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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation. Hosting the oldest school of social work in the South, VCU is proud to offer one of the largest and most comprehensive accredited social work programs in the country.

Students enrolled in the regular standing option are required to complete 60 credit hours and two field experiences, while students in the advanced standing option complete 42 credit hours and one field experience. Both options require students to select a specialization prior to completing their final 30 credit hours. Program completion times vary according to whether a student is enrolled in the part-time or full-time track and the program duration they’ve selected.

Yes. The M.S.W. online format offers two specializations: clinical social work practice and social work administration, planning and policy practice. Students select a specialization after completing a foundational generalist curriculum and before completing their final 30 credit hours.

VCU’s Master of Social Work Program online format features a largely asynchronous course schedule. However, each course includes three synchronous online classes per semester. Synchronous sessions for required courses occur during the week, Monday through Thursday, from 6–8 p.m. ET, while synchronous sessions for electives are held on Saturdays between 9–11 a.m. or 1–3 p.m. ET.

To be eligible for the advanced standing option, applicants must possess a B.S.W. no more than five years old from an accredited institution, have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, and received a “B” or “pass” in their senior field placement. In addition to the standard application package, applicants must submit a written case assessment and meet additional field requirements. If the applicant has not completed their senior field placement, one of their letters of recommendation should be from someone who can assess their potential to succeed in a field placement.

No. While VCU values the diverse professional experiences that students bring to the Master of Social Work Program online format, the advanced standing option is reserved for those who possess a B.S.W. no more than five years old from an accredited institution, have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, and received a “B” or “pass” in their senior field placement.

Yes. The VCU School of Social Work offers several scholarships and assistantships. We encourage you to review the available awards and explore the RAMS Scholarship Hub to learn more.

Completion of requirements for the M.S.W. degree with a specialization in clinical social work practice typically meets the educational requirement for licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Virginia. Please note, however, that Virginia licensure requirements also include additional professional/supervised hours. Requirements vary by state. You can learn about educational prerequisites for licensure and certification in other states through the Association of Social Work Boards. You may also email with questions about our curriculum as it relates to fulfilling specific licensure requirements.

No. VCU will coordinate your field placement, ensuring that you gain the valuable real-world experience and networking opportunities you need to secure employment after graduation. 

Yes. You will be placed in your local community according to your practice interests, career goals and learning needs as well as the community’s needs and the opportunities available. 

Students who are employed in a social work setting may benefit from a field placement at their place of employment. Employment tasks must have a clear connection to the curriculum, and the employment-based setting must provide opportunities for the student to engage as a learner in activities that support the development of social work skills, knowledge and values. Students requesting to complete a field placement at their place of employment must complete the proposal for employment-based field placement in their field placement application. 

Field education takes place during typical business hours. Students are typically at their field sites for two days per week during the generalist curriculum and three days per week during the specialization curriculum.

Yes. While licensure requirements vary by state, all states require a minimum number of supervised practice hours. Your field experience will count toward a significant number of the supervised hours required for licensure.

A master’s in social work prepares you for a variety of meaningful career paths, including clinical social work, child welfare advocacy, medical social work, public policy, criminal justice, marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, art therapy and more. 

Licensed clinical social workers play an important role in communities by providing counseling, support, therapy and mentorship to people struggling with mental and emotional health issues. These specialized professionals typically work in hospitals, schools, mental health clinics and social service agencies.