Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply for the MSW program?

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 udergraduate 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.

What are the admission requirements?

The requirements for admission are as follows:

  • Completed online application form and $80 non-refundable application fee
  • A personal statement
  • A current résumé
  • Three letters of reference
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Either the MAT or the GRE (if your GPA is below a 3.0 or if you are applying to a dual degree program)
  • Field Evaluation for advanced standing students (This evaluation form comes from the student’s home institution and must be submitted by the January 15 deadline. Applicants who do not begin the field placement until the spring semester of their senior year may not be able to submit mid-term field evaluations by the January 15 deadline, and therefore may not be eligible to apply for advanced standing until the following admission cycle.)

Additional Requirements for International Applicants:

  • TOEFL or IELTS if your first language is not English (unless you earned a degree from an English-speaking institution)
  • Evaluation of your foreign transcripts by a reputable credential evaluation service, including an equivalent to the American GPA (4.0 scale)

Once completed, the application is given to the admissions review committee to make a final determination regarding admission to the School.

What is the average GRE, MAT, TOEFL, or IELTS score admitted by the School?

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.

What happens if I do not have a background in social work? Can I still be considered for the program?

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.

I have not been a student for 20 years. Can I still succeed in this program?

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.

If I am accepted to one campus, can I transfer to another campus should my situation change?

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.

I have taken courses on a non-matriculating basis in another graduate social work program (accredited by the Council on Social Work Education). Will the Boston University School of Social Work accept these courses?

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.

I have taken courses in a graduate program other than social work. Will I be able to transfer these courses if accepted to the Boston University School of Social Work?

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.

I have matriculated (or am matriculating) in another graduate social work program (accredited by the Council on Social Work Education). Will I be able to transfer into the Boston University School of Social Work?

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.

When do I begin the program?

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.

What is the deadline for admission?

Charles River Campus and Off-Campus Programs January 15 (priority) or March 2
Advanced standing full-time status at the Charles River Campus January 15
All international applicants January 15
Online MSW Program Fall entry: May 15
Spring entry: October 15
Summer entry: January 1

How much is tuition?

2013-2014 tuition and fees are as follows:

Full-Time Students (enrolled for 12 to 18 credits) $28,900.00 per year
Part-Time Students (enrolled for 1/2 to 11 1/2 credits) $903.00 per credit (Charles River Campus)
$605.00 per credit (Off-Campus Programs)
$685 per credit (Online MSW program)
Registration Fee $40.00 per semester

Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice.