Before You Apply
- Attend an Information Session – The best way to learn more about our program is to attend an on-campus information session or one of our off-campus sessions held at local restaurants and places-of-interest around the Twin Cities. See a list of current options and register for a session on our Information Sessions page.
- Request Information – Tell us more about your interests by completing our Graduate Interest form. We’ll send you more information or contact you at your request.
All MSW applicants must complete and submit an admission file that includes:
- Completed online application form
- $35 application fee (waived if you apply online or attend information session)
- Official transcripts from ALL post-secondary institutions attended
- Three letters of recommendation (follow the recommendation instructions below to trigger an e-mail to your recommenders)
- Typed personal statement (and GPA explanation, if applicable)
MSW applications are reviewed once a year. If admitted, you will begin the following academic year. The application deadline is January 15, 5 p.m. All application components must be submitted online, postmarked or hand-delivered to our office by this deadline. In the event a deadline falls on a weekend, materials will be due the following Monday. If you complete your application file by December 1, 5 p.m., and are admitted to the program, you may be considered for a $200 tuition voucher. After the deadline, Advanced Standing applications will still be accepted as space permits.
In order to be considered for MSW admission, applicants must have:
• a bachelor’s degree from an accredited liberal arts college or university;
• completed liberal arts courses in the social sciences (4 classes), humanities (3 classes), biology (1 class) and statistics (1 class).
In addition, we recommended applicants have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Although experience is not a requirement, we give strong preference to applicants with prior human service experience, either work or volunteer.
Permanent residents, asylees or refugees who have attended a college or university outside the United States may be required to submit additional application materials. To learn more about these additional requirements, visit International Graduate Admissions.
Admission with Advanced Standing
Advanced standing is an application category open to those who have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Advanced standing applicants may seek waivers for a maximum of six MSW courses and from the generalist (“foundation”) field internship. To receive a waiver for an MSW course you must have achieved a grade of B (3.0) or higher in a BSW course that is equivalent in content. See the BSW course equivalency checklist in the application for further explanation. If all six courses and the internship are waived, advanced standing students will begin their MSW program the following Winter term (January), one year after application.
How to apply for admission
First, we recommend you start your application process by filling out the online application. If you discover you are lacking more than two liberal arts prerequisite courses, you will need to complete one or more prior to application. It is permissible, however, to have two courses pending at the time of application. Next, we suggest you request your transcripts and your recommendations, as these are difficult for you to control in terms of timeliness. Lastly, write your personal statement. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time for this task so you can compose thoughtful answers and write to the best of your ability.
Contact each post-secondary institution you have attended (colleges, universities, vocational/technical schools, Post Secondary Enrollment Options) and request one official academic transcript be sent directly to the Graduate Studies Admission Office. Please note: if you have your transcript(s) sent to yourself, we must receive it from you in a sealed, university envelope in order to consider it official. Also, you will need your own set of transcripts (unofficial) at home to complete the liberal arts section of the application form. For transcripts from schools outside of the U.S. please refer to the “International Applicants” section of these instructions
The MSW application requires completion of 4 prerequisite courses in the social sciences, 3 courses in the humanities, 1 course in biology, and 1 course in statistics. Each course must have a grade of C (2.0) or higher. You may have a maximum of two prerequisite courses that are pending (not yet completed) at the time of application. In this event, write “pending” for the course grade.
Social science courses can be drawn from the following disciplines: anthropology, sociology, psychology, social welfare, social work, economics, political science, geography, or history.
Humanities courses can be drawn from the following disciplines: philosophy, ethics, jurisprudence, modern or classic languages, linguistics, comparative religion, literature, folklore, archaeology, cultural histories, ethnic studies, poetry, art, music, theatre.
The biology course must have been taken through a biology department. Finally, for the statistics course, if the word “statistics” is not in the title, obtain and include the course syllabus from the term in which you took the course.
Select three individuals whom you feel can give an assessment of your professional and/or academic abilities and your readiness and aptitude for social work graduate education. Ideally, you should submit one academic reference from a professor or adviser and two professional references from supervisors or other colleagues familiar with your skills and attributes related to human services. In the absence of an academic reference, all three should be professional references. Please do not use a personal friend, family member, or employee as a reference.
When applying online, you will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of three recommenders. Our online application system will then send an email to each recommender with instructions on how to submit a recommendation. Recommenders will be asked to rate the applicant across a range of indicators and to upload a letter in support of the applicant.
Within the online application, you will be prompted to write a personal statement that responds to each of the following questions.
- The mission statement of the Augsburg social work department is: “To develop social work professionals for practice that promotes social justice and empowerment towards the well-being of people in a diverse and global society.” In relation to our mission statement, why have you chosen the Augsburg MSW program?
- What principles and values would guide your social work practice?
- Identify a current event related to a social injustice. What is your relationship to this injustice? What are possible social work responses to it?
- Think about your education. Describe one skill or interest you have developed from your education. Explain how this skill or interest is relevant to the study of social work.
- Think about your employment or volunteer experience. Describe one skill or interest you have developed from this experience. Explain how this skill or interest is relevant to the study of social work?
Tips: Your Personal Statement should be well written. It should be comprehensive yet concise. A typical statement is 3 to 5 pages in length, double-spaced. We recommend using Strunk and White’s Elements of Style as a writing reference. Editing suggestions and feedback from another person can be helpful, but the ideas and writing should be your own.
Explanation of GPA
Our faculty are willing to review the file of applicants whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0; however, know the comparative standard remains 3.0 or higher. A small percentage of applicants not meeting the GPA prerequisite may be admitted if otherwise qualified. If your GPA is below 3.0, you must include a brief explanation by responding to one or both of these questions:
- Were there extenuating circumstances contributing to the GPA? If so, have those circumstances been resolved?
- Were there limitations that affected your GPA that still remain today? If so, what is your plan to address these limitations?
Pending Bachelor’s Degree
Our faculty are willing to review the files of applicants whose degrees are pending provided there is only one semester or two trimesters pending at the time of application (January 15). Make sure your Fall grades (from your most recent term) are posted to your transcript before your school prints and sends the transcript.
Send application materials to
Graduate Admissions Office, CB 65
2211 Riverside Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55454