Department of Social Work

Admission & Application Info

Application deadline is January 7th, 2016 for Fall 2016 admission. No applications accepted in spring or summer.

Applicants need to submit applications to the Graduate School through the Apply Online application system.

Admission Prerequisites

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Application Process
Your application cannot be reviewed until all of the required materials listed below are submitted successfully.


Materials Instructions Where to Submit
1. Graduate School application
Complete and submit the electronic application.

Required sections: Personal Information, Application Information, Educational Background, Languages, Awards & Activities, Employment/Residence Information, Financial Support, Legal agent/privacy statement.

Optional sections: Applicant Statements #1, #2, and #3. The MSW program requires a Personal Statement asking for specific information, which is outlined below in the "Personal Statement" instructions.

GRE is not required.
Electronically via Apply Online
2. Application fee

Information about Tuition and Fees

Electronically via Apply Online
3. Transcripts
Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded directly to the "Apply Online" application. You must upload an unofficial transcript or academic record for EACH institution (even if you didn't receive a degree) in the Educational Background section of the online application.

Applications missing transcript(s) will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English.

Do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts, there is no need for official transcripts for initial review.

If admitted to the UMD MSW program, the Graduate School will request that you send them your official transcript(s). Additional information about uploading transcripts and credentials.
Electronically via Apply Online
4. MSW Program Application
Complete the 2-page MSW application (word doc) The MSW Program Application should be uploaded into the Program Supplementary Information section in Apply Online under "Graduate Program Additional Application."
5. Personal Statement


The personal statement should be typewritten, double spaced, and approximately 3-4 pages in length. It should demonstrate graduate level writing skills and include the following.
  • Provide a brief biographical sketch including personal family, and past experiences that have influenced your decision to enter the Social Work profession. Why are you interested in becoming a MSW Social Worker? What personal qualities do you possess that will allow you to contribute to the social work profession, including values and ethics of the profession?
  • Describe human service, volunteer and/or paid work experiences, which have contributed to your interest in social work. Include experiences working with diverse groups and how it has impacted you.
  • Explain your career goals and the professional activities in which you plan to engage after completing your graduate studies.
  • Describe how you believe UMD's Advanced Generalist MSW program will prepare you to achieve your goals.
  • Present any additional information you would like the Admissions Committee to consider in formulating recommendations concerning your admission.
The Personal Statement will be assessed through Admissions Criteria 2-7.
Personal Statement should be uploaded into the Applicant Statements section in Apply Online under "Statement #1."

6. Resume
A brief document that summarizes education, employment history, and experiences.

The Personal Statement will be assessed through Admissions Criteria 2-7.
Resume should be uploaded into the Program Supplementary Information section in Apply Online under "Resume' ".
7. Writing Sample
A two-page essay in Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced with 1-inch margins, on one of the following topics:
  • Disproportionate number of children of color in foster care
  • Social work as an art: Social work as a science
  • The intersection of clinical social work practice and social justice
  • Rural social work practice: Challenges and rewards
Each essay should compare and contrast points of view, demonstrate critical thinking, be clear, logical, well organized and grammatically well written.

Each essay should cite a minimum of three sources from the professional literature using the correct APA format. The Writing Sample is assessed through Admissions Criteria 1 & 5
Writing Sample should be uploaded into the Program Supplementary Information section in Apply Online under "Writing Sample".
8. Three letters of Recommendation that include the top "Application Recommendation" form provided in your online application.
Three letters of recommendation from former instructors, professional colleagues or employers.


  • At least one recommendation should be an academic reference. If you are unable to obtain an academic reference, include one reference that can specifically comment on your academic skills and abilities.
  • If Graduate level "Non-Degree Seeking" social work courses were taken through UMD Continuing Ed, include a recommendation from the instructor of one of these courses.
  • If possible at least ONE reference should be from a professional who holds an MSW OR who has professional knowledge of the field.
PLEASE NOTE: The recommendation section will need to have the recommenders' contact information entered in order to submit the Graduate School application.

For the question "Will this provider be submitting a letter of recommendation online?" Check "YES."

Letters of Recommendation will be assessed through Admissions Criteria 1-7.

Recommendation letters completed and uploaded Apply Online.
FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: English Language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)
Click here for more information about English Language Assessment Tests.
Electronically via Apply Online in the "Languages" section.


Address for mailing application materials to the Department of Social Work:

Department of Social Work
220 Bohannon Hall
1207 Ordean Court
Duluth, MN 55812

If you need further clarification about the Graduate School admission requirements or procedure, you could refer to the Duluth Graduate Student Handbook. Also feel free to contact the Student Support Assistant about any admission questions you may have by email at or by phone at 218-726-8497.

UMD Social Work Department

220 Bohannon Hall
1207 Ordean Court
Duluth, MN 55812

(218) 726-8497
1 (888) 534-9734


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