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:   
    • BSW degree from a CSWE accredited program, awarded not more than six years before the date of application to the WMU School of Social Work
    • Overall grade point average of 3.0
    • 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 year of full-time post-BSW human service work experience is recommended
    • One of the three letters of recommendation must be from the applicant's BSW program field instructor or faculty liaison

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 2018-19 application cycle. Applicants applying to our master’s-level programs will apply online using the SocialWorkCAS application beginning on October 1, 2018. Apply online here. The CAS application fee is $75. For financial assistance, visit the SocialWorkCAS Fee Waiver Program page. The deadline for all MSW programs has been extended to May 1, 2019.

This application will require:

  •  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 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. 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.

WMU Graduate College Application

Apply here to the graduate college of WMU. The application fee is $50. A transcript from your degree-granting institution only (wherever you obtained your undergraduate degree from) must be submitted to the WMU Graduate College. WMU graduates do not need to send their WMU transcripts to the Graduate College.

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 submit your scholarship application to by March 15, 2019.

application deadlines

  • All international students - January 15
  • Advanced Standing Program, Full-Time Program, and Extended Study Program deadlines have been extended to May 1, 2019!

Apply now

Questions about our programs?

Kalamazoo: (269) 387-3200 or

Grand Rapids: (616) 771-9480 or

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