How to Apply-Advanced Standing MSW

Learn more about how to apply for Seattle University’s Master of Social Work Advanced Standing graduate program.

Priority deadline for applications is January 20

The final application deadline is May 19, pending space.

Application Review Process and Timeline

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis through the final deadline or until the cohort is filled. Early submission by the priority deadline is encouraged to ensure consideration for the upcoming cohort as well as consideration for institutional aid scholarships. Please note that cohort coursework officially begins summer intersession quarter.

International students should review the international admissions page for more information on deadlines, additional requirements and more.

International Admissions Information

Application Timeline for Fall 2025 Admissions

Priority Deadline  January 20, application submitted with all required materials.
Final Deadline May 19, application submitted with all required materials.
Application Review 4-6 weeks post-submission, review by faculty committee and admissions staff
Notification of Admission 6-8 weeks post-submission, admissions decision released
  1. STEP 1

    Start the Process

    1. Research the Master of Social Work program to see if it’s right for you
    2. Review the Advanced Standing Prerequisites
      • Completed bachelor's degree in social work (e.g., BSW/BASW) from a baccalaureate social work program accredited by CSWE, recognized through the International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluating Service or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work. 
      • Applicants who are finishing their baccalaureate degree may apply. Applicants must complete the baccalaureate degree before the MSW program begins. An admission decision will be considered provisional until degree is posted.
    3. Review Admissions Dates & Deadlines
      • Applying by the priority application deadline ensures consideration for the upcoming cohort, Graduate Admissions scholarships and access to a wider range of practicum options.

    Attend An Info Session

    This is an opportunity learn about our program and gain insights into the admissions process as well as connect with our faculty/staff and get your questions answered.

  2. STEP 2

    Begin Your Application

    Once you start an application you will be able to save your progress and will not have to complete it all at once.

    The MSW Advanced Standing application includes the following elements:

    1. Three Admission Essays
      • Admission essays are reviewed for both content and adherence to standard writing rules, including grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.
      • Please answer questions A, B and C separately. 1500 words max total:
      • Admissions Essay One: Personal Statement
        • Essay A: Bearing in mind Seattle University's mission and the Social Work program's mission, discuss how your education and/or experience (work, volunteer, personal) prepared you to pursue graduate social work education at this program.
        • Essay B: The SU MSW program offers a single specialization in advanced clinical social work practice. Why is clinical social work a good fit for you? What relevant skills and qualities do you bring to clinical social work?
          • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) defines clinical social work "As a specialty within the practice of social work, clinical social work builds on professional values, ethics, principles, practice methods and the person-in- environment perspective of the profession. It reflects the profession's mission to promote social and economic justice by empowering clients who experience oppression or vulnerability. Clinical social work requires the professional use of self to restore, maintain and enhance the biological, psychological, social and spiritual functioning of individuals, families and groups."
        • Essay C: Discuss your preparation for a rigorous graduate academic program and field. What are your academic strengths? What strategies or skills do you currently have to maintain strong performance in classes and practicum (which occur simultaneously)? What do you recognize as areas for development in order to succeed in this program?
      • Admissions Essay Two: Social Problem Analysis (1500 words max total, excluding references): 
        • Identify and analyze a social problem that is significant to the profession of social work. This analysis paper must include appropriate references and use the American Psychological Association (APA) style citation and formatting. Faculty will evaluate the paper for its content and social justice framework, organization and writing quality. 
        • The following elements must be addressed in this essay:
          • Definition and description of the social problem.
          • Societal issues that contributed to the creation and maintenance of the problem .
          • Possible solutions or interventions to address the problem.
          • Limitations of the proposed interventions or obstacles to proposed solutions.
    2. Résumé
      • Include a résumé documenting education, work and volunteer experiences (please distinguish between those experiences).Include your role, dates employed, whether part-time or full-time as well as the organization name. Résumé should list the name of every college or university attended and dates.
    3. Two Recommendation Forms
      • The recommendation forms should be from people who know your academic capabilities as well as interpersonal strengths.
      • One recommendation must be from a field director, supervisor, advisor, practicum instructor, program director or faculty member.
      • Personal references or references from co-workers are not accepted.
      • Once you've started your application, you will add their email address and they will receive a link to the evaluation form. The form should only take them 15 minutes to fill out.
        • We only need contact information. Please do not include letters of recommendation. 
    4. Signed Acknowledgement Form
    5. Minimum of 3.00 GPA
      • As calculated from the last 90 quarter/60 semester credits of the BSW/BASW bachelor’s degree.
    6. Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW/BASW) Official Transcripts
      • Submit an official, degree-posted transcript from the last 90 quarter/60 semester graded credits of your BSW/BASW degree from a baccalaureate social work program accredited by CSWE, recognized through the International Social work Degree Recognition and Evaluating Service or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work. Include any transfer institution credit earned during this time period as well as any post-baccalaureate coursework.
      • Transcripts may be mailed or submitted electronically to
      • Applicants may be accepted to the program with unofficial transcripts. Once accepted to the program, students will need to submit official transcripts within their first quarter of enrollment.
        • Note: Applicants from institutions issuing non-graded transcripts maybe be required to submit official results from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Please reach out to the MSW Department ASAP if you graduated from a non-graded institution.

    Start Your Application Today

    You will be able to save your progress while completing your application and will not have to complete it all at once.

  3. STEP 3

    Finish Your Application

    1. Submit your application
      • Make sure you hit “Submit” on your application.
      • Submitted applications are only considered complete once all application materials have been received including your recommendation forms.
  4. STEP 4

    Check Your Application Status

    1. Check Your Status
      • You can login here to check the status of your application anytime.
    2. Monitor your email
      • Make sure to regularly check the email you listed on your application for updates, including your admission decision. 
      • If selected, you will receive an email about your admission decision by early March. If you apply after the priority deadline, pending space in the cohort, you will be notified of your admission decision within six weeks. 
      • The MSW program is committed to doing our best to find practicum opportunities and facilitating the placement process for students. However, it is our community partners who ultimately offer the invitation for students to learn and practice at their agency. Therefore, the MSW program cannot guarantee practicum placements and students who cannot secure a practicum site or complete their practicum requirements may not be able to finish their degree, for the practicum placement is a requirement for completion of the MSW degree and social work licensure.
  5. STEP 5

    Once Admitted

    1. Background Check
      • Students will receive instructions to complete a background check before practicum placement. Many human services agencies require an additional criminal history background check on students who apply to their agencies for practicum placements. 
      • A criminal history on a background check will not automatically disqualify an applicant from admission to the Seattle University MSW program. However, it may limit the available field placements, which are required for completing the MSW degree and obtaining social work licensure. The program cannot guarantee placements for students with a positive criminal background report but will make every effort to find suitable options. If you have questions, please email us 
    2. Submit Official Transcripts
      • If you submitted unofficial transcripts with your application, official transcripts need to be sent electronically ( or via mail to Graduate Admissions.
    3. Tuition Deposit
      • Upon admission, this program requires a non-refundable deposit to confirm your space in the cohort. The deposit will be applied toward your first quarter tuition bill.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about the program or application, we’re here to help!

Ashley Miller

Senior Admissions Counselor

Ashley Miller Headshot