Admission Requirements

MSW admission criteria:

  1. GPA of at least 3.0 on 4.0 scale (or equivalent). Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement may be accepted on a probationary basis.
  2. College transcript showing undergraduate degree from a college or university that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
  3. Three professional references that attest to academic and professional achievement; strong preference for one reference to be from a practicing social worker. If applying for advanced standing, one reference must be from one of the applicant’s BSW social work faculty.
  4. Personal statement/essay (3–5 pages).
    • Describe a social problem. Assuming you have power and resources at your disposal, what would you recommend for intervention and/or social change to address this social problem? Cite at least one evidence-based source.
    • The mission statement for the MSW program at Goshen College and Bluffton University is: “Shaped by Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition and the social work profession’s core values of social justice, service, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, and the dignity and worth of every person, the MSW program’s mission is to prepare students for specialized practice in mental health with an emphasis on anti-racism and anti-oppressive practices, and integration of spirituality.”What motivates you to choose this MSW program? Include examples from personal or professional experiences that encourage you to do this work.
    • How do you plan to manage the rigorous demands of graduate coursework and field education?
    • How will your decision to pursue an MSW help you reach your professional goals, and why now?
    • Provide any additional information you think the admissions committee should know.
  5. Resumé. (Applicants are highly encouraged to have professional experience in the human service field.)
  6. TOEFL scores if English is not the applicant’s first language, and undergraduate degree was completed in a language other than English.
  7. An interview with the MSW Program Director may be required.

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Advanced Standing

Advanced Standing is awarded only to graduates holding degrees from baccalaureate social work programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or recognized through its International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Services. The degree must be conferred within the last 10 years (a refresher may be required if individual has not been working in the field).

Admission window:

Applications for the MSW program are reviewed in the spring and summer for a fall start. Completed applications received by May 1 are given priority admission.

Learn more about the program