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MSW Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to UNC School of Social Work, you must provide documentation of the following in your UNC Graduate School application:

  • Bachelor’s degree in any discipline, earned from an accredited four-year college or university (or the international equivalent of a bachelor’s degree)
  • Academic background that encompasses knowledge and world views from a broad variety of disciplines
  • Unofficial transcripts from each college and university attended
  • Statement of Purpose (4-5 pages)
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Current resume or CV
  • TOEFL or IELTS score within the past 2 years (international applicants only)

Interviews are required for all competitive international applicants. Applicants that respond “yes” to any Community Standards questions on the UNC Graduate School application may be asked to provide information for a criminal background check and participate in an interview as well.

Social work experience is not required. However, social work-related coursework and volunteer or professional experience are preferred.

For more information on required application materials, please visit the UNC Graduate School website.

Additional Criteria — Advanced Standing Program Applicants

The Advanced Standing Program is an accelerated MSW program for BSW graduates. It is a 12-month program that beings in May. To be considered for admission to the Advanced Standing program, you must meet all of these criteria:

  • A completed Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree prior to enrollment that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • “B” (or higher) grade point average on the last 60 credit hours of your undergraduate degree
  • “B” (or higher) grade on all required undergraduate social work courses
  • Satisfactory completion of 400 clock hours in a direct service placement with a “B” (or higher) grade
  • At least one of the three letters of recommendation must be from a faculty member in your BSW program

Additional Criteria — International Applicants

Our academic programs are enriched by students who represent a diverse range of cultural perspectives, and we encourage international students to apply. All competitive international applicants will be required to complete an interview for admissions consideration.

International applicants must provide a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score taken within the past two years. The required minimum score is 90 for the TOEFL exam or 7 for the IELTS exam.  

The TOEFL/IELTS is not required if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Residency in a country where English is the language of instruction
  • Bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution, and/or
  • Bachelor’s degree from an institution where the sole language of instruction is English

The UNC Graduate School website provides more information for international students who wish to apply.