Graduate Program Application

The application portal will open:

  • August 1, 2024, for early decision applicants including International applicants

  • December 1, 2024, for advanced standing applicants
  • January 1, 2025, for standard MSW applicants

The Application Portal is closed 

International Students must apply to the program via International Admissions by January 15

Each application cycle will remain open for at least six weeks. Submit your application materials (including official transcripts) and follow up with your references to make sure they have completed the survey link sent by WMU. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 

Application Deadlines:

Early Decision: October 15

Advanced Standing: January 15

Standard Program: February 15

Email with any questions.

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 foundation

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)

* 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 Early Decision (Advanced Standing, Standard, and International Programs) will open August1, 2024! 

  • Application: Complete your application during the appropriate application cycle, as noted at the top of this page, by selecting the gold button. International students must apply via International Admissions.
  • Application fee: $50. You can obtain a fee waiver by attending an information session or by making an individual appointment via phone or video conference.
  • 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, liaison, or 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). Your references may also upload recommendation letters (not required, but recommended).
  • 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. Preview Essay Questions

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

The scholarship application portal is now closed. Students will receive an email when it re-opens for the 2024-25 academic year.



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