Admission Criteria

In selecting students for our Master of Social Work (MSW) program, Barry University seeks individuals who support the school's mission and will advocate, in their subsequent careers, for the values and principles embodied within that mission.

You must have the following minimum qualifications to be considered for admission to the MSW program:

  • Receipt of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Barry social work students arrive with a variety of degrees across all fields of study, from Education to Health Sciences, from the Arts to Social Sciences, and from Business to Marketing.
  • A minimum of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for your last 60 earned college credits. **
  • A broad liberal arts background (minimum 30cr) including study in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences. During your liberal arts studies, you should have achieved an understanding of your cultural heritage and that of others, acquired knowledge of methods of inquiry and problem solving, and have demonstrated competency in verbal and written communication.
  • Two letters of recommendation from past professors, professionals, supervisors, or community leaders who know you and can attest to your readiness for graduate studies within the field of social work.
  • A three page personal statement.
  • An ability to think logically and conceptually and to formulate mature judgments.
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills.
  • Knowledge of the field and evidence of a commitment to social work as a profession.
  • Evidence of emotional maturity, concern for people, and capacity for self-awareness and personal growth.
  • Demonstrated concern and commitment to the values underlying professional social work.
  • Respect for diversity.

** If your GPA calculates to below a 3.0 in your last 60 credits of study, there can be exceptions made to the GPA requirement based on extenuating circumstances. The School may initiate an admissions interview in this case in order to discuss your readiness for graduate level studies and to discuss your personal situation.

Additional Criteria for Advanced Standing Admission:

  • To be considered for admission to the MSW advanced standing program, applicants must have a baccalaureate degree in social work from a college or university whose social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) at the time the BSW or BA degree is conferred.
  • You must have received your Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work no more than five years prior to enrollment.Additionally, you must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all bachelors’ level social work courses (there are no exceptions to this policy).
  • A final field evaluation from your undergraduate field placement is required and can be used in place of one letter of recommendation.


In keeping with CSWE standards, the School of Social Work cannot grant academic credit for life experience or previous work experience, in whole or in part, in lieu of the field internship or any courses in the curriculum.