About the Program

Why should I pursue a Master of Social Work at Tulane School of Social Work?

A Master of Social Work from TSSW will fulfill your mission to make a difference in the world. There is no better place for learning and practicing much-needed social work than in post-Katrina New Orleans. Tulane is one of the oldest and most highly regarded schools of social work in the country. The TSSW Master of Social Work is both substantive and flexible to allow a variety of employment opportunities including the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Do I have to be a social work major to enter TSSW?

No, we consider applicants from all educational disciplines. Applicants must be graduates from accredited colleges and universities who have completed a well-rounded liberal arts program that included study in the humanities, social science and human biology.

Is your program clinical, administrative or community based?

The program is a clinical/community program which prepares students for advanced relationship-centered practice with individuals, families and communities.

How long will it take me to earn a Master of Social Work?

We offer three curriculum plans to meet the needs of our MSW students:

  1. The full-time traditional MSW option consists of four semesters that are generally completed over 16 months (one semester spans a summer).
  2. The part-time traditional MSW option is spread across eight semesters, which can be completed in 32 months.
  3. Our Advanced Standing program consists of three semesters, which are generally completed over 12 months.

What orientation activities does TSSW provide for new students?

We host an orientation event before the start of each semester. During orientation, new students will meet faculty and staff and receive information on resources available to them on campus. Students receive an overview of the MSW program, as well as certificate and dual degree options, class format, and learn about academic and success supports.

How will I find my field placement?

The Field Team will assist you in selecting your field placement based on your interests, prior experience and expectations, and geographic location, striving to provide one that will broaden your educational and life experiences. Social-service agencies, government entities, schools, hospitals, and businesses throughout southeast Louisiana participate in our field-internship program.

When do I begin my field placement? How many hours are required?

  • Full-time students begin their field placement in the second semester of study and continue through the third and fourth semesters.
  • Advanced Standing students begin their placement in their first semester. Typically, full-time and Advanced Standing students will work 24 hours a week, Monday/Wednesday/Friday, and will attend classes on Tuesday/Thursday.
  • Part-time students begin their field placement in their third semester and are required to complete 12 hours per week.

Students will complete all 900 hours at one field placement. So that part-time students can successfully complete the field requirements for the MSW, students are required to complete a portion of their field hours during regular weekday business hours. Students must be available to work in field one (1) day during the regular workweek.

Are all field placements completed in New Orleans?

On-campus students will attend their field placement in New Orleans, the surrounding parishes, and counties in coastal Mississippi. Online students will complete their field placement in their communities. The Field Education Department makes every effort to place students in field placements geographically convenient to them.

Does TSSW grant academic credit for life or work experience?

No, the School does not grant academic credit for life or work experience.

About Studying in New Orleans

Is graduate student housing available?

Yes, there is graduate housing available. Applicants interested in graduate housing should contact Housing and Residence Life at (504) 865-5724 or Students seeking off-campus housing may contact a realtor or an apartment finder agency to assist them in locating housing. In addition, Tulane University students seeking roommates often post fliers around campus. The School of Social Work does not assist applicants with finding housing.

I want to visit the campus. How can I do that?

We would love to see you! Please contact the Admissions Office at (800) 631-8234, and let us know when you plan to visit. We can answer any questions you may have.

How safe is New Orleans?

New Orleans is as safe as any large city. Each individual must be aware of his/her surroundings and act accordingly. Crime prevention is, and always has been, a pressing concern for the Tulane University Police Department (TUPD). There is no single issue more important than the safety of the students, faculty and staff. TUPD staff includes approximately 100 full-time police officers who are trained at state-certified police academies and meet the requirements of the Louisiana Peace Officer Standards of Training. The staff also includes 15 support staff members and more than 40 part-time student employees, who receive special training in campus law enforcement.

Campus Police patrols campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and also coordinates with the New Orleans Police Department to patrol the streets around campus. They provide free shuttle service to transport students from off-campus locations to their on- or off-campus residence. Campus sidewalks are also lined with 36 blue-light emergency phones and officers are available 24 hours a day to escort students, faculty or staff to their cars and to offer on-campus minor road service such as assisting with locked keys in the car or a dead battery.

Like every university located in an urban area, Tulane must deal with the realities of crime. However, if we dedicate ourselves to vigilance, awareness and open communication with one another and law enforcement officials, we can all keep safe while enjoying one of the world's greatest cities.

Can I work as a student?

Because our Full-Time On-Campus MSW program is accelerated, we do not recommend that students work off-campus in addition to studying and completing their field education internships. If you are interested in a part-time position, we recommend you look into our graduate student employment opportunities. These programs are designed with your busy schedules in mind.

About Studying Online

How do online classes work?

