Future Student FAQs

1. 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 this grade-point requirement is almost but not quite met. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or a GPA of 3.0 in their last 60 hours to be considered for a conditional admission. Students who do not meet the requirements of a conditional admission will need to take additional undergraduate level courses to improve their GPA. A conditional admission requires the student to demonstrate academic ability by maintaining a 3.0 GPA in core courses for the first twelve semester hours of enrollment.

2. 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 seven 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 (24 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 seven years before your application, you must also have earned a GPA of 3.5 in the last 60 hours of the program to be eligible for advanced standing.  

3. 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, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a liberal arts perspective from an accredited college or university. The UALR MSW program does not require that an applicant have a BSW degree in order to be considered for admission.

4. How do I apply to UALR’s MSW program?

Applications for the MSW program at UALR are available online here. You should print and submit all application forms as directed.

5. When is the application due?

We do accept applications all year, though 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: November 1
  • Full-time Advanced Standing: March 1
  • Full-time Fall: May 1
  • Part-time Fall: June 1

6. 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. During the initial spring semester, a regular student would be eligible to take one elective. One required elective must be taken after completion of your core foundation year coursework. Students cannot begin their foundation internship until the following fall term. If you start the program in the spring, you will not graduate any sooner. 

7. Do I really have to take the GRE or the MAT?

Yes, you do. The only students who might not be required take the GRE or MAT are students who have already completed a 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, School of Social Work, 2801 South University Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72204. Please include full information about the graduate school attended, your cumulative graduate GPA, and the degree you earned. Waivers are not soley granted on having completed a graduate program.

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

The UALR School of Social Work does not have a fixed score requirement. In general, scores at or above the 50th percentile on all three sections of the GRE would be considered competitive. A 50th percentile would be considered a competitive score on the MAT. The standardized test is one very important 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. Keep in mind that MSW graduates are required to pass licensure exams in order to practice social work in Arkansas. If you have a low GPA and a high GRE or MAT score, that suggests you have the analytical skills necessary in order to complete a master’s degree. Your MAT/GRE scores are only good for five years from the application deadline.

9. Where and when can I take the GRE or MAT?

Information about the GRE
Information about the MAT
GRE testing locations in Arkansas:    

Prometric Testing Center-Henderson State
1100 Henderson St. Box 7650
Capinger Airway Science Ctr. 135
Arkadelphia, AR


U of A Testing Services
713 Hotz Hall
Fayetteville, AR

Fort Smith

Prometric Testing Center
2409 S. 56th Street, Suite 117
Ft. Smith, AR


ASU Testing Center
106 Caraway North
Room 403, Chickasaw Bldg.
Jonesboro, AR

Little Rock

Prometric Testing Center
1405 North Pierce Street
Forest Heights Bldg., Suite 203
Little Rock, AR

You may contact the UALR Testing Services to schedule the MAT at 501-569-3198. UALR Testing Services is located in Ross Hall, Rm. 409, https://ualr.edu/testing/. Official scores generally take up to two weeks to be received by the graduate school. You can take these tests as many times as you want.

10. What help can I get to pay for grad school?

Applicants for financial aid must be fully admitted (regular status) at UALR as degree-seeking students to be eligible for any form of financial aid. Graduate students are not eligible for the Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, or Arkansas Student Assistance Grant.
Graduate Assistantships
Graduate assistantships are available through graduate programs or departments and the Graduate School. To be qualified, students must be fully admitted to a graduate program with a minimum course load of nine graduate hours, and be recommended by the program coordinator. Assistantships usually include a tuition scholarship, a stipend of at least $3,100 (half-time), and a 10-hour-per-week (also half-time) duty assignment for the nine-month academic year. Duty assignments vary, but most involve either administrative or research responsibilities. Whenever possible, assignments contribute to the student’s field of study. If you would like to be considered for a GA position, please contact the School of Social Work by emailing socialwork@ualr.edu. Based on the information provided, the unit/department will contact you if they are looking for a GA with your qualifications. Recipients are notified during the summer, prior to the beginning of fall classes.
TAMS (Tuition Assistance for Minority Students)

Please inquire at the Graduate School and visit the Teaching Enhancements Affecting Minority Students (TEAMS) website at https://ualr.edu/studentsuccess/teaching-enhancements-affecting-minority-students-teams/.

