Academic Regulations

Non-Degree Study

Generalist courses may be taken on a non-degree basis with the permission of the assistant dean for academic affairs. A maximum of 12 hours earned on a non-degree basis may be counted toward requirements for the master’s degree if the student is subsequently admitted as a degree candidate.

Admissions and Application Information

Admission to the Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) at the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences is granted on a selective basis determined by the quality of the overall application. The application requirements are the same for all MSSA program formats. This includes the On-Campus traditional, Intensive Weekend and Online programs. An applicant for admission is expected to meet the following minimum requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Evidence of capacity to succeed in graduate level education based on undergraduate work and any previous graduate work. Previous course work must include courses strong enough to ensure the applicant's ability to do creditable work at the graduate level.
  • A minimum undergraduate grade-point average is 2.7 for general admission. Candidates with a cumulative g.p.a. below 2.7 may be considered for probationary admission.
  • Evidence of a combination of personal qualities and values that are considered essential for the professional practice of social work: strong moral character; strong analytical and verbal skills; a caring and compassionate nature; and a personal commitment to social justice, empowering individuals, and serving vulnerable and under-represented groups, communities and organizations.
  • The school may request a personal interview or additional information about an applicant. For example, a member of the admissions office or Director of International Affairs may interview an applicant from a non-English speaking country to evaluate English proficiency.  The Felony Review Committee may also request an interview if an applicant discloses a felony or past criminal conviction to discuss the potential implication related to field work and licensure.
  • Baccalaureate social work graduates entering the program who have demonstrated mastery in the core competencies will not repeat what has been achieved in their baccalaureate social work program.

The application for admission to the Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) includes the following documents:

  • Transcripts from a regionally accredited college or university, recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), that demonstrates completion of a bachelor’s degree in any field of study. The Mandel School also requires transcripts from any school a student completed 6 or more credits.

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 the applicant is asked to discuss the significant factors influencing their decision to pursue a master's degree in social work, past experiences that will contribute to their success, how they envision contributing to the Mandel School community, and why the Mandel School is a good fit for their educational goals. The second part of the essay is an Analytical Essay, in which the applicant is asked to analyze a social justice problem, its causes, and how they think it could be addressed.  The quality of your writing and professionalism will be taken into account.
  • A current resume highlighting paid and volunteer work experiences.
  • Three recommendation letters preferably from a faculty member, direct supervisor, or volunteer coordinator.
  • Additional documents that may be required as part of the application:
    • Advanced Standing Applicants: If you are Advanced Standing (baccalaureate degree in social work from a CSWE- accredited program within seven years and a grade of "B" (3.0) or better in all required social work classes), please include a description of your field education experience, your role and responsibilities, and key learning objectives. This requirement is in addition to the two-part page essay addressed above. (If you will not have field before applying, please let us know)
    • Academic Explanation: An academic explanation is required when an applicant has received an academic disciplinary action or academic dismissal in any previous college level course work. An academic explanation may also be utilized for applicants with a cumulative grade point average below 3.0 overall or a past failing grade.

The application for admission to the MSSA On-Campus, Intensive Weekend, and Online programs are completed through a secure online portal.  The web address for the application is

Admission Procedures

Applicants to the Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) program and the Master of Nonprofit Organization (MNO) apply online through a secure online portal on our website.  The online application portal is used for all of our MSSA program formats: Traditional, Online, and Intensive Weekend and the MNO program.  The application for admission to the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences is available online at Instruction on how to apply can also be found at  Below are the enrollment options and application deadlines for each program and format.

Social work: On-campus, including all dual degrees

All on-campus and dual degree students begin the program in the fall semester.

  • Early decision deadline: Dec. 15
  • Priority deadline: Feb. 1
  • General deadline: April 15

Social work: Intensive Weekend

All intensive weekend students begin the program in the fall semester.

  • Priority deadline: February 1
  • General deadline: April 15

Social work: Online

Online students may begin the program in the fall, spring or summer semester.

