MSW Applicant Responsibilities

The Admissions Committee strives to give all applications the most prompt and holistic consideration possible. The following steps will help to make this process smooth and efficient:

  • Make sure you choose the correct campus/program/quarter/year when applying through the Graduate School portal online.

  • Review all application forms and materials for legibility, completeness and accuracy before submitting them. Keep copies of your essay and other materials submitted.

  • Ensure your email address is accurate - use one personal email address for all of your application materials (application, funding consideration, scholarships, etc). You may want to add our email to your contact list to avoid these messages going to spam folders.

  • Submit all completed application materials early. Applications will not be processed until all materials are received (including references); in the event that your application materials are incomplete we will attempt to contact you by email. 

  • Select references early and ask references to respond promptly; references must be completed via a unique link sent via email. Emailed letters or physical materials are not accepted.

  • Notify the School of Social Work via email of any changes (e.g. address, name change) or decision to withdraw from consideration. 

Re-applicants, international students, and students wishing to transfer from other MSW programs should read the Special Applicant Groups section located on the MSW Application Process webpage.

All 2023 - 2024 MSW applications have closed for Fall 2024 admission. Please check back in early October for the 2024 - 2025 MSW application. 

Breakdown of Required Documents

  • An $85.00 application fee is required; information about application fee waivers available here

  • Supplemental forms: Application Signature and Social Work & Human Services Experience

  • Unofficial college transcript(s)

  • Résumé

  • References

  • Personal Statement

Application Instructions 

UW Graduate School Application (Online Application Portal)

Access the online portal here.  You will need to create a profile as a New Applicant or login and update your profile as a Returning Applicant. *International applicants requiring F1/J1 visas must apply to full-time programs ONLY.

Be sure to select the correct program, quarter and year:

MSW Extended Degree Program (EDP) Applicants: SOCIAL WORK - SEATTLE (MSW – Extended Degree Program), AUTUMN 2023.

MSW Day Program Applicants: SOCIAL WORK - SEATTLE (MSW – Day Program), AUTUMN 2023.

MSW Advanced Standing Program Applicants: Select one… 

  • SOCIAL WORK - SEATTLE (MSW Advanced Standing Program — Full-time), SUMMER 2023.

  • SOCIAL WORK - SEATTLE (MSW Advanced Standing Program — Part-time), SUMMER 2023

New application process for eligible CURRENT BASW SEATTLE STUDENTS applying to Advanced Standing:  Please click here to follow SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS for this new process.

  • SOCIAL WORK - SEATTLE MSW -(Advanced Standing Full-Time - Current Seattle BASW Students)

  • SOCIAL WORK - SEATTLE MSW (MSW - Advanced Standing Part-Time - Current Seattle BASW Students)

MSW Supplemental Questionnaire: You will be prompted to provide answers in the online portal 

Choice Options: Applicants will have the opportunity to list second and third choice program options in the event they are not admitted to their first choice. Only list alternate options if you have fully reviewed the MSW program information, fully understand the distinct program options and costs, and are willing to pursue an MSW degree in this program. (Note:The specializations offered in the Extended Degree Program and Part-time Advanced Standing Program are different from the specializations offered in the full-time programs.)

Additional questions:

  • If you are a reapplicant, please enter the year you last applied.

  • If you are transferring from another MSW program please enter the college/institution you have attended and the reason for your desire to transfer.

  • We highly encourage applicants with a GPA below 3.0 to use this form as an opportunity to provide additional information.

  • You will also be prompted to transfer the total hours of experience from your Social Work and Human Service Experience Form.


Required Supplemental Forms

You must download this form packet and save it to your computer prior to filling it out. You will upload the documents in the portal. This packet includes:

  • Application signature form

  • Social work and human experience form

Download the packet here. You may include additional pages to the Social Work & Human Experience form. You will be prompted to enter the total hours from this form in the MSW Supplemental Questionnaire online.  For additional guidance on identifying relevant experience we have developed a handout with information on social work and human services.


Unofficial College Transcripts

You must submit transcripts from every accredited college or university attended after high school graduation, even if you only took one or two classes at an institution.

  • Please submit PDF files only via the Graduate School application; we will not accept incomplete, blurry, or illegible documents or pictures from your phone. We will not accept e-mailed, faxed, mailed transcripts nor transcripts sent through electronic transmission services.

  • Please make sure your first and last names, degree conferred date, and the name of the institution are included on all transcripts.

  • If you are currently enrolled in a college/university, a final transcript showing confirmation of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent will be due before the start of the program, if admitted.

  • All current or former students of the University of Washington, including UW Tacoma/UW Bothell, must upload unofficial transcripts.

  • If you attended a school that does not use a traditional grade point system, please email your summary and narrative transcripts to our office at Include your first and last name and application ID in the subject line. 


Provide a résumé (no more than 2 pages; in PDF format only) that includes:

  • Educational background

  • Paid work experience: dates, employer name and address, job title, brief overview of job responsibilities

  • Unpaid, relevant social service experience

  • Awards, honors, and special achievements you have earned (academic, work, volunteer)

  • Languages spoken and written and level of fluency, if bilingual (including ASL)

  • Research experiences: any research you have conducted or been a part of

  • International experiences (length of time, work/volunteer experience)

Please address gaps in your work history as appropriate and/or explain these in your Personal Statement.



Three (3) unique reference forms must be submitted. You must designate these references in the online Graduate School application portal, in the “Designate References” section.  References should support your social/human service background and/or academic preparedness and potential for contributing to the learning community and field of social work.  It is recommended that all applicants designate at least one reference that is an academic reference and at least one reference that is a professional reference.

  • Family members, partners, clients and personal friends are not appropriate references.
  • You do not need to wait for your references to be submitted in order to submit your application.

