Students from all academic disciplines are invited to apply to the Master of Social Work program. Students admitted to the graduate social work program may be admitted to the foundation program (63 semester credits) or to the advanced standing program (38 credits).
Students requesting admission to either program must demonstrate the following:
- A four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 is expected with a GPA of 3.0 or better in the applicant’s major field of study.1
- An official transcript showing evidence of having successfully completed (C [2.0] or better) a minimum of 21 semester credits in any of the following liberal arts areas: psychology, sociology, ecology, political science, law, economics, business, statistics, research, and oral or written communication. At least one course in human biology or biology that included content in human biology must be included.2
- Evidence of potential to practice social work, such as submission of evaluation material from field supervisors in the applicant’s baccalaureate program, letters of recommendation from supervisors in professional employment settings (or full-time volunteer settings, e.g., VISTA), letters of recommendation from faculty in a related field of study (e.g., religion, psychology, sociology).
- Personal statement/writing sample (Maximum 8 pages).
- A basic understanding of computer technology, including good word processing skills.
Additional requirements for advanced standing:
- Applicants must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or better for the last 90 quarter credits or last 60 semester credits in their baccalaureate program.
- A grade of B [3.0] or higher is required in all upper division social work classes.
- Applicants must have completed their BSW within five years of enrollment in this MSW program or eight years if the applicant has been working full time in the field of social worker since receiving their undergraduate degree. Individuals applying for advanced standing must submit a copy of their senior practicum evaluation and any other supporting documents (such as information related to terms spent overseas, in urban or rural settings, or a copy of a research project) that can establish their competency to begin graduate study.
- It is preferred that applicants have one full year of social work employment, one year of voluntary service in a human services setting (e.g., VISTA, MCC, AmeriCorps), or an overseas experience by the time they matriculate. Applicants need to submit an employment/volunteer form and a letter of reference from their on-site supervisor with their application materials.3
Other options for students not qualified for advanced standing:
- Applicants who are recent graduates of a baccalaureate program accredited by CSWE but do not meet all of the program's requirements for advanced standing may request to meet with the Program Director to develop an individualized study plan.
- Applicants who are not graduates of a BSW or B.A. social work program but who have graduated in a related field and believe that a particular foundation course will be redundant may request to take an examination as an option for challenging the course. A maximum of 12 credits may be challenged.
How to Apply
We continually accept and review applications for the fall cohorts. There are opportunities to enroll for elective/non-core courses throughout the year. Come talk to us at the NNU Info nights in Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Boise and Nampa or call us at 208-467-8826.
Recent changes for background/fingerprint checks: We require a nationwide background check with fingerprints processed through the Idaho State Police and then sent to the FBI. In Idaho there is a $10 fingerprint card fee + an $18 fee that needs to go to the U.S. Treasury. You will need to send your fingerprint card directly to the FBI. Go to www.fbi.gov, Stats & Services, Background Checks. Under Forms and Links on the right side of the page, you will find a Record Request Checklist along with an Application Information Form. There is also a Credit Card Payment Form if you choose to pay the $18 that way. It may take up to 10 weeks to receive the results.
If you have had a nationwide background check/fingerprints processed through your employer, you may have the report sent to us in a sealed envelope. Your employer may give it to you instead of sending it to us. If this happens, please request the copy in a sealed envelope and send it to us unopened and signed across the envelope flap.
Applicants should apply online to the University; then access the Program Application Packet directly from the Department of Social Work. You may use the links to each form in the Departmental Application Packet below or request a Departmental Application Packet from the Social Work office. The priority application due date for the fall cohort is February 15. However, we accept approved applications until our cohorts are full. Please note: We continue to accept applications throughout the year. If you have questions or need information not available on the website, please contact Mary Curran at (208) 467-8826 or macurran(at)nnu.edu. Please supply us with a mailing address if you prefer a paper application packet with program information.
In order to complete your admissions file, please review the files linked below. Please return the forms that indicate that they need to be returned to the Department of Social Work at NNU. If you have questions about these forms, please contact us.
- Academic Record
- Experience and Employment Record
- Personal Statement Guidelines
- Reference Form - A total of three reference forms as listed above.
- Official Transcripts. We need two official transcripts from the colleges or universities that pertain to the applicant's bachelor degree or SW courses.
- Back Ground Check and FingerPrint Reports.
To help make your application process to the Master of Social Work program as easy as possible, you can download a letter of introduction with instructions and an admissions checklist. All the above forms are included in the paper Application Packet.
1 Students with an overall GPA of less than 2.75 may be considered for admission provided that the GPA from the junior and senior years of their baccalaureate program is 3.0 or better.
2 Academic credit is not given for life or work experience.
3 Consideration for admission to advanced standing will be given to outstanding, recent graduates of BSW programs who have not completed a full year of work in a social service agency but have participated in diverse volunteer settings during their college or university experience (e.g., overseas terms, urban plunges, rural projects, or outstanding research projects).