Frequently Asked Questions

Anyone who has or expects to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, who has a broad liberal arts background which may include study in social, behavioral, and biological sciences, and an academic average of 3.0 (B) or higher in undergraduate study, is eligible to apply. Though it is not required, prior experience (paid, volunteer, or internship) in social work or a related field will strengthen your application.

For the GRE and the MAT, there are no absolute score requirements. For the TOEFL, a minimum score of 577 is required on the paper-based test, a minimum score of 233 is required on the computer-based test, and a minimum score of 100 is required for the internet-based test, with a minimum score requirement of 23 in each of the four sub-categories of the exam; speaking, listening, reading, and writing. For the IELTS, a minimum score of 7.0 is required. Please note that Admissions may request a phone or Skype interview before a final decision is made on an application.

The short answer is yes. Boston University School of Social Work has accepted people with architectural degrees, nursing backgrounds, expertise in journalism, law, etc. However, having work experience in social work or a related human service field does strenghten an application. This experience may be paid, volunteer, or internship experience.

We have a number of students who are returning to school after a long absence. Even though it can be challenging initially, students quickly adjust. They are often surprised to discover how valuable their previous work and life experience can be to their education.

Yes, you can transfer between our Charles River Campus and our off-campus programs. Please submit your request via email to Associate Director Alison McAlear. Please note this does not apply to the Online MSW program. We cannot accept transfer students into the Online program at this time.

Yes, under the advice and approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, if you have taken courses on a non-matriculating basis, you may be able to transfer up to nine (9) credits. Please contact Admissions to obtain a Transfer Credit Approval form. Transfer students are encouraged to read the requirements and application steps outlined in the School’s student handbook. For further information, call 617-353-3750 or email busswad@bu.edu.

Yes, under the advice and approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. If you have taken courses on a matriculating basis in another graduate program other than social work, then no more than six (6) credits will be transferable. Credits which have been applied to a prior degree cannot be transferred. Please contact Admissions to obtain a Transfer Credit Approval form. Transfer students are encouraged to read the requirements and application steps outlined in the School’s student handbook. For further information, call 617-353-3750 or email busswad@bu.edu.

Yes, under the advice and approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. If you have matriculated into another social work program, then no more than 32 credits will be transferable toward the MSW degree at the Boston University School of Social Work. Please contact Admissions to obtain a Petition to Transfer Credit form. Transfer students are encouraged to read the requirements and application steps outlined in the School’s student handbook. For further information, call 617-353-3750 or email busswad@bu.edu.

Applicants for the Charles River Campus or Off-Campus Programs apply for entry in the fall semester only.

All full-time Advanced Standing students begin the program in May by taking courses during the summer term along with the field placement, which begins in June. Part-time Advanced Standing students begin taking classes in the fall semester and start their advanced field placement for a minimum of 16 hours per week the following June.

Online MSW program students may apply for entry in the fall, spring, or summer semesters as space is available.