When creating an application, we strongly encourage applicants to use a Gmail account, if you have one, to ensure that you don’t miss any emails regarding application status updates, admission decisions, etc.
To apply for admission to any of our MSW programs, you must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university, or be enrolled in a course of study that will result in the award of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university before you begin your MSW studies.
BUSSW does not have a GPA requirement for Traditional or Human Service Experience track applicants. However, all Advanced Standing applicants are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.0.
The following application requirements must be submitted online with your completed application (please scroll down for additional details about each requirement):
- $95 non-refundable application fee: Paid by credit card when submitting your application electronically
- Personal statement: 3-4 pages, double-spaced – must be a minimum of 3 full pages
- Current résumé or CV: no page limit
- Three references: One reference is required from a faculty member or advisor if you are currently in school, and/or from a supervisor if you are working
- Please note: All letters of recommendation must be written/dated within one year of the time you submit your application. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Transcripts: Transcripts should include all previous undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate academic institutions, including study abroad transcripts – we will accept unofficial for the application review process but will need official if/when you’re accepted before starting the program.
- If your study abroad courses are not listed with grades on your US transcript, your transcript is not in English, or your transcript is not on a 4.0 grading scale, please provide an official English transcript at the time you apply by having it evaluated by World Education Services (WES).
- If/when sending official transcripts electronically from National Student Clearinghouse, choose “other” from the dropdown list of schools and then type in our email address to ensure it gets to the right department: email@example.com. Please email us if you have questions on where to send your transcripts. You can also upload unofficial transcripts on your end within the application portal.
- Phone or Skype interview: May be required for Online Program and international student applicants only upon request
- Additional materials as required for Transfer Students, International, Dual Degree, Advanced Standing, or Human Service Experience track candidates
- Applicants may apply for one campus per application cycle.
- Academic credit is not given for life experience or previous work experience.
- If you have applied and were not accepted, you must wait one year to reapply to any of our campuses. Please note, our off-campus and on-campus sites only begin in the fall so if you applied for fall 2020, for example, you are eligible to apply for fall 2021 entry. Additionally, because our online program accepts three times per year, if you applied for spring 2020, for example, you must wait until spring 2021 to apply again. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Application Requirements Details
We ask that you submit a 3-4 page, double-spaced personal statement as a part of your application. This statement is considered a writing sample and will be reviewed for content and writing quality. Your statement must be at least 3 full-length pages.
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 experience and aspirations in one cohesive, free-flowing essay.
Additionally, please briefly touch upon the following areas (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?
- 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.
- 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.
Applicants are required to submit three references. One reference should be 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.
Advanced Standing Applicants: The individual who evaluates your field work should not write a reference for you as it is expected that this person will submit your senior year field evaluation. You are required to provide three recommendations that do not include the individual who evaluates your field work.
Human Services Experience: In addition to the Employment Verification Form, your supervisor who completes that form must also submit a reference on your behalf. This will fulfill one of the three required recommendations.
In the “Recommendations” section of the online application, you will input 3 people’s contact information (“Program Materials” –> Master of Social Work –> “Recommendations” tab). They will each receive an automated email prompting them to complete the online reference form and to upload a supporting letter.
Please alert your recommenders 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.
Please note: 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. If you have never taken a course at BUSSW, please disregard this note.
Transcripts should include all previous undergraduate coursework and, if applicable, graduate academic institutions, including study abroad transcripts.
- US Transcripts: Applicants with a US Transcript should upload a copy of a student-issued transcript from each college or university attended into the online application.
- International Transcripts (all international applicants; study abroad if not listed on US transcript; degrees/credits earned at non-English speaking universities): If your study abroad courses are not listed with grades on your US transcript, your transcript is not in English, or your transcript is not a 4.0 grading scale, please provide an official English transcript by having it evaluated by World Education Services (WES).
Please note: For those submitting transcript evaluations of foreign transcripts (does not pertain to study abroad courses unless they are not listed on your US transcripts), all evaluations should be sent directly by the credential evaluation agency.
Additionally, please note that once accepted, you will be required to send us your official transcripts.
Standardized Test Scores
Applicants applying to the MSW program are NOT required to submit GRE scores. If you do wish to submit GRE scores, please do so electronically via ETS using the code 3087.
International applicants who did not attend a university where English is the primary language of instruction are required to provide proof of English language proficiency by submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores. Please view our webpage for International applicants to read more about this requirement.
Please note: If you become a permanent resident or U.S. citizen by the time you start or complete your application, you are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.
Human Service Experience Track Requirements (Online, Hybrid and Off-Campus Program Only)
Please visit here for more information about our Human Service Experience Track requirements.
Online MSW Program Technical Requirements
Equal Opportunity Policy
Boston University prohibits discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, military service, or because of marital, parental, or veteran status. This policy extends to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities, including admissions, financial assistance, educational and athletic programs, housing, employment, compensation, employee benefits, and the providing of, or access to, University services or facilities. Boston University recognizes that non-discrimination does not ensure that equal opportunity is a reality. Accordingly, the University will continue to take affirmative action to achieve equal opportunity through recruitment, outreach, and internal reviews of policies and practices.
Inquiries regarding this policy or its application should be addressed to:
Executive Director of Equal Opportunity
Boston University Equal Opportunity Office
19 Deerfield Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02215
State Authorization, Distance Education and Professional Licensure
Many social workers are required to obtain licensure to practice social work. Each state has different licensure requirements. The Boston University State Authorization and Distance Education Disclosures site provides a variety of information regarding social work licensing and distance education programs, including: