanced Standing Seminar
  • SOWK 7370 Social Work Research Methods
  • SOWK 7391 Assessment and Differential Diagnosis
  • SOWK 7603 Advanced Standing Social Work Internship
Concentration Courses (28 hours)

Advanced Direct Practice Concentration

  • SOWK 8301 Advanced Directed Practice I
  • SOWK 8371 Statistics for Social Work
  • SOWK 8503 Advanced Direct Practice Internship I
  • SOWK 8302 Advanced Directed Practice II
  • SOWK 8390 Advanced Direct Practice III
  • SOWK 8504 Advanced Direct Practice Internship II
  • Electives (6 hours)*

Management and Community Practice Concentration

  • SOWK 8305 Management and Community Practice I
  • SOWK 8259 Evaluation Research I
  • SOWK 8371 Statistics for Social Work
  • SOWK 8507 Internship I Management & Community Practice
  • SOWK 8306 Management and Community Practice II
  • SOWK 8159 Evaluation Research II
  • SOWK 8508 Internship II Management & Community Practice
  • Electives (6 hours)*
*Students must take 6 hours of electives and may do so at any time in the program.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements

  • Satisfactory completion of approved program of study as outlined above.
  • At least a 3.0 cummulative GPA.
  • Faculty recommendation for degree.

Re-enrollment

Students who withdraw voluntarily from the program must reapply and be readmitted in accordance with general admissions procedures.

Course Descriptions


For a full list of courses and descriptions, please visit the UA Little Rock graduate catalog. A list of Social Work courses can be found by entering the prefix SOWK into the search engine.


MEET OUR COORDINATORS

Photo of Dr. Catherine Crisp

Catherine Crisp, Ph.D., LCSW

MSW Coordinator
Associate Professor

Photo of Elizabeth Fowler.

Elizabeth Fowler, MSW

MSW Field Coordinator


STUDENT RESOURCES AND SUPPORT

Two women studying in the Ottenheimer Library.

The profession of social work offers some wonderful resources to social workers and other interested parties. Please view the sections below to learn more about those resources. Some of the resources below may redirect you to another website.

Student Handbooks


The MSW Handbook is revised every year and provides information about UA Little Rock and the MSW program policies and procedures. Click the link below to download the handbook as a PDF file.

Current Handbook

2019-2020 MSW Student Handbook (PDF)
UA Little Rock Graduate School Handbook

Previous Handbooks

2018-2019 MSW Student Handbook (PDF)
2017-2018 MSW Student Handbook (PDF)
2016-2017 MSW Student Handbook (PDF)

Helpful Links

Student Support Services


Advising
Students will be assigned a MSW Faculty advisor who will advise them about their coursework while in the program. The MSW Coordinator will notify the student and advisor of these assignments by email.

Academic Success Center
The Academic and Support Center provides the opportunity for students to develop their skills in a way that promotes advance achievement, administration, and demonstrates self-coordinated learning through astounding support services.

Blackboard Student Support
Blackboard Student Support offers a variety of resources for students taking classes online at UA Little Rock including tutorials, links to helpful resources, and answers to students’ frequently asked questions. Our support staff will try to respond to your help request within 24 hours, excluding weekends and U.S. holidays.

Career Services
Our Career Services program provides one-on-one guidance support for career planning, professional development and job searching. We help our students recognize and explore career opportunities/options, distinguish and research prospective company openings that prompt your definitive profession objective, and develop resumes, introductory letters, and savvy interviewing techniques.

Community Connection Center
Community, Careers, and Extended Education (CCEE) promotes career building and learning that will enhance the lives at UA Little Rock. We encourage group networking, promote experiential learning to increase student involvement, and enhance collaborative faculty and student research.

Counseling Services
Counseling Services aims to give the best individual and group advising/counseling assistance to students experiencing mental, social, or learning complications.

Disability Resource Services
Our Disability Resource provides accessible services to people with disabilities so they may thrive and actively participate within their communities. We strive to work proactively with the campus on accessibility issues by developing convenient course design and accommodating all disability complications.

Financial Aid
We don’t want you to miss out on financial assistance opportunities! The Office of Financial Aid is dedicated to help you qualify and fund your education. Our staff will help you find the right scholarships, grants, and student loans just for you. Schedule a meeting with one of our financial advisors today!

Green Dot initiative
The Green Dot initiative is all about creating a safe and positive campus environment through the power of community and we believe that any behavior‚ choice‚ word‚ or attitude has the capacity to promote the safety and well-being for all of us. The Green Dot Initiative communicates zero tolerance for violence and we are dedicated to making sure your experience at UA Little Rock is a danger-free zone.

Health Services
Health Services aims to improve the health and wellness of the university community by providing all-inclusive, quality health care and wellness promotion services. We believe in pushing aside barriers and hope to rekindle close relationships through our wellness building system.

Mathematics Assistance Center
The Mathematics Assistance Center (MAC) is an excellent place for students to study and receive exceptional guidance from experienced tutors. Needing help with an assignment at the last minute? No worries! We provide walk-in tutoring services in a friendly and relaxing environment for your needs!

Ottenheimer Library
The Ottenheimer Library provides students the access to FREE and useful research databases and sources including but not limited to scholarly articles, journals, and essays. Wanting to check out a book or dvd? Come on down!

Writing Center
The University Writing Center (UWC) provides quality feedback about your writing, problem-solving strategies for your writing, and assistance with academic technology through both face-to-face and virtual writing consultations. If you are having trouble completing that essay for class or starting that rough draft, we are here to aid you. Our services are free and accessible to all colleges, so don’t be shy! You have the “write” to be here.

FIELD MANUALS AND FORMS

Young Asian female with black rimmed glasses smiles at the camera while sitting at a table with other students.

For Students

 

Middle-aged caucasian woman with short brown hair smiling at the camera as she leans against a brick wall.

For Field Liaisons

 

African American male in business attire smiling at the camera.

For Field Instructors

 


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Photo of randomly arranged letterpress wooden letters with a question mark sitting on top.

If you’ve got questions, we have answers! Below you’ll find an array of frequently asked questions from individuals just like you. Don’t see the answer to your question? Use the form at the bottom of the page to speak with one of the School of Social Work advisors.


Future Student FAQ

Am I eligible to apply for admission to the MSW program?

Applicants for either the part-time and full-time MSW programs must have a bachelor’s degree and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to be regularly admitted. On occasion, an applicant may be conditionally admitted if their cumulative GPA is less than a 3.0. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or a GPA of 3.0 in their last 60 hours to be considered for conditional admission. Conditional admission requires the student to demonstrate academic ability by maintaining a 3.0 GPA in core courses for the first nine semester hours of enrollment. Failure to do so will lead to dismissal by the Graduate School.

What is advanced standing? Am I eligible to apply for the advanced-standing program?

This program allows qualified students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work within the last five years from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education to complete the MSW degree in a shorter, concentrated program. This program may be completed on either a full-time (12 months) or part-time (21 months) basis. Admission to the advanced-standing program is competitive. In addition to completing a BSW from a CSWE-accredited BSW program no more than five years before your application, students must also have earned a GPA of 3.5 in the last 60 hours of the program to be eligible for advanced standing.

Do I have to have a BSW degree in order to get accepted into the MSW program?

No. In order to be considered for admission to the MSW program, students must have a bachelor’s degree with a liberal arts perspective from an accredited college or university.

How do I apply to UA Little Rock’s MSW program?

Applications for the MSW program at UA Little Rock are available online. You should submit all application forms as directed.

When is the application due?

We do accept applications all year, although most core courses begin in the fall. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. Only completed applications are eligible for review.

Although we do admit students in the spring semester, most core courses begin in the fall and most of the curriculum is carefully sequenced. Therefore, students admitted in the spring can only enroll on a part-time basis.
Application Due Dates

  • Part-time spring (all students): November 1
  • All students (full-time, part-time, online, advanced standing) fall: February 1
If I start the program in the spring, what classes would I be able to take?

