Master of Social Work Part-Time Program Application Instructions and Information

ADMISSIONS DEADLINES

Program Application Application Opens Application Deadline Start Term
Part-Time MSW Advanced Standing September 2, 2020 April 1, 2021 Summer 2021
Part-Time MSW Generalist September 2, 2020 May 1, 2021 Fall 2021

Please note that the Part-Time MSW Program follows a different schedule than the UW-Madison academic calendar. 

Items listed in the Application Checklist below must be submitted by 11:59pm (CST) of the deadline date. 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.

BSW graduates who anticipate having Advanced Standing (see FAQs for questions on Advanced Standing and how it is determined) should plan on starting in the summer 2021 term. All other applicants will begin classes in the fall 2021 term.

All applicants who wish to apply to the Title IV-E Public Child Welfare Training Program must apply to the MSW Program by April 10, in order to meet processing time requirements to be able to fill out the IV-E application by April 15. Visit the Public Child Welfare Training Application for more information.

Admissions for the Part-Time MSW Program are reviewed on a rolling basis, which means:

  • Once your application is complete, it will be reviewed; and
  • Applications are reviewed until the Program’s slots are filled, so do not wait until the deadline to apply!

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

Admission to the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work also requires admittance to the Graduate School. For more information, refer to the Graduate School’s Application Process at a Glance.

Carefully read through the following instructions before completing the online application​; not following the instructions will result in a lower application score and your application being denied. The link to the application is at the bottom of this page.

Term and Program Selection

When you begin the application process, you will be asked to select a term and a program.

If you are a BSW graduate who anticipates having Advanced Standing, select Summer 2021 as your application term. If your bachelor’s degree is not in Social Work, select Fall 2021 as your application term.

If you wish to attend classes at the Program’s Madison site, select “Social Work MSW-Part-Time MSW, Madison” as your program.

*Please note that admission to the Eau Claire site has been discontinued.

Select only one MSW Program option. Do not select “Social Work MSW-Full-Time MSW”, as that is the Full-Time MSW Program option. The admissions criteria are the same for both programs; therefore, the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work only considers your application to one of our MSW programs in an admissions cycle for an academic year.

For detailed instructions, click on the application sections below to expand the section and review the details

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Social Work MSW Supplemental Application

LOW GPA

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.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 during the spring 2020 semester, our review of your grades for that semester will follow the Graduate School’s policy:

“Many institutions have introduced new grading schemes such as satisfactory/unsatisfactory, pass/fail, or credit/noncredit. Some institutions enforced the new grading schemes while others let students choose between the new grading scheme or traditional letter grades. At the same time, we believe that both institutions and their students made efforts to maintain the highest level of rigor and integrity in educational outcomes.

Consequently, our admissions committees and our program faculty will be empathetic to COVID-19 challenges and allow flexibility in the evaluation of applicants, especially in the use of spring 2020 grades. Some programs have also decided to drop or allow flexibility to their GRE requirement.” Retrieved from Graduate School website on August 5, 2020.

If your last 60 credit undergraduate grade point average is below 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, it is important for you to provide an explanation of any special or unusual circumstances that may have affected your GPA.

In addition, although GRE scores are not required for the MSW Program, you can provide additional evidence of your readiness for graduate study by taking the GRE. The School requires a score of 150 or greater for Quantitative Reasoning and 153 or greater for Verbal Reasoning.

If you take the paper-delivered test, your GRE scores will take approximately six weeks to reach the University; the computer-delivered test will take 10-15 days to arrive. Tests should be scheduled with the application deadline in mind. Official scores are submitted to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (institution code 1846).

For more information, please visit the GRE website.

FOCUS AREA CHOICES

Select your choice of focus area. Your course selections and field unit placement will be based on your focus area. Before choosing, we highly recommend you learn about the Advanced Specializations.

ANALYTIC ESSAY

You will be asked to upload your completed analytic essay as a part of the supplemental application. Instructions for writing the essay are below in the Personal Statement & Analytic Essay section.

Transcript(s)

Please upload to the online application copies of your transcripts (including your institution’s grading scale located on the back page of the transcript) from all post-secondary institutions you attended after high school. If you are a current or former UW-Madison student, you may submit your UW-Madison student record, which is available through your Student Center via My UW. Screenshots, degree audits, advising reports, self-reporting etc. will not be accepted. Note that transcripts must show the student’s first and last name, the name of the institution attended and dates of attendance, degree conferred and the date of the degree conferral, if applicable. If in doubt, check with the institution’s Registrar’s Office.

