Required Application Materials

Information for all applicants and Advanced Standing, International, Transfer, and Online MSW applicants is available in the sections below.

ALL Applicants:

  • Completed online application
  • $80 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)
  • Official transcripts from all previous undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate academic institutions, including study abroad transcripts if the course names, grades, and credits from your study abroad experience are not listed on the transcript from your home institution (mailed directly to School of Social Work Admissions)
  • GRE or MAT scores if your cumulative undergraduate GPA  where you obtained your degree is below 3.0 on the US 4-point scale

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. (The person who completes your field evaluation should not also submit a reference for you.) Applicants who do not complete their field placement until the spring semester of their senior year are not able to submit a final field evaluation by the January 15 deadline, and therefore unfortunately cannot be considered for admission to the subsequent summer full-time advanced standing program. Those in this situation are welcome to apply for the part-time advanced standing program or for the regular full- or part-time program.

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)

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 $80 application fee for applicants who are US citizens or US permanent residents, and who can demonstrate either financial need or participation in specialized programs (as noted in the Fee Waiver Request Form at the end of the online application). 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.

Instructions: At the end of the application, after clicking submit, you may select the Fee Waiver option. You will be directed to complete the Fee Waiver Request Form and prompted to submit documentation to the Admissions & Financial Aid office. Once your documents have been reviewed, a decision will be rendered. If the waiver is granted, Admissions staff will acknowledge your online application and the submission process will be complete. If the waiver is denied, you will be asked to submit the $80 application fee and your application will be submitted once you pay the fee.

If you are applying to the Charles River Campus (Boston) or to the Off-Campus Programs, all documents should be submitted by fax to 617-353-5612, or by email to 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.

All Programs


Applicants should submit official transcripts (with the university or college seal) from each college or university attended. The official transcript(s) should be submitted in a sealed envelope with the registrar’s signature across the flap.

Mail any transcript(s), along with any other neccesary application materials, to:
Boston University School of Social Work
Admissions & Financial Aid
264 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215

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


Three references are required. We prefer that applicants use the online reference form process to submit all references. 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. If for some reason your reference is unable to access the online form, they may download this form instead.

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 (whether online or by mail).

Instructions for submitting references by mail: The School of Social Work will accept only those forms which are enclosed in sealed, signed envelopes, even in the case of an applicant who has retained the right of access. Applicants mailing reference forms should submit them along with their other application materials.

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.

Standardized Test Scores

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.

Test results should be sent directly to:
Boston University School of Social Work
Admissions & Financial Aid
264 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215

GRE School Code #3088

TOEFL School Code #3232

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

Personal Statement

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, 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.

Please 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.

Transcript Evaluations

For those submitting transcript evaluations of foreign transcripts (does not pertain to study abroad courses), all evaluations should be sent to the School directly by the credential evaluation agency.

Charles River and Off-Campus Programs

When requesting transcripts to be sent directly to our offices, be sure you designate that they be mailed to the Boston University School of Social Work Admissions & Financial Aid office, or your transcripts may be sent to the wrong location within BU. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that their materials arrive at the School of Social Work. We are unable to track down your credentials if they are sent to the wrong school.

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

Applications will not be reviewed until all materials are received by the Admissions & Financial Aid office.

Online MSW Program

Applicants to the Online MSW program have a different submission process and should contact an admission representative as soon as possible for instructions on submitting their materials. Please call 877-308-9945 or visit