Students who start the program in the spring can only begin the program on a part-time basis and take a maximum of six hours. Students cannot begin their foundation internship until the following fall term. If you start the program in the spring, you will not graduate any earlier than if you start in the fall.

Do I have to take the GRE or the MAT?

Yes, you do. The only students who might not be required to take the GRE or MAT are students who have already completed another graduate program with an above average GPA. You may seek a waiver of this requirement by submitting a request, in writing, to the MSW Admissions Coordinator by email socialwork@ualr.edu. Please include full information about the graduate school attended, your cumulative graduate GPA, and the degree you earned. Waivers are not solely granted on having completed a graduate program.

What score do I need to make on the GRE or the MAT?

The UA Little Rock School of Social Work does not have a required minimum score. In general, scores at or above the 50th percentile on all three sections of the GRE and MAT are considered competitive. The standardized test is one factor considered as part of your application. You will not be reviewed solely on your ability to take a standardized test, but the admission committee does look closely at your scores. Your MAT/GRE scores are only good for five years from the application deadline.

Where and when can I take the GRE or MAT?

Information about the GRE
Information about the MAT

UALR does not administer the GRE. Information about testing sites may be found at http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/register/centers_dates It does administer the MAT; you can schedule the test via this link https://www2.registerblast.com/ualr/Exam/List

Official scores generally take up to two to three weeks to be received by the Graduate School. You can take these tests as many times as you want.

What help can I get to pay for graduate school?

Graduate students are not eligible for the Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, or Arkansas Student Assistance Grant. Additional information about financial aid and loan options can be found at https://ualr.edu/financialaid/grad/

Graduate Assistantships
A limited number of Graduate Assistantships (GA positions) are available to qualified students. Students must be admitted to a graduate program without conditions and enrolled in at least 6 credits of coursework. Information about Graduate Assistantships will be sent to all eligible MSW students when funding is available, typically in July or early August of each academic year. Priority is given to MSW students

TAMS (Tuition Assistance for Minority Students)
Please inquire at the Graduate School and visit the Teaching Enhancements Affecting Minority Students (TEAMS) website.

University Scholarships
The UA Little Rock School of Social Work has several scholarships available, though they are often reserved for students entering their final year in the program. Applications for scholarships are announced via student listservs each year.

Tuition deferment
If you are interested in tuition deferment, the option of paying tuition in monthly installments is available by contacting the UA Little Rock Bursar’s Office at, https://ualr.edu/bursar/.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ This site answers questions about the process of applying for financial aid. The School of Social Work is unable to answer questions concerning financial aid. Please see https://ualr.edu/gradschool/financial-assistance-2/ for more information.

Is there someone I can talk to about the MSW program?

If you have thoroughly familiarized yourself with the online materials and you still have questions, you may call 501-569-3240 and ask to speak with someone about admission to the MSW Program. You can also email your questions to socialwork@ualr.edu.

When will I find out if I have been admitted?

You will be informed of the admissions committee’s decision via the email address you listed on your application. Remember that your application must be completed before you can be considered for admission!

How will I know if my application is complete?

You can determine what has been received by the Graduate School by checking their website at UA Little Rock website.

If I choose the part-time program, can I get all my classes in the evening or on Saturday?

We do not offer classes on Saturday; we offer some classes during the evening. Registration is first-come, first-serve. Part-time students or students traveling long distances do not get to register early or get to enroll ahead of other students in the program.

How many hours do I have to take to be considered full time in the MSW program?

In order to be considered full-time in the Graduate School, a student must be enrolled in at least 9 hours per semester.

How long will it take me to complete the MSW program?

For full-time students, it takes four semesters (two academic years) to complete the MSW program. Part-time students will spend six semesters (three academic years). Advanced standing students can complete the program in either a full-time (12 months—summer, fall, and spring semesters) or part-time (21 months—two academic years).

What will my degree plan (class schedule) look like as I move through the MSW program?

