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Master of Social Work Application Information

GSSW On-Campus Programs

Ready to take the next step toward creating social change in your community? Apply to our Denver Campus, Western Colorado or Four Corners master of social work program. 

We take a variety of factors into consideration during the application process, including social work-related experience, your academic record, letters of recommendation and a career goals statement. The statement allows us to learn more about you and your passion for the social work profession. Take the time to articulate your perspective, be creative and think critically.

Master of Social Work Applicant Requirements

Two-Year MSW Program Advanced-Standing MSW Program
Undergraduate Education: You must have bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting body. Undergraduate Education: You must have bachelor of social work (BSW) from a college or university whose social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
GPA Requirements: a cumulative 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale for your bachelor’s degree GPA Requirements: a cumulative 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale for your BSW


Master of Social Work Applications Deadlines

The admission deadlines for the 2020 Two-Year and Advanced Standing MSW programs will be available soon. We are still accepting applications for the 2019 Two-Year Western Colorado MSW program until August 1, 2019. 

Master of Social Work Application Instructions

You must submit an online application to be considered for our MSW program. GSSW accepts and processes MSW applications on a rolling basis until classes are full. A completed online application includes:

  • Transcripts

    You may submit unofficial transcripts for an initial review of your application. If admitted, you must provide official transcripts from all institutions attended before orientation day. Taking even a single course requires that a transcript be provided.

    Many schools issue transcripts electronically, either through their own web services or through vendors. If this option is available through the institutions you attended, request that your transcript(s) be sent to [email protected].

    If your transcripts are being sent by mail, use the following address:

    Office of Admission
    Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver
    2148 South High Street
    Denver, CO 80208-7100

  • Resume

    You will be asked to upload a current resume to your online application. Your resume should include information about your educational and professional experiences as they relate to social work. Be sure to include any volunteer or internship experience that has helped prepare you for a career as a social worker.

  • Recommendations

    You are required to submit two letters of recommendation — one academic and one professional. In the application, you will be prompted to provide an email address and phone number for two references. Your recommenders should know you well and be able to speak about your background, your passion for social work and your ability to succeed in a graduate program.

    If you are applying for the advanced standing program, we encourage you to obtain a professional recommendation from your BSW field instructor.

  • Career Goals Statement

    Your Career Goals Statement is an essential part of your application. Your rationale for entering the social work profession, your self-awareness, creativity, critical thinking and writing skills are major factors committee members consider when reviewing your application.

    The average statement length is roughly five pages; submissions exceeding seven pages are discouraged. Please double-space your statement, use a font size of no less than 12 and put your name in the upper right corner of each page. Answer questions 1-5 below. Answering question 6 is optional. Prior to writing your essay, review the NASW Code of Ethics:

    1. Rationale: Identify significant factors that influenced your decision to pursue a master of social work (MSW) degree and how you intend to use it in the future. (1-2 paragraphs)

    2. Social work values and ethics: Describe your understanding of the social work profession and its core values. Compare your own values with the professional social work values, any potential value based or ethical conflicts you might experience and how you plan to address or reconcile these conflicts (whether it be in the classroom, in field, in future practice or in any other areas). (1 page)

    3. Personal and professional attributes and liabilities: Describe any cultural, economic or social challenges and/or opportunities that have provided you with a unique perspective about social work issues. What insights did you gain from these experiences about how to maintain professional judgment and performance during times of distress? (1 page)

    4. Employment and volunteer history: Discuss the relationship between your educational, employment and volunteer experiences and what qualities equip you for the social work profession. Describe your experiences and feelings about working with populations different from your own. (1 page)

    5. Work-life balance: Explain your plan for managing your graduate education. Consider how you will balance work, family and other responsibilities with the required courses, homework and internship responsibilities. (2-3 paragraphs)

    6. Optional: Please address any special academic or other considerations that you would like GSSW to consider in the review of your application.

  • Application Fee

    You can submit your $65 nonrefundable application fee in the online application. The fee can be paid using any major credit card or check.

Ready to start your MSW application?

Apply Now

International Student Application Requirements

We welcome applications from international students and value the diverse cultural perspectives you bring to our school community.

As an international student, you must also attach the materials listed below to your MSW application:

  • One of the following: test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results or Cambridge Assessment English (CAE) results
    • paper-based TOEFL score of 587, or an internet-based score of 95—the ETS Institution Code (TOEFL) is 4842
    • IELTS score of 7.0
    • CAE score of 185
  • Copy of passport
  • Financial verification form with a bank letter or other official verification showing how your tuition and living expenses will be financed.