The UW School of Social Work seeks to enroll well-qualified students with diverse backgrounds. We especially seek applicants committed to working with diverse populations. Admission to the Master of Social Work Program is selective and based on a thorough review of relevant professional and academic background, potential for success in graduate study and potential to contribute to the profession.  Our commitment to diversity is elaborated in the document Essential Skills, Values and Standards of Professional Conduct. It outlines the qualities and professional behavior expected of students. All applicants should carefully review these essential abilities before applying.

Here is a look at the 2016 MSW Admission Class Profile. In addition, we encourage prospective applicants to register for one of our upcoming on-campus or online MSW information sessions to learn more about the admission process and our programs. Feel free to browse our MSW frequently asked questions!

MSW Application Timeline, Instructions and Materials

The application for the 2018-2019 academic year will be available in mid-September 2017. The deadline for the 2018 MSW Program will be on January 3, 2018. The space-available EDP Final deadline will be February 14, 2018. Our website will have updated instructions available mid-September. Until then, we welcome you to explore the document below to get a sense of what to expect on future MSW applications. Procedures and materials are subject to change.

Notification of Decisions

  • The review of applicant files is an important and time-intensive effort taken by the school’s faculty. Applicants will be notified of an admission decision by electronic mail by the end of March. Please monitor your spam and other inbox folders if you feel you have missed any communication from us.

Eligibility Criteria

When the application instructions become available, please review the instructions for in-depth details about eligibility requirements and the application process. Admission is competitive, and applicants are evaluated holistically. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for the MSW program. While there are no prerequisite classes necessary for admission, applicants are strongly encouraged to complete a Statistics course in advance of starting the program.

MSW Day Program and MSW Extended Degree Program (EDP)

Applicants to the MSW Day Program or MSW Extended Degree Program must meet the requirements outlined by the UW Graduate School. While there is no minimum GPA requirement for these programs, applicants must meet the 3.0 grade point average (on a 4 point scale), set forth by the UW Graduate School, from a regionally accredited college or university or its equivalent from a foreign institution. However, the School of Social Work may consider an exceptional applicant with a GPA below a 3.0 – applicants with less than a 3.0 GPA are encouraged to provide additional information related to the context of their GPA in their admissions essay. An admission petition to the Dean of the Graduate School by the School of Social Work must be submitted before an offer is made, and is subject to denial.

Additionally, applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency by meeting/surpassing the “recommended” range scores to satisfy the Graduate School’s English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement:

TOEFL iBT (School of Social Work Required Score)             92 or higher

IELTS* (School of Social Work Required Score)                    7.0 or higher

TOEFL Pbt                                                                              580 or higher

*Only IELTS test dates prior to June 1 2017 will be accepted

For additional ways to demonstrate English proficiency, please visit the UW Graduate School’s website. Admission is competitive and applicants are evaluated holistically.  We do not require any specific major or baccalaureate degree to apply for either program.

MSW Advanced Standing Program

Advanced Standing applicants must meet the requirements outlined by the UW Graduate School including the GPA requirement and English proficiency requirement noted above. Additionally, to be eligible Advanced Standing applicants must have:

  • Earned a grade of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in each required BSW/BASW course required for your undergraduate degree OR earned at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA in the required courses.
  • Graduated within the last five years from a U.S. baccalaureate program in social work or social welfare (BASW or BSW) accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE), or a Canadian program accredited by CASWE. Students who have a BSW/BASW degree from a social work program outside of the U.S. may have their degree evaluated by the International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service, and may apply for Advanced Standing if the degree is determined to be consistent with CSWE requirements.
  • Completed 2,000 hours of relevant social service experience. A guiding document may be accessed here.