The sequence of your core social work classes is set for you based on either being full-time or part-time in the MSW program. The classes you take will also depend on your concentration (ADP or MCP). Your final degree plan will be formulated with your advisor when you are admitted to the program and reviewed with your advisor each semester after that. Degree plans for advanced standing students can be found here. Curriculum plans for regular students can be found “https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aolO3Nf-9dFOCUjKMHVt85GLhHd95lsY4kjkJHlbATk”>here.

I already have a master’s degree. How do I request transfer of credits?

Students with coursework in other masters programs may request that prior coursework be transferred in. This request must be made prior to enrollment to the MSW Program to the Admissions Coordinator by email. No more than two courses will be allowed to transfer in. In most cases, students will only be allowed to transfer in elective courses; transfer courses are generally not accepted as required courses. Students must email the Admissions Coordinator at socialwork@ualr.edu. with the request, have earned at least a grade of B in the course, include a syllabus for the course they wish to transfer and provide a statement regarding why they wish to transfer in and what course they to have it transferred in as.
Transfer grades are not computed as part of a student’s UA Little Rock cumulative GPA.

How much do books generally cost each semester for a full-time student?

Books generally cost approximately $350-500 per semester, however, this is only an estimate the cost is influenced by several factors.

Do I need to schedule an interview?

No. Personal interviews are not a routine part of the application process. If the admission committee has questions or concerns they would like to address with you, the Admissions Coordinator will reach out to you directly.

Can graduate students live on campus?

Yes, anyone enrolled at UA Little Rock can live on campus, given the limitations of available space. There are residence halls, apartments, rental houses, and UA Little Rock owned off-campus housing available. Go to http://ualr.edu/housing/ for more information and an application.

How much is graduate school tuition, and will it cost more for me to come to school at UA Little Rock if I don’t live in Arkansas?

Students must be Arkansas residents and reside in Arkansas in order to be enrolled in the MSW Program. For additional prices and updated listings, please check the Tuition and Fees page at the UA Little Rock Bursar’s website at https://ualr.edu/bursar/.

The UA Little Rock School of Social Work is part of the College of Education and Health Professions. You will need this information in order to estimate tuition and fees.

Current Students FAQ

After I’m admitted, when do I register?

You must be advised before you register for classes. Information about advising will be sent out with your admissions letter or shortly thereafter. All students on the main campus (face to face program) are required to attend an all day new student orientation before classes begin in August. Online students are required to either attend the orientation with main campus or students or attend an online orientation.

Once I’ve been advised, when and how do I register?

You will need to log into BOSS using your student ID (T Number). Click on the Student Services link. From the Student Services tab, you may click on Registration and follow the instructions. All MSW students register on the same day and time to ensure fairness in class availability. You may also use BOSS to view your student account and to make sure there are no holds or registration flags which might prevent you from registering. You can also view this video for information about how to register for classes.

When I graduate from UA Little Rock with an MSW, am I qualified to practice social work or do I have to have a license?

You must obtain a license through the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board or from the state where you plan to practice. Upon successful completion of the licensing examination, you may obtain a license and be eligible to practice social work. For more information, contact the Arkansas Licensing Board, see their website at http://www.arkansas.gov/swlb.

Is a “C” grade considered a passing grade for graduate course work?

A grade of “C” is passing; however, a grade point average of 3.0 in all social work courses is required for a student to remain in good standing. Thus, it’s necessary to earn an “A” for each “C” to meet the minimum GPA of 3.0. Students cannot graduate without a GPA of 3.0 or above. Students who fall below a 3.0 GPA are placed on probation and can be dismissed from UA Little Rock if they fail to earn a 3.0 GPA within twelve credit hours of being placed on probation.

Do I have to do a thesis in order to graduate from UA Little Rock’s MSW program?

No, the UA Little Rock MSW program does not require students to complete a thesis.

Do I have to check my UA Little Rock email account while I am a student in the program?

Yes. All official email correspondence from the University to you will be sent to your UA Little Rock email account. UA Little Rock requires the use of email while you are a student in the program. Students are expected to check their email several times each week and to correspond with UA Little Rock faculty staff with their @uar.edu email address

How do I access my UA Little Rock email account?

