School of Social Work

Admission Requirements


  1. An applicant's baccalaureate degree must show evidence of a liberal arts education and should include substantial content or coursework in traditional liberal arts areas including content in humanities (e.g., art history and art appreciation, literature, philosophy and logic, music, theater), social and behavioral sciences (e.g., anthropology, history, communication, political science, psychology, sociology) physical and natural sciences (e.g., astronomy, atmospheric science, biology, chemistry, physics, geology), and mathematics [e.g., mathematics, statistics, computer science). In addition, an applicant is required to have successfully completed a course in introductory statistics within the last five years. An applicant who does not have adequate liberal arts content or a recent statistics course must acquire such prior to matriculating in the program.

  2. Applicants must meet all the general admission requirements of the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Graduate School and the School of Social Work. Any student who receives graduate credit for a course at UM-St. Louis must have been admitted to the Graduate School in one of the categories specified for admission: "Regular", "Restricted", or "Provisional."  The Graduate School requires that a student admitted to a graduate program as a "Regular" student (unconditional admission status) have both a cumulative undergraduate grade point average and a major field grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. The School of Social Work also requires the same cumulative grade point average for regular or unconditional admission to the Master of Social Work program. Transcripts must be sent from the institutions directly to Graduate Admissions, UM-St. Louis, One University Boulevard, St. Louis MO 63121-4499.

  3. International students whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL] examination and score 550 or above.

  4. Applicants must submit three letters of reference from persons who can address the applicant's academic ability and potential for graduate education and professional social work practice.  At least one reference should be from one of the applicant's undergraduate professors, preferably one in the major area of study; at least one reference should be from a current work supervisor (if presently employed) or past work supervisor OR a supervisor where volunteer work was performed, OR a former field practicum on intership supervisor, if applicable. The third reference may be from any other professional source who can describe the applicant's potential for professional practice, including the sources listed above. Click here to download a Recommendation form in MS Word.

  5. Applicants must submit written statements responding to three specific essays that focus on: (1) their career goals, (2) life experiences which have contributed to a commitment to the profession of social work, and (3) thoughts on the issues of oppression and discrimination in society.  Instructions for writing these essays are provided to each applicant as a part of the application packet.  Focus should reflect both strong content and good writing mechanics.

  6. Applicants are required to sign a statement regarding mental health and past criminal activity. These are not reasons to preclude an applicant from admission; however, they do allow the program to be sensitive to the unique needs and barriers some applicants may encounter as they progress through the program, particularly in the field placement experience.

  7. Completion of the Graduate School application. Click here to access the online Graduate School application form.

  8. Completion of the MSW application form. It is included in the complete MSW application packet.

  9. A non refundable, one time application fee of $35: personal check, bank check, or money order.

The application deadline is February 15 for all students (full or part‑time) seeking admission for the Fall semester.  Applicants with advanced standing and a GPA of 3.0+ may apply for a second Fall admission deadline of April 15 or a Spring admission deadline of November 15 to fill any new spaces that may become available. All materials, including transcripts and recommendations, must be received in the Graduate Admissions office at UM‑ St. Louis by these deadlines.