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.
- Full-Time Prog Info Sessions
- Part-Time Prog Info Sessions
- Social Science Credits
- Application Instructions
- Application Status
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about the Full-Time MSW Program. See a recording of a recent information session below:
More sessions to come summer 2023!
Please contact email@example.com for questions about Part-Time MSW Program. See a recording of a recent information session below:
More sessions to come fall 2023!
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:
- Have completed thirty (30) semester credits of social science coursework before they apply;
- Fulfill the statistics prerequisite for the program you are applying to (see below);
- 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;
- 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.
For applicants starting in summer 2024 or fall 2024, these requirements will change. Check back this summer for more information.
All applicants starting in fall 2023 should complete an approved statistics course before starting the MSW Program. Students entering the Full-Time MSW Program who have not completed statistics are strongly encouraged to take statistics the summer BEFORE starting the MSW program and can take the online statistics course (SW 705) offered in the summer, as a special student at UW-Madison, University Special Student Application.
The Part-Time MSW Program has flexibility regarding this policy. Students who have not taken an approved statistics course, will need to take it no later than the summer prior to starting year three of the program, if entering the program as a Generalist (non-BSW). Students with a BSW entering the program with Advanced Standing, should to take statistics the summer before taking advanced courses in the Fall.
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.
- A syllabus from the semester you took the statistics course must accompany the Course Exemption Form unless your course is listed on the Social Work/Welfare Equivalencies Chart.
Contact an advisor early to develop a plan for completing the statistics requirement while in the program.
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’.
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. For more information, go to the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work’s page on English Proficiency and International Applicant Requirements page.
Full-Time MSW Application Instructions
Part-Time MSW Application Instructions
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.
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.
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.
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