Our lectures are fully synchronous to ensure strong connection between classmates and professors. Lectures are offered at night to permit students' work or life schedules. Classes are two hours long and start at either 5:30 CT or 7:45 CT. 

Are there residency requirements for online students?

This program has no residency requirements. Aside from a field placement in their local community, students have no in-person requirements.

Can I work as a student?

Yes, many students, both full-time and part-time, maintain a job while enrolled in our online program. Please note that our full-time online program has a significant time commitment and may not be conducive to full-time work.

Applying for Admission

What are the admission requirements?

Admission is highly competitive and limited to graduates of accredited colleges and universities who have completed a well-rounded liberal arts program that included study in the humanities, social sciences, and human biology. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4-point scale is required for admission.

Our Admissions Committee considers the total application, including grades, experience, GPA if applicable, personal essay and the fit of the applicant's goals with the mission of the TSSW MSW program.

Do I need to take the GRE? If so, what is the minimum score?

The GRE is not usually required for admission to TSSW. Applicants with marginal or GPAs below the required cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 may be asked to provide GRE scores. The required score on the GRE is 1000 or better (under old score table of verbal and quantitative sections combined). Strong candidates who do not meet grade point average criterion may be admitted on academic probation for the first 15 credit hours, but their applications are not reviewed until March 1 if there is still space available. Failure to achieve the academic requirements will result in automatic dismissal. All applications are reviewed.

What is the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) requirement?

For applicants from non-English-speaking nations, the required TOEFL scores are a minimum score of 600 on the paper-based test, 250 on the computer-based test, or 90 the Internet-based test.

What is the application deadline? How early should I apply?

The application deadline is March 31st. Applicants should apply as early as six to eight months prior to enrollment date. Earlier applicants receive earlier consideration for scholarship awards.

Does TSSW have rolling admission?

Yes, we do have rolling admission. This means applications are reviewed and admission decisions are made as soon as all required information is received.

Does TSSW grant advanced standing status?

Applicants who have earned a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree within the past five (5) years from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program may be granted Advanced Standing, enabling them to qualify for a MSW in three semesters of full-time study. In addition to the required cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or better on a 4.0 scale a 3.0 grade point average in all undergraduate substantive courses is required. Advanced Standing applicants must also have at least a B+ average in their field practicum. Contact the Admissions Office at (800) 631-8234 for more information on Advanced Standing.

What is TSSW's acceptance rate?

We accept 80-85 percent of applicants to our MSW program.

How will know if I am accepted?

After all required information is received and your application file is complete the Faculty Committee on Admissions will review your file and notify you by mail of their decision. After your acceptance, sometimes in late spring or early summer, you will receive information on immunization, registration and orientation.

Can I transfer credits from other graduate programs?

In order to obtain your social work license you must have completed a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program. Tulane University School of Social Work Master of Social Work is accredited by CSWE and, as such, can only accept transfer credits from other CSWE-accredited MSW programs at the time you attended the program. The credit must have been earned within the last 5 years with a final grade of at least a B. Tulane reserves the right to contact the dean or other authorities of the former school(s) to verify that the applicant left the institution in good academic and professional standing. Tulane does not give academic credit for life or work experience and considers each request to transfer credits on an individual application basis. 

No more than a total of 15 credit hours will be accepted by Tulane. Additionally, a maximum number of credits in the below categories will be accepted:

  • 1 semester of field work (a maximum of 4 credit hours of field) will be accepted with receipt of a satisfactory field evaluation. 
  • A maximum of 3 courses or 9 credit hours (whichever is less) of foundation courses will be accepted. These courses include: 
    • SOWK 7120 Social Work History and Policy
    • SOWK 7140 Introduction to Organization and Community Practice
    • SOWK 7210 Theories of Human Behavior
    • SOWK 7310 Introduction to Direct Social Work Practice. 
  • TSSW course SOWK 7130 Diversity and Social Justice may not be substituted. 
  •  A maximum of 9 credit hours of elective courses will be accepted.

Paying for Your Education

Are there scholarships available?

There are a limited number of partial scholarships awarded to qualified full-time applicants who accept our offer of admission. These scholarships are available for the first two (fall and spring) semesters of full-time study ONLY. A partial listing of local and national scholarships is available here.

How do I apply for a TSSW scholarship?

There is no need to apply. All accepted and confirmed applicants for full-time study are automatically considered for scholarships by the Tulane School of Social Work Admissions Committee. Funds are limited so partial scholarships are awarded on a first-come basis.

How will I pay for my TSSW education?

Most students who attend our MSW program utilize a combination of Federal Need Based Financial Aid, partial scholarships, and personal funds.

To find out more about financial assistance offered by Tulane and the Federal Government, please visit the Office of Financial Aid website.