2017-18 University Bulletin 
    Apr 13, 2024  
2017-18 University Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work: Graduate

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: School of Social Work

w - socialwork.adelphi.edu/academics/

Graduate Programs of Study

Questions regarding individual programs may be directed to Social Work Admissions Coordinator Elizabeth Szpilka, LMSW at (516) 877-4384 or email eszpilka@adelphi.edu

Master of Social Work

Admission to the Master of Social Work (M.S.W) Program

The requirements for admission to the M.S.W. program are based on prior academic performance, values consonant with the social work profession, and paid and/or volunteer human service experience. The minimum requirements include the following:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a strong background in the liberal arts and sciences.
  2. Personal characteristics and qualifications related to successful professional performance consonant with the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics.*
  3. A minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 on a four-point scale.
  4. Paid or volunteer experience in the human services preferred.
  5. For international students, a TOEFL score of 585.

Candidates for the Advanced Standing program must have obtained an undergraduate degree from a CSWE-accredited social work program within the past five years, and are required to have achieved grades of B or better in all of their social work courses. In some cases, additional courses may have to be taken if the candidate’s program varies significantly from Adelphi’s foundation curriculum.

*Please Note: The NASW Code of Ethics is available online at http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/.

Application Procedure

Each candidate is required to file an application provided by the University’s Office of Graduate Admissions or the School of Social Work, or downloaded from the University’s Web site.

Applications for full-time study should be completed and received by the University with all required documents by July 15 for priority consideration for the fall semester and by December 1 for priority consideration for the spring semester. Completed  applications for full-time study received after these dates will only be reviewed on a space available basis. It is strongly recommended that applicants for the Advanced Standing program and transfer students file applications by March 1 for fall semester admission. The School reserves the right to limit admissions as necessary.

Candidates must submit three reference letters. Preferred sources are supervisors in the social agencies in which they have been volunteering or employed, college instructors, or others unrelated to the applicant who are equipped to evaluate their readiness for graduate study and capacity for social work practice. Candidates must arrange for the forwarding of their college transcripts and submit a personal statement of how their interest in social work developed and the life experiences that influenced this professional choice. Please refer to the questions on the application. At the discretion of the School’s Admissions Committee, a candidate may be interviewed to secure additional information or to gain impressions as to personal qualifications.

For additional information please contact Marcia Edwards, Admissions Coordinator for the School of Social Work, (516) 877-4384.

Admission Process

Each step of the admissions process is designed to contribute information about the qualifications of the candidate. The application form, transcripts, references, and, if required, the interview are used to elicit relevant data.

Application Form

  1. The application form provides information about prior educational experience and paid or volunteer work experience.
  2. Educational background data, including transcripts, provide insight as to the quality of educational institutions attended, continuity of participation in the educational process, scholarly potential as revealed in grade point average, and prior areas of study.
  3. Material on employment background and volunteer activity sheds light on the quality of the applicant’s work history in relation to readiness for professional education.
  4. Information on organizational affiliations in school and community gives evidence of leadership experience, interests, and commitment to social issues.
  5. The personal statement provides evidence of the motivation of the applicant, the role of significant life experiences on the choice of the social work profession, and on the applicant’s writing and conceptual abilities.


Letters of reference are particularly valuable when received from employers or supervisors in social work settings or from college teachers who can report on learning patterns and academic potential. References from close friends and family members are not appropriate. Letters of reference are used to help to assess the candidate’s potential for growth or readiness for professional social work education.

Personal Interview

A personal interview may be required for transfer applicants, advanced standing applicants, accelerated applicants, O.Y.R. applicants, and for any candidates for whom the written materials are insufficient to arrive at a judgment as to the applicant’s ability to successfully pursue graduate study in social work. The interview is used to evaluate the applicant and to secure any additional information necessary to arrive at an overall assessment of the applicant’s capacity and readiness to undertake professional social work education.

Decision-Making Process

On the basis of review by members of the Admissions Committee and the Coordinator of Admissions, a decision is made and forwarded to the University admissions department. The University then notifies the applicant of the School’s decision.

Expenses and Financial Aid

Tuition Assistance

The School of Social Work has a variety of tuition assistance programs to assist students with the cost of their graduate education.

Need-Based Scholarships

The School awards a limited number of scholarships to full-time, incoming students based on merit and financial need. Application for aid is made at the point of application to the program.

The Rita Paprin Memorial Scholarship

The family and friends of the late social work professor, Rita Paprin, established a memorial scholarship in 1983, its mission consistent with her lifetime commitment to changing social policies. Students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to social policy development and social change are eligible. To qualify, students must have completed at least 12 credits and be enrolled in either our bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral program.

The Patricia Beldoch Hochfelder Memorial Scholarship

The Beldoch and Hochfelder families of the late alumna, Patricia Beldoch Hochfelder, established a memorial scholarship in 1986, its mission consistent with her lifetime commitment to social justice. Minority students with outstanding academic records and in financial need are eligible. To qualify students need to have demonstrated their commitment to the values of social work.

