Cleveland / On-Campus MSSA

Master of Science in Social Administration (equivalent to an MSW)

We’re thrilled you’re considering applying to our on-campus MSSA program in Cleveland, Ohio! At any point, simply click APPLY NOW to begin your application process.


Please mark your calendar for the following deadlines for Fall 2015 enrollment as a full-time or part-time MSSA student on campus (classes begin August 25):

  • January 15: Priority Deadline for Full Tuition Scholarships
  • April 15: General Scholarship and Application Deadline
  • After April 15: Rolling Admission (we will continue to admit and award any available scholarships)

If you are interested in our Intensive Weekend MSSA on-campus program, the deadlines for Fall 2015 enrollment are:

  • April 15: Priority Admission Deadline
  • June 1: General Admission Deadline


Transcripts from an accredited college or university that demonstrates completion of a bachelor’s degree in any field of study. We require transcripts from any school you completed 6 or more credits. Please note: Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded into the application system for application review. Official transcripts will be required following admission.

A two-part essay that is a maximum of five (5) typed pages (double-spaced, 12 point font) and is exemplary of graduate-level writing. The first part of the essay is a Personal Statement, in which you are asked to discuss the significant factors influencing your decision to pursue a master’s degree in social work, past experiences that will contribute to your success, how you envision contributing to the School community, and why the Mandel School is a good fit for your educational goals. The second part is an Analytical Essay, in which you are asked to analyze a social justice problem, its causes, and how you think it could be addressed. Applicants also have the option of providing an explanation for their academic history in the essay section (for example, a 3.0 or lower grade point average or a failing grade). In all submissions, the quality of your writing and professionalism will be taken into account.

A current resume highlighting your paid and volunteer experiences.

Three recommendation letters preferably from a faculty member, direct supervisor, or volunteer coordinator.

Applicants with a Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW) are automatically considered for Advanced Standing. Advanced Standing students receive up to 24 credits toward the MSSA degree and can complete the MSSA program in just 36 credit hours. Your BSW must have been earned within the last seven years from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited institution with grades of B or better in all social-work-related courses. As an Advanced Standing applicant, you will be asked in the essay portion of the application to provide a description of your field education, including roles, responsibilities, and key learning objectives.


Transfer credit may be given for graduate social work coursework completed within the past seven years from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited institution with a grade of B or better. Please provide syllabi for the courses you would like to transfer. There is a 30-credit limit.

Transfer credit may be given for related but non-social-work coursework completed within the past seven years. Credit hours must not have been applied toward a previous conferred graduate degree. Applicants must have received a grade of B or better in any course for which transfer credit is sought. Please provide syllabi for the courses you would like to transfer. There is a 6-credit limit.

If you currently attend a participating undergraduate institution, you can enroll in the Mandel School’s MSSA program as an undergraduate and complete both your Bachelor’s degree and MSSA in just five years. In this program, you begin your first year of MSSA graduate study during what would normally be your last year of undergraduate work. Please apply during your junior year to the MSSA on-campus program. Participating schools are: Case Western Reserve University, Hiram College, College of Wooster, Baldwin-Wallace University, John Carroll University, Fisk University, and Ohio Northern University.