Frequently Asked Questions

The frequently asked questions listed below pertain mostly to the MSSW program. For questions related specifically to the doctoral program, please go to this page.

What makes the Steve Hicks School of Social Work different from other top-ten schools?

The Steve Hicks School of Social Work offers an incredible learning environment that promotes the growth of each and every student. Although it is a part of one of the largest universities in the nation, the school offers a “small community” environment where one-on-one attention is the norm. At the same time, you get to take advantage of all the resources of a research one institution, including opportunities for research, scholarship, and a large faculty with diverse research interests.

What is the average cost of tuition for a semester?

Updated tuition and fees information can be found through the Office of Financial Aid.

Are transcripts required from the school where I received my undergraduate degree?

The University of Texas at Austin does require transcripts from all schools that you have attended.

Do I need an undergraduate degree in social work to apply for the MSSW program?

No. Our incoming students come from a wide range of undergraduate disciplines including psychology, education, communications, and sociology. Although a social work degree is not required, the admissions committee does look for prior work/volunteer experience in compatible fields.

Do I have to take the GRE in order to apply to the MSSW or PhD program?
  • Beginning with applications for Fall 2019 admission, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is accepted but not required for applicants to the MSSW program. Please note that applications with non-traditional transcripts or undergraduate upper division coursework GPAs below 3.0 may be strengthened by scores on the GRE.
  • The GRE is required for all applicants to the PhD program.
  • An application is considered incomplete until all requirements are fulfilled. Learn more about admission requirements for the MSSW program, and admission requirements for the PhD program.
Do I need to turn in all of my application materials together, or can I turn them in separately?

The Steve Hicks School of Social Work prefers that you maintain your application and submit it in one package. Turning in a complete application ensures that you have done all that you need to do and will make the application easier to process in the Admissions Office.

Once I turn in my graduate application, when will I find out the university’s decision?

The Admissions Committee reviews applications after the priority deadline (for PhD applicants December 15 and for MSSW either January 15, or October 1, depending on the semester for which you applied). The review process typically takes six to eight weeks. Please understand that only complete applications are reviewed. Learn more about the review process for MSSW applications and PhD applications.

What is the difference between the Clinical concentration and Administration and Policy Practice (APP) concentration of the MSSW program?

The Clinical Social Work concentration builds on the foundation coursework with specific courses in assessment and diagnosis, advanced social work methods with individuals, families and groups, social policy analysis, and practice evaluation research. Additionally, students select options and electives relevant to their areas of interest such as families, children and adolescents, aging, mental health, chemical dependency, corrections, child welfare, and health.

The Administration and Policy Practice (APP) concentration also builds on the foundation coursework and focuses on the use of organizational and administrative practice theory to initiate, improve, or change human service programs. The broad objectives of the APP concentration are to prepare practitioners who are knowledgeable of the intervention modalities of social work, aware of the nature of related disciplines and professions (such as law, public administration, and accounting), and will begin practice at the level of mid-management in organizational units concerned with human services programs and policy, planning, program development, research, and evaluation.

Can I work while completing the MSSW full-time program?

It is advised that you not work your first year unless it is absolutely necessary. If you are required to work while completing the program, we suggest that you not work more than ten hours per week. The MSSW full-time program is an intense experience that will require a great deal of attention. We offer quite a few flexible programs including 2.5 year, 3 year, and 3.5 year programs, if you plan on working more than 10-20 hours a week.

Does prior work experience count towards MSSW course credit?

No. When you begin the MSSW program, you will begin your master’s education which will include two internships (or field placements). All students must complete the placements and coursework while enrolled in the MSSW program, regardless of prior social work related work experience.

Is there work available at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work?

A limited number of TA (Teaching Assistant), GA (Graduate Assistant) and RA (Research Assistant) positions are available for graduate students at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work in increments of 5 to 20 hours a week.

Information about how to apply for the TA and GA positions will be mailed to you along with your acceptance packet, when you are accepted into the MSSW or PhD programs. TA and GA selection decisions are made by the Student Financial Assistance Committee. The committee is made up of the program directors, the assistant dean for finance, and the director of admissions and selects students using the criteria of merit and financial need. If you are selected for a TA or GA position, you will be contacted as soon as possible after the committee makes final decisions near the end of each semester for the following semester. For more information and questions about TA and GA positions, contact the Office of Admissions at (512) 471-7482.

RA position decisions will be made by the Office of Associate Dean for Research and individual faculty members with funded research. For more information and questions about RA positions or to apply for an RA position, please contact Carol Lewis at the Office of the Associate Dean for Research.