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How to Apply

PhD Program

Please click here for doctoral program admissions information.

MSW Program

2015 Application Deadlines:

  • January 12, 2016: Chapel Hill 2-year Full-time Program and the Advanced Standing Program (The Advanced Standing Program will begin the week of May 10, 2016; the 2-year Full-time Program will begin the week of August 9, 2016.)

  • February 9, 2016: Triangle and Winston-Salem 3-year Distance Education Programs (The 3-year Distance Education Programs will begin the week of August 2, 2016.)

Please note: If you are reapplying to the SSW, then all materials EXCEPT unexpired GRE scores must be resubmitted.









Graduate School Admissions Office

To be evaluated for admission, ALL applicants must complete the following and send electronically to the Graduate School Admissions Office:

  • UNC Graduate School Application. Complete online.
  • Application fee is $85
  • Personal narrative (4 - 5 pages)
  • Current resume
  • One unofficial transcript* from each university and/or college attended (not just where your degree was obtained) must be uploaded within the application. For example, if you completed a summer school course at a community college and transferred the credits to your degree-granting institution, a transcript from the community college is required with your application. If you are currently enrolled in school, we require an unofficial copy of your transcript that includes your Fall 2015 grades; do not submit your application until you have the correct transcript(s) uploaded to your application. Check file size and do not exceed 1024kb. Please do not mail transcripts as part of your admission application. If you are offered admission, one official paper transcript for each university attended will be required prior to class registration. International applicants must also provide an English translation. 
  • Three letters of recommendation. All recommendations must be submitted online by the individual writing your letter. Once you enter and save the name and email address of your recommender in your online application, they will receive instructions on how to upload the letter. A copy of the recommendation guidelines should be given to the those writing the recommendations. One academic recommendation is required if you graduated within the last three years. If not a recent graduate, a letter from a supervisor attesting to your academic capability is required. The other two recommendations should be from those who have observed you in social work activities.
  • Request ETS to send official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores to UNC Chapel Hill. Applicants should indicate instituion #5816 as the recipient when requesting score reports. (There is no seperate code for the SSW.) The GRE must be taken by the application deadline of the program to which you are applying; if you have already taken the GRE, your scores must be within five years of your application.  Applicants who have a research or professional doctorate degree from an accredited institution may request an exemption from the GRE. Please note: Your GRE scores will not be linked to your application until 7-10 days after you submit your application.
  • Interviews will be required of all distance education and competitive international. The School of Social Work admissions office will contact all applicants for interviews by email.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language TOEFL scores for international applicants who received their bachelor’s degree at a school where English was not the primary language. Applicants must meet minimum TOEFL scores as set by the School of Social Work.
  • International applicants must also submit a financial certificate and supporting documentation.
  • Any Social Work applicant who has responded "yes" to any of the Community Standards questions on the UNC Graduate School application may be asked to submit to a background check before their application will be reviewed. Failure to provide complete, accurate, and truthful information on your application will be grounds to deny or withdraw an applicant's admission or for dismissal after enrollment. For policies related to criminal background checks and our field education program, please visit p. 84 of our Field Education Manuel. If you plan to pursue your social work licensure in NC or another state, please be sure tot alk with the state licensure board to make sure you are aware of their review policies.

Distance Education applicants must also submit a one-page response to supplemental application questions and complete a required interview in late January through March.

Advanced Standing applicants must also submit the following additional documents:


Advanced Standing applicants must also meet the following requirements:

  • Have a B or better average GPA in the last 60 credit hours of an accredited bachelor's degree and a B or better in all of the required undergraduate social work classes. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Completed a direct service field placement of at least 400 clock hours with a grade of B or better. Applicants with MSW supervision in their undergraduate placement are preferred.

Note about residency: In order to be considered for in-state residency status for tuition purposes any student, admitted to and enrolled in a graduate degree program administered by The Graduate School, with an undetermined or nonresident status is required to submit a residency application in order to be considered for re-classification for in-state tuition benefits. Please visit the NC Residency page of the UNC Graduate School’s website for more information.

For more information about the School of Social Work or the admissions process, please contact:

Sharon Thomas
Assistant Dean, Recruitment, Admissions and Financial Aid
(919) 962-4367(919) 962-4367

Ashley McMillan
Assistant Director of Recruitment, Admissions and Financial Aid

Or visit the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work Admissions Office:
325 Pittsboro Street, Suite 370
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3550