University Scholarships

University scholarships are awarded for both full- and part-time students through the UALR Office of Development and various UALR schools and colleges. UALR Scholarship Applications should be submitted to the Office of Development by March 1. In order to learn more about UALR Scholarships, contact the Office of Development, (501) 569-3194 or https://ualr.edu/development/.

The UALR School of Social Work has several scholarships available, though they are reserved for students entering their final year in the program. We announce these scholarships and applicable deadlines during April of each school year. If you are interested in tuition deferment, the option of paying tuition in monthly installments is available by contacting the UALR Cashier’s office, at 501-569-3043.

11. 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 visit the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid on the web at https://ualr.edu/admissions/.

12. 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. An on-call faculty member will be available to answer your questions. You can also e-mail your questions to socialwork@ualr.edu.

13. When will I find out if I have been admitted?

You will be informed in writing of the admissions committee’s decision. Remember that your application must be complete before you can be considered for admission! You should find out within a month of the application deadline of your admission status.

14. How will I know if my application is complete?

You can determine what has been received by the graduate school by checking the UALR website (http://boss.ualr.edu/). You can also contact the graduate school by calling 501-569-8663 to see if your official transcripts, record of immunizations, graduate school online application, and test scores have been received. You can contact the School of Social Work by calling 501-569-3240 or by emailing socialwork@ualr.edu to see if your application file is complete.  It is recommended (but not required) that you submit the information required by the School of Social Work in one packet.

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

There are several classes offered in the evenings and a few on the weekend. Registration is first-come, first-serve. We cannot guarantee that classes will not fill up with students who registered ahead of you. 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.

16. I’ve heard something about taking courses on the weekends? Can I take all of my classes on the weekends?

The MSW is no longer offered on a weekend-only basis. Some courses may be offered each semester in the weekend format, but we no longer offer an entire weekend program. These courses may also be web-enhanced, and a few may be entirely web-based.

17. 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 MSW program, a student must carry a minimum of twelve credit hours per semester.

18. 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), and advanced standing students can complete the program in either a full-time (twelve months—summer, fall, and spring semesters) or part-time (twenty four months—two academic years). You must complete your MSW in four years.

19. 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 at your first advising session, but you can get an idea of a basic degree plan by viewing the attachment below.

MSW Basic Degree Plans (Word)

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

Only applicants from other CSWE accredited graduate social work programs will be considered for transfer admission. The applicant must have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 in graduate work. No grade lower than a B will be accepted for credit. We require an official statement from the former school indicating the student is in good standing. The concentration year (28 hours) of graduate study must be completed at UALR.  Only one graduate level course from the UALR MSW program, other departments at UALR, or other universities taken prior to the student’s beginning of core MSW courses at UALR may be considered for transfer of elective credits. Students must submit a request for transfer of credit at or before the time of their enrollment. The request should include a cover letter, which discusses the content of the course (other than UALR MSW courses) and its relevance to social work. A copy of the course outline shall be attached. This request should be addressed to the chair of the curriculum committee. After the curriculum committee accepts requests for transfer of credit, the application for transfer of credit is forwarded to the Dean of the Graduate School who then approves and posts to transcript. Transfer grades are not computed as part of a student’s UALR cumulative GPA.

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

Books generally cost approximately $350-500 per semester.

22. Do I need to schedule an interview?

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, you may be called to arrange for a personal interview.

23. Can graduate students live on campus?

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

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

Yes, UALR does charge out-of-state tuition fees. Graduate nonresident tuition is almost twice the cost of graduate tuition for residents. For additional prices and updated listings, please check the Tuition and Fees page at the UALR Bursar’s Website. You can also use UALR’s tuition and fee estimator found at https://boss.ualr.edu/pls/prod/twestfee.P_EstimateFeesGradschool
The UALR 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.