How to Apply
- Bachelor's of social work degree from a CSWE-accredited social work program
- Bachelor's of social work grade-point average of 3.0 or above
Advanced Standing M.S.W. degree program students are admitted for a summer semester start date.
- 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 to submit the Advanced Standing MSW 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.
Instructions to, and questions asked, of applicants on their understanding of social work, the breadth of the field, and values central to the profession.
The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, rooted in the Strengths Perspective, aims to transform lives and social contexts and promote social, economic, and environmental justice in Kansas, the nation and the world. We do so by educating students to practice with integrity and competence, advancing the science and knowledge based of social work through scholarship and research; and participating in community-engaged service. The School achieves its goals through six guiding principles and values: relationship building; diversity, equity and inclusion; practice with integrity, multisystem competency; critical perspective; empirically informed social work. Read the full mission and values here.
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 prior to your answer to that question.
- Given that there are many helping professions, why you have chosen to enter the profession of social work?
- 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.
- 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 "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.
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.
If you earned your social work degree within the two years before applying to the program, one of your references provided in the "Reference" section of the online application must be from one of your social work 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
Please enter information for every post-secondary institution you have attended. All applicants including current and former University of Kansas students are required to submit transcripts from the bachelor granting institution, and any transcripts from institutions attended post-bachelor.
Submitting your application without transcripts will delay review of 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.
Helpful link: graduate.ku.edu/transcripts
For degrees earned in the United States: Graduate Admissions must receive your official, final transcript/s to be sent directly from your institution in a sealed envelope or through an electronic delivery service. The official, final transcript/s must show that the degree has been conferred. There are no exceptions.
Transcripts should be sent to:
The University of Kansas
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
313 Strong Hall
Lawrence, KS 66044
If institutions offer a secure electronic transcript delivery service, you may have transcripts sent to email@example.com.
For degrees earned outside the United States: Final transcripts showing degree conferral and degree certificates/diplomas must be certified through Certifile. Certifile is a process through which official academic records will be verified. To initiate the verification of your credentials, log-in to your application portal. Once you submit the request, additional information will be provided to indicate what you will be required to submit. Certifile will share the verification directly with Graduate Admissions. Once the Certifile process is complete, you will be able to view, share and/or download your verified digital academic credentials at any time for use at other institutions, as needed (i.e. a future employer).
NOTE: Certifile will provide you a couple of different options for how your documents will be reviewed. KU will only require the verification, but you are welcome to choose another option if you would like to keep a copy for your personal use.
Current BSW Students - submit final evaluation by May 15
Applicants who have graduated within the last two years – Submit final practicum evaluation as early as possible, but no later than February 15
Applicants who have graduated more than 2 years ago – No practicum evaluation or field instructor reference required
The field practicum evaluation is the standard 5 to 10 page skill set evaluation form that your school uses that is completed, dated adn signed by your field supervisor/liaison and you. This can be scanned and sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via postal mail, but must be received by the respective deadline above.
By mail, submit to:
The University of Kansas
School of Social Welfare
1545 Lilac Lane
Lawrence, KS 66045-3129
NOTE: Accommodations for placement in field agencies is often more complex than that needed for the classroom. If admitted, contact Student Access Services in the Academic Achievement and Access Center (AAAC) early to let them know that your education plan includes a field placement that may require early and specific accommodation planning. Also, if admitted, communicate your potential accommodation needs in the field agency early to your School of Social Welfare Field Education Associate Director who will be working on your field agency placement.
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.
NOTE: The application fee is non-refundable and non-transferrable.
By submitting your online application, you are agreeing to abide by the MSW Student Standards and Advancement Policies and Procedures and NASW Code of Ethics. If you have questions, please contact the appropriate Program Director at 785-864-4720.
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.