MSW Application Process
Applicants to the MSW are encouraged to apply in advance and submit all required materials by the priority deadlines. Prospective students who complete the application by the deadlines below are given priority in committee review and consideration for scholarships. Applications completed after the priority deadlines are subject to space availability.
**While the priority deadline has passed, these programs are still accepting applications through March 1st, 2024
Please contact us with any questions about applying at, Admissions@ssw.rutgers.edu or 848-932-7520.
Traditional MSW Program
Traditional Advanced Standing MSW Program
Intensive Weekend MSW Program
Intensive Weekend Advanced Standing MSW Program
100% Online MSW Advanced Standing Program
100% Online MSW Program
Oct 1 (2 yr) &
Dec 1 (3 yr)
100% Online MSW Program
March 1 (2 yr) &
April 1 (3 yr)
100% Online MSW Program
May 15 (2 yr) &
June 1 (3 yr)
Blended Online MSW Program
Professional Credit Courses (PCC)
Professional Credit Courses (PCC)
Professional Credit Courses (PCC)
MSW Eligibility Requirements
Eligible candidates for admission to the School of Social Work should have:
- Completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate institution
- Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA (this is suggested, not a requirement)
- An introductory statistics course, which covers descriptive and basic inferential statistical procedures, is required of all MSW candidates prior to beginning Research 1.
Note: Applicants to the Advanced Standing programs must also demonstrate competency in all undergraduate social work courses.
Applicants interested in Professional Credit Courses (PCC) may view the application process and requirements here.
- Visit the Rutgers Application Portal to fill out the online application. Only one MSW application should be submitted per term, please do not apply to multiple MSW programs/formats.
- After submitting your application, check your application status online.
- A non-refundable $70 application fee is required. Details about payment can be found in graduate application requirements.
- Transcripts, letters and other application materials should be submitted by the priority deadline to ensure full consideration.
- All application materials for the School of Social Work should be sent to the Rutgers University Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions. Regardless of whether you intend to take classes at Newark, Camden, or an off-site location, all materials must be sent to the Piscataway address listed below.
- Students applying for readmission should review the reapplication process guidelines below.
Applications are considered complete and will be reviewed only when all of the following materials have been received
- Three current, professional letters of recommendation*
- Official transcripts from all institutions attended
- Personal statement
- Current resume
- Undergraduate practicum learning evaluation (advanced standing applicants only)
Please see below for further guidance on these specific requirements.
*Applicants to the Intensive Weekend program must include one letter of recommendation from their current supervisor.
Mail/submit all admission supporting materials to:
Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Proctor Hall, Suite 308
65 Davidson Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Submit Electronic Transcripts to: email@example.com
Your three letters of recommendation should be current and come from individuals who are familiar with your academic and/or professional experiences and abilities. If you are a recent graduate or are currently enrolled in school, we recommend that you seek letters from faculty members. If this is not possible, consider asking individuals who are able to address your current work, abilities and your potential to succeed in graduate school and in the field of social work.
The most valuable letters come from those individuals who you have worked for or volunteered with in some capacity. We are looking for specific information regarding your academic and intellectual abilities, work performance and potential. Letters from friends, family, or professionals that you know on an exclusively social basis should not be submitted. *Applicants to the Intensive Weekend MSW must include one letter of recommendation from their current supervisor.
Letters of recommendation may be submitted by providing your recommenders email address on your application. These individuals will then receive a message providing access to upload their letters. Letters may also be sent directly to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions. We request that the envelope seal be signed by the recommendation letter writer to ensure confidentiality.
Applicants must submit official transcripts, from all post-secondary institutions attended, directly to the Graduate Admissions Office. If you are finishing undergraduate course work during the application process, please submit a current transcript. Once coursework is completed, a final official transcript that includes the final grades and the date the degree was conferred is required. If you have taken any Professional Credit Courses through the Continuing Education Department, you must specifically request transcripts to be sent to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions. Please do not assume that we are automatically aware you are taking or have taken PCC’s. For additional information about submitting transcripts, see the Graduate Admissions supporting materials guidelines.
The personal statement is a critical part of your admission application because it gives us the opportunity to review your writing skills and provides us with information about you, your experiences and your goals. We do not offer individual interviews and often the personal statement will determine your success in the application process. You may submit the personal statement online when you complete your application or submit separately to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions.
Please address each of the questions below in a typed narrative. You may add any additional information that may be helpful to the admissions committee. The personal statement must be typed and 750-1,000 words in total. Students applying for readmission should review the reapplication process guidelines. Students applying to the MSW/MA in criminal justice should review the personal statement requirements here.
- What are your reasons for applying to Rutgers University School of Social Work? Discuss how your personal, professional, and/or community experiences and values affected your decision.
- Select and describe a social problem of concern to you and describe how you believe professional social workers can help alleviate this issue.
- What skills and strengths would you gain from Rutgers University School of Social Work that would help you to address the problem you described in question 2?
- After carefully reviewing the program requirements--including practicum learning hours and course load expectations--please describe how you will manage to fulfill the program requirements while balancing other life commitments.
- Applicants with criminal justice history must briefly disclose the specific offense, date of conviction, and details surrounding the offense. If admitted to the MSW, this information is used in determining eligibility for a practicum learning placement. Please see additional details below regarding eligibility for practicum learning.
A current resume, including degree's completed and all professional positions held must be submitted. Please include any positions of leadership that you have held and ensure that all information is accurate and up-to-date.
Candidates for the advanced standing MSW degree program are required to submit a copy of their practicum learning supervisor evaluation form. If currently enrolled in a practicum learning placement, please submit the evaluation received at the end of your first semester in the placement. Candidates who have graduated and completed their undergraduate field placement more than five years ago may contact admissions to request a waiver of this requirement.
