The essay is an important section of your application package. We are interested in understanding 1) how your experiences influenced your desire to obtain a Masters in Social Work and 2) the quality of your writing and critical analysis as it relates to analyzing and addressing a social problem.
If you are applying to the part-time or full-time Advanced Standing program, we also want to understand the rationale for your specialization choice (please be aware that ONLY Advanced Standing applicants are required to complete Part 3).
Additionally, if your GPA is below the 3.0 UW Graduate School requirement, we encourage you to include information providing relevant context for your academic record. The essay is required.
Please pay close attention to page limits.
· Your Autobiographical Statement should not exceed 3 pages
· Your Social Issue Analysis should be 2 pages
· Together the Autobiographical Statement and the Issue Analysis may not exceed five (5) pages total
· If needed, you may include a 6th page for a list of references only.
· For Advanced Standing applicants only - Part 3 should not exceed more than a half-page.
· Essays must follow APA style guidelines (cover sheets and abstracts are not required)
· Essays should 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).
· Use the heading “Part 1: Autobiographical Statement” for the first part of the essay
· Use the heading “Part 2: Social Issue Analysis” for the second part of the essay.
· Advanced Standing applicants can add a third header for “Part 3: Specialization Rationale.”
Save the admissions essay as a PDF and upload it via the space indicated for “Writing Sample or Essay” in the online Graduate School application portal.
Part 1: Autobiographical Statement (2-3 Pages)
Write an autobiographical statement discussing how your personal, academic, volunteer and/or professional experiences have led you to the field of social work.
The School of Social Work seeks to promote social and economic justice in underrepresented and underserved communities. Please address how your qualities, characteristics and life experiences that you bring:
· fit with this mission;
· influence your approach to social work practice;
· contribute to your short and long term career goals; and,
· contribute to the school’s learning community and the field of social work.
Include in your essay:
· what makes you an ideal candidate for graduate school; and,
· share what specifically has influenced your decisions to pursue an MSW at the University of Washington.
Part 2: Social Issue Analysis (2 pages)
Write an essay describing a contemporary social justice issue that is relevant to the social work field. This academic essay allows you to showcase the quality of your writing in terms of organization and critical analysis; references from credible sources are expected.
Please respond to the following prompts in your essay:
· What is the social problem and how is it relevant to the social work field?
· What are the social structures that contribute to the origin and maintenance of this social inequity?
· Why does this social justice issue deserve public attention and resources?
· What research supports your position (cite references)?
· Describe some specific possible ways for social workers to address the issue. Include a discussion of leadership roles you might undertake to address this issue.
· If relevant, and space permitting, include any personal experiences that have contributed to your identification and understanding of the issue.
Part 3: Advanced Standing Specialization Rationale (half page; approximately 200-300 words)
Please restate your first choice specialization and provide reasoning for your selection. How might specializing in this area help you to achieve your social work career goals? If you identified a second choice option, please briefly describe why you might also consider specializing in this area.