Online MSW Programs No GRE Required

Many graduate schools now offer online MSW programs no GRE required because these schools have found that standardized test scores may not accurately reflect a potential student’s graduate GPA. As a result, these programs focus more on other admissions requirements, which may tell a more complete story of each applicant. Check out the table below for partner schools that offer online MSW programs without requiring a GRE.

List of Online MSW Programs That Don't Require GRE

Graduate SchoolOther Admission Requirements
1. Simmons CollegeApplication, Resume, Official Transcipts, Recommendation Letters, State of Purpose, Interview
2.University of DenverOnline application, 2.5 Bachelor's GPA min, Transcripts, Career Goals Statement, Resume
3.Fordham UniversityApplication, Autobiographical statement, Undergraduate Transcripts
4. University of Southern CaliforniaOnline Graduate Application, Resume, Statement of Purpose, Letters of Recommendation
5.University of LouisvilleOnline Application, Transcripts, Letters of Recommendation, Writing Sample, Resume
6.Sacred Heart UniversityCompleted Application, Transcripts, Personal Statement, Resume, Letters of Recommendation
7.Widener UniversityCompleted Application, Bachelor's Degree, Transcripts, Statement of Purpose, Resume
8.Indiana Wesleyan UniversityBachelor's Degree, Two Letters of Recommendation, Personal Statement
9. Capella UniversityBachelor's Degree, 2.3 Bachelor's GPA min, Transcripts, 

National Association of Social Workers

Founded in 1955, the NASW is one of the largest membership organizations in the world, with more than 120,000 members. Of them, 90% hold a master’s degree in social work.

9 Online MSW Programs No GRE Required

Below are eight sponsored online MSW programs with no GRE requirements. These graduate schools are listed in no particular order and each have unique admissions requirements for their degree in social work master's programs. Click on any of the links to learn more about these online msw programs no gre required, such as how to apply and when the next start date is.

1. Simmons College

As the oldest clinical school of social work in the country, Simmons College School of Social Work has trained social workers for clinical practice and worked to strengthen the functioning of individuals, families, groups, and communities since 1904.

When pursuing the Online Master of Social Work (MSW) at Simmons, you have the choice of four concentrations:

  1. Child and Family
  2. Trauma and Interpersonal Violence
  3. Health and Aging
  4. Mental Health and Addictions

Admissions Requirements for Simmons MSW

There are no standardized test requirements for the MSW at Simmons. However, if you’re an international student you will have to submit your Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. Other admission requirements for both the online and the on-campus options are:

  1. Completed application
  2. Resume
  3. Official transcripts
  4. Three letters of recommendation
  5. Statement of purpose (prompts provided)
  6. Interview (by invitation)

Simmons also offers an on-campus Master of Social Work (MSW) with no GRE requirements as well, so make those campus visits!

2. University of Denver

The faculty of the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver have robust community experience and are committed to providing high-quality education and mentoring so that you can pursue a career creating positive change.

The admission requirements for the online Master of Social Work at the University of Denver do not include GRE scores. The other requirements are:

  • Online application
  • Bachelor’s degree (2.5 minimum GPA, though 3.0 is preferred)
  • Official transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Career goals statement (prompts included)
  • Application fee

3. Fordham University

The Graduate School of Social Service (GSS) at Fordham University provides a foundation in the traditions in the field of social work while meeting future challenges through an interdisciplinary curriculum.

The Master of Social Work at Fordham University does not require studnets to take the GRE for admissions. Plus, there are two starts every year, one in the spring and one in the fall, so that you can choose the degree in social work option that suits you and your schedule.

Fordham MSW Admissions Requirements

In order to apply, you must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college and have earned 18 undergraduate credits in liberal arts. The other admissions requirements are:

  • Application
  • Autobiographical statement (recommended prompts included)
  • Undergraduate transcripts

4. University of Southern California (USC)

Offered through the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, the online Master of Social Work program at the University of Southern California has the same admissions standards, curriculum, graduation requirements, degree and diploma as the campus based program.

Plus, there are three departments that offer different concentrations in the field of social work to tailor your curriculum:

  1. Adult Mental Health and Wellness
  2. Children, Youth, and Families
  3. Social Change and Innovation

Online MSW Concentrations at USC

Some of the online MSW concentrations at USC are

Admissions Requirements for MSW at USC

The online MSW at USC includes a variety of concentrations to help you tailor your program to fit your goals. In addition, all of these online programs have no GRE requirement. The other admissions requirements are:

  • Online graduate application
  • Supplemental forms (Social Work)
  • Resume
  • Statement of purpose (address three topics provided)
  • Minimum of two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts

5. University of Louisville

GRE Required for applicants with a 2.75 GPA or lower

The Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville has been educating social workers since 1936 and remains committed to teaching the next generation to prepare them to promote social justice and be positive change agents.

Admissions Requirements for Online MSW at Louisville

For the majority of applicants the Online Master of Science in Social Workat Louisville, there are no GRE requirements. However, if you have a GPA of 2.75 or less, you are required to submit your scores.

The other admissions requirements are:

  • Completed online application
  • Official transcripts
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Writing sample (prompts included)
  • Resume
  • Completed agreements packet

In addition, there is a writing addendum to applicants with a 3.0 GPA or lower, which should detail your previous academic record and how you plan on maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher in your graduate studies, which is required by the school.

6. Sacred Heart University

The Master of Social Work through Sacred Heart University strives to deepen your level of assistance to vulnerable populations and prepare to take on leadership roles in social work.

The curriculum is focused on the principle of serving others, respect for human dignity, dedication to scientific inquiry, and social an economic justice.

