To apply for admission to any of our MSW programs, you must hold a baccalaureate degree from an 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 may be submitted online with your completed application:
- $95 non-refundable application fee: Paid by credit card when submitting your application electronically
- Personal statement: 3-4 pages, double-spaced
- Current résumé or CV
- 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
- Transcripts: Transcripts should include all previous undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate academic institutions, including study abroad transcripts
- Phone or Skype interview: May be required for Online Program and international student applicants
- Additional materials as required for Transfer Students, International, Dual Degree, Advanced Standing, or Human Service Experience track candidates
Please note: Applicants may apply for one campus per application cycle.
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.
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.
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.
Applicants are required to submit 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. 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 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. Applicants to the Human Service Experience Track must include a reference letter from a human services supervisor.
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. DO NOT mail or electronically send university-issued official transcripts until directed to do so.
- US Transcripts: Applicants from the United States 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 you are an international applicant, 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.
Human Service Experience Track Requirements (Online and Off-Campus Program Only)
Applicants who have a minimum of two years of supervised human service experience may apply to be considered for the Human Service Experience (HSE) track. You must have 2 years’ experience at the time you submit your application.
This experience must include weekly supervision by a master’s level supervisor. Examples of human service experience can include, but are not limited to: direct client care, case management, group leadership, referral services, counseling, advocacy, and care planning. Admissions may request a phone or Skype interview before a final decision is made on an application.
Applicants for this track must have positive performance evaluations and have their supervisor complete the “Employment Verification Form” (below). In addition, your supervisor must submit a reference on your behalf. This will fulfill one of the three required recommendations.
Please have your supervisor complete the following form for the Human Service Experience Track:
If you submit more than one Employment Verification Form because you have held multiple positions that add up to the two year requirement for the Human Service Experience Track, you are only required to have one of your supervisors complete a letter of recommendation. Please use your best judgement on your reference selection if you have had more than one supervisor. We ask that you fulfill only one of the three required recommendations with a Human Service Experience supervisor so that your references as a whole reflect diverse backgrounds.
Please Note: Once students are enrolled in the program, they are not able to switch tracks (ex: Traditional Track to Human Service Experience Track). If a student would like to switch tracks, this must be done during the application phase and prior to the application deadline. Students cannot transfer to another campus (ex: Charles River Campus to Online Campus) to switch tracks once enrolled in the program.
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