MSW Admissions

Overview: At the University of Maine, we provide the highest quality education for advanced professional social work practice. We are committed to the professional education of Master’s prepared social workers: social workers who are ready to make a difference in our complex and changing society.  The two-year graduate program leading to the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree was approved by the Board of Trustees in 1987, and the MSW Program was fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education in 1991 and re-accredited through 2027.  The school currently has an average enrollment of 135 graduate students. The mission of graduate social work education at the University of Maine is to prepare ethical, competent, effective advanced generalist social workers capable of practicing with a high degree of autonomy and skill in diverse social welfare settings. We want future students to know that at the University of Maine School of Social Work, we take pride in students having direct and frequent contact with faculty who know your name and understand your goals. We offer small classes, experiential learning, seminars, and exciting field internships.

MSW PROGRAM OPTIONS:  We offer a variety of options for completing the MSW Program: 

The Full-Time, regular, 2-Year MSW program option is located at the University of Maine campus and consists of 63 semester credit hours.  Full-time students complete the program in two years.  

Extended 4-year MSW Program Option: Students who are employed or have other extensive commitments are encouraged to consider the Extended MSW program of study.  The Extended program of study consists of 63 semester credit hours  Students complete the program in three or four years.  Classes are scheduled at the UMaine School of Social Work one-day per week.

The Blended (Online–Hybrid) MSW Program consists of 63 semester credit hours.  Students complete the program in three years.  Students are only admitted in the Fall of each year as a cohort. Students in the Blended (Online-Hybrid) MSW program will enjoy courses taught by the same faculty who teach in the other MSW formats offered by our flagship university.  Because faculty are traveling to different placements, this program is only open to residents of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.  For more information about our Online-Hybrid program visit:

Advanced Standing MSW program option: Students with BSW degrees from undergraduate social work programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may be eligible for advanced standing status upon meeting general eligibility requirements and submitting additional materials from their undergraduate program director. To be eligible for advanced standing students must have completed their BSW degree program within seven years of application to the MSW program. Advanced Standing students are eligible to apply to either the campus or Online-Hybrid option. 

Transfer Students: We welcome transfer students to the MSW Program. Applicants who have completed some coursework in another CSWE accredited MSW program within the past five years may request a review of that coursework for possible equivalency or elective credit. Students who wish to transfer more than six (6) credit hours should make a written request to the MSW Program Coordinator. The MSW Program Coordinator will review the transfer request, examine pertinent course syllabi, make a determination of transfer credits, and submit a formal request to the Graduate School for transfer of credits. Applicants who have completed coursework within a non-CSWE accredited MSW program or within another discipline (e.g. counseling, psychology, etc.) may provide a written request to the MSW Program Coordinator for transfer of up to six credits as electives. Students must receive a B or better for any course in which they request transfer credit.

Prior Work and Life Experience:  As part of the Council on Social Work Education accreditation standards, in no case can credit be given for prior work or life experience.

Background Check. Students seeking careers in certain fields, including those that require licensure or certification, may be required to undergo a background check in order: to be licensed, certified or otherwise professionally qualified to enter certain fields of professional activity; to participate in internships, practicums, field experiences, clinical experiences or other activities relevant to completing professional training; to engage in professional development; or to graduate from a particular program of study. Certain employers may also require a background check.

Background checks may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Verification of educational history, including degrees earned
  • Review of criminal history, including convictions, deferred adjudications, judgments, and pending criminal charges involving felonies, Class A, Class B, and Class C violations or other criminal history
  • Social Security Number verification
  • Sex Offender Registry search

Having a notable history, depending on the exact circumstances, may not necessarily prevent you from earning a degree in your chosen field or in the other ways noted above; however, individuals concerned about how their background may impact their ability to graduate or be successful in other educational or professional experiences, should consult with the relevant administrator in their program of study, and/or with their academic advisor, and/or with the board of professional licensure in the state in which they plan to to practice professionally.

As you progress in your academic program, you are encouraged to maintain honest, accurate and forthcoming communication with your advisor, be prepared to share appropriate information on any application(s), and discuss any relevant concerns in your interviews.