Please note that if you are a current student, you do not need to wait until your current semester grades are posted before uploading your transcript.

At the time of application, do NOT mail or email your transcripts to the UW-Madison Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work or Graduate School; instead, you are required to upload your transcripts to your online application. If you are accepted to the MSW Program, the UW-Madison Graduate School will request you send transcripts at that time. Further information will be provided upon admission by the Graduate School.

HOW TO UPLOAD YOUR TRANSCRIPTS

If you have a paper transcript:

  1. Open the envelope.
  2. Scan it as a PDF document that includes your institution’s grading scale (usually found on the back page of the transcript). When scanned, the word COPY or VOID may appear on the transcript, which is acceptable for the purposes of submitting your application.
  3. Upload the PDF to the application and click the ‘Save’ button.
  4. Click on the file’s name to check that your transcript has been uploaded correctly.

If you have an electronic transcript:

  1. Upload the PDF to your application and click the ‘Save’ button.
  2. Click on the file’s name to check that your transcript has been uploaded correctly.

If you have an electronic protected transcript (encrypted, password protected, time-limited, etc.), the system will not allow it to be uploaded. You must follow the directions below:

  1. Print your transcript. When printed, the word PRINTED COPY or VOID may appear on the transcript, which is acceptable for the purposes of submitting your application.
  2. Scan it as a PDF document that includes your institution’s grading scale (usually found on the back page of the transcript).
  3. Upload the PDF to your application and click the ‘Save’ button.
  4. Click on the file’s name to check that your transcript has been uploaded correctly.

INTERNATIONAL TRANSCRIPTS

Non-English international documents must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation.

Personal Statement & Analytic Essay

PERSONAL STATEMENT

In the space provided on the Graduate School application, please upload a PDF of your personal statement that fully discusses the three questions below. Paste each question into your document and then provide your response below the question. Your statement and each question do not require an introduction and conclusion. Your statement should be approximately 3 pages in length and formatted using page numbers, a 12pt Times New Roman font, double-spacing and one-inch margins.

  1. What are your professional goals and how might the UW-Madison MSW Program best provide the knowledge, skills and practice necessary for meeting those goals?
  2. The social work profession values and strives to promote diversity in regards to social workers’ traits, identities, cultures, experiences, skills and perspectives. How will you contribute to the diversity of the profession?
  3. Reflect on a time when you were challenged to think differently about a situation or issue. Describe what happened. Did you end up thinking differently? Why or why not?

ANALYTIC ESSAY

In the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work Supplemental application, please upload a PDF of your analytic essay that fully discusses the question below. Use a standard essay format with an introduction, body and conclusion. Your essay should be 3 pages in length and be formatted using page numbers, a 12pt Times New Roman font, double-spacing and one-inch margins.

Analytic Essay Question:

Thinking critically about social justice issues is a key skill for both professional social workers and those studying to become one. Choose a social justice issue about which you feel strongly and would like to address as a future social worker. Thinking critically, describe: 1) the issue; 2) why social workers would feel this is an important issue to address; 3) what you believe are the systems, policies and practices that have contributed to this being an issue; and 4) how you think social workers can create change around this issue.

 

WHAT APPLICATION REVIEWERS ASSESS WHEN READING YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT & ANALYTIC ESSAY

For both the personal statement and the analytic essay, the reviewers will:

  • Assess your preparedness for graduate studies
  • Confirm you have adhered to the formatting instructions for each document
  • Appraise your grammar and spelling skills
  • Evaluate your ability to think critically and respond in depth
  • Assess your ability to write a clear and well-organized response
  • Verify that all questions posed have been answered

Reviewers will read your personal statement to assess whether you have:

  • Expanded beyond the desire to “help people”
  • Demonstrated critical self-reflection
  • Shown knowledge and understanding of the social work profession

Reviewers will read your analytic essay to assess that you have:

  • Described a social justice issue and its importance fully and clearly
  • Discussed and justified at least one system, one policy and one practice
  • Presented a well-thought out approach to create change around the issue

WRITING TIPS

  • Write a draft of your personal statement and analytic essay, take a break, and come back to them later to work on editing and clarifying.
  • If possible, utilize the writing lab at your campus to obtain feedback.
  • Do not rely solely on spelling and grammar checks.
  • Read your statement and essay aloud for flow and accuracy.
  • For further guidance, please go to the UW-Madison Writing Center’s Academic and Professional Writing website and click on “Job Materials and Application Essays.”
  • Consider reaching out to the UW-Madison Writing Center for Writing Assistance services, which are available to current UW-Madison students as well as community members.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

The Graduate School application requests that you upload a PDF version of either a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) to the Statements & CV section of your application. The Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work Admissions Committee reviewers, however, will not view these documents or take them into consideration when reviewing your application.

