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Admission Process

Applications are due by January 15th each year and decisions are announced each year in the final week of February.

The online application is available between June-January 15th of each year. Some applications are considered beyond January 15th on a rolling basis if space permits. The 2020 application period has closed.

Applicants with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree or those that intend to complete a BSW prior to starting the MSW program are considered ADVANCED STANDING  students and begin the MSW program at Augsburg in May.

Applicants who plan to enter the Augsburg MSW program with a bachelor’s degree in something other than social work (BSW) are considered FOUNDATION students and begin the MSW in September.

Before You Apply 121005MSW151

  • Attend an Information Session – The best way to learn more about our program is to attend an information session or meet with an admissions representative. View our list of upcoming events and register for an information session. Or contact admissions for an individual appointment via phone, Zoom, Google Hangouts or any platform through which we can connect at or 612-330-1101.
  • Request Information – Complete our brief MSW Interest form. We’ll e-mail you more information.

Application Components

All MSW applicants must complete an application and submit materials that include:

  • Completed online application form
  • Official transcripts from bachelor degree-granting institution and any subsequently attended institutions
  • Two letters of recommendation (follow the recommendation instructions on the application)
  • Typed 3-5 page personal statement (and one-page GPA explanation, if cumulative was below 3.0)
  • Resume

Application Deadline

MSW applications are reviewed once a 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.

Admission Requirements

In order to be considered for MSW admission, applicants must have:

• a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited 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.

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 in the Summer (May) semester.

How to apply for admission

First, we recommend you start your application process by filling out the online 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.


Applicants must submit an official transcript(s) from the regionally-accredited institution granting the Bachelor’s degree and the most recently attended institution, if not the same. Military veterans are required to submit all official transcripts from previously attended institutions to qualify for military benefits. In the case where prerequisite requirements exist or transfer credits or waivers are sought, official transcripts are required from institutions at which the prerequisites or equivalents were completed. The Program Director may ask for additional transcripts if determined to be necessary.   If prompted by your institution to provide an e-mail address to which e-transcripts can be sent, please send to Transcripts sent via mail should be sent to: Graduate Admissions, 2211 Riverside Ave, Campus Box 65. Minneapolis, MN 55454.

Prerequisite Coursework

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.

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 two 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 one professional reference from a supervisor or other colleague familiar with your skills and attributes related to human services. In the absence of an academic reference, both recommenders 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. You can then use our online application to e-mail a pre-written invitation to each recommender with instructions on how to submit a recommendation.

Personal Statement

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. 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. 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 semesters 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 or

Graduate Admissions Office, CB 65
Augsburg University
2211 Riverside Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55454