Master of Social Work Degree at Valdosta State University
Valdosta State University appears in our ranking of the 36 Most Affordable Accredited MSW Programs in the South East.
The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree at Valdosta State University (VSU) is a 60-credit-hour program that prepares students for licensure and clinical practice in social work, producing graduates who have the skills and knowledge to work with diverse groups of people from all walks of life. Students may earn their degree via an online, on-campus, or hybrid format, and all social work faculty members have experience as professional social workers and have worked with many different populations.
The MSW is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and the curriculum is divided into multiple track options to fit the needs of different students. Candidates who have earned a BSW degree within the last five years and who meet certain criteria may be eligible for the Advanced Standing Option. Advanced Standing students must complete one field practicum over a one-year period as well as 33 semester hours in order to earn the MSW degree.
Traditional students may choose a part-time program to be completed within three or four years, a two-year on-campus program, or a web-based, hybrid program. The online option allows students to attend classes for five intensive weekends per semester with the remainder of the coursework to be completed online. Students must complete 60 semester hours, including 17 credit hours of field practicum with a “satisfactory” grade or better and 43 credit hours of required classroom instruction with a “B” average of 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale. A portfolio is required as an exit examination.
Students in the program complete two practicum placements, each of which lasts approximately one year, thus gaining invaluable field experience. In addition, students may also choose to participate in South Georgia CARE-NET and My Friend’s House, two programs sponsored by the Social Work Department at VSU. The department also offers the opportunity to study abroad in Mexico, where MSW students will take courses, find themselves immersed in the culture, and visit various social work sites.
The MSW program prepares students for advanced generalist practice in the field of social work, allowing them to use their skills and work as direct service providers in interventions with communities, organizations, groups, families, and individuals. Students learn about both community and clinical practice and further develop the necessary skills to practice in a number of settings such as hospice, geriatric, forensic, child welfare, residential treatment, mental health, hospitals, schools, and more. The program combines practicums and coursework to ensure graduates are ready for careers such as family counselors, policy and planning specialists, child and family specialists, case managers, crisis managers, and school, mental health, medical, international, family services, or clinical social workers.
About Valdosta State University
Valdosta State University (VSU) is one of four universities in the University System of Georgia. Established in 1906 as the South Georgia State Normal College, the school is situated on a 168-acre campus in the heart of Valdosta, Georgia. VSU educates more than 11,000 graduate and undergraduate students representing 157 counties in Georgia, all 50 states, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and more than 76 other countries. Students may pursue doctoral, education specialist, master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees, and VSU is comprised of colleges in nursing, arts, education, business administration, and the arts and sciences. The Graduate School also includes the Divisions of Library Science and Social Work.
Valdosta State University Accreditation Details
Valdosta State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award doctoral, educational specialist, master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees. Numerous academic programs have also membership in or accreditation from national professional organizations and accrediting agencies. For instance, the Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Accreditation is obtained after submitting to and passing a peer-review process in which the school is evaluated based on its goals, its mission statement, its faculty, its programs, and its student learning outcomes. Accreditation is also vital for the transfer of credits as well as the ability to offer funding for financial aid. Accreditation serves to assure the public, current, and prospective students that a particular school is maintaining the standards of academic excellence and quality set by the accrediting agency.
Valdosta State University Application Requirements
In order to apply for admission into the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Valdosta State University, students must complete an online graduate application and pay the required application fee. Students must also hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university or college with a liberal arts base and have earned a minimum overall grade-point average (GPA) of 2.50 on a 3.0 scale as well as a minimum 3.0 GPA within the last two years of the undergraduate major. To show evidence of this, applicants are required to submit one official transcript from each institution previously attended. Applicants must also submit approved test scores from either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Applicants are required to complete the MSW Supplemental Application, which includes the applicant’s educational and professional goals. Other mandatory documents include three letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with an applicant’s academic and/or professional background, the VSU medical form, and a verification of lawful presence for those who believe they qualify for an in-state residency or tuition waiver.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Students pursuing the on-campus Master of Social Work (MSW) degree will pay $258 per credit hour if they are in-state students and $927 per credit hour if they are out-of-state students. These amounts do not include fees for activities, housing, books, transportation, parking facilities, access cards, technology, or institutional fees. The online tuition rate for distance learning students is $293 per credit hour, and there is no cap on credit hours for the online tuition fee assessment. Financial aid is available for eligible graduate students, and students may submit their financial statements and aid applications any time after they apply for admission. Applicants may be eligible for graduate aid from an extensive list of scholarships, work-study programs, loans, federal programs, or grants. Valdosta State University also recognizes the Montgomery GI Bill and offers assistance from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for eligible veterans, active-duty servicemembers, their spouses, and their dependents.