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.
  • Full-time Accelerated MSW 12+48 credit hour program for applicants who are current undergraduate students at WMU with at least 60 credit hours.
  • 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)

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 GPA (calculated from the most recent 60 credits)
  • 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 GPA (calculated from the most recent 60 credits)
  • 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 the applicant's BSW program field instructor or faculty liaison (if field has been completed prior to the time of application)

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

Social Work Application Components

Applying to the WMU School of Social Work MSW programs requires TWO applications; one to Social Work CAS (a third-party, centralized application system) and another to the WMU graduate college. Applicants should submit their CAS application and WMU Graduate College  Application at the same time. Please read instructions below carefully. For questions, contact


SocialWorkCAS Application

The Western Michigan University School of Social Work is participating in the Social Work Centralized Application Service (SocialWorkCAS) in the 2019-20 application cycle. Applications for 2019-20 will open on August 27, 2019.

This application will require:

  • Application: Apply online here.
  • Application fee: $50. 
    For financial assistance, visit the SocialWorkCAS Fee Waiver Program page.
  • Official transcripts from ALL attended colleges and universities: The application system will ask you to enter all your higher education coursework. Make sure to have your unofficial transcripts and the Liberal Arts requirements list for reference. Transferred credits should be listed at the original institution where the course was offered, not with the school they were transferred to. Please order these in time for them to arrive at Social Work CAS by the application deadline (typically 7-10 days in advance). This includes current WMU students. Please have all of the undergraduate and graduate institutions mail your official transcripts to:  SocialWorkCAS Transcript Processing Center, PO Box 9212, Watertown, MA 02471.
  • Résumé: Upload your résumé, including information about your employment, internship and volunteer experiences.
  • Letters of Reference: Three professional references are required. The school of social work recommends at least one reference be academic. 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. Be prepared with the names and contact information of your references; you will request these references through the CAS application. References will respond to an emailed link from Social Work CAS that includes a quick survey of your skills and attributes (required), and will have the option of uploading a recommendation letter (not required).
  •  Supplementary Statement Essay Questions: The online application will ask you to answer essay questions for six topics. Each answer will be evaluated on content and writing skills. We recommend you prepare answers to these questions in advance.  Limit this statement to six double-spaced pages using 12 point font with one inch margins (you will then copy your essay answers into distinct question boxes).

WMU Graduate College Application

In addition to the Social Work CAS application, you need to apply to the WMU graduate college. 

  • Application fee: $50. You can obtain a fee waiver by attending an informational session.
  • 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: or Western Michigan University, Office of Admissions, 1903 W Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5211 USA.

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 Social Work CAS application.

application priority deadlines

The priority deadlines for the 19-20 academic year are listed below. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis in the order that they have been completed, including all supporting documentation. The sooner you apply the sooner you'll hear back from WMU! Program applications will close when the respective cohorts are full.

  • All international students, regardless of program interest - January 15
  • Advanced Standing Program- January 15
  • Full-Time 60 Credit Hour MSW Program - February 15
  • Extended Study Program - March 15
  • Accelerated MSW Program - April 1

Apply now

Questions about our programs?

Kalamazoo: (269) 387-3200 or

Grand Rapids: (616) 771-9480 or

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