UA Little Rock offers free email accounts to all students. Go to http://mail.ualr.edu/ for instructions. Email accounts will not be active until you have registered for classes.

When do I apply for my internship?

One of the field coordinators will email you an internship application before you are scheduled to enroll in internship.

Where do I park?

UA Little Rock students are required to register their vehicles and display parking permits. You can register one vehicle for free. For more information, visit http://ualr.edu/safety. You may also park in the parking garage, located across the street from the Donaghey Student Center. There is no requirement for a parking permit but you must have a dollar in change in order to get out of the garage. There is also parking available at the University Center parking area (by Big Lots on Asher and University). Please be aware that this parking lot also contains retail parking and UA Little Rock students may not park in these designated areas.

How do I get my student ID card?

The student ID card is a photo ID issued after students register for classes.. This card is necessary when you check books out of the library, use facilities at the Donaghey Student Fitness and Aquatic Center, attend some special activities and athletic events, take advantage of student discounts where offered, and conduct other University business. Your ID may be issued in the Donaghey Student Center in the office beside the aquatic center. The card is free, but if you must replace a lost one, there will be a fee of $10. All main campus students are required to obtain an ID card; online students may obtain one but are not required to do so.

I have a disability. I will need accommodations in the classroom. What should I do?

The School of Social Work supports students with disabilities. If you have a disability that requires assistance in the classroom, you should first contact UA Little Rock Disability Resource Center to register for their services and request accommodations.

I have trouble with writing. Is there anyone who can assist me?

The Writing Center offers one-on-one assistance. If you know you struggle in this area, it’s important for you to use this resource. Visit http://ualr.edu/writingcenter/, or call 501-569-8311. The Writing Center is located in SUB 116.

What is my personal identification number (PIN)?

The Graduate School will send you a personal identification number. You will need this number to register for classes. Your PIN is different from your student ID number. Your PIN should be kept private so that no one can change your registration. If you have questions about your PIN, more information can be found on the Graduate School website. The School of Social Work cannot look it up for you or replace it.

Internship FAQ

What is an internship?

An internship is a supervised, guided experiential learning in an agency setting. It is an academic course focusing on the process of interaction with client systems and socialization into the social work profession.

What is expected of me as a student?

In general, you should be open to learning and growing, willing to look at and grapple with your own biases and values, and willing to take responsibility for your own learning. More specifically, you will be expected to meet the learning objectives for the internship and demonstrate application of the required skills.

How many internships will I have?

You will have two internships: a foundation internship in the first half of the MSW program and a concentration internship in the final academic year. By the time of graduation, regular students will have logged 1136 practice hours and advancednstanding students will have logged 960 hours.

What is the difference between a foundation and concentration internship?

The foundation internship is the grounding for core social work knowledge, values, and skills where you learn to engage, assess, plan, intervene, evaluate, and terminate at all systems levels (individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations). The concentration internship takes you more in depth with different systems levels—advanced direct practice for those who want to concentrate in working with individuals, groups, and families and management and community practice for those who want to work with communities and organizations.

What is the difference between advanced-standing and regular internships?

The advanced standing internship is offered only during the summer and is a total of 240 practice hours. It is a compressed version of the regular foundation year internship, but it is for advanced standing students only.

When will I do my internship?

The requirement for doing an internship is either to be enrolled in the required foundation year courses in social work methods or to have completed these courses before beginning the internship. Our preferred model is that social work methods courses and internships be taken concurrently. This gives the student more time to integrate knowledge and skills and to practice what is being learned in the classroom. However, we are also committed to teaching those who can only attend graduate school part-time because of distance, employment, or other circumstances. For these students we also offer internships during the summer based upon student needs and instructor availability.

How many hours is the internship?

The foundation year internship is a total of 416 hours. This is generally scheduled for 16 hours per week (generally Thursdays and Fridays) over the course of two semesters or during the summer at 40 hours per week. The concentration year internship is 720 hours and is scheduled for 24 hours per week (generally Wednesday through Friday) over the course of two semesters; it cannot be completed during the summer and, with rare exceptions, must be completed during concentration year when you are enrolled in your concentration level courses.