The Henry William Niebuhr Scholarship

The Henry William Niebuhr Scholarship is awarded to a B.S.W. or M.S.W. student who has decided to change careers in midlife and has returned to school in order to prepare for a career in substance abuse services. To qualify the student must have an excellent academic record.

Agency Tuition Remission

Students employed in a social work agency which is affiliated with the School’s field education program may be eligible for agency tuition remission. To qualify, the student’s agency must designate accrued tuition remission credits to the employee consistent with the University’s policy for agency tuition remission.

Graduate Assistantships

The School has a number of graduate assistantships. These grants are applied directly to the student’s tuition. Students receiving an assistantship work with a member of the faculty on research and/or administrative projects.

Transfer Students from Accredited Schools of Social Work

Applicants wishing to transfer to Adelphi after successfully completing the foundation level at another accredited school of social work may be accepted into the advanced level of the M.S.W. program. The applicant is required to file a complete application and provide a reference from a field instructor. A personal interview may also be required. Applicants who wish to transfer credits for courses taken on a part-time basis at another accredited School of Social Work may do so consistent with the School’s policy on transfer credits.

Additional Information for Graduate Students in the School of Social Work

Transfer Credits

Students who have taken a graduate course in an accredited graduate program similar to an Adelphi social work course may request a transfer of credit. A transcript, course description, course outline, and bibliography must be submitted to the School’s coordinator of admissions. The course must have been taken within five years of matriculation with a grade of B or better. The coordinator of admissions, in consultation with the sequence chair, assesses the degree to which the course corresponds to the Adelphi course. If the graduate credit is approved for transfer, the student does not have to take another course in its place. A placing out exam may be required at the discretion of the assistant dean for academic affairs. Students who completed a graduate course that counted toward a baccalaureate degree cannot receive transfer credit for that course. Only courses completed for graduate credit can be transferred. No social work course credit is granted for previous work or life experience.

Course Waivers

Course waivers are granted selectively on an individual basis. Students who have taken an undergraduate course similar to an Adelphi social work course may request a course waiver. A transcript, course description, course outline, and bibliography must be submitted to the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. The course must have been taken within five years of matriculation with a grade of B or better. The Assistant Dean, in consultation with the sequence chair, assesses the degree to which the course from another school corresponds to the Adelphi course. If the course does correspond, the student will then be required to take a placing out exam. If the student passes the exam, that is receives a grade of B or above, the course is waived and the student must take another course in its place. Graduate credit is not granted for undergraduate courses.

Graduate Policies and General Information

Academic support and advisement is available for all students through the Office of the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. All students in the M.S.W. program are expected to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA throughout the program. Students are monitored for academic performance and referrals are made to the Office of Academic Affairs when students fall below the minimum standard. Academic contracts are written for all students who do not earn the minimum 3.0 total GPA.

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. program requires a Master of Social Work degree with a grade-point average of at least 3.3; three years of successful post-M.S.W. professional experience; and evidence of capacity to engage in doctoral study. Promising candidates are interviewed by a member of the doctoral faculty.

Exceptions to these requirements will be considered when applicants demonstrate equivalent attainments or compensating strengths—for example, an applicant who has not yet completed three years of post-master’s professional experience but has made a contribution to social work knowledge in professional publications. Applicants who do not fulfill the typical admission requirement may be required to complete additional course work beyond the 51 credit hours.

The School of Social Work considers the following criteria when evaluating applicants for acceptance into the doctoral programs:

  • Intellectual capacity
  • General professional competence
  • Knowledge of critical issues in social work
  • Strength of commitment to doctoral study
  • Adequacy of plans for financing doctoral study
  • General capability (e.g., time) to pursue research on a doctoral level
  • A high score on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required of international students to demonstrate sufficient proficiency in language skills to engage in doctoral study.

Application Procedure

Applicants for admission should:

  1. Secure and fill out the “Application for Admission to Graduate Studies” form;
  2. Arrange for three letters of reference, using the provided forms, and send them to the Office of Graduate Admissions (see below);
  3.  The personal statement should addressed these areas (a) educational background and professional experience, to support your application (b) substantive area[s] of interest for research, evaluation, and/or teaching, (c) career plans, including how a doctorate in social work supports the achievement of these goals. Applicants are encouraged to use these headings in their essay.  The personal statement should be no longer than 4 [four] double-spaced pages, with once inch margins and a 12-pt font; 
  4.  Include an example of scholarly writing.  This sample may include a scholarly publication, grant proposal, a conceptual paper, or a written assignment for a Master’s ;
  5. Include the required, nonrefundable application fee ($50) in the form of a check or money order made payable to Adelphi University;
  6. Ensure that complete application packet is submitted by April 15 for consideration for Fall admission;
  7. Mail the completed application form, personal essay, professional samples, and application fee in the return envelope provided with the application form to:

Office of Graduate Admissions,
Adelphi University, Levermore Hall
1 South Avenue
P.O. Box 701 Garden City, New York 11530-0107

When the application is complete (all the above items have been received), the director of the doctoral program will communicate with promising applicants to set up an admissions interview with a member of the doctoral faculty on Adelphi’s Garden City campus.


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: School of Social Work