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The next application cycle is now open for admission in
Summer 2024 (Advanced Standing) or Fall 2024 (all other programs).

MSW Application Information

Dates & Deadlines

MSW Application Instructions

Begin your application


The Admissions Committee engages in a holistic review process, drawing information from the following sources:

  1. Official transcripts
  2. Three professional recommendations
  3. Statement of Purpose
  4. Social Work Practice Timed Case Study
  5. Resume

Occasionally, the Admissions Committee will request an interview with an applicant. Applicants may not request interviews.


Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university is required for admission into all graduate programs at the University of Utah. Only the Advanced Standing MSW Program requires a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree (earned within seven years of applying to the program).

Minimum GPA:

A 3.0 cumulative GPA is required, though lower GPAs may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Any applicant with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 is advised to attend an MSW Q&A session prior to applying.

Applicants with below a cumulative GPA below 3.0 are also required to submit a GPA Statement as part of their Statement of Purpose.

Prerequisite Classes:

Admitted students must complete the following prerequisite classes before beginning the MSW Program:

  • Human Development Across the Lifespan (birth through end of life) or Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE)
  • Research Methods – must be of a research/evaluation and methods/design nature

Courses must be earned for credit. No grade lower than a C+ in either course will be accepted.   

Applicants are encouraged to refer to the MSW Prerequisite Courses document for detailed information regarding acceptable prerequisite courses.

MSW Prerequisite Courses

If you took a course which you believe meets the prerequisite requirements but is not listed in the document linked above, you may request a review.

request a prerequisite review

Criminal Background Checks

Applicants should be aware that the College of Social Work does not conduct criminal background checks; however, many human service organizations and agencies require individuals to pass criminal background checks before entering field placements (practicum). Practicum is required for completion of both the BSW and MSW programs. In addition, the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) may ask about criminal history in the application for licensure and may request an explanation. In some instances, candidates with extensive, violent, and/or recent criminal backgrounds may be unable to secure a license. Questions regarding licensing should be directed to DOPL:


Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Statement

According to the National Association of Social Work (NASW) Code of Ethics, “the primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.” To further this mission, the Master of Social Work (MSW) Program is committed to educating and training social workers whose diverse identities, positionalities, backgrounds, and experiences may forge a dynamic bridge between the classroom and the strengths and concerns of these populations. The MSW Program is committed to advancing accessibility, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the admissions process. Therefore, persons from communities historically underrepresented in the social work profession, including persons who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or of color (BIPOC); LGBTQIA+; veterans; disabled; first-generation students; and/or lower socioeconomic status, are strongly encouraged to apply.


No standardized test is required

No, they just need to be completed before beginning the program.

Related experience strengthens applications in many ways and it gives applicants the opportunity to become more familiar with the social work field and to learn how it is different from other mental health professions. What Is Human Service? 

A request to transfer from another MSW program into the Advanced Standing MSW program may, under very specific circumstances, be approved.

Regardless of how many related credits have been taken at another institution, the university will only accept up to 6 transfer credit hours. Transferred courses must have a grade of “B” or higher.

Gaining relevant experience, whether paid or volunteer, is more likely to strengthen an application than returning to school for another Bachelor’s degree. However, in some cases (such as a low undergraduate GPA) completing a BSW may be helpful. If you are interested in discussing the BSW program, please contact

No, only students currently enrolled in the program can take MSW courses.

Currently, our MSW programs only have one start date a year. The Advanced Standing MSW begins in the summer, and all other MSW programs start in the fall.

We offer both campus and online learning options. For help determining the MSW Program option that works best for you, please email

Please visit our Academic Advising page for links to a recorded Information Session and a recorded Application Workshop. If you still have questions after viewing these, you can register to attend a Q+A session.

The MSW Program does not grant academic or practicum credit for life experience or previous work experience.
Last Updated: 8/1/23