Admissions Requirements

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Master of Social Work (MSW) Admissions Requirements

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester: July 15th
  • Spring Semester: December 1st
  • Summer Semester (advanced standing only): April 15th

*Dates are subject to change, please schedule a 1:1 virtual meeting to learn more.


Our Admissions Committee strives to evaluate complete applications within four to six weeks. Please note that the committee does not evaluate incomplete applications. Admissions decisions are based primarily on an evaluation of your previous undergraduate and graduate coursework, experience in the human services (paid, volunteer, research, and internship), written personal statement, and letters of reference.


Book a one-on-one appointment with the School of Social Work’s Graduate Admissions.

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, Business to Marketing, Psychology, Criminal Justice, and Sports Management.
  • 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.
  • Two references 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 two page personal statement.
  • Competent writing and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated concern and commitment to the values underlying professional social work.

** If your GPA calculates 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 will initiate an admissions interview in this case in order to discuss your readiness for graduate level studies.

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.
  • You must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all bachelors’ level social work courses (there are no exceptions to this policy).
  • Two references 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 final field evaluation from your undergraduate field placement. This evaluation can be used in place of one reference.

**If you obtained your BSW greater than five years, you may make a special request to the Admissions Director to submit a request to the Dean for an exception.

Credit for Life Experience

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.

Personal Statement

The Director of Graduate Admissions for Social Work considers your personal statement to be an essential part of your application. It provides you with an opportunity to tell us about yourself, your professional interests that have influenced you to pursue an MSW degree. Your personal statement also gives the Director a glimpse into your ability to write and think critically. Your statement should be typed, doubled spaced, and consist of no more than two pages.

Your personal statement should reflect the following:

  1. Share reasons and readiness for choosing to pursue a graduate degree in social work and your reason for applying to Barry University School of Social Work.
  2. Describe your professional social work goals.
  3. Briefly discuss your view of a current social issue and the role of social work in addressing it.

Please note: You are asked to bring a resume to your first appointment with the Office of Professional and Clinical Practice to discuss your placement.


Please bring a detailed current resume, listing paid work and volunteer experiences in chronological order,. The resume should also include descriptions of community and leadership activities, other relevant life experiences and all languages read and/or spoken in addition to English.

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