Three Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required; additional letters will not be considered.

  • Letters should be from recommenders who know you professionally and/or academically but not personally.
  • These recommenders should be able to assess your ability to do graduate level work and your potential for advanced professional social work practice.
  • If your last 60 credit GPA is below a 3.0, we encourage you to ask your recommender to specifically address your academic ability in their letters and not just your grades.

Keep in mind that recommenders need adequate time to write letters and submit them electronically. Letters received after the application deadline will not be accepted and will result in your application being considered incomplete and not eligible for review.

The Graduate School requires that you waive your right to view your letters of recommendation. This requirement means you will not be able to see them once they are submitted. We suggest you ask your recommender for a copy of the letter so you can ensure that the letter is at least a full page in length, strong and favorable.

Steps to requesting letters of recommendation:

  • As soon as possible, ask your recommender if they will serve as a reference.
  • Explain that the letter should be one full page in length and explicitly discuss the skills and abilities you possess that make you a strong candidate for graduate school in social work.
  • Let your recommender know they will receive an email from the Graduate School requiring: 1) information on how long they have known you and in what professional and/or academic capacity; 2) completion of a short questionnaire rating your skills and character traits; and 3) they upload a letter that assesses your qualification for success in graduate study.
  • Input your recommender’s information into the application as soon as possible so they have plenty of time to write your letter. When you have entered your recommender’s information, an email will automatically be sent to them requesting they complete their recommendation and submit it electronically by the deadline. Please note that you do not need to submit your application for emails to be sent.
  • You can return to your application at any time to update a recommender’s email address or enter a new recommender’s name and email address.
  • Send email recommendation reminders to your recommender, as needed. You are responsible for ensuring that your recommender submits their letter by the deadline.
  • Submit your application as soon as it is completed; do not wait for your recommenders to submit their letters.

Recommendation Letter Dos and Don’ts

Current students or those who graduated after August 2018 must obtain at least one letter:

  • From an academic instructor. An academic letter of recommendation should come from an instructor who has evaluated your academic work and/or who can objectively assess your academic potential to do graduate study. We strongly recommend letters from a teaching assistant (TA) be co-written and co-signed by the course instructor of record.

For all applicants, it is strongly recommended that letters be:

  • From an academic instructor. See bullet point above.
  • From an impartial employment or volunteer supervisor who can objectively assess your ability to do graduate level work and your potential for advanced professional social work practice. Inform your recommender that when asked on the letter of recommendation form “How long have you known this applicant and in what capacity?”, they are to identify themselves as either employer or supervisor, and not list any additional roles such as friend or colleague.

Your application will be denied if you are a current student or you graduated after August 2018 and do not provide a letter from an academic instructor.

 Letters should not be:

  • From friends
  • From family member
  • From neighbors
  • From co-workers/colleagues
  • From personal counselors/therapists
  • From clergy
  • From individuals similar to those listed above
  • A generic reference letter from university/college placement office.

If such letters are submitted, they will lessen the strength of your application.

Application Fee

Your application fee must be paid prior to the application deadline in order for your application to be considered. If the fee is a financial hardship, you may be eligible for assistance. Visit the Graduate School FAQs for more information.

English Proficiency Test Scores (if required)

English proficiency tests must be taken within two years of your admission term. Official scores are submitted to UW-Madison.

The Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work’s minimum requirements are higher than the Graduate School’s:

  1. TOEFL iBT (internet-based test): 100
  2. TOEFL PBT (paper-delivered test): 600
  3. IELTS: 7

For more information about scores and exemption from English proficiency test requirements, visit the Graduate School’s Requirements for Admission page.

APPLICATION CHECKLIST

A complete application to the Part-Time Master of Social Work Program includes:

  • Graduate School Application
  • Social Work MSW Supplemental Application
  • Transcript(s)
  • Personal Statement
  • Analytic Essay
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Application Fee
  • GRE Scores (optional)
  • English Proficiency Test Scores (if required)

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

If you encounter any technical problems with the online application, direct questions to the Graduate School’s Electronic App Questions email (admissions@grad.wisc.edu). You may also call the Graduate School’s Admissions office at (608)262-2433.

Thank you for your interest in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work.