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Online DSW Program Admissions

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Degree and Minimum GPAApplicants should hold a master of social work degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) with a minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0. A 3.5 GPA is strongly encouraged.
TranscriptsTranscripts from all previous degree granting institutions and all graduate work
Official GRE ScoreNo GRE is required
Personal RésuméEmployment history (resume or vita)
  • A minimum of two years social work and human service practice experience (preferably post-MSW) is strongly encouraged.
Letters of Recommendation Two reference letters with cover letter attached for each reference. Please exclude personal, pastoral, and relative references. If you graduated within the past 5 years, at least one reference must be academic.
Personal statement The personal statement (no more than 5 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font) should include the following:
  • Why you are interested in pursuing a DSW?
    • Articulate why you are pursuing a DSW versus a PhD? Why now, at this stage in your career? What concentration area you are interested in (i.e., administration and leadership, clinical social work, military behavioral health, or social work education)? What impact you expect on your career and on social work practice?
  • How will your practice experience inform your DSW education?
    • Describe salient points of your practice experience, your current area of practice expertise and/or interest, and how they will support your education as an advanced practitioner.
  • Identify characteristics, circumstances, or challenges that could enhance or limit your success in pursuing a DSW (i.e., time management, technology, experience with online education, etc.).
  • Specify a practice problem or challenge that you would like to focus on as part of the DSW program curriculum. Your discussion should demonstrate critical thinking about social work practice, a basic understanding of the practice problem or challenge identified, and reflect an interest in improving practice.

Your personal statement serves as a writing sample and should demonstrate critical thinking, graduate level writing, and be formatted in APA style, including a title page and reference section, as appropriate (not included in the 5-page limit).
Additional RequirementsStudents should have sufficient information technology skills to be successful in an online doctoral program.

Request more information or a consultation

You’re likely to have questions as you make your decision about pursuing an online degree. From program information to application process details, we’re here to help you find the answers you need.

International Students

International students applying to the online DSW program need to meet certain additional requirements. International students are not eligible for an I-20 for F-1 status or DS-2019 for J-1 students status based on enrollment in the online DSW program.

TranscriptsOfficial transcripts in English
English ProficiencyStudents from non-English speaking countries must take an English proficiency test directly from the testing center:

Transfer Credit

The University of Kentucky’s online DSW program accepts up to 9 transfer credits with program director review and approval.

When to Apply

You can Apply to the online DSW program at UK once application opens for the next start date! There is 1 start date per year, occurring in the Summer term.

Contact Admissions at (833) 358-1721 to learn more.