FAQ - MSW
1. How can I apply for financial aid?
Two documents are required as part of the MSW application, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Financial Aid Profile (for international students) and our GSSW Financial Aid Form. All of these documents are submitted online. Visit our How to Apply page for links to each of these required forms. The School of Social Work operates on a rolling admissions process. Applications will be reviewed and financial assistance will be dispersed on a first-come, first-served basis. Submit your application as soon as possible for best financial aid consideration.
2. What kind of financial aid is available?
The three sources of financial assistance we offer for the residential program are:
- Tuition Remission- these awards are a direct offset of tuition costs charged to you by Baylor. These funds are credited to your student account at the beginning of each semester and not available for personal expenses.
- Scholarships- these awards are based on need and/or merit and are awarded as funds that do not have to be paid back by the student. You can find information about scholarships offered by the School of Social Work here.
- Graduate Assistantship Stipend- A stipend is defined as a fixed sum of money paid periodically for work. A graduate assistant is a person who serves in a support role in the School of Social Work. Graduate stipends are considered income.
All financial assistance is awarded on the strength of the candidates' application, merit and level of need. The School of Social Work operates on a rolling admissions process. Applications will be reviewed and financial assistance will be dispersed on a first-come, first-served basis. Submit your application as soon as possible for best financial aid consideration.
4. Will my GPA make or break my admittance into the MSW program?
Our Admissions Committee takes a holistic approach when reviewing applications. Though, many factors enter into the admission decision for a professional school; there is not one single indicator for admission.
5. Do I have to take the GRE?
No. The GRE is not required.
6. I'm an international student. What do I need to score on the TOEFL?
Attain a minimum of 550 on the paper-based, a 213 on the computer-based or an 80 on internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) OR 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
7. Who should I ask to write reference letters for me?
Three recommendation letters are required from each applicant. At least one of the letters must be an academic recommendation. Select people who have knowledge of you in some of the following areas: intellectual competence; potential for success; the ability to work with people about sensitive issues, including people from diverse backgrounds; possession of critical thinking and communication skills; and a sense of values and ethics. References from your faculty and those who have supervised you or know of your work in a social work-related paid or volunteer setting are particularly helpful. Advanced Standing applicants will need a reference from the undergraduate program director, the director of practicum education, or the social work supervisor (CSWE calls field instructor).
8. How many students are in the program?
Currently, there are about 120 students annually in the MSW program. Non-practice class size averages about 20; practice classes average about 12.
9. How do I apply for the joint degree program?
You are required to apply and be admitted to both Truett Seminary and the School of Social Work in order to pursue the MSW/MDIV or MSW/MTS joint degree. For information about applying to Truett Seminary, click here. In order to pursue the MSW/MBA joint degree, you must be admitted to both the School of Social Work and the Hankamer School of Business. For information about applying to Hankamer School of Business, click here.
10. Is a deposit required?
Yes, a non-refundable $250 deposit is required.
11. Do I get to choose my internships? When do they start and how long are they?
There are many opportunities for internships, and students may express preference of context and/or population that the Directors of Practicum Education will take into consideration as they make internship assignments. The generalist internship (for the standard program only) begins in the fall of your first year and continues through that spring (16 hours per week). The specialized internship begins in the fall of your first year for advanced standing students, or in the fall of your second year for standard students. Students are required to complete an internship at two different sites. Most students in the advanced year will spend approximately 20 hours per week in the internship for both the fall and spring semesters. The Practicum Education manual describes this more in detail as well as the potential of "block" placements for some clinical specialization students. Visit our Practicum Education page to see more information.
12. Do you offer night classes? Can I work while I'm in school?
With campus locations in Waco, Texas and online, the Garland School of Social Work is able to offer two different program experiences for students. Students at our Waco campus will experience a full-time, residential and more traditional on-campus experience. Students at our online campus will have more flexibility in their schedule with part-time program options and evening classes.
13. What if I don't feel called to work in a congregation or faith-based program-is there a place for me here?
Yes! The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has fully accredited our program as one that provides excellent social work education and training for you to be a competent professional social worker.
14. Is this a religious graduate program?
Our program is based from a Christian worldview, and there are reading assignments that include a Christian perspective. However, our program's chief purpose is to prepare and educate professional social workers, regardless of the student's faith (or non-faith) base. The integration of faith and practice relates to these ideas:
- Self-awareness of the values, belief system, and/or faith of the practitioner (recognition of strengths as well as biases)
- Ability to approach the helping process holistically, including the client's spiritual needs and strengths
- Awareness and respect for the context in which the social worker practices, e.g., secular or faith-based organization.
15. Tell me about Waco.
Waco's population is about 150,000 (including surrounding suburbs), which makes it a great size town for having lots of restaurants, stores, things to do, but not so big that traffic is a problem. The weather is usually mild from October to June but is rather hot in the summer. The cost of living is low, and people are friendly. The Baylor campus is beautiful, and there is a vast array of things to do on and off campus! We invite you to come visit and see for yourself. Many students come to our campus and have said that all they did was step out of the car, look around, and the feeling of "this is where I want to be" surrounds them. To schedule a visit or see a complete list of opportunities to connect with our recruitment team, click here.
16. Where can I live?
There are many apartments near campus as well as all over Waco. There are also graduate residence halls. Email GSHC@baylor.edu for more information about on campus graduate housing.
17. Where is the School of Social Work in Waco?
We are located at 811 Washington Avenue in downtown Waco. Parking is available in 2 lots, one on 9th Street and one directly behind the building on Columbus Avenue. Baylor parking decals are required. Street parking is available for those without Baylor parking permits.