Question: What are the GPA requirements for online MSW programs?

Answer: GPA requirements vary by graduate school and range from a minimum GPA of 2.5 to 3.0

For traditional programs, the majority of graduate schools require a GPA of 3.0 or greater to apply (28 of the 33 programs). However, some of these schools will still allow students with a GPA lower than 3.0 to apply if they have taken the GRE (see the table below for more information).

The only programs that do not have a minimum GPA of 3.0 are offered by:

  • Case Western Reserve University – minimum GPA 2.7
  • Our Lady of the Lake University – minimum GPA 2.5
  • Portland State University – minimum GPA 2.5 (students with a GPA between 2.5-2.74 may be admitted conditionally)
  • University of Louisville – minimum GPA 2.75
  • Western New Mexico University – minimum GPA 2.75

Both Case Western Reserve University and the University of Louisville will allow students with a GPA greater than 2.5 to apply, if they have taken the GRE.

[Please note: the majority of online MSW programs have a selective admission process, meaning that even if a student meets the minimum requirements for the program, they are not guaranteed admission.]

GPA Requirements for Advanced Standing Online MSW Programs

For students who have already earned a Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE accredited undergraduate program, the majority of advanced standing programs have a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 or higher (see the table below for more information). The only programs that have a GPA requirement lower than 3.0 are Case Western Reserve University (minimum GPA 2.7) and Western New Mexico University (minimum GPA 2.75). Advanced standing programs often have stricter admission criteria when compared to traditional programs. Consequently, several programs actual require a minimum GPA greater than 3.0 including:

  • Humboldt State University – minimum GPA 3.5
  • Saint Leo University – minimum GPA 3.25
  • University of Louisville – minimum GPA 3.0 and 3.25 in Social Work Courses
  • University of Southern California – minimum GPA 3.25 and 3.5 in Social Work Courses

BSW students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirements for an advanced standing program, may still be eligible to earn a MSW degree through a traditional program.

For students who are not sure about their qualifications, we recommend contacting universities before applying to determine your chances for admission.

GPA Requirements by Online Master of Social Work Program

Click on the school name for more information about their programs, admission requirements and eligibility restrictions.

Traditional Programs (34)

Traditional Programs (34)
SCHOOL NAME STRUCTURE OF PROGRAM* PROGRAM OPTIONS MINIMUM GPA GRE REQUIREMENTS
Arizona State University 100% Online FT & PT 3.0 (in last 60 semester hours) GRE or MAT Only required for students with a GPA lower than 3.2
Boise State University 100% Online FT & PT 3.0 preferred Not required
Boston University 100% Online PT 3.0 Not required
California State University, Northridge 100% Online FT 3.0 Only required for students with a GPA between 2.5 - 2.99
California State University, San Bernardino Limited Campus Visits Required PT 3.0 (2.8 may be considered) Not required
Case Western Reserve University 100% Online PT 2.7 Only required for students with a GPA lower than 2.7
Columbia University Limited Campus Visits Required FT & PT No Minimum GPA (Average GPA 3.5) Not required
Edinboro University 100% Online FT 3.0 Only required for students with a GPA lower than 3.0
Florida State University 100% Online PT 3.0 GRE required
Fordham University 100% Online PT 3.0 Not required
Humboldt State University Limited Campus Visits Required PT 3.0 Not required but recommended if GPA is below 3.0
Indiana University Limited Campus Visits Required PT 3.0 Not required
Louisiana State University 100% Online FT & PT 3.0 GRE required
Our Lady of the Lake University 100% Online PT 2.5 Not required
Portland State University Limited Campus Visits Required PT 2.5 Not required
Rutgers University 100% Online PT 3.0 Not required
Saint Leo University Limited Campus Visits Required FT & PT 3.0 Only required for students with a GPA lower than 3.0
Simmons University 100% Online FT & PT 3.0 Not required
The Catholic University of America 100% Online PT 3.0 Preferred Not required
Texas State University - San Marcos 100% Online PT 3.0 Not required
University at Buffalo (SUNY) 100% Online PT 3.0 Not required
University of Alaska Anchorage Limited Campus Visits Required FT & PT 3.0 Preferred Not required
University of Central Florida 100% Online PT 3.0 Not required
University of Denver 100% Online FT 3.0 Not required
University of Houston 100% Online PT 3.0 GRE required
University of Louisville 100% Online FT & PT 2.75 Only required for students with a GPA between 2.5 - 2.75
University of New England (UNE) 100% Online PT 3.0 Not required
University of New Hampshire 100% Online FT 3.0 Not required
University of North Dakota Limited Campus Visits Required PT 3.0 Not required
University of Southern California (USC) 100% Online FT & PT 3.0 Not required
University of Tennessee at Knoxville 100% Online FT & PT 3.0 GRE required
University of Texas - Arlington 100% Online PT 3.0 Only required for students with a GPA lower than 3.0
Western New Mexico University 100% Online FT & PT 2.75 Not required
Widener University 100% Online PT 3.0 Not required

Advanced Standing Programs (24)

Advanced Standing Programs (24)
SCHOOL NAME STRUCTURE OF PROGRAM* PROGRAM OPTIONS MINIMUM GPA GRE REQUIREMENTS
Boise State University 100% Online FT & PT 3.0 preferred Not required
Boston University 100% Online PT 3.0 Not required
Case Western Reserve University 100% Online PT 2.7 Only required for students with a GPA lower than 2.7
Edinboro University 100% Online FT 3.0 Not required
Florida State University 100% Online PT 3.0 GRE required
Fordham University 100% Online PT 3.0 Not required
Humboldt State University Limited Campus Visits Required PT 3.5 Not required
Indiana University Limited Campus Visits Required PT 3.0 Not required
Louisiana State University 100% Online FT 3.0 GRE required
Our Lady of the Lake University 100% Online PT 3.0 Not required
Saint Leo University Limited Campus Visits Required FT 3.25 Not required
Texas State University - San Marcos 100% Online PT 3.0 Not required
University at Buffalo (SUNY) 100% Online PT 3.0 Not required
University of Alaska Anchorage Limited Campus Visits Required FT & PT 3.0 (3.5 in BSW core courses) Not required
University of Houston 100% Online PT 3.0 GRE required
University of Louisville 100% Online FT & PT 3.0 (3.25 in Social Work Courses) Not required
University of New England (UNE) 100% Online PT 3.0 Not required
University of North Dakota Limited Campus Visits Required PT 3.0 Not required
University of Southern California (USC) 100% Online FT & PT 3.25 (3.5 in Social Work Courses) Not required
University of Tennessee at Knoxville 100% Online FT & PT 3.0 GRE required
University of Texas - Arlington 100% Online PT 3.0 Only required for students with a GPA lower than 3.0
Western New Mexico University 100% Online FT & PT 2.75 Not required

*All online MSW programs require field education at a local health services agency. Programs that are 100% online do not require students to visit the campus during the program.

Program options include full-time (FT) and part-time (PT) programs. Most full-time online MSW programs designed for traditional students take two years to complete, whereas part-time programs typically take two and a half to four years to complete depending on the program.


More FAQs about Online MSW Programs