MSW Admissions Requirements at Sacred Heart

The admissions requirements for the online MSW at Sacred Heart are:

  • Completed application
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
  • Registration form
  • Promise to pay form

MSW Concentrations at SHU

In order to allow you to expand your work in social service and responsibility with comprehensive knowledge, the components of both are integrated into each specialization, there are two concentrations for your online MSW, which are:

7. Widener University

The online MSW offered at Widener University incorporates trauma as a central theme to all coursework to help you understand trauma as a root cause in mental health challenges. In addition, as social work professionals, the faculty have a complete understanding of the challenges you face.

Two online programs are:

  1. Online MSW Program
  2. Online Masters of Social Work

MSW at Widener Admissions Requirements

Widener offers an online MSW with no GRE requirement. The other admissions requirements are:

  • Completed application
  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Bachelor’s GPA (though those with a lower GPA may be conditionally accepted)
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of purpose (prompt included)
  • Resume
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation

8. Indiana Wesleyan University

Through courses that offer a personal, professional, and innovative experience for all learners seeking to practice social work at the advanced clinical level, the online MSW at Indiana Wesleyan University is designed to offer asynchronous learners a biblical perspective on social, economic, and environmental justice.

Admissions Requirements and MSW Concentrations

The admissions requirements for the online MSW programs at Indiana Wesleyan are:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

There are two types of MSW programs:

  1. Master of Social Work – Standard Track
  2. Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing Track

The standard track has a minimum GPA of 2.7, though those with a lower GPA may be accepted on a probationary basis. Applicants to the advanced track, must have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program with a 3.0 GPA with in the last seven years.

9. Capella University

Designed around national doctoral social work education guidelines, this program prepares you to take on the responsibilities of a leader, advanced practitioner, or educator. Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Capella offers a competency-based curriculum that is specifically designed for experienced professionals who want to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to possibly help advance their career.

Admissions Requirements and MSW Concentrations

The admissions requirements for the MS in Social Work and DSW programs at Capella University are:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Official Transcripts
  • Minimum grade point average of 2.3 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • GRE not required for admission



Why Do Some Online MSW Programs Not Require GRE?Online MSW Programs with No GRE Required - Online MSW Programs No GRE Required

Many online Master of Social WOrk programs do not require the GRE as part of the admissions process because recent studies show that high standardized test scores do not necessarily translate to a better graduate-level GPA.

However, schools still need to find some way to measure a student’s qualifications for graduate school and to determine some level of expectation of their performance. This is why many schools are placing more emphasis on:

  • Past academic performance (both graduate and undergraduate levels)
  • Professional experience
  • Writing samples
  • Recommendations

MSW Online No GRE : 5 Steps to Prepare for GRE

If you decide to take the GRE to apply to online MSW programs that do require it, below are some tips to help you prepare for the exam that may help you improve your score.

#1: Take a Practice GRE Test

In order to create a baseline score, take a practice test before creating your study plan. This shows you where you are and how much you need to improve to meet your ideal score.

Plus, it gives you a good opportunity to become familiar with the test’s format and training before you start your study plan.

#2: Create GRE Study Plan

Some studies have shown that when you write something you down, you’re more likely complete the tasks. Therefore, write down your study plan and schedule. Make these appointments with yourself that you treat just like going to class or to work.

Studying more often for the GRE helps you improve more than studying only once or twice a week. For instance, some students find studying five days a week in three, half-hour long segments, helped them make significant progress.

Also, make sure you build in time for four more practice tests so that you are well-versed in the format and the timing before exam day.

#3: Study!

There are many options, such as online programs, study books, or prep courses. No matter how you decide to study, make sure you stick to your schedule. This will be good preparation for graduate school, where you’ll have to maintain a consistent schedule to perform your coursework.

#4: Mimic Real GRE Conditions

Yes, there are plenty of options to take practice exams with a paper and pencil. However, these do not adapt to your performance the way the real GRE does.

If you decide to take the GRE, make sure that you budget online practice exams that adapt to your score as you’re taking the test, just like the real GRE. This will better prepare you for exam day.

#5: Take the Test

The morning of exam day, you’ll be nervous. However, if you’ve taken practice exams and stuck to your study schedule, you’ll have the confidence that you’re prepared.

Try to get a good night’s sleep the night before and eat a healthy breakfast. Some people find it helpful to review some notes, while others find it best to avoid them. Stick to whichever works for you and remain confident.

Social Worker Career Outlook

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of social workers is expected to increase 16% during the years 2016 to 2026, or 109,700 new social workers.i

Average GRE Scores

The GRE has three different elements:

  1. Verbal
  2. Quantitative
  3. Analytical Writing

The Verbal and Quantitative sections are scored between 130-170, with an average score, or where the score is in the 50th percentile (or better than 50% of other test takers) of:

  • Verbal: 150
  • Quantitative: roughly 152

The Analytical Writing section is scored between 0 and 6 in half point increments.

  • Analytical Writing average score: roughly 3.5

Whether the average score is a good score is entirely up to you and the schools you want to apply to. Keep in mind that every school has different admissions requirements, and a GRE score that may get you accepted to one school may not get you accepted to another.

If you’ve taken the GRE and didn’t score as highly as you’d like, you can always find graduate schools that accept low GRE scores.

Find the Perfect Online MSW No GRE Program for You Today!

Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to contact the school directly, where you can find out how to apply, what the programs offers, and when the start date is.

You can also take the time to learn about other MSW programs, such as:

Or, use our Quick Degree Finder on this page to get matched (for free!) to the perfect program for you and learn how to pursue your online MSW today.


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