Admissions & Curriculum FAQ
Successful applicants must have a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in a liberal arts-related field. Beyond that, a specific major is not required.
Specific work experience is not required, either. Many of our students entered our program right after completing their undergraduate or graduate studies, without having accrued work experience in a related field.
That said, if it has been several years since the applicant has completed an undergraduate or graduate degree, it will be important that they include strong references from employers — whatever his or her occupation — in order to be accepted.
No. The GRE is not requirement for the Master of Social Work program.
The online and on-campus MSW curriculum is built around the best practices defined by culturally relevant social work practice, or CRSWP. CRSWP holds that social work should operate within a context of collaboration with a community and a responsiveness to its social norms. The practice believes in egalitarian relationships between social workers and the people they work with. Within this framework, social justice and advocacy are prioritized as constant and ongoing processes.
The timeline of the MSW is very flexible and adaptable to each student’s needs. Both full-time and part-time options are available. The full-time option consists of four semesters that are generally completed over 16 months (one semester spans a summer). The part-time option is spread across eight semesters, which can be completed in 32 months. Our Advanced Standing program consists of three semesters, which are generally completed over 12 months.
View a typical breakdown of how you can expect to dedicate your time to the program each week.
Field Placement FAQ
Yes. Placement must occur concurrently with courses. Course assignments and discussions in class will draw from the field placement and course learning outcomes should be applied to the field placement.
Full-time students begin their internship in the second semester of study and continue through the third and fourth semesters.
Part-time students begin their internship/field placement after completing the first 14 hours of core classes (typically their third semester) and are required to complete 12 contact/clock hours per week for 6 semesters
Advanced – Standing students begin their internship in the first semester of study and continue through the second and third semesters.
*Full-time and Part-time students must pass their first set of core classes in order to enter into field.
The minimum number of field placement hours required per semester is:
Full-Time students and Advanced Standing Students: 24 hours per week, three semesters, for 316 hours each semester and a final total of 948 hours.
Part-Time students: 12 hours per week, six semesters, for 158 hours each semester and a final total of 948 hours.
In the case of holidays, religious observances, sick days, and/or family emergencies students will be required to make up the field hours during the same semester. These situations should be infrequent. Making up hours is at the discretion of the agency and should be discussed with both your Field Instructor and Field Liaison.
Most placement sites are not able to accommodate student interns on weeknights and weekends per their working hours. In addition, we strongly advise students to complete placement hours during the week and working hours, Monday - Friday between 8am and 6pm, as night and weekend placements limit a student’s learning experience and supervision.
The placement team will assist our students in selecting their field placement based on their interests, prior experience and expectations, and geographic location, striving to provide placements that will broaden students’ educational and life experiences. Placement sites will include social-service agencies, government entities, schools, hospitals, and businesses. The placement team will consider all of a student’s recommended sites and preferred settings. Every site will be thoroughly assessed to meet Tulane School of Social Work’s field education requirements. The site must have the capacity to accept a student intern, identify a qualified MSW field instructor who is licensed and has at least 2 years of clinical experience willing to supervise a student intern, provide the required learning objectives, and enter into a contract with Tulane University. While we strive to provide students with their most desired placement, there is no guarantee that the student can be placed at his or her preferred site or setting. The placement team will match students with sites that will provide them the experiences to develop their professional social work skills.
Most of our field placement agencies do not provide a stipend or salary for students. While some might offer stipends, those are never guaranteed. Some students who attend our MSW program receive Federal Need Based Financial Aid (student loans). Students must complete a federal application called the FAFSA. These applications can be obtained from the Admissions Office at the School of Social Work or online here https://applygrad.tulane.edu/apply/. In addition, all applications are automatically considered for scholarships by the Tulane School of Social Work Admissions Committee.
For students employed with human service agencies, it may be possible to complete all or part of your internship requirements at your place of employment. The Council on Social Work Education recognizes and permits the use of such field placements so long as the educational integrity of the field practicum is preserved. A work-based internship requires a written plan that specifies the differences between the student’s responsibilities and tasks as an employee and the new responsibilities and tasks as a student and a different person as a field instructor than the employee supervisor to assure the integrity of the educational purpose of the placement.
Agency-based field instructors complete a detailed written evaluation of every intern each semester. Grades are satisfactory (S), unsatisfactory (U) or incomplete (I).
Students must successfully complete all foundation semester courses with a B average, meet the School’s standards for professional behavior before entry into field placement, and obtain liability insurance. Field placement agencies may require a criminal background check, a drug test and proof of immunizations and Tuberculosis (TB) and Hepatitis B testing. Students will learn about these requirements as part of the placement process.
No. Direct agency requests for field instruction are made only through the Field Placement Coordinator. Agency and field instructor circumstances vary widely and may change rapidly, so the Field Placement Coordinator will contact agencies to determine appropriateness and ability to meet learning requirements. We appreciate being made aware of new opportunities and are willing to explore student requests. Please be prepared to share information with your assigned Field Placement Coordinator.
Every effort is made to place students in field placements geographically convenient to them. In some cases, students may expect to travel up to 45-60 minutes to their placement site. It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements to get to his or her field placement. Students will be placed in agencies they can access through public transportation.
Once a site is developed, the student’s Field Placement Coordinator will email him or her with the placement information and provide the student with contact information to set up a pre-placement visit or interview. After the interview is complete and the student is selected by the agency, the student’s Field Placement Coordinator will provide him or her with a start date.