How many credit hours is the internship?

The foundation internship is either two courses, each of which is four credit hours and are taken in the fall and spring semesters, or one course taken in the summer semester. Advanced standing internship is also completed in two courses, each of which are three credit hours. The concentration year internship is required of all students and consists of two courses, each of which are five credit hours. Thus, internships consist of eighteen of the sixty credit hours required for regular students and sixteen of the forty-three required hours for advanced standing students.

What is a typical internship?

There is no typical internship. The only thing that is consistent across sites is the availability of client systems and social work supervision. Internships are found in all kinds of human and community service settings—mental health centers, hospitals and clinics, domestic violence shelters, prisons, client-advocacy and policy-advocacy organizations, child and family welfare agencies, schools, aging centers, residential facilities, and other settings. Internships are as diverse at the people social workers serve.

Are internships paid?

More paid internships are available for the concentration year than the foundation year but both are rare and students should not expect a paid internship. Students may request a paid internship and are matched to the agency based on educational fit and financial need.

Can I choose or find my own internship?

We are always interested in developing new internship sites and students who are aware of potential agencies or instructors are asked to notify the MSW internship coordinator. The coordinator will then assess the educational appropriateness of the site. However, students are not to contact agencies directly and make their own arrangements for an internship. The internship coordinators arrange all placements. Every year, we hold an internship fair and students then submit an internship application that includes a request for their preferences their internship

Can I do my internship at my job?

It is possible if your place of employment is in the human services field, if the agency is willing and able to incorporate our educational objectives into work duties or make other arrangements to have them met, and if there is an LMSW or LCSW who is willing to instruct you and who does not currently supervise your work. If you’re interested in doing an internship where you’re employed, you should bring this to the attention of the internship coordinator.

How far will I have to travel to my internship?

We are committed to serving students all over Arkansas and we will try to keep you as close to home as possible. In some cases, travel may be required because of the availability of approved sites and instructors.

I work and need flexible hours. Can I do my internship evenings and weekends?

Time spent in the internship must be supervised by your field instructor. Most social workers work 8-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. We do not have the ability to accommodate students who can only complete their internships in the evenings and on weekends.

I have worked in the field. Can my experience count toward the internship?

No. Our accrediting body, the Council on Social Work Education, clearly prohibits this. Your experience will be valuable in applying new theories and practice skills.

What is the process to obtain an internship?

If you are admitted as a part-time student, you will start with only your coursework and your advisor will help you draft a plan for your remaining coursework and for the timing of your internships. If you are admitted full-time, you will receive an application for the foundation internship shortly after you are accepted to the program.

The MSW internship coordinator will assess your experience and goals and make a tentative match with an instructor and agency. You and the potential instructor then interview each other to ensure goodness of fit. Students who are admitted prior to the internship fair in the spring as well as all part-time and concentration year students are encouraged to attend the annual career and internship fair in the spring semester.

As a student, you will learn about the agencies and meet potential instructors. From there, you submit an application that includes your preferences for agencies at which to complete your internship. Again, you and the potential instructor will meet and interview one another before the internship is confirmed. Internship application forms are on the web site.

Do I need a car?

Many social work activities (such as outreach, home visits, meetings with collaborating agencies, and community care) require transportation. If transportation is difficult for you, please notify the MSW Internship Coordinator in your internship application.

What is the difference between an internship field instructor, faculty liaison, faculty advisor, and MSW internship coordinator?

An internship field instructor is a LMSW with two years experience or a LCSW who is employed at an agency and volunteers to teach and mentor our students in accordance with our educational objectives and guidelines. A faculty liaison is a member of the faculty who is available to both the student and internship instructor for consultation.

The faculty liaison is the bridge between the school and the agency and monitors the student’s learning. The liaison schedules meetings with both the student and instructor and is responsible for the final internship grade in consultation with the internship field instructor. A faculty advisor is a member of the faculty who advises students on academic matters. The internship coordinator coordinates student internships; training for students, field instructors, and liaisons; oversees the internships, and ensures that the internship process meets academic expectations.

