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Frequently Asked Questions about the MSW Fellowship in Aging

What makes the MSW Fellowship in Aging different from the MSW Certificate in Aging and Health?

The Fellowship is a competitive program open to MSW students in the Certificate in Aging and Health. Unlike the Certificate Program, the MSW Fellowship offers a scholarship ($2,000 for the 2017-2018 academic year), as well as an enriched field placement that emphasizes students’ leadership development for our aging society.

How does the program promote students’ leadership development?

All Fellows are required to complete a field-based leadership project.  The requirements for the leadership project are purposely flexible so that the project can be responsive to the needs of the organization, as well as to the students’ interests. In general, a successful leadership project demonstrates the following characteristics:

Influences change or enhances organizational capacity for change to better meet the needs of older adults and their caregivers

Draws on relevant and high-quality research (e.g., to define the problem, to identify “best practices")

Has the potential to be sustainable beyond the length of the fellowship

Involves empowering and engaging others as leaders 

What is the time commitment for being a Fellow?

The program is structured so that students can complete the requirements of the fellowship largely within their regularly allotted course and field requirements. For example, the leadership project is to be completed within students’ regular field hours. 

Fellows are occasionally asked to complete a minimal amount of additional work, such as writing up descriptions of their leadership projects and attending group meetings about three times throughout the academic year. With approval from their field instructors, fellows can use their field hours to complete these responsibilities.

Are there eligibility requirements for applying for the Fellowship?

As the Fellowship is a field-based program, only Certificate students who will be entering their advanced year of field (i.e., Field III) for the following academic year are eligible to apply. For example, for the 2018-2019 Fellowship, only students who will be entering Field III during the summer or fall of 2018 are eligible to apply.

Is the Fellowship just for students in the clinical social work concentration? Or is it just for students in the management and policy concentration?

The Fellowship is an opportune experience for students in both concentrations. Leaders for the field of aging need skills in both clinical social work, as well as management and policy. Fellows from both concentrations have successfully completed the program in the past.

I have no idea where I will be placed next year for field. Can I still apply for the Fellowship?

Certainly. The Field Education Office is informed immediately after Fellows have been selected. The staff will work with Fellows to find a suitable placement for the fellowship if one has not been found already by that time. Also, some fellowship positions are funded by the field placement sites themselves and the School actively seeks candidates that match with these organizations specifically.

I have a very specific idea of where I would like to be placed next year. In fact, I already have been placed. Can I still apply for the Fellowship?

As long as the placement relates to aging, there is potential to make this placement work for the purposes of the Fellowship.

I am not an MSW student yet, although I plan to begin the MSW program in the fall of 2017. Can I apply?

Thank you for your interest. The application process for the 2019-2020 Fellowship in Aging begins November 15, 2018 and closes December 15, 2018. You must be entering your advanced year of field (i.e., Field III) in the summer or fall of 2019 to be eligible.

I will be a newly admitted Advanced Standing student in the summer of 2018. Can I apply?

The Fellowship in Aging application for the incoming MSW Advanced Standing students entering summer of 2018 (for the 2018-2019 school year) will open on April 1, 2018 and will close on April 15, 2018.

How do I get selected for the Fellowship?

The application review process begins in December. Applicants must submit an online application and an electronic copy of their resume. This information is then used to select applicants for on-campus or Skype interviews. After the interviews, the Fellowship Selection Committee makes its final selections. The School aims to confirm Fellowships for continuing students in January and for Advanced Standing students in April.

This all sounds great. How do I apply for the 2019-2020 MSW Fellowship in Aging?

The online application will be available November 15, 2018 and closes December 15, 2018.

Whom should I contact with additional questions?

Please email the Programs on Aging at

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