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Admissions Requirements


The School of Social Work has adopted an online application process. Please carefully read and follow all instructions as outlined.

Fall 2017 update: we are currently recruiting for Fall 2018 admission on our Morgantown campus.  We offer full-time and part-time programs for regular and advanced standing applicants.  (Note: the part-time program for regular standing applicants is contingent on sufficient enrollment/acceptance in the program). 


Please remember that all required materials must be received and processed by the following deadline dates. Keep in mind transcripts, references, and test scores often take longer than anticipated to arrive. 
March 1 is the priority deadline. Applications submitted by March 1 will be given preference for graduate assistantships and scholarships.
April 1 is the standard deadline. All applications must be submitted by April 1 for consideration.
May 1 is the late application deadline. All applications must be submitted by May 1, and late application acceptance is based upon available space.


Note: Materials marked with an ' * ' must be uploaded/submitted at in the Supplemental Material section.


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university


  • Successful completion of thirty hours of courses in the liberal arts, including the social, behavioral, and biological sciences
  • Evidence of study related to diverse cultures, social conditions, social problems, and individual lifespan


Applicants who have received a B.S.W. from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited program within the last eight years may apply for advanced-standing. Advanced-standing enables the baccalaureate-holding social worker to move directly to the program’s advanced curriculum, waiving twelve credits of foundation-level courses as well as the foundation field experience.
The School of Social Work does not give academic credit for work or life-experience.


  • At least a 3.0 overall GPA
  • A 3.0 or higher GPA for advanced-standing applicants in their undergraduate social work courses


  • Complete the combined WVU Graduate/School of Social Work application
  • $60 application fee


  • Submit official transcripts to the WVU Office of Graduate Admissions at P.O. Box 6009, Morgantown, WV 26506


  • Submit a current resume including employment and volunteer experience


Three letters of recommendation are required. Contact information for these individuals should be provided within the online Graduate Application. Please submit a recommendation from each of the following categories:

  • Academic
  • Social Work/Human Service Experience (volunteer or paid)
  • Employer

Advanced-standing applicants must submit a supporting recommendation from the director of their undergraduate program.


Applicants with an undergraduate GPA above 3.0 do not have to take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE).

Applicants whose undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 (and above a 2.75) must take the GRE. Official copies of test scores must be sent directly from Educational Testing Services (ETS) to WVU. Our Institution code is 5904.

International Students whose first language is not English must take the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The GRE is also required if GPA is below 3.0 (and above a 2.75).


All applicants must submit an Admission Essay. Please read the detailed description below.

Admission Essay Guidelines

This essay is one essential part of the student's admission application. This is the student's opportunity to communicate with the Graduate Program Committee members about their professional goals. Before submitting, make certain that the essay gives the reader a clear picture of your personal interests, experiences, and professional objectives. Once complete, please upload the Admissions Essay to your online application under the “Personal Statement” tab.

The Admission Essay must address each of the following:


Please discuss any volunteer or paid experiences in human services, community work, and/or other experiences that contributed to your choice of social work as a profession. The Program Committee is looking for evidence of some leadership ability, experience, or interest in working with diverse populations or oppressed groups; commitment to social and economic justice; and other interests congruent with WVU’s School of Social Work mission and social work practice in a rural setting.


The NASW Code of Ethics includes the following statement:

“Social workers treat each person in a caring and respectful fashion, mindful of individual differences and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers promote clients’ socially responsible self-determination. Social workers seek to enhance a client’s capacity and opportunity to change and to address their own needs. Social workers are cognizant of their dual responsibility to clients and to the broader society. They seek to resolve conflicts between client’s interests and the broader society’s interests in a socially responsible manner consistent with the values, ethical principles, and ethical standards of the profession.”

Using a specific experience you have had with someone/some group different than you (in terms of race, socioeconomic background, gender, religion, sexual orientation, culture, age, etc.), discuss what challenges you had and what lessons you learned from this. How did the interaction affect your personal views about this individual/group? How will you reconcile any conflicts between your personal values and the requirement of the profession?


Please describe an aspect of social work that interests you most and explain how you became interested in this issue. Identify how you think social work, as a profession, should respond to this issue. Feel free to describe a response at the policy, program, or practice levels of social work.


If necessary, applicants should submit an addendum that addresses any gaps or deficiencies in their academic record, including incomplete grades, withdrawals from courses, etc.


Please choose a practice example on individuals, group, family, or organization and describe it, disguising names and identifying information. Please introduce the example with a brief paragraph describing the agency, its function, and its purpose. Please limit your response to 500 words.

 Your description headings should include the following:

Assessment – A summary of the essential case data, including age, ethnicity, race, presenting problem, history of the problem, coping abilities. (If the assessment is based on a group or organization, describe the type of group/organization, membership makeup, and purpose.)

Case Plan – Describe the plan and how it relates to the assessment evaluation.

Interventions – Describe and analyze your practice interventions and how they are related to the case plan or assessment formulation.

Evaluation – Critically analyze the strength and limitations of your intervention. With hindsight, how might you have intervened differently and why?

Admission Essay Guidelines have been compiled and adapted from the following institutions: University of Maine, UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland at Baltimore, and the University of Michigan.

Dual MSW/M.P.A.

A dual degree option resulting in the master of social work (MSW) and master of public administration (M.P.A.) is available through the School of Social Work and the Division of Public Administration. For a student admitted to the regular MSW program, a total of eighty-two credit hours are required to meet the dual degree requirements. For a student admitted to the advanced standing MSW program, a total of sixty-nine credit hours are required to meet dual degree requirements. Many students complete such requirements through one or more additional semesters of study beyond the semesters required for the MSW degree.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of each program. Acceptance by one program does not guarantee acceptance by the other. Additional information and descriptive materials about the dual degree program are available from either of the following:

MSW Admissions
School of Social Work
West Virginia University
P.O. Box 6830
Morgantown, WV 26506-6830


Division of Public Administration
West Virginia University
P.O. Box 6322
Morgantown, WV 26506-6322