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Prospective Students


The Admissions Process

  • If you are having trouble with the application process, please call 848-932-8481 for assistance.
  • For Financial Aid information, Click Here.
  • For Tuition & Fee information, Click Here.
  • For an overview of RU Graduate Admissions, Click Here.


  • MSW from a CSWE accredited program, and if an international student, an MSW (or equivalent) from a comparable accredited program.
  • Minimum 2 years post MSW experience.
  • License to practice social work is required unless your field does not require licensure (school social work, CP&P, etc)*
  • License to practice clinical social work is preferred.
  • Essay
  • Interview
  • No GRE scores are required

* In some instances where states or countries do not have social work licensing requirements or bodies comparable to New Jersey’s state licensure board, exceptions will be considered.

In addition, you must submit the following materials:

  • Application and application fee
  • Transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Three letters of recommendation (from individuals who can write about your past clinical experience, your current work, and your motivations for pursuing doctoral education)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copy of current license
  • Writing Sample

Official transcripts should be sent to:

Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
56 College Ave
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8541

Essay Instructions

The admission’s committee will be reading the essay for evidence of your experience, competence, and commitment. In writing the essay considering the following:

  1. Why now? What circumstances and experiences motivate you to seek a DSW now?
  2. Describe how the program structure (especially the curriculum) fits your career objectives?
  3. Summarize your past and current clinical experience (keep in mind that our program doesn’t include field internships and clinical supervision) and reflect upon the limits and potential of the primary therapeutic modality you practice from.
  4. Write a short (4-6 pages, single-spaced) clinical vignette from your current or recent practice describing how you applied a specific clinical theory–it is not expected that you summarize an entire intervention (engagement through termination), rather, describe a specific intervention within the overall treatment process highlighting your use of theory in practice.
  5. Identify a theory-to-practice problem from your everyday practice that causes you concern and that you would like to investigate with the assistance of ‘engaged’ research partners (a foreshadowing of your engaged scholarship project, so read about engaged scholarship before crafting this section).
  6. If you are not currently licensed to practice clinical social work, please tell us why.

Acceptance and Deposit

If you are accepted for the next cohort, you will receive a letter of acceptance in addition to an attendance confirmation form, which you must fill out and mail back with a $500 deposit that will secure your spot in the next cohort. The $500 attendance confirmation deposit will be applied to your future tuition, and is non-refundable if you confirm attendance and later withdraw.

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