Still have questions?

Please review the following questions and the webpage on MSW application process.


Take a look at our page, What is Social Work?

You can explore different careers and pathways to becoming a social worker, as well as information on licensure. 

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. 

We welcome prospective students to meet with us! If you'd like to meet with an admissions advisor, we encourage you to schedule an online appointment. The School of Social Work is open to the public daily from 7:30 a.m.– 6 p.m. Our address is 4101 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105. The Admissions Office is on the ground floor, suite 23 and we are open from 9:00am - 4:00pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Please note that we do not offer building tours, but you are welcome to explore on your own. You are also welcome to check out our calendar for additional opportunities to connect with us.

There is no minimum requirement of experience, however, all applicants (part-time and full-time) are recommended to have 2000 hours when they apply. The amount of experience prospective students have does not determine admissions alone; the quality and depth of experience is taken into consideration as well.

We are looking for social work and human service related experience — this might include a variety of paid and/or unpaid jobs, service corps, internships, or volunteer work. As a guide for students, we have developed a handout with some descriptions of what would count towards their social work experience. Social and human service work may provide benefits for a community, such as education, medical care, and housing — “An activity aimed to promote the welfare of others; services that improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities,” ( HHS, 2017). We value experience (paid or unpaid) related to serving marginalized, or underserved/ underrepresented groups. 

EXAMPLES OF SERVICE POPULATIONS (does not include a list of ALL communities that may fall into this category):

 → Women 

→ Children and Adolescents 

→ Homeless 


→ Immigrants/refugees/non-citizens 

→ Low-income communities 

→ Communities of Color 

→ Individuals living with mental or physical disabilities 

→ Populations impacted by education inequity, health disparities, environmental injustice, or poverty

Many full-time MSW Day and Advanced Standing students work part-time jobs, on weekends or during weeknight evening hours. Expect to be either in class or at practicum during the majority of weekday (Monday- Friday) daytime hours.

Many Extended Degree Program (EDP) students are able to work full-time during their first year, where they generally only take two classes (in evenings or weekends) per quarter. Practicum for EDP students begins in the fourth quarter of the program and typically occur during weekday (Monday-Friday) daytime hours. Many second and third year EDP students adjust their work schedules by reducing from full-time employment to half-time/part-time employment, in order to accommodate MSW practicum requirements in addition to classes. Some EDP students are able to maintain full-time employment throughout the entirety of the program. 

Compare our MSW Programs here

In any case, it is up to each student to consider the potential impacts on maintaining employment during their graduate studies, given the time constraints of classroom and practicum commitments.

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 MSW Application Process page.

Unfortunately no, our MSW Advanced Standing Programs 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). 

No, the information refers only to MSW programs on the University of Washington’s main Seattle campus. To learn about UW Tacoma's MSW Programs or apply, please visit their site

Students may be able to transfer some credits from a CSWE-accredited MSW Program if they meet all of the eligibility requirements for admission to our program first. 

Transfer applicants are considered in our MSW Day and Extended Degree Programs 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 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.

The UW does not award general credit for work or life experience.

Yes, this is possible. You must be accepted into the program first so you will need to apply as a new applicant. We cannot assess your credits until you are admitted to the program. For more information on transfer credits, click here.

If you are interested in two of our programs, OR are willing to consider admission to a secondary option, you can complete one application and list a second/third choice. Apply to the program that is your top choice and list the alternative as your second choice when prompted. 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 application portal for your first choice program – see MSW Application Instructions for details.

Information about application fee waivers available here.

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. HOWEVER, references do not need to submit their letters prior to your submission/request for a fee waiver. 

One of the Graduate School's minimum requirements includes having a 3.0 grade point average (on a 4 point scale). If your institution uses an alternative form of performance measurement, please include your full transcripts and narratives when uploading your unofficial transcript in the application. 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 the Application Questions section of the application. An admission petition to the Graduate School must be submitted by the School of Social Work before an offer is made for any applicants that do not meet the GPA minimum and is subject to denial. Please see this document for suggested strategies to help strengthen your candidacy for admission.

There are several methods to calculate the Grade Point Average (GPA).

  1. Use the cumulative GPA listed on your degree-granting transcript
  2. Use the last 90 quarter or 60 semester graded credits: 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. Multiply each course grade by the credits to achieve grade points. Add all grade points and divide by the total number of credits. You can use a GPA calculator like this one from Scholaro to help. 
  3. Use methods 1 or 2 and include any college-level coursework completed after you earned a degree. 
  4. 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; for further assistance contact 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 recommended that all applicants designate at least one reference that is an academic reference and at least one reference that is a professional reference.

  • Advanced Standing (Part-time and Full-time) Applicants: Must include one social work faculty member from your BASW/BSW program among the required references.

  • Applicants Transferring from Other MSW Programs: If you are applying as a transfer student from another MSW program, include at least one member of the social work faculty at your current/previous MSW institution among the three required references. 

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.

As of Spring 2023, the UW School of Social Work no longer requires a statistics prerequisite. 

The School of Social Work determines scholarships primarily based on merit and financial-need based. Citizenship status will not affect your eligibility. Please complete the Funding Consideration Form and submit by the application deadline. Additionally, it may be beneficial to start an external funding search early. 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 Student Equity and Excellence office (GSEE),  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 International Student Services provides greater detail on financial assistance at UW.

Unfortunately, we do not offer rolling admissions. 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.

Applicants who completed a FAFSA or WASFA by the priority deadline can expect to receive funding information (loans, need-based aid) via email from the Office of Student Financial Aid in late March. Questions about financial aid (including questions about revising your financial need figure) should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Aid. Applicants who completed an MSW Funding Consideration Form are automatically considered for departmental funding (scholarships and fellowships); notifications about departmental scholarships, if applicable, will be sent throughout March and April on an ongoing basis (notifications of departmental funding do not necessarily come at the same time as your admission offer).

MSW applicants can also apply separately for graduate assistantships (deadlines vary), and are encouraged to explore our MSW Funding page along with resources offered by UW’s Graduate School.

There are also two state-funded partner programs (CWTAP and WDI) that offer financial support for MSW students at UW Seattle. WDI applications have deadlines in winter, and CWTAP applications will be sent to all admitted students. These traineeships are separate application processes from the main MSW Program application. 

Provided by the UW Graduate School, you can check on the status by logging back into your application. If there are any issues in screening your application, we will reach out to alert you. 

If your institution uses an alternative form of performance measurement, please include your full transcripts and narratives as one PDF document when uploading your unofficial transcript in the application.

If you are unable to submit online through the application portal, please email your summary and narrative transcripts to our office 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.