Required Application Materials

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ALL Applicants:

  • Completed online application
  • $95 non-refundable application fee (paid online)
  • Personal statement (upload to online application)
  • Current résumé or CV (upload to online application)
  • Three reference forms with accompanying letters (submitted online through application)**
  • Transcripts* from all previous undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate academic institutions, including study abroad transcripts if the course names, and credits from your study abroad experience are not listed on the transcript from your home institution
  • GRE or MAT scores if your cumulative undergraduate GPA  where you obtained your degree is below 3.0 on the US 4-point scale*

Please note: there are additional requirements for Advanced Standing, Dual Degree, International and Transfer applicants (as noted below).

U.S. Transcripts

Applicants from the United States should upload a copy of a student-issued transcript from each college or university attended into their application. (A course list, screen shot of your student link with course grades, or internal grade report will not be accepted in place of a student-issued transcript.)

International Transcripts (International Applicants and Study Abroad — if not listed on U.S. transcript)

If your transcript is not in English, or if you are an international applicant, please provide an official English transcript by having it evaluated by World Education Services (WES).

For those submitting transcript evaluations of foreign transcripts (does not pertain to study abroad courses unless they are not listed on your U.S. transcripts), all evaluations should be sent to the School directly by the credential evaluation agency.

All Applicants

  • Please upload your student-issued transcript to the Academic History section of your application
  • The Admissions and Financial Aid Office will contact applicants if there are any problems with their uploaded transcript.
  • DO NOT mail or electronically send University-issued official transcripts until directed to do so.

*Your acceptance to our School, if applicable, will be conditional until we receive University-issued official transcripts in sealed envelopes or electronically from each college or university attended.

For Charles River and Off-Campus:
If you accept our offer of admissions, no later than July 1, 2017, please mail your University-issued official transcripts to:

Admissions & Financial Aid Office
Boston University School of Social Work
264 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215

or have University-issued official transcripts sent electronically to:  busswad@bu.edu

For Online Students:
If you are interested in applying to the Online MSW program, please contact an admission representative as soon as possible at 877-308-9945. Online MSW Program Website

Please notify the Admissions & Financial Aid office if your transcript is under a former name.

Three references are required. In the Reference section of the online application, you will be able to submit a form directly to each of your references. They will receive an automated email prompting them to complete the online reference form and to upload a supporting letter.

Please alert your references to check their junk mail folders in case the emails are received there mistakenly. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all references are completed and submitted to the School.

A reference is required from a faculty member or advisor if you are currently in school and/or from a supervisor if you are working. Other references may include people familiar with your current or past work or volunteer experience, preferably a manager or supervisor. References from family members, personal friends, personal therapists, or employees are not acceptable.

In addition to the three required references, a reference is required from the instructor of any Boston University School of Social Work course in which you have been a non-matriculating student.

**Advanced standing applicants please note: Your field work evaluator should not write you a reference, as it is expected that this person will submit your senior year field evaluation. Having them submit a reference would be redundant.

Applicants with a cumulative GPA of under 3.0 and dual degree applicants must submit scores from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants whose first language is not English should submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please note that GRE and MAT scores are valid for five years, and TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years.

GRE  and TOEFL Scores are submitted electronically to BU School of Social Work directly from ETS using the special GRE and TOEFL code 3087. PAPER COPIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.To Submit Official GRE and GRE subject Scores supply code 3087 to ETS and request that your scores be released. According to ETS, it takes them a maximum of 10-12 business days (not counting weekends and holidays) to release a score to BU School of Social Work once they have been requested. If you have just taken the test, they report a turnaround of 12-15 business days.

GRE School Code #3087

TOEFL School Code #3087

MAT and IELTS scores may be mailed to:

BU School of Social Work
P.O. Box 9208
Watertown, MA 02471

Please note that advanced standing applicants are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Your statement should be 3–4 pages, typed and double-spaced. Please save as a MS Word document or PDF and upload it directly to the online application (instructions are included in the application).

We ask that you submit a personal statement as part of your application to the MSW program. The purpose of this statement is to obtain a clear understanding of your background, why you have chosen to enter the social work profession, your readiness for graduate education, your commitment to social justice, and your motivation to apply to the Boston University School of Social Work. Please describe how your academic, professional, personal, and volunteer experiences have prepared you for graduate studies in social work. Please note that this statement is considered a writing sample and is reviewed for content and writing quality.

Boston University School of Social Work is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Please comment on these principles in the context of your professional aspirations.

Please additionally touch on the following areas in your essay (as applicable):

  • Discuss why you believe the Boston University School of Social Work is best suited to meet your graduate education needs.
  • How do you believe you will manage the rigorous demands of coursework and field education during graduate study?
  • If you have low or inconsistent grades in undergraduate (or graduate) study or have attended multiple schools to earn a degree, please discuss any issues you may have faced to help us better understand your academic background.
  • Identify your strengths and areas in need of improvement that are relevant to the social work profession.What inspires you to pursue this profession?
  • If you have clear career goals, please tell us what type of work you see yourself engaged in after earning the MSW.

Transfer Applicants: Please include a statement about why you are requesting transfer to the Boston University School of Social Work.

