Graduate Program Application

M.S.W. programs offered

WMU Main Campus - Kalamazoo

  • Full-time advanced-standing 39 credit hour program (nine months) for applicants with a BSW obtained within the last five years.
  • MSW full-time 60 credit hour program (20 months)
  • MSW extended-study 60 credit hour program (30-32 months)

WMU-Grand Rapids

  • Grand Rapids part-time advanced-standing 39 credit hour program (24 months) for applicants with a BSW obtained within the last five years
  • Grand Rapids extended-study 60 credit hour program (30 to 32 months)

The Grand Rapids regional location does not have a full-time, 20-month program.

WMU-Southwest (Benton Harbor)

Full-time and extended-study applications will be considered for one program only; applicants who are denied admission to one program may not reapply for another program within that consideration period.

Advanced-standing applicants must indicate their concentration choice: clinical/interpersonal practice or policy, planning and administration.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the University’s requirements for admission to a master’s degree program, the following criteria will be considered:


  1. Evidence of adequate academic preparation for graduate study in social work. This includes consideration of undergraduate performance, liberal arts academic background, and proficiency in professional writing. Normally a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.50 is required for admission into the 60 credit MSW program.
  2. Evidence of personal qualifications considered desirable for successful social work practice. These include motivation for a human service profession, personal maturity, and leadership ability.
  3. Students who have earned a Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE accredited program within six years of application may apply to the 39-hour, Advanced Standing Program. Applicants must meet the following criteria:   
    • B.S.W. degree from a CSWE accredited program that was awarded not more than six years prior to the date of application to the WMU School of Social Work
    • Overall grade point average of 3.0
    • No more than one B.S.W. course below a “B.” Any B.S.W. course below a “B” will require retaking an equivalent course in the M.S.W. curriculum
    • One year of full-time post-B.S.W. human service work experience is recommended
    • One of the three letters of recommendation must be from the applicants B.S.W. program field instructor or faculty liaison.


Social Work Application Components

  1. SocialWorkCAS Application: The Western Michigan University School of Social Work is participating in the Social Work Centralized Application Service (SocialWorkCAS) in the 2018-19 application cycle. Applicants applying to our master’s-level programs will apply online using the SocialWorkCAS application beginning on October 1, 2018. To learn more about SocialWorkCAS, please visit: The CAS application fee is $75. For financial assistance, visit the SocialWorkCAS Fee Waiver Program page.
  2. Official transcripts: The application system will ask you to enter your prerequisite coursework. Download the Liberal Arts requirements list for reference. Please have all of the undergraduate and graduate institutions mail your official transcripts to:

          SocialWorkCAS Transcript Processing Center
          PO Box 9212
          Watertown, MA 02471

  1. Résumé: Upload your résumé, including information about your employment, internship, and volunteer experiences.
  1. Letters of Reference: Three academic or professional references are required. If you are seeking admission into the advanced standing program and have already started or completed your field placement, please include one recommendation from your field instructor or liaison. You will request these references through the CAS application.
  2.  Supplementary Statement Essay Questions: The online application will ask you to answer six supplementary statement questions.
    Each answer will be evaluated on content and writing skills. We recommend you prepare the answers to these questions in advance.  Limit this statement to six double-spaced pages using 12 point font with one inch margins.
  3. WMU Graduate College Application: WMU will contact you within 8-12 weeks of the deadline for your program with a decision. If accepted, you’ll need to also apply to the graduate college of WMU. The application  fee is $50. Transcripts will need to also be submitted to the WMU Graduate College. Once accepted to WMU Graduate College, you’ll need to indicate your intent to enroll and pay a $100 deposit to the School of Social Work, which will be credited towards your tuition.

In conformance with the requirements of the Council on Social Work Education, the School of Social Work can not grant social work course credit or field hours for life experience or previous work experience.

International Applicants

 International applicants should submit their CAS application and WMU Graduate College International Student Application at the same time. In order to accomadate processing of travel documents, the international applicant deadline (regardless of program) is January 15. Find more information on WMU's qualifying English proficiency exam scores and other international student requirements here.

Scholarship applications

If you are seeking departmental scholarships, please submit your scholarship application to at the same time you submit your program application.


application deadlines

  • All international students - January 15
  • Advanced Standing Program - January 15
  • Full-Time Program - February 15
  • Extended Study Program - March 15

Apply now

Questions about our programs?

Kalamazoo: (269) 387-3200 or

Grand Rapids: (616) 771-9480 or

Southwest (Benton Harbor): (269) 934-1512 or