  • Application deadlines for the online program vary based on advanced standing or traditional enrollment options.

Master of Nonprofit Organizations

MNO students may begin the program in the fall, spring or summer semester.

  • Fall deadline: July 6
  • Spring deadline: Dec. 15
  • Summer deadline: April 1

Advanced Standing (Social Work Students Only)

Applicants with a Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW) from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited institution are automatically eligible for Advanced Standing.  The Mandel School will also award advanced standing credit to international students that have received official notification from the International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service (ISWDRES) that the BSW they earned is equivalent to a CSWE accredited program and recognized by ISWDRES.  The advanced standing policy is administered the same for all three MSSA program formats: On-Campus Traditional, Intensive Weekend, and Online.

The BSW must have been earned within the last seven years, from the date of admission, to receive advanced standing.  Students must demonstrate that they have attained mastery of the course material by earning a grade of B or better in order to be awarded advanced standing credit for each equivalent generalist course completed in the student’s undergraduate program. 

Transfer Credit

Students who have completed graduate-level social work, nonprofit management or graduate level courses in a related field other than social work or nonprofit management may request an evaluation of coursework for approval of eligible/comparable courses with a grade of B or better (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) earned within the last 7 years.

Students who are transferring to the Mandel School from another accredited graduate school of social work may apply for transfer credit for up to one full year of academic work and field education. Transfer students from social work programs must submit field work evaluations, final official transcripts, course syllabi and the Request for Evaluation of Transfer Credit form.

Transfer credit (6 hour limit) 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 graduate degree. Students must have received a grade of B or better in any course for which transfer credit is sought. Course syllabi, Request for Transfer Credit Evaluation form and official transcript must be submitted to the Mandel School Office of Admissions.

Students who are transferring to the Mandel School from another accredited graduate school of nonprofit management may apply for transfer credit up to fifteen (15) academic credit hours.  Final official transcripts, course syllabi for each course transfer credit is requested and  Request for Transfer Credit Evaluation form must be submitted to the Mandel School Office of Admissions.

Courses approved for transfer credit are not used in computing the student's GPA. Quarter hours will be converted to semester hours. Credit hours may not have been applied toward a previous graduate degree.

International Students

In addition to our standard application requirements, international students must also provide the following information:

World Education Service (WES) Report

All international and domestic applicants with a bachelor’s degree earned from a country outside of the United States Educational System are required to submit a World Education Services (WES)  Report for credential evaluation upon applying to our program. 

If you are an international student with an earned 4-year bachelor’s degree awarded from a U.S. based institution, you do not need to provide a WES Report. If your degree was earned at an institution outside of the United States educational system, regardless of semester or yearlong study abroad completion, you must submit a WES Report. 

Students may submit the Mandel School’s online applications for admission before the WES Report is received by our office, but student materials will not be reviewed until a WES Report is received. 

Demonstration of English Proficiency

If English is not recognized as your country's official language, you will be required to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test score. The Mandel School code for TOEFL is 1105.

  • The minimum TOEFL required scores are 577 (paper-based) or 90 (internet-based)
  • The minimum score for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is 7.0

Official results of this test must be forwarded to the Mandel School Office of Admissions.

You are exempt from proficiency testing if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • English is recognized as your country of birth's official language according to the CIA directory of official languages per country
  • You have completed work at an international university where English is the language of instruction 
  • You have studied at or graduated from an American institution

Proof of Financial Support

If admitted to the program, international students must provide proof of financial support. Once admitted, you will be asked to provide original bank documents as evidence of support to cover educational and living expenses for one academic year. This supporting documentation will be required to confirm enrollment and initiate the appropriate immigration and visa process. The proof of financial support can include all scholarship awards from the Mandel School.

Advanced Standing Options for Students that Complete a BSW Outside of the US

Students holding a BSW from their country of origin may be eligible for advanced standing. Applicants should contact International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service, directly and ask to have their program reviewed.

An international applicant who holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree for his or her country may request a credit review for transfer credit. However, the student must complete at least 27 hours of academic credit and three semesters of field credit (9 hours) at the Mandel School.

