Master of Social Work Frequently Asked Questions

The following information answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the UWF Master of Social Work Program.

Q: Why should I pursue a Master Of Social Work degree?

A: There are many career opportunities for Social Workers, particularly for those with a Master of Social Work Degree. MSW’s practice in a wide variety of public and private settings such as mental health/counseling, child welfare, youth services, schools, criminal justice programs, hospitals, in the military, with military families, and long term care facilities, to name a few. Social Workers interact with diverse client populations and seek to improve the quality of life for their clients. Career opportunities are abundant as the job market is expanding, both locally and nationally. For further information see the web site for the National Association of Social Workers.

Q: What types of programs are offered?

A: The program offers full time and part time options.

Full-time students are enrolled in 12 credit hours per semester. Part-time students are enrolled in 3 to 9 semester hours per semester. Please note, students must be registered for at least 6 credit hours per semester to qualify for financial aid.

Q: What is the field education requirement?

A: Traditional students complete a total of 900 hours of field education.  Students enrolled in the traditional program complete 300 hours of field education as part of the foundation curriculum.  Traditional students also complete 600 hours of field education as part of the clinical curriculum during their final two semesters of study. 

Advanced standing students complete a total of 600 hours of field education as part of the clinical curriculum during their final two semesters of study. 

Students should estimate spending a total of 20 hours per week in an agency setting during these semesters.  All field placements are coordinated by the Field Education Office.  Most placements are not employment-based and do not include a stipend. 

Note: On occasion, students may be able to complete their field placement in an agency where they are currently employed, although strict guidelines apply. Employment-based internships must be approved by both the Field Coordinator and Chair of the Social Work Department. Students wishing to pursue a field placement at their place of employment must first complete the Application for Employment-Based Internship. Students must show that the field placement meets the following criteria. 

  1. The placement must offer a new learning experience as compared to the student’s current position.
  2. The placement must meet the criteria specified for the level of internship
Q: When will the MSW program begin?

A: Students may enter the program in any semester. However, in order to complete the traditional program in five semesters, students must enroll in the Fall. Advanced Standing students must enroll in Summer in order to complete the program in three semesters. Students can complete the program on a part-time basis regardless of start date. Upon admission, students must meet with an academic advisor to develop a degree plan. For class rotations please refer to our resources section:

Q: Where will the classes be offered?

A: Classes are offered on the Pensacola Campus and online.

Q: Is the program accredited?

A: Yes, the program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The CSWE Commission on Accreditation recently reaffirmed accreditation through 2025.

Q: Do I need to have a certain undergraduate major to be admitted to the MSW program?

A: No particular major is required for the traditional program, but it is expected that student have a strong liberal arts background. Students admitted to the advanced standing program must have a bachelor of social work degree from a CSWE accredited program.

Q: Do applicants have to have social work experience?

A: No, however, social work experience is a plus for admission.

Q: How many students will be admitted?

A: We expect to admit 25 students per semester to the program.

Q: What admissions test do you require?

A: All applicants are required to take either the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or the MAT (Miller Analogies Test).

Q: Will financial assistance be available?

A: Student financial aid is administered by the University of West Florida Financial Aid Office ( or call 850-474-2400). Graduate student financial aid is limited and many students take advantage of Federal Student Loan Programs.

Q: Whom can I contact if I have further questions?

A: Contact the UWF Social Work department at (850)473-7224.