Brigham Young University

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Mastering Social Work at Brigham Young

Brigham Young University appears in our ranking of the 35 Best Value Christian Colleges with CSWE-accredited Programs.

Since 1981, the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences has conferred an accredited Master of Social Work in the Joseph F. Smith Building with a 93 percent licensure rate for Brigham Young University post-grads. Chaired by Dr. Gordon Limb, a 2011 Hinckley Scholar Award winner, the competency-based program applies Mormon ethics for advanced practice protecting human rights. The curriculum requires 62 credits for BSW graduates and 67 credits for non-social work majors. Expect small Provo courses like Motivational Interviewing, Play Therapy, Psychotherapy, and Human Services Administration with a 9:1 student-professor ratio. The MSW predominantly focuses on children and families, but two specializations are offered: Clinical Social Work or Social Research. Academics could lead to the Marriage, Family, and Human Development Ph.D. or Counseling Psychology Ph.D. too.

Starting the first semester, the School of Social Work places Brigham Young University MSW majors in the on-site Comprehensive Clinic weekly. Next comes two off-campus internships of 450 and 600 hours apiece. Potential placements include the Provo Canyon Behavior Hospital, Wasatch Mental Health, Symbii Hospice, LDS Family Series, Alpine School, Oxbow Academy, Greenhouse Center, and Timpanogos Women’s Correctional Facility. Resources like BYU’s Vicarious Trauma Manual and Marjorie Pay Hinckley Internship Grant can help. AmeriCorps terms of service can used to cover 300, 450, or 675 clock hours. Graduates might get involved in the Master of Social Work Student Association or Humanitarian Club. Other opportunities include serving abroad from Ghana to Guatemala, attending the Intimate Partner Violence Conference, and publishing in Archives of Suicide Research.

About Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University was opened in January 1876 with an inaugural class of 29 when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ second president acquired the Lewis Building from the Dusenberry brothers. Split from the University of Deseret, the Academy received an official LDS sponsorship in 1896. By 1904, the Brigham Young University name was adopted and its Provo land called “Temple Hill” was purchased. During Jeffrey Holland’s 1980s tenure, the 560-acre Utah campus was further expanded to Salt Lake City and Jerusalem, Israel. Worth $1.6 million, Brigham Young now educates 33,517 Cougars, including Social Work majors, from 105 nations with an Honor Code. Linked to 193,730 LinkedIn alumni, BYU has trained activists Elizabeth Smart, Randy Thorsteinson, Howard Judd, and others.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Brigham Young the 61st best national university, 11th best value, and 88th top social work program. On Niche, BYU is America’s fifth most conservative college and 19th best big school with the 41st best student life. Forbes placed Brigham Young University 114th overall with the 58th top research. Times Higher Education crowned BYU the 113th best institution with the 30th most employability globally. The Wall Street Journal positioned Brigham Young #2 for most engaged learning. The National Opinion Research Center recognized BYU for the fifth highest Ph.D. completion rate. The Princeton Review also applauded Brigham Young University for the 34th best ROI, eighth best-run administration, and second most religious students.

Brigham Young University Accreditation Details

In Spring 2016, Brigham Young University passed its comprehensive evaluation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) to keep Level VI accreditation for 10 more years under its 13th president, Dr. Kevin J. Worthen. Located over 874 miles northwest in Redmond, this seven-state regional accrediting body is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to check the quality of BYU’s 179 baccalaureate, 62 master’s, and 26 doctoral degrees. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has accredited the MSW through June 2021 too.

Brigham Young University Application Requirements

Getting into Brigham Young University is labeled “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s because 53 percent of the 13,731 applicants in Fall 2017 were accepted. The 20-month Master of Social Work only has 40 available slots yearly for bachelor’s graduates. Students may have completed a BSW or other undergraduate degree in the last seven years. The three prerequisites of Introduction to Social Work, Statistics, and Research Methods need “B-” grades or better. Courses on Abnormal Behavior, Human Development, and Introduction to Sociology are also suggested. Post-grads must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA, but the average is currently 3.7. BYU doesn’t require the Graduate Record exam though scores above the 60th percentile can aid applications. Non-native English speakers must achieve at least 79 on the E3PT, 185 on the CAE, or 580 on the TOEFL.

The School of Social Work opens the MSW application cycle on September 15th and closes it on the January 15th deadline. Interested students create ApplyYourself accounts to submit the Graduate Studies Application mostly online. Paper copies could be mailed to 2181 JFSB in Provo, UT 84604. Within one week of submission, graduates must complete a digital interview. Please contact Nanci Shumpert at (801) 422-5681 or msw@byu.edu for further instruction. The Master of Social Work application checklist includes these:

  • Payment of $50 application fee
  • Two-part ecclesiastical endorsement
  • Unofficial transcript of bachelor’s courses
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Standards for Social Work agreement
  • Statement of intent (four to six pages)
  • Résumé of human services experience
  • Bureau of Criminal Identification document

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Brigham Young University will charge graduates fixed, full-time LDS tuition of $3,540 per semester or $7,080 annually. Non-LDS Master of Social Work majors will pay $7,080 each term or $14,160 yearly. Living at the Provo campus’ Heritage Hall apartments adds $12,720 per year. Budgets should leave $848 for books, $3,684 for personal expenses, $204 for loan fees, and $2,864 for transportation. Annual MSW attendance equals approximately $27,400 for Mormons and $34,480 for non-LDS members.

According to the NCES College Navigator, 74 percent of full-time BYU Cougars share $153.98 million for annual financial aid offers that average $6,752 each. Institutional funds include the Graduate Minority Scholarship, Social Work Advocate Scholarship, Gene Gibbons Endowment Scholarship, Beverly Nalder Scholarship, Ella Carpenter Jensen Fellowship, Merlin & Edna Sant Graduate Scholarship, and FHSS Single Parent Scholarship. The AmeriCorps Education Award gifts $1,527 to $2,221 for nonprofit volunteers. Filing the FAFSA application with code 001625 by June 30th opens Direct Unsubsidized and Graduate Plus loans. The College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences has limited assistantships available for up to 70 hours per term. Paid fieldwork placements also provide average pay of $6,000 each Fall and Spring.

Learn more about Brigham Young University at the School of Social Work website.

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