MSW Admissions

Applications for admissions to all graduate programs at the University at Albany are handled through the Graduate Admissions Office. Step-by-step instructions for preparing your application are available. You can keep track of specific application requirements and deadlines for admission to the full-time MSW and part-time MSW program on the Graduate Admissions Program Deadlines and Requirements page.

Online Application Information & Deadline

All application materials must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions by January 30 for all MSW Full-Time, Part-Time and joint programs.

Required Materials

All applications for the MSW program must include:

Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work attempted. Transcripts must be sent directly to:

Office of Graduate Education
University at Albany
UAB, Room 121
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222

References from three (3) individuals who can speak to the applicant's abilities in one of the following areas: (Click if applying to the Advanced Standing Program for Requirements) 

  • Potential for professional social work
  • academic performance
  • human service/employment experience


Please write a three to four page statement (double spaced, 12 point font) reflecting on the definition of social work and the School’s mission as noted below. In addition to reflecting on the definition of social work and the School’s mission, be sure to address the three questions below.


Definition of Social Work

Social Work practice consists of the professional application of social work values, principles, and techniques to one or more of the following ends: helping people obtain tangible services; counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; helping communities or groups provide or improve social and health services; and participating in legislative process. The practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; research and evaluation; of social and economic, and cultural institutions; and of the interaction of all these factors (From National Association of Social Workers Website).

School of Social Welfare Mission Statement

The School of Social Welfare advances baccalaureate, masters, doctoral, and post-graduate education that develops social work leaders, generates knowledge through research, and furthers social and economic justice. Located in a public research university, our diverse faculty, staff, and students collaborate with local, national, and global partners to enhance human well-being.


• Describe your reasons for pursuing a career in social work.

• How does your work and your volunteer experience prepare you for starting a professional degree program in social work?

• Given the mission of the School of Social Welfare, explain why you think you are a good fit for this school.


An updated resume.

Admissions Process

Admission to academic programs at the School of Social Welfare is highly competitive. Prior to being reviewed by the School of Social Welfare’s Admissions Committee, all applications are screened for completeness by the University at Albany’s Graduate Admissions Office.

Completed applications are then forwarded for review to the School of Social Welfare’s MSW Review Committee. The MSW application review process takes approximately 6-8 weeks from the application deadline date. Decisions are sent by email from the Office of Graduate Admission.

Students applying to the Regular MSW program are admitted for the fall semester of the academic year following the admissions cycle.

To be admitted to the two year graduate program offered by the School of Social Welfare, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

Application Review

Professor in a discussion with several students

The admissions process considers four areas in reviewing applications:

  • GPA: A GPA of 3.0+ is preferred but a lower GPA does not preclude you from consideration. Reviewers take into consideration your total educational, professional, and volunteer experiences. If your undergraduate GPA is below a 3.0 it is highly recommended that you take graduate courses as a non-matriculated student in the School of Social Welfare and do extremely well in the courses. Non-matriculated students can take up to 12 credits in the School of Social Welfare. If accepted in the MSW program, the non-matriculated courses will transfer into the program.
  • Work and Volunteer Experience: What type of work have you done in the human services (current employment is a plus). In addition, volunteer work during undergraduate years and summer employment is a plus. It is mandatory to include a resume with the application packet.
  • References: It is important to include references from three (3) individuals who have known the applicant in an academic, human service, or employment capacity. Personal or friends of the family should not write references for you. Professional or academic references are best. Be sure to include a copy of your resume as part of the application packet.
  • Personal statement: Reviewers look at both the content, and writing style (spelling and grammar, sentence structure, organization of ideas) and general readability of the essay.

NOTE: The merit of any one criterion is considered in light of all others when admissions decisions are made. The overall quality of the application will provide the basis for admission.

NOTE: This program requires an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience requirement. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.


Help is Available

Information Sessions are available to assist applicants who desire clarification or more detailed information about programs and admission standards. To attend an information session visit link for schedule or call 518-442-5320.