Check out our MSW Admissions FAQ document for answers regarding applications, the program offerings, and student experience.

Still have questions?

We encourage prospective students to review our MSW Admissions Information, and MSW Program Information as they begin their research on the UW School of Social Work. Feel free to browse the frequently asked questions prospective students are interested in - if your question does not appear below, please email us or call (206) 543-5676. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

The Admissions Department would love to have you visit the UW School of Social Work when it is safe to do so! Currently, the best way to reach us is by email at sswinfo@uw.edu; office hours are generally Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm (may vary due to holidays and scheduled breaks). Our physical office is currently closed to the public but our address is 4101 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105. You are also welcome to check out our calendar for additional opportunities to connect with us.

Yes! Please see our admissions event calendar to register for an upcoming on-campus MSW information session, or online webinar.  Recordings of recent webinars are also available. Please email sswinfo@uw.edu to request this information, or visit our admissions event calendar to see if a recent webinar is available on our website.

Unfortunately, we do not admit students for spring quarter. Students who are applying for the Advanced Standing Program (part-time or full-time) will begin classes during the summer quarter. The MSW Day and Extended Degree Program begin classes starting in the fall quarter.

Unfortunately, due to the structured nature of our program, we are unable to offer any online program options.

Fee waivers are available to current McNair Scholars and PPIA Fellows who have sent documentation to the Graduate School at uwgrad@uw.edu prior to requesting the fee waiver. Fee waivers are also available to applicants who qualify for need-based waivers (need-based applicants must have earned income under the appropriate State of Washington family or individual income limits in the most recent tax year preceding the application). Fee waiver requests must be submitted in the online application after all steps of the application have been completed* and at least 7 calendar days prior to the program’s posted application deadline – late requests (anything within 7 days of the deadline) will automatically be denied. If you have further questions regarding the application fee waiver, please Contact the Graduate School at uwgrad@uw.edu or call 206.685.2630. *If you are planning on applying for the fee waiver, you must submit all the documents required and list your references one week prior to the application deadline (December 28th), HOWEVER, references do not need to submit their letters prior to your submission/request for a fee waiver. 

Unfortunately no, our MSW Advanced Standing options are for students who have earned a BA degree from a U.S baccalaureate program in Social Welfare or Social Work that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). 

A Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work is not a requirement to be admitted into our MSW Day and Extended Degree Program. We encourage students from all backgrounds and undergraduate majors to apply. However, if applying for our part-time or full-time MSW Advanced Standing Program, it is a requirement for admissions. To learn more about the requirements needed for admission, please visit our website at: http://socialwork.uw.edu/admissions/msw/apply-to-msw

Students may be able to transfer some credits from a different university/college if they meet all of the eligibility requirements for admission to our program first. 

Transfer applicants are considered on a space-available basis. Beyond the standard MSW application, there is no separate application for those applying to transfer from another MSW program.  Applicants are expected to have completed their full generalist (formerly known as "foundational") curriculum – both coursework and practicum – in order to be considered for admission. Once admitted, transfer students will be required to submit syllabi for each course taken at a previous program. Most students transferring from a CSWE-accredited MSW program are eligible to transfer up to 39 quarter credit hours from their previous institution. However, this is subject to review by the MSW Program Director to ensure course equivalency – admitted students may be required to take additional generalist coursework at the UW in order to meet our program standards. Please note that per UW policy, students must complete all degree requirements within six years. If previously completed MSW coursework was done four years ago or more, please contact admissions about your transfer eligibility. Unfortunately, due to space restrictions and the tight curriculum of our compressed Advanced Standing program, at this time we cannot consider Advanced Standing transfer applications.

Other Master’s Programs: Students wishing to transfer credits from a different type of graduate program from which they did not earn a degree are limited to 6 transfer credits per UW Graduate School policy. Additionally, students who have taken graduate-level research courses may be waived out of the required MSW research courses. Under both circumstances, we’ll assess eligibility only after the student has been admitted and has provided relevant syllabi.

If you are interested in two of our programs, OR are willing to accept admissions to a secondary option, you can complete one application. When doing so, you need to express a preference for one program and list the alternative as your second choice (pay attention to the MSW Supplemental Application questions in the online portal). Your application can only be considered for one program at a time. If you are not accepted to your first choice, you may be considered for the second choice, but there is no guarantee of admission. Advanced Standing (both part-time and full-time) applicants will not be allowed to list the Day or Extended Degree options as an alternate choice.  Please apply to the correct portal for your first choice program – see MSW Application Instructions for details.