  • Upon designating a reference, an email will be sent to each reference requesting they complete a brief online recommendation form; there will also be space for them to upload a supporting document. Once they have submitted the reference, you will receive an e-mail indicating that the recommender has completed the form on your behalf. You are welcome to share this Recommender Guide with your references.

  • We will not accept e-mails, faxes, or mailed letters as substitutes for the recommendation forms - you should select the option for the recommender to receive an email (unless re-use applies, see re-applicant instructions below).

Advanced Standing (Part-time and Full-time) Applicants: Must include one social work faculty member from your BASW/BSW program among the required references.

Applicants Transferring from Other MSW Programs: If you are applying as a transfer student from another MSW program, include at least one member of the social work faculty at your current/previous MSW institution among the three required references. 

Re-Applicants: Re-applicants may use a mix of re-used references and new references if desired. If you would like to re-use any references from last year’s application, you must list these recommenders on the Re-Applicant Re-Use of Materials Form. For any reference you wish to reuse, choose the option indicating that the recommender will submit their reference by postal mail when designating references in the online graduate school application portal; this allows for the Admissions office to transfer your previous year's letters. Do not select the postal mail option for any new references.


Personal Statement 

The required personal statement portion is an important component of your application package. We are interested in learning more about you and your educational goals, how your unique identities, perspectives, and experiences have influenced your decision to attain a Master of Social Work degree, and how you would contribute to the UW School of Social Work learning community. We would like you to share your active commitment to social work values and practice, and demonstrate critical thinking and self-awareness related to professional social work. Feel free to tell your “story” in a reflective, creative, and expressive style.

Format: Statements should be double-spaced with 1-inch margins for standard-sized (8.5” x 11”) documents, using 12-point font (either Times New Roman or Calibri). Citations are not required or expected unless you have cited specific evidence in your writing. Please submit all parts as one PDF document and upload to the "Personal Statement" section in the online application.

Part 1: Personal Statement

The MSW Program at the University of Washington School of Social Work is grounded in our commitment to racial, economic, gender, and social justice informed by and for those at the social margins of our local, national, and global communities. Reflecting on the UWSSW’s MSW Program Statement of Purpose, in 2 - 3 pages share:

  • What you hope to do as an MSW;
  • How your unique identities, perspectives, and skills have prepared you to work towards social change across different systems - with individuals, communities, organizations, institutions, and/or at the policy and structural levels - and how this background has influenced your decision to pursue an MSW; and, 
  • How you hope an MSW education will support your work towards social justice and development of anti-oppressive practice. 

Part 2: Critical Reflection on Anti-Oppressive Practice

Every day we see manifestations of structural oppression. Given our current reality and historical roots we recognize that centering actions to end white supremacy and racism is necessary to achieve equity and justice for all socially marginalized groups. We are seeking students who want to join us in the SSW learning community as we wrestle with complex social problems, and who understand that we must work together to end oppression in all its forms. As such, please critically reflect on the following questions and respond in no more than two (2) pages:

  1. Why does structural oppression exist? How has your understanding of this evolved over time?
  2. Why do you think it’s important to employ anti-racist practices and principles in social work? Give an example of a structural, institutional, or societal level change that social workers can advocate for that addresses systemic racism and white supremacy.

Part 3: Advanced Standing Specialization Rationale (ONLY applies to Advanced Standing applicants)

Please restate your first-choice specialization and provide reasoning for your selection. How might specializing in this area help you to achieve your social work career goals? If you identified a second choice option, please briefly describe why you might also consider specializing in this area. This section should be less than 1 page.


Advanced Standing Eligibility Confirmation Form

This step is only required for part-time and full-time Advanced Standing applicants. Read the section on Advanced Standing on the MSW Program page to confirm you meet Advanced Standing eligibility requirements. Sign and date the form (either digitally or physically) and then upload the completed form via the space indicated on the online application portal.

Access the form here.


Re-Applicant Re-Use of Materials Form

This step only applies to individuals who submitted a complete application for 2023 MSW admission and wish to re-use some of last year’s application materials.

Access the form here. *Please note, this is an optional form and might show up as incomplete on the portal, but will not prevent you from submitting your application. Your application will still be considered complete without this form.

Funding Consideration (Optional)

This form is separate from the online Graduate School application and does not impact admissions decisions. We encourage applicants who would like to be considered for funding to submit this form. The deadline for submission is the same as the general admission deadlines. Please be aware that this is the only opportunity for departmental funding consideration for incoming students. In order to be considered, the applicant must file a FAFSA (or equivalent, if eligible) for the current year.

  • This information will be used to guide us in determining a match for potential sources of departmental funding at the School (e.g. fellowships/scholarships); 

  • Fellowships and scholarships will be used to help support the School’s recruitment efforts to ensure diversity within the School. Should you be selected for an award, you will be notified by the Scholarship Committee via email.  

  • Please explore the School’s website for additional options for funding your education (e.g. graduate assistantships, traineeships, scholarships for continuing students, resources for undocumented students).

Access the google form here.

Notice: The departmental funding consideration form is not a replacement for the general need-based financial aid application (FAFSA), for which UW’s priority deadline is January 15th.

Submitting Your Application

  • Review MSW Applicant Responsibilities 

  • Applications and fee payment must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PST on the deadline date; the portal will close exactly at midnight.

  • Double check all your application materials for completeness, legibility, and that all documents have accurate information.

  • Follow-up with your references to ensure your letters of recommendation arrive by the deadline.

  • Remember, all of our notifications will be sent out electronically (we do not use postal mail for our decisions) by the end of March. 

  • You can login into the application portal to check your status, and/or the status of your recommendation letters.

  • Congratulations on completing your application, and good luck!