1. I am confused about the application deadline. You say it's March 13 but recommend that I send it in as soon as possible. Why?
Our application deadline for Fall 2015 is March 13. The crunch for time has more to do with financial aid. We receive a specific amount of money to give out in tuition remission, graduate assistantships, and direct dollars and when it is gone, it's gone. It is recommended that you apply one year in advance.
2. Yes, I'm seeking financial aid. What do I do?
The financial aid application is a mandatory part of our application packet. You will need to fill out the financial aid application and submit it online. Once you are accepted, you will be notified about financial aid.
We believe that you will find that this program is worth the investment whether you pay full tuition price or a portion of it. You are investing in your future as an advanced practitioner.
3. What kind of financial assistance could I anticipate to receive?
Depending on your application and the date you apply, your offer may include around half of tuition costs per academic year. The tuition remission is provided on a first-come first-served basis, so early application is recommended. Some also receive a stipend (or graduate assistantship), where one works for 10-20 hours per week for cash in hand during the academic year. However, the assistantships are merit and interest based. For example, if a faculty member seeks an assistant who has webpage skills, a student who has that knowledge would be more likely to receive that assistantship. We currently have a grant that involves work with the elderly as well as one that works with churches. If either is your interest, you may be able to conduct research with a professor on that grant as well as receive tuition remission.
5. Will my GPA make or break my admittance into the MSW program?
Many factors enter into the admission decision for a professional school; there is not one single indicator for admission. In terms of your GPA, one goal of an applicant might be to offer the admissions committee a GPA that predicts your success in graduate study. Providing this kind of support for the application is helpful, but may not be the factor that determines the admission decision.
6. Do I have to take the GRE?
No. The GRE is not required.
7. I'm an international student. What do I need to score on the TOEFL?
Attain a minimum of 550 on the paper-based or 213 on the computer-based or 80 on internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) OR 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)."
8. 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 persons 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 field education, or the field instructor.
9. What prerequisite courses are required before I begin the program?
The following course prerequisites are needed: 3 hours of biology, 6 hours of communication or language skills, 6 hours of social and behavioral science, 9 hours of humanities and/or history, and 3 hours of statistics. More information about these prerequisite courses can be found on the MSW application and/or the catalog. (Note: The MSW admissions committee will only review an application that is missing no more than one prerequisite.)
10. How many students are in the program?
Currently there are about 120 students enrolled in the MSW program. Non-practice class size averages about 20-40; practice classes average about 10-20.
11. How do I apply for the dual degree program?
You will have to be admitted to both Truett Seminary and the School of Social Work in order to pursue the MSW/MDiv or MSW/MTS. You will have to be admitted to both Baylor Graduate School and the School of Social Work in order to pursue the MSW/MBA.
12. 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 Field Education will take into consideration as they make internship assignments. The first year internship (for the foundation program) begins in the fall of your first year and continues through that spring (16 hours per week). The concentration year internship begins that fall, but you only work 60-100 hours over the fall semester (about 1 day per week). In the spring, you work about 32-35 hours per week at the internship. Some of those internships may include out of town placements.
13. Do you offer night classes? Can I work while I'm in school?
Currently we do not have any evening classes, although course scheduling is set up on a semester by semester basis. Because most of the courses are offered in 3 hour blocks (for example, in the fall, your schedule would probably be all day Monday and Wednesday with a possibility of a Thursday morning class), there are opportunities to work while enrolled.
14. Do you have distance learning classes or do I need to come there?
There is opportunity for both! The Baylor School of Social Work is excited to begin a pilot online MSW program beginning Fall 2014. The online program may be an option for admitted Advanced Standing students, current students going into their concentration year, and possibly transfer students who have completed their first year of an accredited MSW program.
Students who have out-of-town/state/country advanced internships during their final semester participate in seminars synchronously via Cisco/Jabber high definition laptop videoconferencing.
15. 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:
16. Why should I come to Baylor if I feel called to work with people in need?
Our program could be a strong enabler of one's call to ministry with persons and communities in need. You will have that opportunity both as an MSW student as well as a dual degree student with Truett Seminary (MSW/MDiv degree). As a dual degree student, you would be in a context that would permit you to understand more deeply the intellectual and theological underpinnings of your sense of mission. You would be provided with an opportunity to reflect on the interface between your faith and social work practice and consider the ways your practice informs your faith. You would be challenged to give expression to your gifts of leadership and be equipped for advanced practice with families or physical or mental health.
17. 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. Not all social workers work in a faith-based context; in fact, most of them do not.
18. 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, people are friendly, and we are in what is fondly known or teased as "The Bible Belt." The Baylor campus is beautiful, and there is a vast array of things to do on campus 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.
19. Where can I live?
There are many apartments near campus as well as all over Waco. The closer you live to campus, the more expensive the apartment/house. There are also graduate dorms. Email GSHC@baylor.edu for more information about on campus graduate housing.
20. Where is the School of Social Work at Baylor?
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.