International students seeking admission to the Boston University School of Social Work should first take advantage of the social work training given in their own country and have some practical experience in a social work agency, if at all possible.
The application process for persons from other countries is necessarily more elaborate and time-consuming. Consequently, if a person feels he or she is eligible for admission, the applicant should submit their application, credentials, and all supporting materials by the January 15 deadline. Please note that Admissions may request a phone or Skype interview before a final decision is made on an application.
English Language Proficiency
In addition to the other application requirements, international applicants from non-English-speaking countries must have strong English language skills. Social Work students must be able to interact at a high level both in the classroom and in their field placements; therefore, we have high expectations of applicants’s working knowledge of English in all categories: speaking, listening, writing, and reading.
Standardized Test Scores
International applicants must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), unless English is their native language or they earned their undergraduate degree from an institution where English is the language of instruction (proof of instruction in English must be provided).
For the TOEFL, a minimum score of 577 is required on the written test, a minimum score of 233 is required on the computer-based test, and a score of 91 is required for the internet-based test, with a minimum of 23 in the speaking portion of the exam. For the IELTS, a minimum score of 6.5 is required. In addition, international applicants are required to take the GRE or the MAT if the applicants’s American cumulative grade point equivalency is less than 3.0 on a 4-point scale.
For more information on the TOEFL or the GRE, please visit www.ets.org; for the IELTS, visit www.ielts.org; and for the MAT visit www.milleranalogies.com. (GRE and MAT scores are valid for five years. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years.)
Degree Translation and Evaluation
All foreign transcripts that are not from an English-speaking institution must be translated and evaluated by a reputable credential evaluation service (there may be a cost for this service). If your institution does not provide a grade point average (GPA) on the American 4.0 scale, the transcript evaluation should include an American GPA equivalent.
We require that you submit official transcripts as well as the full evaluation in order to consider your application complete. We do not require that you work with a specific agency, but here is a list of reputable organizations:
Attending School in the US
Applicants from other countries should also obtain full and accurate information about requirements for entry into the United States, such as a statement of good health and proof of adequate financial support, which will be required upon admittance to the program. Please visit Boston University International Students & Scholars (ISSO) for more information. Please note that the School of Social Work has no scholarship funds or loan opportunities available to international applicants.
Additional Documents Required for International Students
Admitted international students are required to submit materials that will support the ISSO in preparing their student visas. If accepted, please submit these documents to the School of Social Work’s Admissions & Financial Aid office:
- International Student Data Form (must be signed and dated)
- Passport copy (and copies of any previous immigration documents you may have)
- 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 about required documents and submission, please visit the ISSO website.