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How to apply?

The online application gives you the ability to submit all supporting documents in one form and save in progress. New applicants will be required to create an account.

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Advanced Standing Plan of Study

To apply, you must have a bachelor's of social work degree from a CSWE-accredited social work program. Application deadline is Feb. 14 for Full-Time and Apr. 1 for Part-Time.

Applicants who meet the following criteria will apply to the Advanced Standing Plan of Study.

  • 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 application is open October 1, 2021

  • Full-Time application final deadline is February 14, 2022
  • Part-Time application priority deadline is March 1, 2022; Final deadline is April 1, 2022

All Advanced Standing students are admitted for a summer semester start date.

Traditional Plan of Study

To apply, you must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Priority application deadline is Mar. 1. Final application deadline is Apr. 1.

Applicants who meet the following criteria will apply to the Traditional Plan of Study.

  • A 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

Traditional application opens October 1, 2021

  • Full-Time and Part-Time priority deadline is March 1, 2022
  • Full-Time and Part-Time final deadline is April 1, 2022 

Lawrence and Edwards Campus Traditional M.S.W. admits are admitted for a summer semester or fall semester start date.

Pittsburg Traditional M.S.W. admits are admitted for the fall semester only.

Ready to Apply

Create an account, save progress, and complete when ready

Gather and Prepare Supporting Documents

The online application gives you the ability to submit all supporting documents in one form and save in progress. You will be asked for the following, which will be required to complete the application.

Employment and/or volunteer experience

Please upload a professional resume detailing your current/prior work and volunteer experience. Please follow a reverse chronological format and include dates and hours per week worked. For helpful resume writing tips, please use the following University Career Center resource.

University Career Center resumes webpage

When submitting your resume, 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.

Please write and upload a 2 page, double spaced, narrative statement based on the School of Social Welfare published Mission & Values.

When submitting your Narrative Statement 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.

The KU Writing Center has helpful Personal/Narrative statement tips on their webpage.

You will be asked to list the contact information for three references in the application. The application system will then email a reference form to each person. 

Note: Choosing to list more than three references will delay application review significantly. Only three references will be included in the review.

Advanced Standing Plan of Study: References should be professional in nature and include those who can speak to the applicant’s ethics, experience with social justice issues, readiness for graduate social work education, skills, abilities and work styles. Applicants should include a practicum supervisor/and or practicum instructor as well as a faculty member if the degree was earned within the past 3 years. Family members and friends are not recommended except in cases of special circumstance, which may be described within the application. 

Traditional Plan of Study: References should be professional in nature and include those who can speak to the applicant’s ethics, experience with social justice issues, readiness for graduate social work education, skills, abilities and work styles. Family members and friends are not recommended except in cases of special circumstance, which may be described within the application. 

If you are a current or former KU student, you don’t need to provide official transcripts.

Current and former KU students are not required to request and purchase official KU transcripts, or to provide official KU transcripts or copies of KU transcripts to apply for admission to KU graduate programs. If KU students earned a degree from another institution, they will need to upload copies of those transcripts with their application. 

Current KU students:

  • Please upload a copy of your KU academic summary, available from Enroll & Pay, 
    OR
    your KU Advising Report, available from the “My Progress” section of the myKU portal, to your application. Please do not upload your KU degree progress report.

Former KU students: 

  • Follow the above instructions for current KU students. If you are unable to access your KU academic summary or Advising Report, please request a KU Advising Report from the department or program to which you are applying, and ask that they upload it to your submitted application.  

If you have never attended KU, your application must include official transcripts from each college attended.

For processing purposes, you may attach scanned versions of official transcripts to your application. If you are admitted to a program and accept the admission offer, you will be required to submit an official, final transcript that shows your degree has been conferred. Transcripts must be submitted to Graduate Admissions in one of three ways:

  • Via mail
    Transcripts must be sent directly from your institution, in a sealed envelope, to:
    Graduate Admissions
    University of Kansas
    KU Visitor Center
    1502 Iowa Street
    Lawrence, KS 66045
  • Electronically (Preferred Method)
    If your institution offers a secure electronic transcript delivery service, you may have transcripts sent to graduateadm@ku.edu
  • Via Certifile
    Transcripts may also be certified through our application provider, using a service called Certifile. Log in to your KU application portal and submit a Certifile verification request. Once the process is complete, Graduate Admissions will receive the documentation automatically. Note: Certifile charges a one-time $125 fee to create an account.

For more guidance on transcripts from non-U.S. institutions, see our International applicants page.

Applicants who have questions about transfer credits should contact Georgiana Spear, gspear@ku.edu.

Clinical Practice: The clinical social work practice specialization 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 specialization.

Macro Practice: The macro practice specialization 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. 

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.

Finalize the application

To complete the application you must submit the online application and pay the fee.

Application Fees

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 lined out in the MSW Handbook and NASW Code of Ethics. If you have questions, please contact the appropriate Program Director at 785-864-4720.

All applications are reviewed by the School upon receipt. To check the status of your application, or to send a reference reminder, please access your applicant status portal.

Once a decision has been made on your application, you will receive an email from KU Graduate Admissions stating your admissions decision is ready. To view your decision please access your applicant status portal. If an offer is made, you will receive an additional email from the School of Social Welfare. All decision notifications are sent via email; 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 in your applicant status portal.

If you are offered admission, please accept or decline the offer of admission by going to your application status portal 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 non-refundable $50 admission fee to hold your place in the program. This will complete your “acceptance” processing.

Check your application status

All applications are reviewed by the School upon receipt. Once a decision has been made on your application, you will receive an email.
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