Please note that materials submitted for application cannot be returned to the applicant.

Financial Information


Tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year is calculated at $1,550 per credit hour for enrollment between 1 and 11 credit hours. Tuition is charged a flat rate of $23,250 per semester for enrollment between 12 to 18 credits. Students enrolled in 19 or more hours during a semester will pay the semester rate of $23,250 and an additional $1550 per credit hour beyond 18 credits.

Required Fees

  • On-Campus Graduate Student Fees:
    • Student Activity Fee: $40.00 per semester
    • Graduate Student Council Fee- $15 per semester
    • RTA Pass  fee- $47.50 per semester
  • Online Student  Fees (online students only)
    • $20 per credit

Optional fees

  • Health Insurance: $1,165 per semester
  • One to One Fitness Membership: $125.28 fall semester; $156.60 spring and summer semesters

Social Work Traditional Track: 60 credit hours
Social Work Full Advanced Standing Track: 39 credit hours
Master of Nonprofit Organizations: 39 credit hours

The Mandel School has a dedicated financial aid adviser on staff to answer your scholarship questions, provide one-on-one guidance, and match you with the best financial aid opportunities available. Please contact

Confirmation Tuition Deposit

A non-refundable tuition deposit of $100 is required of all master’s degree candidates at the time of acceptance. This deposit will be applied toward tuition for the degree program. Complete information about academic policies, procedures, and financial aid is available by contacting the Office of Admissions, Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at 216- 368-1655.

Academic Standing and Academic Difficulty


Probation Based on Academic Performance

A student who receives a grade point average below 3.0 in any semester or cumulative will be placed on probation. A student on probation must obtain at least a 3.0 average in the subsequent semester in order to be removed from probation. Since probationary status may have financial aid implications, students on probation are directed to contact the financial aid office upon determination of probationary status.

Dismissal Based on Academic Performance

A student will not be permitted to continue in the program if he, she  or they receives:

  1. A second grade of F in the program, or two semesters of No Pass (NP) in field education or No Pass (NP) in any  course ;
  2. A grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or below in any one semester or cumulative;
  3. A grade point average (GPA) less than 2.8 entering the final semester;
  4. If a student admitted on academic probation does not earn a 3.0 GPA in the first semester; If a student admitted on academic probation earns NP in field at any time, the student will be academically dismissed.
  5. For part-time, Intensive Weekend, and online students, these policies apply in two semester blocks of time.

A NO PASS  (NP) counts as F for purposes of determining academic standing.

Dismissal Based on Non- Academic Performance

Failure to meet generally accepted standards of professional conduct, personal integrity, or emotional stability requisite for professional practice, inappropriate or disruptive behavior toward colleagues, faculty or staff (at school or in field sites) will be the basis for nonacademic termination.

STUDENTS COMPLETING WORK BEYOND THE END OF A SEMESTER may be subject to academic actions at any point within the next semester. Students will be academically withdrawn from their courses and their records updated based on academic decision.

Students will be fully responsible for all financial obligations up to the date of academic action.

University Registrar requires letters of academic standing indicating probation or dismissal be sent to the student at the address on file in the Student Information System (SIS).   Letters of dismissal are sent by priority mail and electronically by confidential  E-LETTER. Letters of probation are sent regular first-class mail delivery and electronically by confidential E-LETTER.


  1.  A grade of Incomplete is given at the end of the semester only when a student has discussed the matter with his/her/their instructor and there are extenuating circumstances that clearly justify an extension beyond the requirements established for the other students in the class.
  2. The student and the instructor must agree on a due date for fulfilling the requirements for the Incomplete. A signed Request for an Incomplete Grade (by both the instructor and student) must then be submitted to the Mandel School Registrar by the instructor. This form can also be printed from the Mandel School Registrar’s website at The extension may not go beyond the end of the subsequent term (fall, spring, summer). The form must be specific in what assignment(s) are due and the date(s) by which assignment(s) must be submitted. For administrative purposes, instructors must submit final grades for Incomplete as soon as coursework is submitted and graded.
  3. If a student fails to remove the incomplete within the specified time, he/ she/they forfeit the privilege of completing the course for credit and the instructor must assign a grade of F. For exceptional situations in which there are extenuating circumstances, the student and advisor may request, in writing, an extension beyond one semester from the  Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, with the instructor’s approval.
  4. If a student accumulates three or more grades of “Incomplete,” he/she/they may not enroll in the subsequent course or term and will be considered to be “on probationary suspension” from the program. This policy includes grades of “Incomplete” in Field Education. These students will be required to clear all but one grade of “Incomplete” on their records before they will be allowed to re-enroll in School.


An Incomplete for fieldwork should be treated in the same manner as an Incomplete in academic courses. An Incomplete is only appropriate when insufficient hours were spent in placement, or assignments were not finished for reasons of illness or other excused absences. An Incomplete is also used for field education when the student is assessed to be performing at the marginal level and a remediation plan is required to be completed prior to a determination being made as to whether the student receives a P or an NP for the field period. A grade of Incomplete must be removed before entering the subsequent semester of field work.


Assignments are due on the date assigned. Exceptions must be cleared in advance with the instructor. In the absence of a mutual agreement by the student and instructor, the instructor is not obligated to accept papers and a grade of "F" can be entered for the assignment. If the instructor determines justifiable circumstances, additional time may be granted.


Mandel School students may petition the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs to repeat a maximum of two courses during their degree program in order to improve their performance. When a course is repeated, the first grade will remain visible on the transcript but will be removed from the calculation of the cumulative grade point average and the grade point average for the semester in which the course was first taken. The new grade will then be used for calculation of the cumulative grade point average and the grade point average for the semester in which it was earned, regardless of whether the new grade is higher or lower than the first grade. The student’s transcript will show the comment “Repeated: No credit awarded” directly below the original grade. However, if the first attempt of the course resulted in a passing grade, but the second attempt results in a failing grade, then the original grade will remain. Similarly, if a student withdraws from a course that is being repeated, the Course Repeat Option will not be applied and the original grade will stand. 

This option may be exercised according to the following criteria:

  • The course repeat option can only be used on course in which a grade of C or lower was earned; Courses with a grading basis of P/NP are not eligible under this policy;
  • A student may not use the Pass/No Pass Option on a course that is being repeated;
  • A student may only use the repeat option on the same course;
  • The course repeat option may not be exercised after a degree has been awarded;
  • Approval from Associate Dean of Academic Affairs  is required;
  • The tuition and associated fees for a repeated course may be the responsibility of the student.


A student who leaves the Mandel School in good standing without completing requirements for the degree may re-enter within a three-year period and receive credit for previous work. Any former student who wishes to complete degree requirements and who has been out of school for two years or more must reapply for admission. All information regularly required for an admission application must be updated. The application will be reviewed in light of current admission policies.

Upon acceptance for readmission, the specific courses and field work required for completion of the student’s program will be determined in accordance with current degree requirements. Credit hours will not be granted for work completed more than five years before readmission.

If a student is terminated due to inadequate academic performance or a violation of the professional code of conduct, he/she/they may request reinstatement although this will not be considered until two semesters after termination.  A written petition and supporting documentation (if applicable) must be forwarded by the student to the attention of the Chair of the Committee on Students ( who will present the petition for possible review by the full Committee at the next scheduled meeting. The Committee meets monthly except in May, June, July, and August.  In all cases, the student must remain separated from the School for a minimum of two semesters (fall, spring, and summer are considered semesters).

The petition must include the following: a) the student’s reason for requesting the reinstatement, b) an identification of the circumstances that led to the termination, and evidence of personal, educational, or professional activities or accomplishments that would demonstrate the student’s readiness to return to school and successfully complete the degree program. The Committee will meet with the student, if desired, and thereafter recommend to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs one of three possible responses: 1) readmit, 2) readmit with condition, or 3) do not readmit.