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Master of Social Work Online: Admission Requirements

Online Application FormYour first step is to create an account on the application network. Be sure you save your username and password, as you will need this information to revisit an incomplete application or review your completed application. Before you start your application, decide whether you will apply for the Master of Social Work’s Advanced Standing program or Regular Standing program.
Application Fee$65 Application Fee
You will pay this fee with a credit card when you submit your application.
Degree and Minimum GPA An application to the 30-credit-hour Advanced Standing program requires:
  • A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW or BASW) degree from a CSWE-accredited program, earned within the past seven years.
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0, social work GPA of 3.5, and a graduate GPA of 3.0 (if applicable).

An application to the Regular Standing program requires:
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • A GPA of 3.0 or above in all of your academic endeavors. If your GPA doesn’t meet this standard for admission, you can still apply if you complete a Petition for Exceptional Consideration.
TranscriptsIf you are offered admission and decide to enroll, you will be required to submit all of your official transcripts to the Graduate School.
You can submit electronically to or send them in hard copy to:
Graduate Admissions
202 Gillis Building
Lexington, KY 40506-0033
Personal Résumé Include work and volunteer experience.
Letters of Recommendation
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation

References you provide should fit the following categories: professor, social work professor, professional social worker/field instructor, and work or volunteer supervisor. Please exclude personal, pastoral, and relative references. If you graduated within the past five years, at least one reference should be an academic reference.
250-Word Writing SampleDescribe an ethical dilemma you faced in your personal or professional past. Define the issue you faced, as well as the parties involved, the values you relied on to make your decision, and your solution. Explain the outcome’s effects on you and the lessons you learned.
Personal Statement (3 – 4 pages) In this autobiographical personal statement, you should:
  • Detail your motivations for pursuing a social work master’s degree and career.
  • Explain why you are applying to UK in particular.
  • Explore your social service and career goals.
  • Describe your personal history and its relevance to your interest in social work, answering what strengths, skills, and abilities you will bring to the field.
  • Describe your professional, volunteer, and educational history and how you believe it will influence your success in social work.

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 MSW 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 MSW program.

Application Fee$75 Application Processing Fee
TranscriptsOfficial transcripts in English
English ProficiencyStudents from non-English speaking countries must take an English proficiency test directly from the testing center:

Transfer Credit

Up to 25% of coursework can be transferred to either program courses or electives. The maximum number of transfer credit hours is 15 credits for Regular Standing and 9 credits for Advanced Standing.

When to Apply

You can apply immediately! The Master of Social Work program offers three start dates: fall, spring, and summer. Any Advanced Standing students intending to start a field practicum in their first fall or spring semester should plan to apply by the priority deadline. The application deadlines are:

Fall Semester Start

  • Priority Deadline: June 1
  • Deadline: July 15

Spring Semester Start

  • Priority Deadline: November 1
  • Deadline: December 1

Summer Semester Start

  • Deadline: April 1

To ensure your application is received ahead of the deadline for your preferred start, apply online or call 833-358-1721 to speak with an admissions counselor.