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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Please refer also to ASU Graduate Admission FAQs about your graduate application at: https://students.asu.edu/graduate/faqs

Application Process

1. When am I able to start the MSW Program?

  • The MSW Advanced Standing program begins during the Summer semester. (The Advanced Standing MSW is for students who have received a BSW degree within the last six years prior to the date of admission).
  • The campus-based Standard MSW program and the MSW Sync program start every year at the beginning of the Fall semester.
  • There are two start dates for the MSW Online program each academic year: Fall Session A and Spring Session A.

ASU Academic Calendar: https://students.asu.edu/academic-calendar 

2. When is the deadline to apply?

  • The Advanced Standing MSW Program application deadline is February 1st. All supplemental application materials (transcripts and letters of recommendation) must be received by the ASU School of Social Work by February 15th.
  • The Fall campus-based Standard MSW program and the MSW Sync application deadline is June 1st.  All supplemental application materials (transcripts and letters of recommendation) must be received by the ASU School of Social Work by June 15th.
  • The Fall MSW Online program application deadline is June 1st. All supplemental application materials (transcripts and letters of recommendation) must be received by the ASU School of Social Work by June 15th. 
  • The Spring MSW Online program application deadline is November 1st. All supplemental application materials (transcripts and letters of recommendation) must be received by the ASU School of Social Work by November 15th.

 3. I do not have a BSW. Am I eligible to apply for the MSW program?

Applicants are eligible to apply to the Standard MSW program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution and meet all other admission requirements.

4. To whom do I submit my application?

All required admission materials are submitted directly to Graduate Education at https://www.asu.edu/gradapp

5. Who can I speak to if I have questions about my application?

If you have any questions about the Online MSW program, application, or admission requirements, please reach out to:gradenrollment@asuonline.asu.edu

If you have any questions about the Standard MSW program (at any campus), application, or admission requirements, please reach out to: publicservice.gradrecruitment@asu.edu or mswadmissions@asu.edu

Prospective Students are also encouraged to attend an MSW info session where valuable content is shared regarding the MSW program, admission requirements, internships, and more. You may register to attend an upcoming session here: https://publicservice.asu.edu/events  

6. How do I check the status of my application?

You can login to your MyASU account to check the status of your application and to see what supplemental materials that you might still need to provide.  If you are having issues logging in to your MyASU account, please call the ASU Help Desk at 1-855-278-5080.


Graduate Application Fee

7. How much is the application fee to apply to the Arizona State University Graduate College?

Information regarding the application fee may be found at: https://students.asu.edu/how-and-when-apply-graduate-admission

8. Why am I charged an application fee?

The application fee is dedicated to the administrative cost of processing all applications received.

9. Is the application fee refundable?

The application fee is not refundable under any circumstance, regardless of the outcome, the date of filing, time of review, or if for whatever the reason, the application is withdrawn or you are unable to enroll for a class.

10. How do I pay the application fee?

When you complete your application for admission, you will be asked to submit your payment for the application. ASU accepts Visa or Mastercard.


GPA Requirements 

11. What is the required GPA for the MSW program?

Applicants are eligible to apply to the Advanced Standing MSW if they have a 3.20 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of a CSWE accredited Social Work, BSW program.

Applicants to the Standard MSW both campus-based and online must have a GPA of at least a 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 credit hours (last two years) of a four-year undergraduate degree.

12. If I don’t have the required GPA, can I still be admitted?

If the applicant's undergraduate Jr/Sr GPA is below a 3.0 they will not be eligible for admission. However, if the applicant completes six credit hours of graduate coursework as a non-degree seeking student and maintains a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 prior to applying to the MSW program, they can then gain eligibility. This option is for those interseted in the Standard MSW program only. For more information about taking classes as a non-degree seeking student, you can contact mswadmissions@asu.edu.



13. What type of transcripts do I have to submit?

While official transcripts are required if admitted, students can submit unofficial transcripts with their initial application. MSW applications can be considered and reviewed with unofficial copies. If admitted, students are then required to submit official copies prior to starting their program.

After being admitted, you must have one set of official transcripts from every college and university from which you earned a bachelor’s degree or higher sent to ASU. ASU accepts official transcripts that are original academic credentials issued by the registrar of the institution attended, bearing the original raised or colored seal of the institution and the signature of your institution's registrar, academic official, or recognized international organization. More information on how to submit your official transcripts can be found here: https://www.asu.edu/transcripts

Please do not submit your transcripts prior to submitting your application.

14. If I attended ASU previously, do I need to still submit transcripts?


15. My transcripts show as not received in My ASU. What should I do?

First, ensure that the name of your college/university is listed correctly. Then, please contact ASU Graduate Admission Services with your application reference number to inquire further.

If you have a different name on your undergraduate transcripts than you do on your MSW application (for example, your maiden name), you may need to contact ASU Graduate Admission Services to have your transcripts attached to your application.

16. As an international student, what is required regarding transcripts?

All international transcripts must be submitted in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. Translations must be literal, complete versions of the originals and must be translated by a university, government official or official translation service. You may not complete your own translation.

For further information regarding international transcripts, please visit: https://www.asu.edu/transcripts


Graduate Test Scores

17. Do I have to take a graduate entrance exam?

Test scores from either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) are not required for admission.

18. How do I submit my official graduate entrance exam test scores?

Official test scores (such as GRE, GMAT, etc.) are not required for admission to the MSW program. However, if an applicant would like to submit test scores, they need to be sent directly to ASU. Test scores must be received directly from the agency administering the test. Photocopies and faxes are not acceptable.


