Transform Lives. Be the Change.
  • Home
  • Academics
  • Degrees
  • Master of Social Work (M.S.W. Degree)
  • Advanced Standing
  • How to Apply

How to Apply

1. Know the admissions requirements
  • 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
2. Know the deadlines

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 January 16
  • 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. 
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.

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 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

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:

Mailed to:     Graduate Admissions
                     The University of Kansas
                     1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
                     313 Strong Hall
                     Lawrence, KS 66044

BSW Practicum Evaluation

If you earned your social work degree within the two years before applying to the program, a BSW Practicum Evaluation must be submitted

  • May 15 Current Students with fall practicum submit final evaluation
  • May 15 Students with Spring Block Placements submit final evaluation
  • January 15 Applicants who have graduated within the last two years must submit final practicum evaluation
  • Applicants who have graduated more than 2 years ago – no practicum evaluation required

NOTE:  Offers of admission can be rescinded if an unsuccessful practicum evaluation and/or a lower GPA transcript occurs in the semester that the student completes a bachelor degree program.

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.


Becky Hofer
Interim Graduate Student Services Coordinator, Edwards Campus MSW Program &
Director of Graduate Admissions

Vicki Mignot
Interim Graduate Student Services Coordinator, Lawrence Campus MSW Program

Deb Adams
MSW Program Director

Social Welfare Events
Follow Social Welfare

Follow KU SSW on FacebookFollow KU SSW on TwitterFollow KU SSW on YouTube