Transferring credits into a Master's in Social Work program isn't always as easy as it looks on paper. You might enroll in a program at one school and later decide to move closer to your family, or you might need to switch to a different school because your employer requires that you move. After looking at the classes offered by a second program, you might think that your credits will instantly transfer, but you need to ask yourself a few questions before deciding to switch schools or Master's degree tracks..
Are the Courses Required for Graduation?
Not all MSW programs are exactly the same. Some programs require more field work and off campus experiences, while other programs focus on traditional classroom learning. Before you attempt to transfer classes, look at the courses required for graduation from both programs. If you move from a program that requires a large number of math and science courses, you'll often find that your credits won't transfer. Keep in mind that some social work programs only let you transfer credits if the classes share the same name. If you take a class called fundamentals of social work and your new school requires the completion of an introduction to social work class, you'll still need to take the course required by your new school.
Is The School Accredited?
According to the U.S. Department of Education, accrediting agencies ensure that schools meet the minimum standards of education and that colleges provide students with a high-quality education. When transferring credits into a Master's in Social Work program, you can only transfer credits earned from a college with accreditation. Some schools will only accept credits earned at a college that has the same accreditation as that school. The U.S. Department of Education offers a search feature that lets students check on the accreditation of their schools. You'll quickly discover if the accrediting agency of one school is reputable.
What Grade Did You Earn in the Class?
Transferring your credits often requires that you receive a high grade in those courses. Many graduate programs now have an academic requirement that states that all students must maintain a grade point average of 2.5 to 3.0 or higher. If your grades drop below that level, the school places you on academic probation, and if you cannot pull your grades up, the school can drop you from the program. Social work programs often ask that you have a grade of 3.0 or higher in each course that you transfer into the program.
Does the School Have Any Requirements for Transferring Credits?
When switching programs or changing schools, you need to meet the minimum requirements of your new program. Your school can deny your transfer request if you do not submit a copy of your official transcript from a previous school or if the course does not apply to the program. Switching schools is usually easier than switching between two different programs. The credits that you earn in a different program often won't apply to your social work degree requirements.
Social workers spend time with people dealing with traumatic events and experience, including substance abuse, child neglect and elderly abuse. Before you enroll in a new program or school, you need to look at the requirements of that program before transferring credits into a Master's in Social Work program.