Temple University

School of Social Work

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MSW Admissions

MSW Application Process
Completed applications are reviewed as received, decisions made, and applicants notified. Complete applications should be submitted as early as possible.  Students whose expected graduation date is May should submit transcripts that include grades from the first semester of senior year. All admissions documents, and application are due by March 1.

Applicants are required to submit an official transcript from ALL institutions that they attended post-high school.  This includes: Community Colleges, Study abroad programs, any transfer of credits that appear on your final transcript and any Masters level of Doctorate Program Transcripts. An official transcript will bear the registrar’s signature and be embossed with the school seal.  Your transcript will not be accepted if the seal is broken. Scanned documents of transcripts will not be accepted.  Please see below for mailing address. We can accept transcripts digitally if available from the college/university or clearinghouse msw@temple.edu. Transcript requests can take up to 8 weeks to be processed and mailed out.  

References must be completed using this form: Click here for the Graduate Reference Form

Three (3) professional references are required in support of an application for admission. These may be academic or professional.  Note the following requirements: 

  • The reference form MUST be submitted.  It may be accompanied by a letter.
  • Applicants who have graduated from college within the last five (5) years should submit at least one (1) reference from a professor or official of the college.
  • Applicants seeking advanced standing status should obtain one reference from a BSW faculty member and another other from their field placement agency supervisor.  (If this is not possible, contact the School for further instruction.)
  • Applicants with employment experience in the social services or a related field should submit at least one reference from a supervisor or administrator at their place of employment.

Statement of Professional Plans and Goals (Admissions Essay) 
The essay is an important component of the admissions application in social work.  It provides an opportunity for you to discuss your motivation for pursuing graduate study in social work, relevant personal and professional experiences, and knowledge of diversity and social justice.  The essay is evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • ability to address requested content
  • ability to reflect on and summarize significant and relevant experiences;
  • ability to conceptualize and think critically,
  • and writing proficiency.  

Compose an essay of 4-6 pages that addresses the following areas:

  • Your reasons for seeking graduate education in social work at Temple;
  • Significant experiences (work, volunteer, community, and/or field placement) with people of various ethnic, religious, national origin, social class, gender, sexual orientation and/ or racial backgrounds and the impact/relevance of those experiences to you;
  • A population and/or social problem about which you have a special interest and your reasons for that interest;
  • Reflect upon issues of social justice as it relates to this population and/or problem. 

Format your essay following these directions:

  • Double-space, 12 point font in Microsoft Word or PDF format
  • Title page: name, campus you wish to attend, applying to full or part-time status
  • Include name and page number in the header on every page

A current professional resume is required in Microsoft Word or PDF format.

Email your professional resume and Statement of Plans and Goals (admissions essay) to msw@temple.edu, instead of uploading onto the online application. 

Application materials can be mailed to:                                               

Main Campus:
Temple University  MSW Program Admissions 1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave., RA 5th FloorPhila., PA 19122

Financial Aid:

Awards are made on the basis of academic merit and the overall promise shown by an applicant for contributing to the School and to the profession. Award notification is generally made around the time of admission.

All students are expected to make use of available resources as well as Federal grant, loan, and work-study assistance to help meet the cost of their education. The University´s Financial Aid Office provides assistance with the Federal grant / loan / work-study application process. 

Students are strongly encouraged to be in touch with the university's Student Financial Services Office once a decision has been made on their application.  The SFS website is www.temple.edu/sfs. SFS will assist with securing grants and loans for the duration of the program.

Foreign Documents: Transcripts

If you are an international student with a degree outside of the United States and interested in applying for the MSW program, please contact the Office of International Services.  It is strongly urged within the School of Social Work for timely processing that you contact a private foreign educational credential evaluation service to translate your credentials to U.S. equivalency for consideration.  You can consult WORLD EDUCATION SERVICES (WES) or contact any other organization that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services NACES).

Language Requirements:
If English is a 2nd language, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores are required. Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.  Contact TOEFL to arrange for testing.


Options for Applying

Advanced Standing
The Advanced Standing Program is designed for individuals who have received a Bachelor of Social Work degree from an accredited social work program within the last five years and meet the admission guidelines. Students complete 34.5 credits and begin the program by taking one summer course and then enter the Advanced Concentration curriculum in the fall semester.  <More on requirements for advanced standing.>

Full-time Advanced Standing
A full-time Advanced Standing option is available both at the Philadelphia and Harrisburg campuses. Students are in classes two days per week and in field placement three days per week. The Advanced Standing full-time program is designed for completion in one year.

Part-time Advanced Standing
The part-time Advanced Standing program is available at both the Philadelphia and Harrisburg campuses. Classes are held in the evenings and on weekends. Students usually complete the program in 18 to 24 months. Students in the part-time program may maintain full or part-time employment. If a student is employed in a human service agency it is usually possible to meet the field requirements at their place of employment.

Regular Program

  • The Regular Program is available for individuals that have an undergraduate degree other than in social work. The 60-credit program provides the student with a Foundation phase and choices of an Advanced Concentration. Minimum requirements: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; an undergraduate grade point average (on a 4-point scale) of either 3.0 for all undergraduate work; three (3) professional references that attest to the applicant’s academic performance, social work related experience, personal qualifications, ability to engage in graduate level education, and commitment to the social work profession; applicant’s personal statement that illustrates the aforementioned qualities; and a current professional resume.

Full-time Regular Program
A full-time Regular Program option is available at both the Philadelphia and Harrisburg campuses. Students are in classes two days per week and in field placement three days per week. The full-time Regular Program is designed for completion in two years with no required summer courses.

 Part-time Regular Program
The part-time regular program is available at Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and off campus sites. It is designed for students who cannot give up regular employment to attend school full-time or who, for other reasons, prefer to attend part-time. Classes are held in the evenings and on weekends. Students usually complete the program in three to four years. Students in the part-time program may maintain full or part-time employment. If a student is employed in a human service agency it is usually possible to meet the field requirements at their place of employment.

Please note:

  • Academic credit is not given for life experiences and previous work experience in lieu of field education or course requirements.
  • Academic credit is not given for graduate level courses taken as part of an earned graduate degree.
  • Standardized Tests:The GRE/GMAT is not required to apply to the MSW program.