Skip to Content

MSW Application Requirements

Eligible candidates for admission to the MSW program should have:

  • Completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate institution
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA (applicants who do not meet this requirement should briefly discuss in the personal statement)
  • Social work experience is advantageous, but not required. 
  • An introductory statistics course, which covers descriptive and basic inferential statistical procedures, is required of all MSW students prior to beginning their Research I course.

Note: Applicants to the Advanced Standing programs must also demonstrate competency in all undergraduate social work courses.

Applicants interested in Professional Credit Courses (PCC) may view the application process and requirements here. 

Application Procedure

  • Visit Graduate and Professional Admissions to fill out the online application.
  • After submitting your application, check your application status online.
  • A non-refundable $70 application processing fee is required.  Details about payment can be found in graduate application requirements
  • Transcripts, letters and other application materials should be submitted by the priority deadline to ensure full consideration. 
  • All application materials for the School of Social Work should be sent to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions in Piscataway (this includes applicants to the Newark, Camden, New Brunswick or online programs.) .
  • Students applying for readmission should review the reapplication process guidelines.

Mail/submit all admission supporting materials to:

Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Proctor Hall, Suite 308
65 Davidson Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Phone: (848) 932-7711

Submit Electronic Transcripts to:

Applications are considered complete and ready for review only when all of the following materials have been received

  • Three current, professional letters of recommendation*. Please do not include any letters beyond the three required.
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Personal statement
  • Current resume
  • Undergraduate field placement evaluation (advanced standing applicants only)

*Applicants to the Intensive Weekend program must include one letter of recommendation from their current supervisor.

Letters of Recommendation (3 letters are required, please do not include additional letters)

Letters of recommendation should be current and come from individuals who are familiar with your academic and/or professional experiences and abilities. If you are a recent graduate or are currently enrolled in school, we recommend that you seek letters from faculty members. If this is not possible, consider asking individuals who are able to address your current work, abilities and your potential to succeed in graduate school and in the field of social work.

Valuable letters of recommendation may also come from  individuals who you have worked for or volunteered with in some capacity. We are looking for specific information regarding your academic and intellectual abilities, work performance and potential. Letters from friends, family, or professionals that you know on an exclusively social basis should not be submitted.

Letters of recommendation may be submitted by providing your recommenders email address on your application.  These individuals will then receive a message providing access to upload their letters.  Letters may also be sent directly to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions. We request that the envelope seal be signed by the recommendation letter writer to ensure confidentiality.

Official Transcripts

Applicants must submit official transcripts, from all post-secondary institutions attended, directly to the Graduate Admissions Office. If you are finishing undergraduate course work during the application process, please submit a current transcript. If applying to summer 2022 or fall 2022 programs, please ensure fall 2021 grades are included. Once coursework is completed, a final official transcript that includes the final grades and the date the degree was conferred is required.  If you have taken any Professional Credit Courses through the Continuing Education Department, please include this information on your application. Please do not assume that we are automatically aware you are taking or have taken PCC’s.  For additional information about submitting transcripts, see the Graduate Admissions supporting materials guidelines.

Personal Statement

The personal statement is a critical part of your admission application because it gives us the opportunity to review your writing skills and provides us with information about you, your experiences and your goals. We do not offer individual interviews and often the personal statement will determine your success in the application process. You may submit the personal statement online when you complete your application or upload later after application submission.

Please address each of the questions below in a typed narrative. You may add any additional information that may be helpful to the admissions committee. The personal statement must be typed and 750-1,000 words in total. Students applying for readmission should review the reapplication process guidelines. Students applying to the MSW/MA in criminal justice should review the personal statement requirements here.

  1. What are your reasons for applying to Rutgers University School of Social Work? Discuss how your personal, professional, and/or community experiences and values affected your decision.
  2. Select and describe a social problem of concern to you and describe how you believe professional social workers can help alleviate this issue.
  3. What skills and strengths would you gain from Rutgers University School of Social Work that would help you to address the problem you described in question 2?
  4. After carefully reviewing the program requirements--including field education hours and course load expectations--please describe how you will manage to fulfill these requirements while balancing field education hours and academic work with other life commitments.
  5. Applicants with criminal justice history must briefly disclose the specific offense, date of conviction, and details surrounding the offense.  If admitted to the MSW, this information is used in determining eligibility for field placement. Please see additional details below regarding eligibility for field placement.


A current resume, including degree's completed and all professional positions held must be submitted.  Please include any positions of leadership that you have held and ensure that all information is accurate and up-to-date.

For International Applicants 

An official transcript translation and evaluation and proof of English language proficiency is required for many applicants with academic history from outside of the United States.  Please review our International Applicants page for details about these additional requirements.

Information Regarding Eligibility for Field Placement

Applicants admitted to the MSW degree program must agree with the following statement:

If admitted to the Rutgers School of Social Work, I understand that in order to complete the MSW program, I will be required to complete a field placement or placements with an agency, organization or facility and such facilities may require a criminal background and a drug screen to determine whether I am qualified to participate in the field placement.  In addition, in order to become licensed, many states will inquire as to whether I have been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony or illegal act.  I understand that it is my responsibility to comply with and secure the necessary background checks required by Rutgers, licensing agency and/or a field placement site.  Should I fail a check, clearance and/or drug screen, I understand that the Rutgers School of Social Work cannot guarantee a field placement, and that these results may detrimentally affect my ability to complete the MSW program requirements and my future ability to be licensed.

For further information, contact us at or 848-932-7520 Ext 2.

Back to top