Statement of Educational and Career Goals

19. What should I write in my Statement of Educational and Career Goals?

Your statement will be used to evaluate your knowledge of your career choice, your commitment to the social work profession, and your understanding of and commitment to the mission of the ASU School of Social Work. In addition, your statement will be used to assess your written communication abilities. When formulating your essay please use the guideline statements listed below as paragraph headings. In order for the admission committee to appropriately review your statement, it is necessary for you to address all three of the guidelines. If you do not answer the following guideline statements, your application will be denied

1)       Experience, background, and/or relationships that have influenced your selection of social work as your professional career (family, education, employment, diversity experience, volunteer involvements, and personal characteristics, etc.).

2)       Your understanding of the responsibilities of the social work profession and specifically the role and responsibilities that you wish to be able to assume as a professional social worker.

3)       Reasons for selecting the program at ASU School of Social Work and thoughts on how the Mission Statement addresses your career goals. The Mission Statement can be found on our website here: https://socialwork.asu.edu/content/mission-statement

20. How should I format my Statement of Educational and Career Goals?

Your Statement of Educational and Career Goals should be three to five pages typewritten and double spaced. Format your statement using a twelve-inch font and one-inch margins. Review the File Statement of Educational and Career Goals Template for more information on formatting and requirements. 


Professional Resume 

21. Is a resume required?

Yes. While it's highly encouraged you also submit the Record of Volunteer/Work Experience form, a professional resume is required for the application.

22. Is there a certain format I should follow for my professional resume?

Your professional resume should include an overview of your background and qualifications and should communicate the most important, relevant information about your professional and volunteer experience, education, and skills.

If you are a current or former ASU student, you can utilize ASU’s Career and Professional Development Services for resume writing assistance. For more information about services offered please visit: https://career.asu.edu/resumes-and-application-materials



23. Who may complete my reference forms?

You will be prompted on the Graduate College application to provide the name and e-mail addresses of at least three individuals that you would like to use as a reference. A combination of both academic and professional references are required. References from friends, family members or personal therapists will cause the application to be automatically denied. If you have a BSW degree, it is required that at least one of the academic or professional references be from your BSW field instructor. If you are employed in a social work-related job it is also highly encouraged at least one letter come from your supervisor. If you have work history with multiple employers, it is ideal to obtain a reference from each previous employer, if possible.

24. How should my recommenders format the letters?

After you have submitted your application, the individuals identified to complete your recommendations will be sent an email from ASU within 24 to 48 hours. In this email, they will be given a recommendation form with specific questions and prompts for them to answer. Once they have completed the form they will submit the letter at which time it will be added to your application.

25. Will I be able to see if my recommenders have submitted their letters?

Yes, you will be able to track your application progress in your MyASU portal once the application has been submitted. This will include information regarding what is still needed for your application to be complete. In your MyASU portal, there is also an option to manage your recommenders. This is where you will be able to see what letters have been submitted. It’s important to continuously monitor your MyASU portal to ensure all materials are completed prior to the deadline.


Volunteer/Work Experience

26. How many hours of volunteer/work experience in social services do I need?

All MSW Program applicants must have completed a minimum of 240 hours of volunteer/work experience in social services during a six-month period within the past five years. The 240 hours of volunteer/work experience must include face-to-face contact with people in need and cannot be waived.

We are specifically looking for experience working directly with and on behalf of people and communities in need including those experiencing social and emotional distress, vulnerable or marginalized populations, and those who are historically under-served.

If you are applying to the Advanced Standing MSW program and have a BSW degree, your internship will automatically meet this requirement.

It is important to include in your Statement of Educational and Career Goals a very specific description of your volunteer/work experience duties/activities and the hours and dates of your experience. Applicants are strongly encouraged to download this form: Record of Volunteer/Work Experience and upload it with your resume and statement of education and career goals.

Examples of activities or jobs which fulfill the requirement for volunteer/work experience are:

  • Delivering food to needy families
  • Helping children in school to obtain resources due to family problems or behavioral health needs
  • Helping disadvantaged individuals to obtain needed assistance and resources
  • Serving food to individuals who are homeless
  •  Volunteering in hospitals, human service agencies, Big Brother/Big Sisters organizations, shelters, church groups, summer campus, etc.
  • Advocating for human rights, developing and delivering, or participating in service delivery
  • Being involved with community development activities which have immediate impact on improving living/social conditions of individuals or groups of people
  • Behavioral Intervention Aid
  • Case Manager
  • CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Volunteer
  • Foster Care Caseworker
  • Hospice Volunteer
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Legal Advocate for those suffering from discrimination 

Examples of activities which do not fulfill the requirement for volunteer/work experience are:

  • Preparing food boxes
  • Tutoring or teaching children in any capacity, including school settings
  • Babysitting or working as a nanny
  • Seating on an organization’s Board of Directors
  • Developing programs, but not participating in service delivery
  • Performing medical tasks, helping exclusively with medical conditions – nursing, nursing aids
  • Performing administrative duties in any formal/informal setting
  • Retail or restaurant service work
  • Accountant, bookkeeper, or data entry
  • Working only with other college students in a peer capacity

Please note that applications that do not follow the listed requirements will be denied and applicants must reapply and pay the required application fee for the following admission term to be considered.


27.  Do I have to take the MSW courses in a particular sequence? 

Yes, per School of Social Work policy, students are expected to follow the plan of study corresponding to their semester of admission and full-time part-time status. Programs of study can be found through the MSW Application Procedures/Materials page under curriculum documents.


28.  Does the School of Social Work accept life/work experience as academic credit?

In keeping with accreditation requirements, no academic credit can be awarded for life or work experience.