The School of Social Work welcomes interested students from outside of the United States. International applicants apply using the Graduate Admissions application and must submit the same requirements as domestic students. An official transcript translation and evaluation and proof of English language proficiency are required for many applicants with academic history from outside of the United States.
Students whose first language is not English:
An official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is required. The exam must have been taken within two years of the intended semester of entry.
- The minimum computer-based TOEFL score is 213. Minimum Internet-based TOEFL scores are; Writing 22, Speaking 23, Reading 21, Listening 17
- An acceptable IELTS score is bandwidth 7
*Please keep in mind that completion of a bachelors or masters degree in the United States does not waive the English language proficiency exam requirement.
Students who have completed their education outside of the US:
Applicants who have completed their education outside of the U.S. are required to obtain an official evaluation of their foreign transcript through an accredited organization such as World Education Services (WES) or Globe Language Services. The evaluation must certify the transcripts for authenticity and for U.S. degree and grade equivalency. An official evaluation of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts must be sent to Rutgers Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
Obtaining a Visa:
International applicants recommended for admission must document total financial resources before an official Certificate of Admission and Eligibility (I-20 and DS-2019) can be issued by graduate admissions. The Office of Graduate Admissions provides Certificates of Admission and Eligibility (I-20 and DS-2019) forms with their notification of admission. Admitted international students must submit a completed financial documentation form.
Transfer students complete the Graduate application and follow the instructions to submit all application requirements. Applicants are strongly encouraged to include a letter of recommendation from a faculty member at their previous institution as one of their three reference letters.
Graduate coursework that has been completed at a CSWE-accredited institution will be considered for transfer credit toward the MSW at the time of admission. MSW coursework completed at Rutgers or another CSWE-accredited institution is eligible for transfer if completed within 10 years of the semester that you plan to enroll at Rutgers School of Social Work. Other graduate credits that may be equivalent to coursework within the MSW program can also be considered after admission to the program. Rutgers SSW will consider equivalent courses that have been completed within 10 years of application and where a minimum grade of B was earned. A maximum of 18 credits may be transferred toward the Rutgers MSW degree. Students may be asked to submit course descriptions and/or syllabi to verify equivalency of coursework. Professional work and/or life experience may not be considered for transfer credit to the MSW. Transfer credit may affect the term start date for students admitted to Rutgers MSW program.
Applicants admitted to the MSW degree program must agree with the following statement:
If admitted to the Rutgers School of Social Work, I understand that in order to complete the MSW program, I will be required to complete a practicum learning placement or placements with an agency, organization or facility and such facilities may require a criminal background and a drug screen to determine whether I am qualified to participate in the field placement. In addition, in order to become licensed, many states will inquire as to whether I have been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony or illegal act. I understand that it is my responsibility to comply with and secure the necessary background checks required by Rutgers, licensing agency and/or a field placement site. Should I fail a check, clearance and/or drug screen, I understand that the Rutgers School of Social Work cannot guarantee a practicum learning placement, and that these results may detrimentally affect my ability to complete the MSW program requirements and my future ability to be licensed.
For further information, contact us at Admissions@ssw.rutgers.edu or 848-932-7520 Ext 2.
Decision Notification and Accepting Your Offer
Completed applications for the MSW programs and Professional Credit Courses are typically reviewed October through May. Applicants applying for the spring semester are informed of a decision between October and early January. Applicants for the summer semester are informed of a decision between December and April, and most applicants for the fall programs are informed of a decision between January and May. Applicants will be notified of an offer of admission by email and they may also check their status online. Please keep in mind that only completed applications, including all supporting materials, are reviewed for a decision. Written notification of a change of address must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
The School consistently receives more qualified applications than it has available space. Therefore, once an applicant receives an offer of admission, they must confirm their enrollment in the program by submitting a non-refundable two hundred dollar ($200) deposit to the School of Social Work.
Admitted students may choose to defer their enrollment for up to one year by submitting a written request to the School of Social Work Office of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org. The non-refundable two hundred dollar deposit is required in order to defer enrollment.
Due to the competitive nature of our application review and a limited number of seats, we are unable to admit all of the promising applicants to the School. While admission decisions are final, applicants who are denied admission to the School are welcome to apply for a future semester. It is recommended that denied applicants wait at least one year before reapplying. If you decide to reapply, we encourage you to review the reapplication process and also consider speaking with an admissions representative regarding ways to strengthen a future application.
You must reapply for admission to the School of Social Work if you meet any of the criteria below:
- You were previously denied admission.
- Your application was withdrawn before an admission decision was rendered.
- You were offered admission, but did not attend.
- You withdrew during your first semester of attendance.
- You withdrew, or were dismissed, after completing one or more semesters.
To reapply, applicants must complete the following:
- Complete an online application and pay the application fee.
- Send an updated personal statement. If you were previously enrolled in a MSW program, please address the required questions as well as how you are now better prepared to complete your degree successfully.
- Send three letters of reference OR if reapplying within one academic year, send only one additional reference letter.
- Send official transcripts (unless reapplying within one year). Applicants should also send transcripts for any coursework taken since your previous application to the School of Social Work.
- Send an up-to-date resume.
The School of Social Work retains original applications and supporting materials on file for ONLY one year. After one year, applicants must submit a new application with ALL required supporting material. Please be aware that all records are considered when reapplying, this includes materials submitted with prior applications as well as student records at the School. It is recommended that applicants who have been denied admission to the School wait at least one year before reapplying.
Credits completed at Rutgers School of Social Work are valid for 10 years. If you are readmitted to the program after an absence of more than 10 years, you will be advised regarding the completion of current MSW degree coursework.