Admission Requirements

The Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) seeks highly qualified, intellectually curious and actively involved students who have demonstrated high levels of maturity and personal integrity as well as a commitment to serving their communities. 

CAU practices a holistic admission review process, which considers the applicant's academic record, standardized tests, leadership in school and community activities, unique talents and skills, and educational objectives.



Admission to the Undergraduate Program in Social Work is a process consisting of:  

  • Admission to University
  • Formal declaration of an interest in social work and completion of an Undergraduate Social Work application in the spring semester of the sophomore
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) 2.5 or better.
  • Completion of two undergraduate social work courses: Introduction to Social Work (CUSW 200) and Introduction to Helping Professions (CUSW 202) with a "C" or better in each.
  • Completion of social science prerequisite course: Introduction to Sociology (CSCJ 215) with a "C" or better.
  • Completion of two English prerequisite courses: College Composition I (CENG 105) and College Composition II (CENG 106) with a "C" or better.
  • Completion of twenty (20) community service hours in CUSW 202: Introduction to Helping Professions.
  • Submission of applicant’s personal statement responding to the following questions:  
  1. Describe your motivation(s) for becoming a social worker.
  2. Describe any employment, volunteer, or life experiences, which you believe have helped prepare you to pursue a career in social work.
  3. What strengths do you bring to professional social work practice?
  4. What do you consider to be areas in which you need additional growth and development in relation to professional social work practice?
  5. Discuss your commitment to abide by the values and ethics of the social work profession. Identify and describe any areas in which your personal values conflict with professional social work values. If value conflicts do exist, please describe your plans to resolve the conflicts.
  6. Describe your immediate and long-range career goals and list your fields of practice preferences (client populations/social problems/agency settings).
  7. List any client populations, social problems, or agency settings with which you would not feel comfortable. 
  8. Please include, at this point, any additional information you believe to be relevant to your application for admission to the professional core.


The MSW Program is offered in three plans of study. Applicants for admission to the Two-Year Plan of Study, Three-Year Plan of Study, or Advanced Standing Program must:
  • Have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college that reflects a broad liberal arts base to include:
  • Twenty-one (21) semester credit hours in the social and behavioral sciences and humanities;
  • Three (3) semester credit hours in biological science/general biology;
  • Three (3) semester credit hours in mathematics (100 level or above);
  • The GRE exam is not required;
  • Advanced Standing Students must have a BSW from an accredited social work program.
  • Submit three (3) letters of recommendations; letters must be signed, include contact information, and be presented on letterhead;
  • Submit a personal statement (requirements listed below); and
  • Pay a non-refundable application fee of $40.00.

*The MSW program does not give credit for life experiences or previous work experiences.

Personal Statement Requirements
Social work is a professional discipline. It is a field of study that blends perspectives from other disciplines, particularly biological and social sciences, with its own values, knowledge, and skills. Social workers must understand the interactions of individuals and families with their environment. Persons desiring to become social workers must possess the capacity for self-reflection, empathy, sensitivity, respect for diversity, and willingness to work with oppressed and at-risk populations.

The personal statement should provide the admissions committee with insight regarding how your interest in social work evolved and your readiness for graduate social work education.The personal statement must be typed, double-spaced, 12pt. font, and 3-5 pages in length.

*Please note: You will be evaluated on your writing style, grammar, and critical thinking/self-reflection. The personal statement is an opportunity to demonstrate your writing skills.
The personal statement should include a discussion of the following:

  • Tell us why you want to be a social worker. Why does the profession of social work appeal to you?
  • Why do you want to attend Clark Atlanta University's Whitney M. Young, Jr., School of Social Work?
  • Based on WMYJSSW's mission, vision, and goals, why are you a good candidate for this program?
  • Describe your ability and commitment to undertake graduate education at this time, including the ability to spend 16 hours per week in the foundation year and 24 hours per week in the concentration year field placements.
  • Please provide any additional information you would like us to consider.

Applications for the doctoral program are accepted throughout the year, however, classes are admitted only in the fall. The following materials are to be submitted to the University's Office of Graduate Admissions:

o GPA 3.3 or higher 

o The Master of Social Work Degree from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) o Official transcript from all colleges and universities attended.  

o Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores taken within the last five (5) years.  

o Three (3) references from professional persons who can attest to ability to complete a doctoral program in social work. References must include at least one graduate professor or professional supervisor. 

o A Personal Statement clearly presenting the relevance of their professional experience in Social Work to their career objectives, including how the program focus of Social Work Policy Planning Administration and Social Science will prepare the applicant to meet these objectives and a reflection of how their research interests align with the school’s mission of social justice (3-5 pages).  

o A writing sample that clearly communicates the applicant’s potential for integrative and critical thinking, the ability to appropriately use the literature (paraphrasing arguments, synthesis of ideas, citation practices utilizing APA) and an advanced ability to present a clear, logical and a compelling written product (published article, chapter, book, master's thesis, unpublished research report, conference presentation, term paper written in a graduate course, training manual, grant application, legislative testimony).  

o Curriculum Vitae/Resume  

o Completed a minimum of two (2) years of professional experience in Social Work.  


Learn More