How does UA Little Rock choose internship instructors?

We are blessed with a community of excellent social workers who are committed to teaching and giving back to their profession. We look for licensed social workers, preferably LCSWs, who have the time and the interest in becoming an educator within their agencies. We provide instructors with initial training, manuals, and ongoing continuing education and consultation.

What if my agency is not what I expect or does not meet my learning goals?

We hope that you and your internship instructor will have discussed basic expectations and goals at the initial interview and before the School confirms the internship. After you have started the internship, concerns should be directly discussed with your internship instructor. If the concerns are not resolved, you should contact your faculty liaison. As a student, you can consult at any time with your faculty liaison about problem solving in connection with the internship.

What if I drop the internship after the first semester?

A student should never drop their internship before discussing it with the field instructor, liaison, and advisor. “Disappearing” from the agency without notifying the appropriate parties may result in dismissal from the School.

NEWS & EVENTS


FINANCING YOUR EDUCATION

Extreme close-up of several silver coins.

The sections below provide a variety of options on financing your graduate school education. Please visit the official site for the Admissions and Financial Aid Office for more information.

Financial Aid


Tuition and Fees
The most current, up to date tuition rates at UALR.

FAFSA-Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Comprehensive information and applications for federal student loan programs and assistance can be found at this website.

Graduate Assistantships
There are a small number of graduate assistantships for first-year students in the MSW program. These ten-hour graduate assistantships include modest pay and a significant break on tuition. An email will be sent to all eligible students when information about funding for these positions is available, typically sometime in July of each year.

Scholarships


Selected scholarships are available for graduate level social work students entering their final (concentration) year in the program. Information regarding deadlines for scholarship applications will be sent to students by email. Scholarship amounts depend upon a variety of funding sources, and thus individual scholarship amounts vary each year.


Internships

Internships

Internships are an integral part of the curriculum design. Students will have acquired a total of 1200 practice hours by graduation (1000 hours for advanced standing students). Through contact with clients and client systems in a helping relationship, students develop the requisite skills for social work practice.

Full-time students are expected to complete the internship concurrently with other course work. Part-time students are expected to complete field work in the fall and spring of their 2nd part-time year or in the summer after their second year. Students must have completed or be in the process of completing all foundation requirements when doing internship placement.

All internships are under the supervision of field faculty, and all field agencies are approved in advance by the MSW Internship Coordinator and the appropriate curriculum committees.

Students often find their foundation year and concentration year internships to be the most significant, productive, and memorable component of their social work education. In the context of these internships, students can consciously apply and experience practice knowledge and wisdom. UA Little Rock uses the agency-based instruction model, where trained and committed practicing MSWs volunteer their knowledge and skills to teach future social workers.

The agencies with whom we partner are committed to social work education and help support it by making available their staff as internship instructors and by providing space, equipment, and learning opportunities for students.

Settings for internships include a variety of human and community service organizations, public, nonprofit, and for-profit, large and small, whose work encompasses such areas as health and mental health care, child welfare, education, aging services, hospice care, substance abuse services, services to people with disabilities, and public policy advocacy.

Agencies are approved on the basis of their ability to further the educational objectives of the program. Selection criteria include adequacy of the learning environment, availability of client populations, opportunity to work with community resources, and opportunity for participation with staff in the agencies’ organizational processes.

Academic Credit for Life/Professional Experience

Academic credit is not given for life experience and/or previous work experience, in whole or in part, in lieu of the field internship or of courses in the professional foundation areas specified in the Curriculum Policy Statement.



HAVE QUESTIONS? ASK AN ADVISOR.

We’re always happy to answer any questions you might have about our available programs. Use the form below to submit your inquiries to the School of Social Work advisors or call us at 501-569-3240.

  • Please let us know if you are a high school student considering attending UA Little Rock, a transfer student, a current student at UA Little Rock, etc.
  • If you are currently attending UA Little Rock, please include your T# in your correspondence with us.
    Which program(s) would you like more information about?
  • What semester term do you have questions about?
  • What year do you have questions about?
  • What questions do you have for our social work coordinators?