Two-Year MSW

 Admission Requirements

  • Completed baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. 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.
  • Academic Preparation: Completion of 3 courses (5 quarter credits or 3 semester credits each) in liberal arts content, specifically one course in each of these areas: Humanities, Social Science, and Natural Science (see Additional Information section for more detail).
  • Signed acknowledgement of the Seattle University Social Work Department Non-Academic Technical Standards for Social Work Education. Please read the document and follow the instructions carefully. This document is required to complete the MSW application process.
  • A GPA of 3.0 (B) or better on a 4.0 scale in the last 90 quarter or 60 semester credits.  Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 (B) must submit a GPA Explanation Statement.  Please submit this statement under the "GPA Explanation Statement" document type in your application portal. This statement should be no longer than one page and should detail the circumstances surrounding your GPA.
  • Applicants for whom English is a non-native language must demonstrate English proficiency regardless of English language studies, residence in the United States or an English-speaking country, or immigration status. Graduate applicants with a baccalaureate or higher degrees from recognized colleges in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia and who have continued to reside in countries where English is the primary language for at least two years prior to applying to Seattle University will have this requirement waived. English proficiency may be met with an official TOEFL score of 92 (IBT), or 580 (PBT); the IELTS exam with a minimum score of 7.0; or a PTE score of 63.
  • Criminal Background Check/Criminal Offender Record Information.  Although this is not part of the application process applicants who are offered admission will receive instructions to complete the background check before field placement. Students should be aware that human services agencies often require an additional criminal history background check on students who apply to their agencies for field placements. A background check report that reveals a criminal history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from admission into the program, but it may preclude the student from many potential field placements and will limit the field placements available to the student. The Seattle University MSW program cannot guarantee field placements (a requirement for completion of the MSW degree and social work licensure) for students with a positive criminal background report, although we will do our best to find placements.

Enrollment Prerequisites

  • Completion of a Statistics prerequisite course before enrollment. See Additional Information section for accepted courses.

 Application Instructions

  • Complete graduate application form. There is no application fee.
  • Include an official, degree-posted transcript from the last 90 quarter/60 semester graded credits of your bachelor's degree, including any transfer institution credit earned during this time period as well as any post-baccalaureate coursework. The minimum GPA for eligibility is a 0 or equivalent.
  • Applicants from institutions issuing non-graded transcripts may 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.
  • Submit three professional or academic recommendations using the MSW forms supplied through the The references should be from people who know your academic capabilities as well as interpersonal strengths. Personal references or references from co-workers are not accepted.
    • Applicants who recently completed their undergraduate degree (within 1-3) years, at least one academic reference is recommended.
    • Professional recommendations can be from paid employment supervisors or volunteer work supervisors.
  • 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 Résumé should list the name of every college or university attended and dates.
  • Submit two admission essays: Personal Statement with three questions and Social Problem Analysis.
  • Admission Essay 1: Personal Statement
    • Please answer questions A, B, and C separately. (1500 words max total)
    • A. Bearing in mind the mission of the SU MSW program: 
      • The mission of the Seattle University (SU) Master of Social Work (MSW) program is to educate students for social justice-focused and community-based advanced clinical social work practice. The program seeks to advance equity in access to excellent clinical social work practice for historically marginalized populations by preparing competent and effective practitioners who restore, maintain, and enhance human and community well-being with unwavering attention to social and economic justice. The program is committed to respectful engagement and collaboration with community partners in its scholarship, teaching, and service.
      • Discuss how your education and/or experience (work, volunteer, personal) prepared you to pursue graduate social work education at this program.
    • B. The SU MSW program offers a single specialization in advanced clinical social work practice. 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.
      • Why is clinical social work a good fit for you? What relevant skills and qualities do you bring to clinical social work?
    • 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 in field practicum (which occur simultaneously)? What do you recognize as areas for development in order to succeed in this program?
  • Admission Essay 2: Social Problem Analysis
    • (1500 words max excluding the reference section)
    • 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:
      • A. Definition and description of the social problem
      • B. Societal issues that contributed to the creation and maintenance of the problem
      • C. Possible solutions or interventions to address the problem
      • D. Limitations of the proposed interventions or obstacles to proposed solutions

Additional Information

Academic Preparation

  • The academic preparation requirements for the 2-Year MSW program include at least three courses in liberal arts. Please demonstrate at least one (5 quarter credit or 3 semester credit) course taken in each of the following areas:
    • Humanities
    • Natural Science
    • Social Science
    • Statistics
      • Although not an admission requirement, students must successfully complete a college-level statistics course before enrollment. Accepted statistics courses include:

Year One: Generalist Practice Curriculum 

The MSW requires completion of 66-degree credits, which includes a field practicum in each quarter. The program is designed to be full-time and completed in two years. The 2-Year MSW degree begins with a generalist practice curriculum. The generalist practice curriculum is designed to prepare students to practice according to the purpose of the social work profession as articulated by Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). 

Required Courses

  • Generalist Practice I: Social Work Individuals & Families
  • Generalist Practice II: Social Work with Groups
  • Generalist Practice III: Social Work with Organizations and Communities
  • Social Work and Social Justice: Ethical Professional Formation
  • Social Work Foundations-Policy: History and Justice
  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • Human Development Across the Life Span
  • Social Work Research I: Methods and Design
  • Social Work Research II: Program Evaluation
  • Field Practicum and Seminar I, II, III

Year Two: Specialized Practice Curriculum

The second year of study in the 2-Year MSW degree provides students with the opportunity to develop advanced knowledge and skills in clinical social work. Students are required to take three clinical practice courses covering theory and skills necessary for work with individuals, families, and groups.  Given the central role of advocacy to achieve social and economic justice at all levels of practice, second-year students also take Advanced Social Welfare Policy Practice for Advocacy.  They may specialize within a field of practice through a pairing of an elective and field practicum site.

Required Courses

  • Advanced Practice I: Clinical Social Work with Individuals
  • Advanced Practice II: Clinical Social Work with Families
  • Advanced Practice III: Clinical Social Work with Groups
  • Advanced Social Welfare Policy: Practice for Advocacy
  • Advanced Clinical Assessment and Treatment: Mental Health Disorders
  • Advanced Field Practicum I, II, III

 Electives: Students choose from a variety of course offerings for two electives (6 credits) during the specialized practice year.


Still Accepting Applications for 2024!

Applications close Sunday, May 19, pending space.