BEFORE starting the steps to apply, carefully review the admission requirements and the application materials information and instructions below.
Step 1: Start the UW Graduate School Online Application
Applying to the UW Graduate School is a step in the UWT MSW application process. All applicants must fill out the online UW Graduate School application, where they'll also submit supplemental materials. You can save and update your application as needed.
After logging in, use the 'Start Graduate Application' button to begin a new application. You can save and edit it until submission. Once submitted, only academic history and recommender information can be edited.
Note: A new application system is in use by UW Graduate School. From September 2023 onwards, previous applicants must use this new system.
When completing your application, it is important that you:
Choose your academic program and filter by campus and select “Tacoma” then select “Social Work – Tacoma Campus (Master of Social Work – Part Time Program) or “Social Work – Tacoma Campus (Advanced Standing). Please note, you can always start a UW Graduate School application profile but selecting the UWT MSW enrollment term (and viewing the subsequent required materials) will only be available on or after our posted opening date.
Enter three recommenders on the recommendations page. Please note that recommenders are emailed immediately upon entry, even if you have not submitted your application. You may, however, edit them after submittal if you need to replace a recommender with a different one.
To complete your UWT MSW application, you will be prompted to complete each section as outlined in the online application. For additional instructions on supplemental materials, please refer to our application materials section.
Step 3: Review and submit your application
Please ensure all information is accurate before electronically signing your application. Check for errors in the "review" section before submitting.
Afterward, pay the application fee for the UW Graduate School. If applying for a fee waiver, make the request before the program deadline, at least seven days in advance.
If applying to both 3-Year and Advanced Standing MSW programs, submit two separate applications with materials and fees.
Step 4: Post Application Submittal
Ensure all three references submit their recommendations by the application deadline.
Check your email regularly for application status updates.
You can also log in to make minor changes or updates like adding transcripts or changing recommenders.
Admission decisions will be sent via email. Notifications for the 3-Year program start in February (after the priority date) and no later than May. For Advanced Standing, notifications start in May (after the priority date) and no later than August.
MSW Application Materials Instructions
Instructions for Application Materials
The two-part essay is one of the most critical elements in the admission review. Current knowledge of the social work profession is assessed by the applicant's use of illustrations and examples from their social service background as described in the essay.
Each of the two sections should be clearly titled within a single document. The maximum length of the entire essay (both parts combined) should not exceed six (6) pages, typed, double-spaced, and in size 11 or 12 font. Cover sheets and abstracts are not required.
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. In your statement, please also 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.
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, Tacoma.
Part 2: Social Issue Analysis (2-3 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 [writingcenter.unc.edu] 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.
Applicants must submit a current professional resume (no more than 2 pages) as part of the admission requirements. Both social service and non-social service positions should be listed.
Your resume should include the following:
All paid work experience: dates, number of hours per month, employer name and address, job title, and brief overview of job responsibilities. Please highlight experience with diverse communities
Unpaid social service experience: dates, number of hours per month, employer name and address, job title, and brief overview of job responsibilities. If applicable, include field practicum experiences here. Please highlight experience with diverse communities
Awards, honors, and special achievements you have earned (academic, work, and/or volunteer)
Languages spoken and written, and level of fluency (including ASL)
Research experiences, including any research you have conducted or been part of
International work/volunteer experiences: dates, length of time, and brief overview of type of experience
Social Service Experience Instructions
Separate from your resume, the Social Service Experience section is used to highlight your complete history of paid and volunteer experiences in the areas of social work and human social service. A guide to what qualifies as relevant experience can be found here.
'HOURS per week' is the average number of hours served per week throughout your weeks of service.
Single-time experiences will have the same number of hours in the 'HOURS per week' column and the 'TOTAL HOURS' column.
Calculate your total hours for each experience by multiplying the number of weeks served by the average number of hours served per week.
If you have no service hours to report, enter '0'.
If documenting a current position, leave the 'To' field blank and calculate the total hours served up to the application deadline.
Three (3) recommendations are required; additional recommendations will not be considered. Provide your references in the 'Designate Recommendations' section of the online UW Graduate application. Advise your potential references beforehand; they will receive an email with a unique URL to submit their recommendation via the application link. Ensure your designated references are aware and respond promptly.
You can assign recommendations before or after submitting your online application (up until the application deadline). Instruct your references to complete recommendations through the online portal. No extra materials should be sent to the UWT MSW program nor the UW Graduate School.
All three recommendations must be submitted by the application deadline to complete your application; you do NOT have to wait for your recommendations to be submitted in order to submit your application. You will receive an email notification directly from the UW Graduate School when a recommendation is submitted, and the response status for the recommendation will change to "received" in the 'Designate Recommendations' area.
Your references should support your social/human service background and/or academic preparedness and potential for contributing to the learning community and field of social work. Family members, partners, clients and personal friends are not appropriate references.
If you graduated within the last two years from an undergraduate institution, one of the three recommendations is required to come from an academic reference. If you have been out of school for more than two years, the three recommendations can come from any combination of academic or professional experiences.
Advanced Standing applicants are required to have a recommendation from a field instructor or social service employer.
If you are currently employed or volunteering in a social service agency, it is important to include a recommendation from your direct supervisor.
You are responsible for reviewing the statement regarding Public Law 93-380 when designating references. It is important for both the recommender and the committee to know what decision you have made regarding this right of review.
Applicants must report every undergraduate and graduate institution ever attended and provide unofficial transcripts from each institution, even if just one or two courses were completed, or none of the courses were successfully completed.
A set of transcripts from each institution must be uploaded to the 'Academic History' section of the online Graduate School application. Do not send copies of transcripts directly to the UWT MSW program. Physical copies should be scanned and saved for uploading purposes.