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Admission Process


The online application opens September 1st of each year with priority given to students who apply and have a complete application by December 1st. A completed application includes the online application form as well as all application materials (resume, personal statement, transcripts, and letters of recommendation). Prospective students may submit an application while transcripts and recommendations are still pending, but the application will not be reviewed until all materials are received.  Students may check the status of their application via their applicant portal.

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 GENERALIST students and begin the MSW in September.

admissions Requirements

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

  •  a bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by a recognized regional accrediting agency. (Includes degrees recognized through CSWE’s International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service, or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors);
  • liberal arts coursework in the social sciences and humanities

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.

Candidates who have attended a college or university outside the United States may be required to submit additional application materials. The Department of Social Work encourages qualified applicants from other countries to apply to the MSW program. If you are a non-resident alien of the United States, you will be required to submit additional documents outlined in our International Applicants webpage.

Transfer Admissions

Augsburg University welcomes transfer students from other CSWE accredited programs.  In addition to providing the required application documents, transfer candidates must provide a letter of good academic and professional standing from the program director of the program they are transferring from. Additional reference letters from faculty are welcome but not required. Please contact us at if you would like an unofficial transcript evaluation to determine what credits may transfer from your current/former institution.

Application 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, regionally-accredited institution and any subsequently attended institutions. [This includes degrees recognized through CSWE’s International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service, or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors].
  • Two letters of recommendation (follow the recommendation instructions on the application)
  • Typed personal statement. *See additional details below.
  • One-page GPA explanation (if cumulative is below 3.0)
  • Resume

Application Deadlines

Students who apply by December 1st are given the advantage of early review and receive an admission decision by December 31st.

Students who apply no later than January 15th are reviewed and notified of admission decisions in early February.

We are able to accept additional applications and review on a rolling basis through March or until all spots have been filled. We encourage students to apply as alternates may also be selected and able to begin for the desired academic year.

Student walking through hallAdmission 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 (CSWE), CASWE, or an internationally-earned ISWDRES-evaluated degree comparable to a baccalaureate social work degree. Advanced standing applicants are waived a maximum of six MSW courses and the generalist field internship. Advanced standing students will be able to complete the MSW in a 13-month, full-time format. If all six courses and the generalist internship are waived, advanced standing students will begin their MSW program in the summer (May).  Applicants who completed their BSW over 15 years from the program start may be required to complete additional generalist coursework. Candidates will also be asked to share a brief statement about how they have stayed connected to emerging social work practices and standards since graduates when submitting their application.

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 while demonstrating your writing abilities.


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.

RecommendationsFaculty teaching wearing a mask

As part of the online application, candidates are asked to provide (2) references that can speak to their preparedness for graduate education and/or ability to engage in ethical social work practice. Only professional, community or academic references will be considered.  Personal references are not accepted.

Letter 1: At least one academic reference from a faculty member is highly preferred.  If you are unable to provide an academic reference, you will be asked to include a brief statement explaining why you are unable to submit a faculty reference. In this event, we also ask that your first reference is from someone who has had direct supervisory oversight of your work in a professional or volunteer capacity.

Letter 2: This reference should ideally be from a supervisor, but could include a mentor, colleague, or volunteer partner.  Select an individual who can speak to your abilities, professional competence, and commitment to social justice.

References will receive a request to write a letter addressing the following:

  • In what capacity have you known the applicant and for how long?

  • Do you have personal knowledge of any experience the applicant has had in the broad areas of social service?

  • Indicate the nature of this experience and your assessment of the applicant’s performance.

  • How has the candidate demonstrated a commitment to working toward solving social problems?

  • Share details of any additional strengths the applicant has demonstrated.

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: “We strive to prepare exceptional social work professionals for anti-racist and anti-oppressive advanced social work practice that promotes intersectional racial and social justice 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 are possible social work responses to it?
  • Think about your education, employment, and/or volunteer experience. Describe one skill or interest you have developed from these experiences. 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. Editing suggestions and feedback from another person can be helpful, but the ideas and writing should be your own.

Explanation of GPA

Students with a GPA below a 3.0 can still be considered for admission. If your GPA is below 3.0, please 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

We accept applications for prospective students with a pending Bachelor’s degree, provided your degree has been received and conferred at the time you matriculate into the MSW program at Augsburg. Submit an official transcript at the time of application and a second official transcript once your final grades are posted and the degree has been awarded. Admission decisions will be made based on the initial transcript submitted with a condition to successfully complete your undergraduate degree of study prior to starting classes at Augsburg University.

Prerequisite Coursework

Student reading textbook

We value applicants’ undergraduate coursework in the areas of social sciences and humanities and appreciate having at least 3-4 courses in each area.

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.

Send application materials to: or

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

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