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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 campus-based Standard MSW program starts in each fall semester.
  • The MSW Advanced Standing program begins in Summer semester.
  • There are two start times for the MSW online program each academic year: Fall Session A and Spring Session A. Spring and Fall admissions are for Session A only.

2. When is the deadline to apply?

  • The Advanced Standing MSW Program application deadline is February 1st.
  • The Fall 2020 on-campus Standard MSW program application deadline is June 1st.  All supplemental application materials (transcripts, letter of reference, test scores, etc.) must be received by the ASU School of Social Work by June 15th.
  • The Fall 2020 MSW Online program application deadline is June 1st. All supplemental application materials (transcripts, letter of reference, test scores, etc.) must be received by the ASU School of Social Work by June 15th.  
  • The Spring 2021 MSW Online program application deadline is November 1st. All supplemental application materials (transcripts, letter of reference, test scores, etc.) 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?

All applicants must have graduated with either an undergraduate liberal arts degree or a BSW degree from a CSWE accredited School of Social Work. Applicants with other undergraduate degrees must have completed 30 credit hours of liberal arts courses at the undergraduate level. The 30 credit hours must include course work from the social/behavioral sciences, natural sciences and humanities. 

The 30 credit hours must include course work from the social/behavioral sciences, (e.g. psychology, economics, sociology, communications, criminal justice, history, etc.)   natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, geography, astronomy, geology, etc.)  and humanities (e.g. art history, music, philosophy, religion, etc.) This requirement is typically satisfied by your general education credits in your undergraduate degree.

4. To whom do I submit my application?

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

Graduate School Expectations

5. 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 your MyASU account, please call the ASU Help Desk at 1-855-278-5080.

Graduate Application Fee

6. 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

7. Why am I charged an application fee?

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

8. 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.

9. 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.


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

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.

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

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


12. 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 Education with your application reference number to inquire further.

13. 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.

Graduate Test Scores

14. 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. If the applicant's undergraduate Jr/Sr GPA is below a 3.0 it's recommended that they complete 6 credit hours of graduate coursework as a non-degree seeking student and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 prior to applying to the MSW program.

15. 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

16. 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 following guideline statements:

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.

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

Your Statement of Educational and Career Goals should be three to five page typewritten and double spaced. Format your statement using a twelve inch font and one inch margins.

Professional Resume

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

Your professional resume should include an overview of your professional and volunteer experience, education, and skills. 


19. 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 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. It is recommended that at least one of the academic or professional references be from your BSW field instructor, or from your supervisor if employed in a social work related job. If you have work history with multiple employers, it is ideal to obtain a reference from each previous employer, if possible.

Volunteer/Work Experience

20. 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.

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 may download this form: Record of Volunteer/Work Experience and upload it with your resume and statement of education and career goals.

The volunteer/work experience must include face-to-face contact with people in need. Be sure to provide a very specific description of your duties/activities and include the hours and dates of your experience on your professional resume that you submit with your application.

Examples of activities 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

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
  • 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

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.

    21.  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