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Apply to the Master of Social Work Program

The application is currently closed. It will open on August 1, 2024, for admission in Summer 2025 (Advanced Standing) or Fall 2025 (all other program options).

Additional Resources  


MSW Application Required Materials:

  • Applicants to the MSW Program will provide the following materials:
    • Application to the University of Utah Graduate School (a separate application is not necessary)
      • Transcripts
      • Three professional recommendations
      • Statement of Purpose
      • Resume
    • The Admissions Committee engages in a holistic review process, drawing information from each source

Minimum Applicant Qualifications

  • 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 the application deadline)
    • Applicants anticipating a bachelor's degree are eligible to apply when their degree will be awarded before the semester in which the MSW Program begins

Preferred Applicant Qualifications

  • 3.0 Cumulative GPA
    • A 3.0 cumulative GPA is required for admission to The Graduate School. However, applicants with lower GPAs may be considered on a case-by-case basis
      • Applicants whose GPAs are below 3.0 are advised to schedule an appointment for Prospective MSW Student Advising prior to applying
      • Applicants with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 are required to submit a GPA Statement as part of their application
  • Related Experience
    • Although not required, having at least 500 hours of related work and/or volunteer experience strengthens applications and benefits the applicant in several ways, including the following:
      • Shows the ability to take direction, work well with peers, and serve vulnerable client populations;
      • Expands understandings of  how social work is different from other mental health professions;
      • Establishes connections with social work professionals
    • Examples of related experience can be found here: What is Human Service?
  • A Clear Understanding of Social Work as a Profession
  • Demonstrated Ability to Write at a Graduate Level

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants who are offered admission must complete the following tasks to accept their seat and begin the program:
    • Pay the $150 MSW seating fee within two weeks of receiving the offer
    • Respond to the offers of admission from both the MSW Program and the University of Utah
      • These are sent separately, and you must respond to each one
    • Fulfill the prerequisite requirements before entering the program
      • Prerequisites do not have to be completed prior to application
      • 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)
        • Reserach Methods
          • Must be of a research/evaluation and methods/design nature
        • Courses must be taken for credit
        • No grade lower than 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
          • 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 prerequisite review
  • No Criminal Background Check
    • Applicants should be aware that the College of Social Work does not conduct criminal background checks
    • 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
    • The Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) may ask about criminal history in the application for licensure and may request an explanation
      • Candidates with extensive, violent, and/or recent criminal backgrounds may be unable to secure a license
      • Questions regarding licensing should be directed to DOPL



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

If you haven't yet, check out our Program Options for the MSW Program. If you have further questions, you can sign up for a Group Q&A Session, email us at, or schedule an appointment for Prospective MSW Student Advising.

The MSW Program does not grant academic or practicum credit for life experience or previous work experience.
Last Updated: 6/27/24