***Please note: drop-in hours will not be available on December 21st. Our office will be closed on December 25th, December 26th, and January 1st. We will be closing at 3pm on December 22nd and 29th.

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 2017 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 deadline for the 2018 MSW Program will be on January 3, 2018. The space-available EDP Final deadline will be February 14, 2018. Please do not begin the application process prior to reviewing the MSW Application Instructions on our website. 

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 and Special Applicant Groups

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.


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.

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. Please note that if you are close to completing the 2,000 hour requirement at the time of application, and anticipate that the 2,000 hours would be completed by the MSW Advanced Standing start date, then we still encourage you to apply.  A guiding document may be accessed here.

The UW Graduate School requires that any applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. This is explained in the Graduate School’s Memo 8: English Language Proficiency Requirements. For the School of Social Work, this requirement may be satisfied by meeting or surpassing the recommended TOEFL scores.

The School of Social Work accepts applications from prospective students regardless of citizenship status – we encourage applicants who identify as undocumented, DACA eligible, or HB 1079 eligible to connect with the various resources on campus that may provide additional information about UW resources, residency, and funding opportunities. Our hope is that you’d find safe and welcoming spaces at the School of Social Work and the UW. The Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Programs, or GO-MAP, has detailed instructions for students on how best to complete the demographics portion of the graduate school application. Please review these materials prior to beginning your application. We highly encourage students to review the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project DACA Advisory that outlines recommendations for community members who have applied for DACA or who are interested in applying. Need additional support in applying? Feel free to reach out to our office, GO-MAP, or Leadership Without Borders.

International students requiring a student visa to attend the University of Washington should not list the Extended Degree Program (EDP) among application choices for consideration; international applicants are only eligible for a visa if enrolled full-time (Day or Advanced Standing program). Visit the UW Graduate School’s website for international applicants, which includes important details about visas, U.S. immigration laws, and a financial ability requirement. International applicants must provide proof of financial ability, demonstrate English proficiency (usually by submitting TOEFL scores) and will need a student visa to attend.

Beyond the standard MSW application, there is no separate application for applicants who are applying as transfer students from another MSW program. However, such applicants are expected to include at least one member of the social work faculty of their current/previous institution among the three required references. Transfer students who are transferring from a CSWE-accredited MSW program may be eligible to transfer up to 39 quarter credit hours (their entire foundation curriculum) from their previous institution, however, this is subject to review by the MSW Program Director and Student Services to ensure course equivalency. Students considering transferring from a CSWE-accredited program should, if at all possible, complete the full foundation curriculum at their first program in order to maximize how many credits can be accepted. All degree requirements need to be completed within a 6 year window; courses that will be older than that at the time of graduation from the UW may not be able to be used. If admitted, transfer students may be required to submit syllabi for each course taken at their previous program. Students wishing to transfer credits from a different type of graduate program from which they didn’t graduate are limited to 6 transfer credits as written on the UW Graduate School website.

All applicants who applied in a previous year should indicate the last year they applied in the MSW Supplemental Application.  Applicants who previously applied for 2017 MSW admission, and were not admitted or chose not to enroll, may request to use some of last year’s application materials without having to resubmit everything new this year. Applicants who did not submit a complete MSW application for the Summer/Fall 2017 quarters do not have the option of re-using past materials and all new materials must be submitted.  Re-applicants are required to submit a signed “Re-Applicant Re-Use of Materials Form” (see the MSW Application Instructions page) if previous materials are being re-used.