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Master of Social Work (M.S.W. Degree)

How to Apply

The Western Kansas M.S.W. program is made possible through a partnership between Fort Hays State University and KU and in cooperation with Garden City Community College. The Regular M.S.W. is offered every other year at both campuses and the Advanced Standing every year on the Hays campus and every other year on the Garden City campus. For more details, contact Christina Boyd, Western Kansas M.S.W. program director, at christinab@ku.edu.

1. Know the admissions requirements

Regular MSW

  • 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

Advanced Standing

  • 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

Regular MSW program students are admitted for fall semester only.

  • Applications can be submitted anytime between October 1 and February 15

Advanced Standing MSW program students are admitted for a summer semester only.

  • Applications can be submitted anytime between October 1 and February 15

All MSW program students

  • 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 KU 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. A resume is required in addition to filling out the Employment and/or Volunteer Expereince section of the application as 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).
Career and Edcuation Questions

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.

  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 "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 (Regular MSW applicants only)
If requesting transfer credit, you will need to submit the following to bhofer@ku.edu or uploading in the "Supporting Documents" section of the online application no later than February 15 or tranfer work cannot be considered. 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 class you want us to consider. This must include readings, assignments, and weekly topics specific to your class--this must be a course syllabi, not a master syllabi used generally by the university.
  2. 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 reference is from 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.

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 the your knowledge, skill and readiness for graduate social work education

If you earned their 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

College education & transcripts

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:

Graduate Admissions
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 graduateadm@ku.edu.

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.

BSW Practicum Evaluation (Advanced Standing applicants only)

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 bhofer@ku.edu  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
MSW Program
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.

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 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.

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.

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Ashley Anguiano Gomez
Recruitment Coordinator 
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