Jul 21, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Social Work

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Joseph G. Lee, Interim Director

Academic Certifications and Licensures

Students pursuing the MSW may complete a certificate program in one of the following areas: gerontology or substance abuse. Certification may be secured by a combination of required and elective courses. Students may also complete a licensure in school social work. In addition, the school participates in the North Carolina Child Welfare Collaborative, a grant program.


Applicants for admission as degree candidates in social work must fulfill the general admission requirements of the Graduate School of the university and of the School of Social Work.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the MSW program is selective, and is determined by academic preparation and individual qualifications of the applicant. Persons seeking admission must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate institution, a minimum GPA of 2.75 (4.0 scale) on all undergraduate work with a minimum GPA of 3.0 for their senior year.

All applicants to the MSW program must have completed undergraduate course work in each of the following areas: natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and mathematics with a minimum grade of C (2.0) as preparation for graduate study in social work:

  1. In the Natural Sciences, completion of a minimum of 3 credit hours of coursework in Human Biology. Courses that meet the Human Biology requirement include General Biology (with a health emphasis), Anatomy, Physiology, Reproduction, Biology of Aging, etc.
  2. Humanities requirement is documented by completion of a minimum of 6 semester credit hours in English, a foreign language, philosophy, religion, music, art, communication, theatre, government, etc.
  3. The applicant should have completed a minimum of 6 semester credit hours in the Social Sciences; e.g., Psychology, Economics, Political Science, Sociology
  4. To meet the Mathematics requirement, a student must have taken at least 3 credit hours minimum in a basic college mathematics, college algebra, or statistics course.
  5. The applicant must also have completed 3 semester hours in a social science research course with a significant statistics component, or 3 semester hours of statistics.

The capacity to work with people is essential to successful social work practice. Strengths or weaknesses in this capacity are relevant for admission to the program. Prior work experience in social work settings is highly valued.

In addition to the ECU Graduate School application, all applications must contain the following:

  1. School of Social Work MSW Application;
  2. three completed references in sealed envelopes;
  3. official copies of transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended;
  4. official copy of transcript from institution noting the conferral of undergraduate degree;
  5. personal response to essay question presented on the MSW application;
  6. a complete resume; and
  7. GRE or MAT test scores.

Transfer Students

It is possible to be accepted as a transfer student from another graduate social work program under the following conditions: social work transfer credit must be graduate-level course work taken after earning a baccalaureate degree; course work must have been completed at a graduate school of social work accredited by the CSWE within five years prior to the application; and the student must have received a minimum grade of B on transferred course work. Transfer students must meet any foundation requirements they have not already completed by taking the required courses or by passing proficiency examinations. They must also complete the required practice courses. Courses applied toward another degree cannot be used for credit toward the MSW; likewise, previous experience working in the field of social work or a related field or life experience cannot be used as course credit toward the MSW. Transfer students must take a minimum of 80 percent of the required semester hours in residence at East Carolina University.

Program Standards

Students enrolled in the MSW program are expected to adhere to the following program standards.


The School of Social Work fully subscribes to and is guided by the NASW Code of Ethics (http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/code.asp). Social work program applicants and students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior which reflects a commitment to the ethics of the social work profession as exemplified in the Code of Ethics. Behavior and statements contrary to these ethics may be cause for denial of the student’s admission to or continuance in the School of Social Work’s programs. Examples of behavior which would warrant a review include, but are not limited to, derogatory oral and written statements towards students, staff, faculty, agency representatives or clients. Derogatory statements concerning racial, ethnic or cultural background, handicap status, religion, socio-economic background, gender, sexual orientation or other status may also warrant review.

The role of social worker involves working with people from a variety of backgrounds and with a wide range of issues and concerns. It is important that the social work student not permit personal issues and/or conditions to interfere with this role.

All students are expected to complete their degree requirements within a four-year period from the date of first admission. When a student withdraws from the School of Social Work, they must reapply to the Graduate School and to the School of Social Work. As long as a student maintains continuous enrollment, regulations applicable during his or her term of admission apply. When degree requirements change during a student’s enrollment, the student may be extended the opportunity to choose the new requirements. A student who interrupts enrollment for one year or longer and is readmitted is subject to regulations in effect at the time of readmission. Even if readmitted, all required coursework should be completed within the four-year matriculation period.

Prior Felony Convictions

The School does not require that applicants submit to a background check for possible criminal offenses. Applicants should realize, however, that practicum agencies may require such a check. Applicants should be aware that having a prior felony conviction or prior sanctions for unprofessional conduct may impact future potential for obtaining field placements, and social work employment and licensure. In addition, the School, as part of its process of practicum assignments, asks students whether they have a felony conviction (or non-contested felony) in their background. Students may be automatically denied admission, or if enrolled, terminated from the program, if they have not been truthful or have provided inaccurate information in the application concerning felony convictions.


A student whose grade point average falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation, and will be allowed to continue his/her enrollment only with the written recommendation of the academic advisor and approval from the graduate program coordinator. Removal from academic probation is granted when the grade point average is raised to 3.0 or above. Students who receive a grade of C in six semester hours of graduate credit, are ineligible to continue in the MSW program.




      GerontologyGerontology Banked CoursesSocial WorkSocial Work Banked Courses

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