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Master of Social Work


Contact Master of Social Work  

Master of Social Work

West Chester Campus

Reynolds Hall
650 Reynolds Alley
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-2664

PASSHE Center City

701 Market Street, Concourse Level
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Phone: 610-436-2664



Thank you for your interest in the MSW Program at West Chester University. Admission to the program is based on meeting the academic qualifications required of all graduate students at WCU, plus an evaluation of your potential for the profession of social work.

The MSW Program has priority application deadlines. All incoming students start in the fall, except for Advanced Standing students, who begin classes in late May. We will process applications in the order they are received. Students who apply early can be admitted early.

WCU uses an online application system that will ask you to upload all components of your application, except for transcripts. Official transcripts must be sent to the Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education.

The address for the Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education is:

  • McKelvie Hall
    102 W. Rosedale Ave.
    West Chester, PA 19383

The non-refundable application fee is $50.

If you have any questions about WCU or the application process, we're here to help. Do not hesitate to get in touch with MSW Recruiter Kyle Murray.


  1. Completed online graduate application
    In 3-5 typewritten, double-spaced pages, please address the following points in separate sections using the section headers identified below.
    • Interest and Background in Social Work. Describe how your interest and commitment to social work developed. Include the influence of personal, professional, and/or volunteer experiences. If you are employed in a social service agency, describe how a graduate social work education would improve your practice. If you have prepared for or been employed in another field, discuss why you want to change to social work.
    • Aspirations. Please reflect on the following statement and discuss how it relates to you and your career goals.
    • West Chester University's Graduate Social Work Department attracts individuals who embrace diversity and are commited to human rights and social and economic justice. Graduates are prepared to respond to the needs of vulnerable and oppressed populations, and to competently and ethically practice social work with individuals, families, and communities.

    • Growth Areas. An important part of the social work profession is self-reflection. Please reflect on necessary areas of growth and discuss steps you are taking/will take in order to develop as a professional social worker.
    • Graduate Assistantship. If you are interested in being considered for a Graduate Assistantship position within the Graduate Social Work Department, please identify a faculty member whose research interests you and explain how your experience will contribute to their work. Learn about faculty members.
    In no more than two pages, included at the end of your personal statement, give a specific example describing your work with an individual, family, group, organization, or community. Use the following questions as a guide for your assessment. To ensure clients' confidentiality, please refrain from including actual names of clients and agencies.
    • Briefly describe the agency.
    • Briefly describe the practice assignment, including your understanding of your role with the client or client group.
    • Present a brief case assessment. Present relevant data and inferences about the client or client group and the environment.
    • Critically evaluate your helping efforts, analyzing strengths and limitations. In retrospect, how might you have intervened differently? 
    • Regular Full-Time and Part-Time Applicants: Two letters of recommendation, including at least one academic reference (from undergraduate studies or another graduate program) and one professional reference (internship, job, or community service). No personal references, please.
    • All Advanced Standing Applicants: Three letters of recommendation, including at least one academic reference (from undergraduate studies or another graduate program) and one work-related (internship, job, or community service). The third letter is the applicant’s choice, but one of the three letters must be from an MSW who can evaluate the applicant’s performance in field placement (field supervisor, practice professor) and can speak to the applicant’s preparedness for the Advanced Standing program.
    Applicant must submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, including post-graduate work. Official transcripts should be emailed to the Office of Graduate Studies at

    Applicants who are admitted to the program prior to completing a bachelor’s degree are required to submit final, official copies of all transcripts prior to matriculation. Transcripts must provide confirmation of degree conferred.

    • Pre-requisite Requirements
      Transcripts must provide proof of satisfactory completion (a grade of at least C) of liberal arts core requirements:
      • 3 credits humanities (art, literature, philosophy)
      • 3 credits in United States history or political science
      • 6 credits in math/science (statistics, computer science, astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry)
      • 6 credits in social science (anthropology, psychology, sociology, economics, women's studies)
      • 3 credits in writing
      In certain cases, prerequisite work may be done during the course of the MSW Program with special permission from the MSW Program Director or Graduate Coordinator. If two or more prerequisites are lacking, those courses should be taken before applying.
    • Education, including all academic highlights including research, scholarships, conferences, presentations, and publications
    • Employment
    • Volunteer, community, sports, and extracurricular involvement
    • Certifications and professional development
  7. GRE examinations and other aptitude tests are NOT required.

Transfer applicants

Students seeking to transfer to the MSW Program are required to meet the criteria for admission and follow the application procedures. Students applying to transfer from another CSWE-accredited social work program are also required to have one of the academic references be from the program director in the program from which the applicant is transferring, and must address the academic standing in that program. A minimum grade of B is required for transfer credit. Transfer credits are subject to review and approval by the MSW Program director.

Priority application due dates

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with the following priority deadlines:

  • Advanced Standing: Classes beginning late May 2018
    Application deadline: December 1, 2017*
  • Regular Full-Time: Classes beginning Fall 2018
    Application deadline: January 15, 2018
  • Regular Part-Time: Classes beginning Fall 20178
    Application deadline: March 1, 2018

We will continue to process applications after these priority deadlines, but early applicants have a greater chance of admission and more options for field placement. You are encouraged to apply early and have all required documents, including recommendations and transcripts from all schools attended, submitted as early as possible.

*Fall grades may be requested before final review of application

Notification of admission

You will be notified about your admission decision from Graduate Studies via email. Please be sure to check the email address you submitted with the application.

After acceptance

After being accepted into the MSW Program, students must:

  • Details will be sent via email regarding class registration.
  • For students starting a field placement in the fall (first-year full-time and all Advanced Standing students), complete the Field Practicum Application and then schedule a field placement interview with the Director of Field Education.
  • Obtain a parking permit if you are planning to drive to campus.