Master of Social Work Application

We offer two Master of Social Work Programs: a traditional full-time MSW program and a Hybrid Saturday Part-Time MSW Program. For general information about each, visit the Full-Time MSW Program Information page or Part-Time Program Information page. Acceptance into the MSW Programs is based on quality of applications, community needs, and availability of field placements.

We highly recommend you submit your application early so that any issues can be identified and addressed prior to the deadline. After the deadline has passed, applications with identified issues will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Students newly admitted to the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work will need to complete a background check with Castlebranch, Inc. prior to starting a field placement. Graduates of UW-Madison’s BSW program who completed a background check with Castlebranch, Inc. within the past two years will not be required to complete another background check if there has been no change to their criminal history.

Please contact recruitment-ft-msw@socwork.wisc.edu for questions about the Full-Time MSW Program. See a recording of a recent information session below:

 

Please contact parttimeprogram@socwork.wisc.edu for questions about Part-Time MSW Program. Please note, international students who hold an F1 or J1 visa must enroll each semester as a full-time student; therefore, international students cannot be considered for our Part-Time MSW Program.

See a recording of a recent information session below:

There are four prerequisites for the MSW Programs that are based on the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work’s admission policies and the minimum Graduate School’s Requirements for Admission. Applicants must:

  1. Have completed thirty (30) semester credits of social science coursework before they apply;
  2. Fulfill the statistics prerequisite for the program you are applying to (see below);
  3. Have earned a minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for their last 60 semester credits before they apply;
  4. Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or a comparable degree from an international institution before they start the MSW Program.

Social Science Credits

To qualify for application review, applicants must have completed a minimum of 30 semester credits of social science course work. For guidelines on determining whether you have the necessary credits, visit the Social Science Credits Guidelines tab.

Applicants who have not completed 30 social science credits at the time of application cannot be considered for admission.

Statistics

All applicants are required to complete an approved statistics course before enrolling in the MSW Program. Applicants may review the list of previously reviewed courses, or may take a course that meets the requirements below.  Students who have not completed statistics must take statistics the summer BEFORE starting the MSW program and can take our online statistics course (SW 705) offered in the summer, as a special student at UW-Madison: University Special Student Application.

Statistics Course Requirements

  • Course topics that must be covered include: distributions, measures of central tendency, dispersion and shape, the normal distribution, experiments to compare means, standard errors, confidence intervals, effects of departure from assumptions, method of least squares, regression, correlation assumptions and limitations, basic ideas of experimental design.
  • A passing grade in statistics is required.
  • You will be required to provide documentation of completion of the statistics prerequisite after being admitted to the MSW Program, including evidence of a passing grade on a transcript, and submission of a syllabus if the course is not on the previously approved list of courses.

GRADE-POINT AVERAGE (GPA)

Applicants are expected to have earned a minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for their last 60 semester credits or earned a master’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. Grades for social work courses are not considered separately. Post-undergraduate coursework does not count toward the last 60 credits; however, those grades will still be considered as part of your overall academic record.

If your last 60 credit GPA is below the 3.00 minimum, consider the following non-required options to enhance your academic record:

  • Take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The minimum score for Quantitative Reasoning is 150 and for Verbal Reasoning is 153.
  • Take 6 to 9 credits of post-undergraduate coursework that result in grades of ‘A’ or ‘AB’.

BACHELOR’S DEGREE

Applicants are required to have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution prior to their admission term. International applicants must have a degree comparable to a regionally accredited U.S. bachelor’s degree. For specific information about comparable degrees in your country, and which academic documents are required, refer to the Graduate School’s Requirements for Admission.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ADVANCED STANDING APPLICANTS

BSW graduates who anticipate qualifying for Advanced Standing must have completed a BSW degree from a CSWE accredited program within five years from the academic year of graduation to the academic year of enrollment. For more information about this policy, visit the Prospective Graduate Students page.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

International applicants have additional admission requirements that include taking an English proficiency test.

Admission into the master’s degree program includes the Graduate School requirement that applicants hold a minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours (approximately two years of work) or a master’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 is required. Applicants from an international institution must demonstrate strong academic achievement comparable to a 3.00 for an undergraduate or master’s degree, using all credits from the degree to calculate the GPA equivalency. The Graduate School will use your institution’s grading scale. Do not convert your grades to a 4.00 scale.

For more information, go to the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work’s page on English Proficiency and International Applicant Requirements page.

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: African-american studies, american Indian studies, anthropology, Asian american studies, Chicana/o and Latina/o studies, communication arts, criminal justice, economics, gender and women’s studies, journalism, history, legal studies, philosophy, psychology, political science, sociology, social work, social welfare, and urban studies.

To determine whether your coursework qualifies as social science credits, applicants are expected to assess their own social science credits.

UW-Madison Current Undergraduates and UW-Madison Alum

Non UW-Madison Undergraduates

After you have submitted your online application, check for an email from the UW-Madison Graduate School explaining how to monitor the status of your application. It is critical that you carefully read and follow all instructions from these correspondences. Please retain these communications for future reference. For more information, review the FAQs and other materials at Graduate School Admissions.

APPLICATION ISSUES

It is your responsibility to ensure you submit all of your application materials correctly. Due to the increase in volume of submitted applications near the deadline, it can take up to four weeks for our admissions staff to review your materials and identify any application issues. We highly recommend you submit your application early so that any issues can be identified and addressed prior to the deadline. After the deadline has passed, applications with identified issues will be considered incomplete and not be reviewed.

ADMISSION DECISIONS

Applicants to the Full-Time MSW Program will be notified in early March.

Applications to the Part-Time MSW Program will begin to be reviewed in December. Applicants will be notified approximately 8 weeks after submitting their complete application.

SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK NOTIFICATION

You will receive an email with a letter attached from the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work informing you of the MSW Admissions Committee’s decision regarding your application. If the Committee recommends you be accepted, the letter will also include notification that we have submitted your name to the Graduate School for final approval for admission.

THE GRADUATE SCHOOL NOTIFICATION

When the Graduate School approves the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work’s recommendation of acceptance, they will also notify you via email in addition to updating your online application status check page. The email will contain your 10-digit Campus ID number, which you originally received in an email from the Graduate School upon submitting your application. This ID number is required for future correspondence with the School of Social Work and University.