Advanced Standing Applicants:

Please note: You must have or be working towards an undergraduate degree in Social Work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

    • Minimum GPA of 3.0
    • Copy of your final field evaluation from your senior year field placement. If you are in your last year of your placement while applying, please submit your mid-year field evaluation by the January 13th deadline. If admitted to the program acceptance is contingent upon receipt and approval of your final field evaluation. (The person who completes your field evaluation should not also submit a reference for you.) 

    International Applicants:

      • TOEFL or IELTS scores for applicants whose first language is not English (if your undergraduate degree is from an English-speaking university, you do not need to submit these test scores)
      • International transcript evaluation (All international transcripts that are not from an English-speaking institution must be translated and evaluated by a reputable credential evaluation service; applications will not be considered complete without this document.) Please review the International Applicants page to read more about this requirement.

      The following materials are not required for admission to the program, but are required for student visa processing and should be submitted along with your other application materials or immediately after acceptance to our program:

        • Copy of passport and any prior immigration documents
        • International Student Data Form, signed and dated
        • Financial documentation to demonstrate your ability to cover all costs of being a student at BU; documents may include bank statements, a letter of sponsorship or support, or the Sponsorship Certification Form (provided by ISSO)

        For more information and to access the forms, please visit International Students & Scholars (ISSO).

        Transfer Applicants:

        Please note: You must be enrolled or have recently enrolled in a graduate social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

          • Field evaluation (for any fieldwork accomplished up to this point)
          • Letter of good standing from the dean/director of the program (or their designee)
          • Your personal statement should reflect your reasons for wishing to transfer to the BU School of Social Work
          • A syllabus and course catalog description for each course you wish to transfer for credit (submission of these documents is required only after an admission decision has been reached)

          Dual Degree Applicants:

          Current students at SPH who are interested in applying to SSW are asked to do the following:

            • Request that their current official transcripts from BU and any previous colleges/universities and two recommendations from their SPH application be forwarded to our Admissions and Financial Aid Office.
            • Submit one additional reference using an SSW online form. A complete reference includes our required form and a letter of support.Complete and upload a personal statement using the SSW guidelines.
            • An updated resume, which also can be uploaded, is preferred, but not required.
            • Complete an SSW application online and request a fee waiver (which will be granted as long as in addition to filling out the fee waiver form at the end of the application, you email busswad@bu.edu to inform us of your current student status).

            Current students at STH who are interested in applying to SSW are asked to do the following: 

              • Request that their current official transcripts from BU and any previous colleges/universities and two recommendations from their STH application be forwarded to our Admissions and Financial Aid Office.
              • Submit one additional reference using an SSW online form. A complete reference includes our required form and a letter of support.Complete and upload a personal statement using the SSW guidelines.
              • An updated resume, which also can be uploaded, is preferred, but not required.
              • Complete an SSW application online and request a fee waiver (which will be granted as long as in addition to filling out the fee waiver form at the end of the application, you email busswad@bu.edu to inform us of your current student status.) 

              Current students at SED who are interested in applying to SSW are asked to do the following: 

                • Request that their current official transcripts from BU and any previous colleges/universities and two recommendations from their STH application be forwarded to our Admissions and Financial Aid Office.
                • Submit one additional reference using an SSW online form. A complete reference includes our required form and a letter of support.Complete and upload a personal statement using the SSW guidelines.
                • An updated resume, which also can be uploaded, is preferred, but not required.
                • Complete an SSW application online and request a fee waiver (which will be granted as long as in addition to filling out the fee waiver form at the end of the application, you email busswad@bu.edu to inform us of your current student status.) 

                Online MSW Program Applicants:

                For all applicants:

                  • A telephone or online (Skype) interview with the applicant may be required.

                  For applicants with a minimum of two years supervised human services experience:

                    • Verification of at least two years of supervised social work or human services experience is required (Employment Verification Form completed by an employer or supervisor)
                    • One of your three reference letters must be from a human services job supervisor who can be available for a telephone interview

                    If you are interested in applying to the Online MSW program, please contact an admission representative as soon as possible at 877-308-9945. Online MSW Program Website

                    Fee Waivers (US citizens or US permanent residents only)

                    The Boston University School of Social Work will consider waiving the $95 application fee for applicants who are US citizens or US permanent residents, and who can demonstrate either financial need or participation in specialized programs. In all cases, supporting documentation is required and must be submitted to the Admissions & Financial Aid office well before the application deadlines. Any documents submitted after the application deadline will not be considered.

                    You are not eligible to apply for a fee waiver until you have started your application and been given a CAS ID #. Once your fee waiver is processed, you will have thirty days to complete and submit your application. If you would like to be considered for a fee waiver please email busswad@bu.edu.

                    Supporting Documentation:

                    If you are applying to the Charles River Campus (Boston) or to the Off-Campus Programs, a request for a fee waiver as well as all documents should be submitted by fax to 617-353-5612, or by email to busswad@bu.edu with the Subject Line: FEE WAIVER.

                    If you are applying to the Online MSW program, please contact an Admissions Representative at 877-308-9945 to discuss the submission process

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