Graduate Program Application

APPLICATION priority DEADLINES

The deadlines for summer and fall 2020 cohorts have passed. Applications for 2021 semesters are now open! Priority deadlines for our programs are: 

December 1, 2020 - All applications for MSW spring start programs

January 15, 2021 - All International and Advanced Standing applicants for Summer II/Fall 2021 start

February 15, 2021 - Full-time MSW program for Fall 2021 start

March 15, 2021 - Extended Study MSW program for Fall 2021 start

After the priority deadlines, applications will continue to be accepted until all available seats are full, or until June 1, 2021, whichever comes first. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis in the order that they have been completed, including all supporting documentation. You can expect to hear back from us 6-8 weeks after application completion. 

Start your application

If you are using a screen reader, please use this accessible version of our application here: https://forms.gle/QyfEoUFbrPfuLzKo8. (If you do not require a screen reader, please do NOT use this link). We look forward to reviewing your application. If you need any assistance, please contact Jennifer Klauth at Jennifer.klauth@wmich.edu or call 269-387-3200.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the University’s requirements for admission to a master’s degree program, the following criteria will be considered for every applicant to all social work programs:

  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.
  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.

Program-specific requirements also apply.

Standard MSW (60 Credit Hour) requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA*
  • Liberal Arts required courses.

Advanced Standing

  • BSW degree from a CSWE accredited program, awarded not more than five years before the date of application to the WMU School of Social Work
  • 3.25 cumulative GPA*
  • No more than one BSW course below a “B;” any BSW course below a “B” will require retaking an equivalent course in the MSW curriculum
  • One of the three letters of recommendation must be from a social worker (e.g. field instructor or liaison, faculty member, or supervisor)

Accelerated MSW Program

  • Current enrollment in undergraduate coursework at WMU
  • Completed a minimum of 60 credit hours
  • Successfully completed SWRK 2100, 3200, and 3500
  • Overall GPA of at least 3.0*

*Is you GPA below our minimum requirements? We would still love to see your application! The WMU School of Social Work uses a holistic application review process. We understand that grades don't reflect your whole self, and that people have more to offer to the social work profession than their undergraduate GPAs. If your GPA is below our minimum requirement, please use the "academic preparedness" essay question to tell us why it isn't a good reflection of your abilities, and share your strategies for how you plan to maintain the required 3.0 GPA in graduate school. 

Social Work Application Components

 Our application for Spring, Summer II and Fall 2021 is now open! 

  • Application fee: $50. You can obtain a fee waiver by attending an informational session or an individual appointment via phone or teleconference.
  • Transcripts: A transcript from your degree-granting institution  (wherever you obtained your undergraduate degree from) and any institutions you've attended AFTER you obtained your degree must be submitted to the WMU Graduate College. WMU graduates do not need to send their WMU transcripts to the Graduate College. Transcripts should be sent to: graduate-transcripts@wmich.edu or Western Michigan University, Office of Admissions, 1903 W Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5211 USA.
  • Résumé: Upload your résumé, including information about your employment, internship and volunteer experiences.
  • Letters of Reference: Three professional references are required. If you are seeking admission into the advanced standing program, please include one recommendation from a social worker (whether a faculty member, field instructor or liaison, or a supervisor). Be prepared with the names and contact information of your references; you will request these references through the online application. References will respond to an emailed link from WMU that includes a quick survey of your skills and attributes (required), and will have the option of uploading a recommendation letter (not required, but recommended). If you are having technical difficulties with the recommendation form, your recommenders can fill out this form instead: Word Document Recommendation Form. If your recommenders are completing this form in the Word document, they should email it directly to jennifer.klauth@wmich.edu once completed. 
  • Supplementary Statement Essay Questions: The online application will ask you to answer a series of essay questions in addition to the typical demographic questions.  Each answer will be evaluated on content and writing skills. We recommend you prepare answers to these questions in advance.  You can preview the essay questions here.

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

In order to accommodate 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 upload your scholarship application to your Graduate application. We are currently working to make this a digital application - stay tuned for updates!

Scholarship Application Financial Aid Info 

Questions about our programs?

 Program Options  MSW Info Sessions 

Benton Harbor (Southwest Campus): (269) 934-1512 or marian.l.tripplett@wmich.edu.

Grand Rapids: (616) 771-9480 or dee.sherwood@wmich.edu.

Kalamazoo: (269) 387-3200 or swrk-admi@wmich.edu.