The UW School of Social Work requires that all students admitted into our MSW DAY and EDP programs complete a course in Statistics before they are able to enroll in specific courses in the program. This is NOT a prerequisite for admission nor are these courses considered in the admission process but the expectation is that all admitted students will complete these courses in a timely manner – or it could jeopardize progress in the program. For this reason, we encourage students to take the courses as soon as possible (and it will likely save the student money if s/he is able to take the courses as part of the bachelor’s degree or at a community college). Please don’t plan to fulfill either requirement during the program while you’re carrying a full load of other classes or working full time. Please pay careful attention to the timelines for the different programs.

MSW DAY: Before Autumn of 1st year

MSW EDP:  Before Autumn of 2nd year

Statistics Information and Requirements

  • Must be a course taken for academic credit at a regionally accredited institution or one of the following certificate courses (see below). Must turn in proof of completion (i.e. certificate of completion).

  • No time limit for how long ago the course was taken and no grade requirement as long as the student received credit for the course (may be taken S/NS or Pass/Fail).

  • Any course with “statistics” in the title will automatically be approved.

  • A research methods course in another discipline with significant statistics content may also meet this requirement, but must include basic training in critical thinking via statistical concepts including: ideas of chance variation, probability, techniques in statistical design, sampling, inferences about major population characteristics and interpretation of data and report conclusions. (Course Syllabi and description will be required for a Research Methods course).

If you are still unsure after reading the information above and would like preliminary review of classes, please email complete syllabus/syllabi and official catalog description to sswstsrv@uw.edu.  Please save email response(s) as you’ll be able to submit that as proof that your courses have been evaluated if you’re admitted. You will still need to submit official transcripts for the course(s).

Examples of pre-approved Statistics Courses

Stats 220 // UW - Campus

Ed Psych 490 // UW - Campus

Math 240 // Western Washington University - Campus

Intro to Statistics // Texas State University - San Marcos - Online

 (will receive a certificate upon completion)

Math 1342 // Central Texas College - Online

Psy 317 // University of Texas at Austin - Online 

Math 146 // Intro to Stats // Renton Technical College - Online

Stats 1 and 2 // www.statistics.com - Online (Final test covers concepts from BOTH courses. Students who pass the exam will receive a recommendation for credit, which fulfills our requirement.)

*Please note differences in course titles as courses vary from school to school*

As you progress through your statistics prerequisite, you might find it helpful to use Khan Academy, a free, open-source knowledge base.

Please review this form here to assist you in identifying your social service experience. If you have additional questions, please email us at sswinfo@uw.edu. There is no minimum requirement of experience however all applicants (part-time and full-time) are recommended to have 2000 hours by the start of the program.The admissions team does calculate the average amount of years of relevant experience for each cohort, which is used simply as a gauging tool. The amount of experience prospective students have does not determine admissions alone; the quality and depth of experience is taken into consideration as well.

Prospective first-year MSW students may submit the optional departmental Funding Consideration form to be considered for an array of competitive funding opportunities. For full consideration, applicants are advised to also complete the FAFSA (or WASFA) by the UW’s priority FAFSA deadline since several departmental scholarships are dependent upon need-based aid as determined by the FAFSA.  A small number of graduate assistantships may also be available depending on the year (e.g. Student Information Specialist, Student Computer Consultant) and welcome applications from continuing MSW students as well as incoming first-year MSW students. Please refer to our website to learn more about the opportunities that are available and relevant to your background and situation.

The School of Social Work does have departmental scholarships available for ALL students, regardless of citizenship status, these are primarily merit and financial-need based. Please complete the Funding Consideration Form and submit by the application deadline. Additionally, it may be beneficial to start an external funding search early – one place to begin would be with the Graduate Funding Information Service. If you have additional questions, please contact our Admissions office. 

Undocumented/DACA Students

If you have graduated from a WA state high school, you may be eligible for in-state tuition. Please complete the WASFA as soon as possible as this assists us in determining your financial need. 

The Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program, or GO-MAP,  and Leadership Without Borders are also great resources on campus for students. Prospective students can also explore scholarship opportunities and resources offered by Immigrants Rising and My Undocumented Life.

International Students

Unfortunately, the UW at large does not provide financial aid/assistance for international students. The UW is a publicly funded institution, so financial aid is available only for U.S citizens or U.S permanent residents. U.S immigration laws require international applicants to provide proof of financial support before the university can formally admit a student and issue appropriate immigration documents.  The Graduate Funding Information Service linked above is a useful resource for funding exploration and the International Student Services provides greater detail on financial assistance at UW.

