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  • Master of Social Work (M.S.W. Degree)
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  • How to Apply

How to Apply

1. Know the admissions requirements
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited university
  • Undergraduate studies must reflect the successful completion of liberal arts courses, including those in the social sciences and humanities which focus on the   development of knowledge in communication; social, biological, and behavioral sciences; history; philosophy and the ways in which knowledge is gained and applied;   and the value of a multicultural and diverse society.
  • Undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 or above
2. Know the deadlines

M.S.W. degree program students are admitted for fall semester only.

  • Applications can be submitted anytime between October 1 and February 15
  • The School of Social Welfare gives priority consideration for need-based scholarships and/or KU financial aid to those who submit the FAFSA between October 1 and the deadline the MSW Regular Program application deadline of February 15.
3. Fill out the online application

KU does not accept paper applications for admissions.

The online application is designed to give you the ability to submit all supporting documents in one form. New applicants will be required to create an account. Applications may be saved in progress.

4. Gather and prepare supporting documents
 
Employment and/or volunteer experience

Download the example table (pdf), which shows you how to organize, describe and report your prior work experience. If you decide to use a format like this, you may need to use more than one page if you have extensive experience. You may also submit your resume as well, but your resume is NOT a substitute for describing and reporting your prior work experience in a concise and complete manner. It is best to begin with your most recent work experience and end with your first work experience (i.e. reverse chronological order).

Narrative Statement

The School of Social Welfare recently adopted a new mission statement, which does not yet appear in the University’s online application. We are also in the process of moving from requiring a traditional “narrative” or “personal” statement to simply asking applicants to answer the three questions below. You have the option this year of following the instructions for the Narrative Statement that appears in the online application or simply typing the three questions below with your answers after each of the questions. The substantive content of the information we are asking for is consistent in both approaches. If you decide to simply answer the questions below, you may want to have the wording for the questions handy while you work your way through the online application.

Instructions: Considering the School's mission and values, respond to each of the following questions in no more than 3 pages, typed and double-spaced with one inch margins.  Please type each question just before your answer to that question.

  1. Given that there are many helping professions, why you have chosen to enter the profession of social work?
  2. What are the most important factors that led you to choose graduate education in social work? Please include the role of exposure to and involvement in diverse communities, as well as the influences of cultural, educational, employment and/or volunteer experiences in your choice.
  3. What do you hope to gain from your graduate education? How do your hopes relate to your future plans as a social worker with an MSW?

When submitting your responses to these questions online, be sure to save as a Microsoft Word (windows compatible) or as a PDF document. Please double-check your formatting after saving it in Word or PDF and before uploading the document.

Requesting transfer credit
Transfer credit will only be considered after an offer for admission is given. If requesting transfer credit, upload the following in the "Supporting Documents" section of the online application or if needed, submit to bhofer@ku.edu. Consideration is only given for courses in the foundation level of a two-year MSW program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
  1. Course syllabus for each course you want us to consider. This must include readings, assignments, and weekly topics specific to the course
  2. The mid-year (or final, if already completed) signed practicum evaluation form, descriptions of field practicum content, and number of clock hours to be completed by time of transfer.
  3. One of your references provided in "Reference" section of the online application must be one of your MSW classroom instructors
Selections of your area of interest

Clinical Practice: The clinical social work practice concentration prepares students in the professional application of social work theory and methods to the treatment and prevention of psychosocial problems, disability, or impairment, including emotional and mental disorders. Students expecting to sit for the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) examination two years after the MSW must take the clinical social work practice concentration.

Macro Practice (formerly known as the Social Work Administrative and Advocacy Practice concentration): The macro practice concentration prepares students in the professional application of social work theory and skill to the development and management of social service programs in both public and voluntary human services organizations. This concentration is offered only at the Edwards Campus in the blended format.

Contact information for three references

If you are requesting transfer credit, one of your references provided in "Reference" section of the online application must be one of your MSW classroom instructors

If you have been employed in a social work setting, one of your references provided in the "Reference" section of the online application must be a supervisor who can address your knowledge, skill and readiness for graduate social work education

College education & transcripts

College name, dates attended, GPA, major, degree earned (or in-progress), degree status, transcript from all colleges attended

Transcripts from all colleges attended are required to complete your application. It is highly preferred that your uploaded transcripts accompany your online application.It is acceptable, however to upload “copies’ of the transcripts (not advising reports or academic records) to your application

If admitted, official transcripts from the bachelor degree conferred institution must be sent to KU Graduate Admissions. NOTE:  Offers of admission can be rescinded if a lower GPA transcript occurs in the semester that the student completes a bachelor degree program.

Official transcript destinations

Email to:       gapc@ku.edu

Mailed to:    Graduate Admissions
                     The University of Kansas
                     1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
                     313 Strong Hall
                     Lawrence, KS 6604

5. Non-native English speakers

All non-native English speakers are required to submit a copy of their TOEFL or IELTS score sheet taken within the past two years that shows each section meeting or exceeding the KU M.S.W. minimum requirements. For more information regarding International Students Services, visit the Office of International Student & Scholar Services.

6. Submit the application and pay the application fee

Domestic: $65

International: $85

NOTE: The application fee is non-refundable and non-transferrable.

By submitting your online application, you are agreeing to abide by the NASW Code of Ethics, the School of Social Welfare Technical Standards, and the School of Social Welfare's Student Advancement Policy. If you have questions about the Technical Standards, please contact the appropriate Program Director at 785-864-4720.

7. Check your application status
All applications are reviewed by the School upon receipt. If you need to send your references a reminder or want to check the status of your application, you may do so on your Check Application Status page.
8. Access your decision

Once a decision has been made on your application, you will receive an email from Graduate Studies to check your electronic decision letter and, if an offer is made, an email from the School of Social Welfare.  All decision notifications are sent via email in the spring; this is the official notification of a decision. To ensure your privacy, we are unable to provide admission decisions by telephone. Your decision letter will be found on your Check Application Status page.

If you are offered admission, please accept or decline the offer of admission by going to your application status page and clicking on the "Complete Your Decision Form" button. If accepting the offer, you will also see a screen to submit a credit card payment for the the non-refundable $50 admission fee to hold your place in the program. This will complete your “acceptance” processing.


Questions?

Lesley Owens
Graduate Student Services Coordinator
785-864-3883
laowens@ku.edu

Kortney Carr
MSW Program Coordinator - Edwards Campus
913-897-8789
k_carr@ku.edu

Laurie Ramirez
MSW Program Coordinator - Lawrence Campus
785-864-8969
lramirez@ku.edu

Becky Hofer
Director of Graduate Admissions
785-864-8956
bhofer@ku.edu

Deb Adams
MSW Program Director

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