Master of social work admissions requirements

Required qualifications

The minimum requirements for applying to the MSW program are:

Amy Krenzman leads a social work interview class.

Prerequisites for enrollment

Before registering for the first semester in the MSW program, students must successfully complete college-level courses in statistics and human biology or general biology. You must have a grade of at least C- and prerequisites cannot be fulfilled by CLEP or AP credits taken in high school. You may apply and be accepted without the statistics and biology requirements, but, if admitted, you must complete them before you can enroll as a degree-seeking student. The completion of your prerequisites has no bearing on the review of your application.

Based on the written materials submitted with the application, some applicants may be admitted with the contingency that they complete a writing course beyond regular college writing requirements prior to beginning course work.

Biology requirement

Introductory biology classes including “Human Biology” or “General Biology” or classes with content in human anatomy and physiology fulfill the biology requirement. Biology classes that focus on human evolution or ecology or courses from departments such as psychology or anthropology generally do not have the required content and do not fulfill the biology prerequisite.

Statistics requirement

Any college statistics class, including those from other departments, fulfills this requirement. Research methods classes generally include only a brief review of descriptive statistics. Most of these courses do not have enough statistics to prepare you for graduate-level research methods and do not fulfill the statistics requirement. If, however, you feel your research methods class was essentially a class in statistics, we will review the class to determine if it meets the requirement.

Criteria used in reviewing MSW applications

All complete applications are reviewed independently by two reviewers. Applications are rated on the following categories:

Academic potential for graduate study

Looking specifically at the undergraduate record and any additional academic records submitted, such as previous graduate course work, writing samples, and assessment of potential documented in letters of recommendation

  • GPA of 3.0 preferred.
  • Writing samples, especially formal writing sample, demonstrate skill in written communication and critical thinking.
  • Recommendation letters endorse academic preparedness.

Preparation for profession and supervised professional practice

Looking specifically at the applicant’s resume, recommendation letters, and understanding of the profession as communicated through writing submissions.

  • Preference is given to those with at least one year of experience that has provided the applicant with opportunities to gain skills used in direct work with clients.
  • Work experience may include paid, volunteer, and intern positions.
  • Greater preference is given to length of time served and direct service or human service administration.
  • We look for letters of recommendation and resumes that can speak to the applicant’s capacity to begin supervised practice in an internship.
  • Additionally, we look for recommendations that can speak to the applicant’s capacity to engage clients, demonstrate empathy and rapport with clients, as well as self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

Congruence of applicant’s values with the values and ethics of the program and profession

Looking specifically at the writing samples, especially the personal statement, previous experience documented in the resume, and letters of recommendation.

  • Preference is given to students who demonstrate the values and ethics held by the social work profession and the MSW program, and is assessed through all of their submitted materials.
  • Preference is given to students who have demonstrated sensitivity to issues of racial identity, ethnicity, national origin or culture; physical, intellectual, and emotional difference; religion and spirituality; gender and sexual orientation; public assistance, veteran or military status; and with oppressed populations.