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SOCIAL WORK Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress

To make progress toward a graduate degree, students must meet the Graduate School Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress in addition to the requirements of the program.

Master’s Degrees:

MSW, with available named options Part Time MSW Eau Claire, and Part Time MSW Madison

Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement

30 credits

Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement

16 credits

Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement

Half of degree coursework must be completed in courses designated as graduate coursework. The following courses in social work are designed for graduate work: SW 440, 441, 442, 605, 605, 640, 711, 712, 741, 742, 800, 801, 821, 825, 835, 836, 840, 854, 862, 863, 869, 870, 873, 874, 875, 887, 920, 929, 990, 999.

Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions

MSW students cannot use credits obtained in other graduate programs toward the MSW program requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate

MSW students who have received BSWs from CSWE-accredited programs may count 7 credits of their undergraduate coursework in the BSW program numbered 300 or above toward their minimum graduate degree credit requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to the MSW program may not be used to satisfy credit requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison University Special

MSW students cannot use credits obtained as University Special students toward the MSW program requirements.

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits

Program-Specific Courses Required

Contact the program for information on any additional required courses.

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement


Other Grade Requirements

The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.

Probation Policy

The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School. 

Advisor / Committee

Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies.

A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.

Assessment and Examinations

Contact the program for information on required assessments and examinations.

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Language Requirements

Contact the program for information on any language requirements.