Graduate Program Application

Early Decision Deadline: October 15 

Complete and submit your application by this date to receive a decision notification by the end of December. Your application must include all references and transcripts by Oct. 15 to receive a timely decision.

Advanced Standing and International Deadline: January 15

This is the deadline for all international and advanced standing (part- and full-time) applications to start in summer II/fall. Complete and submit your application by this date to receive a decision notification by March. Your application must include all references and transcripts by Jan. 15 to receive a timely decision.

MSW Standard 60 Credit Hour Program Deadline: February 15

This is the deadline for full-time and extended-study MSW program for fall start. Complete and submit your application by this date to receive a decision notification by April. Your application must include all references and transcripts by Feb. 15 to receive a timely decision.

Start your application

Note: If you are using a screen reader, please use this accessible version of our application:

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 Credits) requirements:

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

Advanced Standing (39 Credits)

  • 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 (48 Credits)

  • 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 your GPA below our minimum requirements? You should still apply. 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. 

Application components

 Our application for Summer II (Advanced Standing Program) and Fall (MSW Standard Program) 2023 is now open! 

  • Application fee: $50. You can obtain a fee waiver by attending an information session or by making an individual appointment via phone or teleconference.
  • Transcripts: Submit transcripts from your degree-granting institution and any institutions attended AFTER you obtained your bachelor's degree to the WMU Graduate College by email at or Western Michigan University, Office of Admissions, 1903 W Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5211 USA. WMU graduates do not need to send their WMU transcripts.
  • Resume: Upload your resume, including information about your employment, internship and volunteer experiences.
  • Letters of Reference: Three professional references are required. If you are applying to the advanced standing program, include one recommendation from a social worker (faculty member, field instructor or liaison, or a supervisor). You will be asked to provide the names and contact information of your references in the online application. WMU will email your references a link to a quick survey of your skills and attributes (required). You may also upload recommendation letters (not required, but recommended). Your recommenders can fill out this form if they prefer: Word Document Recommendation Form. If your recommenders use this form, they should email it directly to
  • 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.

Per 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

To allow time to process travel documents, the deadline for international applicants (regardless of program) is January 15. Learn more about WMU's qualifying English proficiency exam scores and other international student requirements.

Scholarship applications

To apply for departmental scholarships, include your scholarship application with your Graduate application. We are working to make this a digital application.