Is A Psychology Degree Required for Social Work Graduate School?On the role of a major but non MSW degree in social worker requirements, or other points about how to be a social worker, how long does it take to become a social worker, and so on:
By Kathie R. Dionisio
While it is useful to have an undergraduate degree in psychology, sociology, or social services when applying to a social work graduate program, it is usually not a requirement of graduate schools. While a Bachelor's degree in psychology shows public service schools that a student has had training similar to this kind of work and has a basic understanding of human functioning, many students have earned Bachelor's degrees in other areas, such as art, political science, or philosophy, and have been admitted to grad schools without problems. My degree was in philosophy and I went to an MSW school. I made sure to take statistics and three undergraduate psychology courses as well before applying to graduate programs.
For most grad schools that offer this kind of course, students are required to have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, some background experience and/or educational training, as well as a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above. At times schools may also require students to have taken the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) prior to application. Factors such as GPA, GRE score, and amount of past experience vary from school to school in terms of what is required for admission. A solid educational background in liberal arts is also recommended, and it is helpful if applicants have had a wide range of coursework in areas such as sociology, psychology, statistics, political science, and other relevant areas.
In fact, experience is very helpful in admissions to a Master of Social Services. There are many hospitals, mental health agencies and community centers in most university towns that are happy to have interns. Another option is to do volunteer work during the summer if you return to your family's home. Keep notes of any community work you have done related to advocacy, organization and social change. Any grass root community services you've done should be documented. If you've been active in any leadership positions in high school or college be sure to include that as well in your application.
Most graduate schools strongly recommend that applicants have some experience, such as an internship, volunteer opportunity, or past employment related to the public works field. In addition, strong references and letters of reference from reputable sources are extremely helpful in boosting an applicant's application and can make a difference when decisions are made about acceptance to the program. Ask family members to help remind you of various activities you've been involved in over the years as they may remember some relevant areas you've forgotten.
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