Social Science Credit Guidelines

To qualify for application review, all MSW applicants must have completed a minimum of 30 semester credits of social science course work. Applicants who do not have 30 social science credits completed at the time of application cannot be considered for admission.

Social science is a group of academic disciplines focused on the study of humans and their interactions with each other and within society. Social science disciplines include, but are not limited to: criminal justice, economics, history, psychology, political science, sociology, social work, and social welfare.

To determine whether your coursework qualifies as social science credits, please use the following tools. These are the tools School of Social Work admissions staff will use to help determine your eligibility. Applicants are expected to use the below tool to make their own social science credit assessment. If you find you need additional help, please email

  1. For all students, the School of Social Work and the campus "Course Guide" provide useful tools for identifying courses that qualify as social science:
    1. The School of Social Work has identified a list of UW-Madison courses that qualify as social science courses for our Social Welfare and Social Work undergraduate programs. You can use this list to help identify comparable courses you have taken. The list can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog at
    2. You can also use the Office of the Registrar's Course Guide to find UW-Madison courses that could be comparable to courses you have taken. The "Additional Information" column in each course description in the Guide identifies whether the course is a social science course. You can find the Course Guide by going to MyCourseGuide at University of Wisconsin-Madison, click "Go to my course guide", then, in the View all Courses box, scroll down to the "Breadth:" drop down menu, check "Social Science", and then click "Find". Every course that appears will count as social science.
  2. For UW Systems and Wisconsin technical college students: You can use the UW Transfer Information System (TIS) located at All social science credits will be marked with an "S", "W", "Y", or "Z" in the GenEd column.
  3. For UW-Madison undergraduate/special students: You can run your DARS report with Letters & Sciences Edits. All social science courses will be marked with an "S", "W", "Y", or "Z". You can access your DARS by going to