MSW Admission FAQs

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MSW student

How long does it take to complete the MSW program?

We offer a three-year, part-time evening study program that combines classroom and practicum experiences over a 75-credit program.

How is admission to the MSW program determined?

We look at all MSW candidates holistically. Application strength is based on your GPA, graduate level writing ability, essay responses, fit with Social Work, volunteer and/or paid experiences, and third party letters of reference.

How do you calculate my GPA for admission purposes?

GPA is calculated based on your 90 most recent credits (60 credits of a semester school).

Should I apply if my recalculated GPA is less than the 3.0 minimum?

Yes, you may still be offered admission based upon the overall strength of your application.

Is admission competitive? How many applicants are accepted each year?

Typically, we have more qualified applicants than we have space for each year. Forty-six applicants are offered admission to the program annually.

What courses count for the statistics prerequisite?

Statistics must have been completed within the last five years with a 2.0 (C grade) or higher, and must be at least 4 credits. Any course with statistics in the title will work provided it is 100-level or higher.

I took statistics over five years ago. Do I need to take it again?

You may be eligible to take our statistics quiz. If you pass with a 70% or higher score, you will have met our statistics requirement and will not need to take it again. To be eligible you must submit an online UW Graduate School application and upload your transcripts showing prior successful completion of statistics with a C or 2.0 or higher. To confirm your eligibility, please email

Do I need to have a statistics class completed before I apply?2013 MSW Capstone Fair

No, you can apply before fulfilling your statistics prerequisite. However, you will need to have completed statistics before the program begins in September.

Can an advisor look over my application essay?

No, we are not able to review application essays before they are submitted.

What kind of financial aid is available?

Due to our part-time program status, financial aid is limited to loans and any scholarships you wish to apply for. We strongly urge you to speak with one of our Financial Aid representatives so that they can give you an idea of what financial aid you would be eligible for. To schedule an appointment with Financial Aid, please contact their office at 253-692-4374.

When do students who are admitted get notified?

All applications undergo a faculty review in April and May with decision notifications going out in May.

Why do you only offer admission for autumn quarter?

Our program is a cohort model, so all students must begin the same quarter.

Can I work while I am completing my MSW?

The vast majority of our students are working full- or part-time during most of the program. You will need some flexibility in your workplace while completing your practicum. Most practicum sites will require students to work during normal business hours.

When do classes meet?

Classes meet one or two evenings per week from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. In addition to classroom learning, students complete two practicums in community agencies to learn hands-on practical applications of social work in the real world. Occasionally, we will offer a Saturday class.

Will you accept credits from another graduate program?

Our professional accrediting body, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), prohibits us from accepting course work or credits from graduate programs that are not accredited by the CSWE.

What makes the MSW relevant?

The program prepares learners for the social work profession and:

  • Provides a broad perspective of the field of social welfare.
  • Provides a foundation of social work knowledge and skills.
  • Provides an ethics and values base.
  • Provides advanced and specialized knowledge of social work interventions.