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How to Apply

PhD Program

Please click here for doctoral program admissions information.

MSW Program

2017 Application Deadlines:

  • January 10, 2017: Chapel Hill 2-year Full-time Program and the Advanced Standing Program (The Advanced Standing Program will begin May 16, 2017; the 2-year Full-time Program begins in August.)
  • February 14, 2017: Triangle and Winston-Salem 3-year Distance Education Programs (The 3-year Distance Education Programs begin in August.)

Please note: If you are reapplying to the SSW, ALL materials must be resubmitted.








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
  • Statement of Purpose (4 - 5 pages)
  • Current resume
  • One unofficial transcript* from each accredited university, college and/or community college attended (not just where your degree was completed) must be uploaded within the application. Check file size and do not exceed 1024kb. 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. 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 related 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.) Applicants who have a research or professional doctorate degree in a field related to social work may apply for an exemption from the GRE by December 1st. 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.
  • 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 our Field Education Manual. If you plan to pursue your social work licensure in NC or another state, please be sure to talk 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.

Advanced Standing applicants must meet the requirements below:

  • Reference letter from a faculty member at their BSW Program. This can be one of the three required recommendations.
  • If you have been out of school more than seven (7) years, you must complete submit a formal request to be considered for the Advanced Standing Program.
  • A copy of Field Instructor's evaluations from undergraduate placement will be required prior to Advanced Standing Orientation.
  • 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.

For more information about the School of Social Work, the admissions process, or to schedule a campus visit, please contact:

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