For the MSW Day and full-time Advanced Standing program, students who also meet the qualifications for the Tuition Exemption Program may use the tuition exemption program toward their graduate program at the School of Social Work. Because the MSW Extended Degree program (EDP) and part-time Advanced Standing are fee-based programs, students in these programs are not eligible for tuition exemption benefits. For additional information, please visit the Tuition Exemption Program webpage. Please note that it can be challenging in the full-time Advanced Standing and Day program to maintain the minimum hours of employment to be eligible for tuition exemption. Feel free to contact us if you have additional questions regarding this matter - (206) 543-5676.

Because The Graduate School online application often has difficulty with large documents, please attempt to compress your file (both summary and narratives) and upload; if you are unable to submit online through the application portal, please email your summary and narrative transcripts to our office at sswapp@uw.edu where they will be evaluated by our Admissions team.  If you are having difficulty emailing the file(s) we can help troubleshoot via email if you reach out to us.

You should complete the remainder of your application in a timely fashion.

To calculate the Grade Point Average (GPA) for the last 90 quarter or 60 semester graded credits:

  1. Working from the most recent quarter/semester add the graded course credits (excluding thesis or dissertation courses) until you reach 90 quarter or 60 semester credits. Use these 90 quarter or 60 semester credits to calculate your GPA.
  2. To calculate your GPA, multiply each course grade by the credits to achieve grade points. Add all grade points and divide by the total number of credits.

If you have additional questions about calculating a GPA for your major field of study, or for a time period less than reported on your transcript, please reference the Graduate School FAQ ; for further assistance contact uwgrad@uw.edu or 206.685.2630. 

Your references are people who can help you present the full picture of your unique and diverse potential to contribute to our learning community and develop into a strong social justice advocate. This can include a faculty member, supervisor, co-worker, volunteer coordinator, etc. Please do not have family members, friends, intimate partners or clients as references. These are not appropriate references for your application.  It is encouraged to have a mix of academic and professional references and at minimum one of each.

Yes, you are encouraged to cite any references and you should definitely support your Social Issue Analysis, part 2, with scholarly/credible references. Part 2 should be a demonstration of your academic writing skills and it is expected that evidence will support this analysis. Essays must follow APA style guidelines, and be double-spaced with 1-inch margins on standard-sized (8.5” x 11”) paper, using 12-point font (either Times New Roman or Calibri).   

Practicum placements are established by the Field Education Office. While it is possible to do a practicum placement at your workplace in some cases, there are a great number of details that must be assessed by each work situation to see if a ‘place of employment’ practicum will be allowed. To find out more about this option, we invite you to contact the Office of Field Education.

Provided by the UW Graduate School, you can check on the status by logging back into your application. Please log back into your online application and click on “Status” under “Action” to view the most recent updated information about your application status. 

We realize moving to a new city comes with a lot of questions. Take a look at our Seattle Housing Gude for more information on living in the Seattle area. We provide guidance on Seattle's various neighborhoods, on-campus housing, cost of living, commuting and transportation options, and other housing assistance resources.

The educational eligibility criteria for social work licensure is an MSW. There are no requirements as to the specialization (formerly known as "concentration") you pursue within your MSW, any specialization will fulfill this requirement. Our MSW programs meet the CSWE requirements as well as requirements for the Washington State social work licensure. While in the program, the school holds regular licensure workshops to support students who are interested in obtaining their social work license. For students planning to get their licensure out of Washington state, please make sure to check for specific requirements.

The University of Washington makes it possible to potentially build the kind of concurrent degree program that fits your professional career goals. The most common concurrent degrees that align with social work are in public health or public policy. For details about creating a concurrent degree plan, including advantages and drawbacks, please first review our Concurrent Degree Guide and then contact the School of Social Work Admissions Office with questions.

All students considering a concurrent degree program should review the UW Graduate School’s Memo 35: Concurrent Degree Programs, describing how both formal and informal concurrent degrees work.  Both the MSW/MPA and MSW/MPH dual degree programs are considered an Informal Concurrent Degree program.  It is the responsibility of the student to make sure their plan of study aligns with the requirements of the respective schools and the UW Graduate School: http://grad.uw.edu/policies-procedures/graduate-school-memoranda/memo-35-concurrent-degree-programs

The School of Social Work additionally offers opportunities for students to pursue certification in Prevention and K-12 School Social Work (details at the link below). MSW students are also able to pursue certificate programs in other schools (such as the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance and the School of Public Health).

For more information about any of these options, please visit our concurrent degree page here: https://socialwork.uw.edu/msw/concurrent-degrees.