Hye-Kyung Kang, MSW, PhD
Director, Master of Social Work Program *on sabbatical AY 2021-22
Mary Kay Brennan, DSW, LICSW
Interim Director, Master of Social Work Program
Amelia Seraphia Derr, MSW, PhD
Interim Director, Bachelor of Social Work Program
Estella Williamson, DSW, MSW, ACSW
Field Education Director
Our social justice-focused, community-based clinical MSW program will prepare you for advanced clinical social work practice. You will be trained to engage in all aspects of social work practice including: psychotherapy and counseling, crisis intervention, and organizational management. At our program, you will study with faculty who are passionate about social justice and who are engaged in research, teaching and practice that aim to produce social change. You will gain critical knowledge of contemporary theories and evidence-based practice to understand the interconnection between personal struggles and structural oppression and develop exemplary clinical and advocacy skills to work with individuals, families and groups.
Yes, the Seattle University Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
One of the strengths of the MSW program is its small cohort size, which encourages a close and effective learning community. The department accepts an average of 25 students into the 2-Year Program and an average of 15 students into the Advanced Standing Program.
No; the MSW program is designed for students to attend full-time day classes and field practicum placements for the duration of the program.
The MSW program's exceptional faculty to student ratio (1:7 as of 2020-2021) allows for individual attention for all of our students. The national average is 1:12.
The priority deadline for each year is January 20. We do accept applicants after this date, but they will be reviewed after priority applicants.
We do not require the GRE in general. We may require it if your bachelor’s degree was awarded at a non-graded institution. Please connect with us if this is the case.
You do not need to complete a college-level statistics class before you apply. However, this requirement needs to be completed before class starts in the fall. A passing grade is required and an official transcript must be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions prior to class starting in the fall. This requirement does not apply to Advanced Standing applicants.
We accept this course from North Seattle College via Ed2Go which offers a self-paced or an instructor-led option. If you choose to take this course, please email your certificate of completion to email@example.com when you have completed the course. The department does not accept any other certificate-based course.
As per the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Education Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) 3.1.5, the MSW program does not grant social work course credit for life experiences or previous work experience.
We will review applications with GPAs below 3.0 and have accepted such applications in the past. You are required to submit a GPA Explanatory Statement with your application if your GPA does not meet the requirement. Graduate Admissions will reach out to you to request this statement if it is needed.
Applicants are evaluated based on the contents of their online application including:
Factors considered for admission may include:
While work and/or volunteer experience are not requirements for admission to either MSW program, it is helpful and important to include any relevant work or volunteer experience (formal or informal) you may have. Reviewers want to get a holistic picture of you as an applicant. Reviewers are interested in learning about what you learned from your work, volunteer, or life experience and how it contributes to your interest in graduate education in social work.
We recognize that not everyone has had an opportunity to work at a social/human service agency or had the time or resources to volunteer. But many of us have life experiences that shaped our thinking about social work. We recommend that you discuss any life experiences that helped you develop an interest for social justice-focused and community-based clinical social work. (For example, one of our faculty members talked about how they often accompanied their immigrant parents and other family members to medical and social services to interpret for them as a teenager and how that experience taught them about social inequities and the importance of advocacy. Another social worker talked about how they contributed to their family’s economic security by working nearly full-time for their family’s small restaurant business as a college student and how that experience contributed to their understanding of opportunity gap and economic inequalities. In both cases, even though they did not have time and resources to volunteer for a formal social service agency they have gained valuable insight and experiences that are highly relevant to social work through their informal experiences.)
If you are making a career change, you should note your prior work experience and why you are interested in a career change at this time.
Additionally, it is recommended that, if you can, you seek out volunteer opportunities that are interesting to you so the review committee can see that you are exposing yourself to the social work field. This is particularly helpful when it comes to practicum placement.
Advanced standing is designed for students who have completed their BSW or BASW from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Applicants are required to have earned a “B” (3.0) in each of their required social work courses. Advanced standing allows students to complete their MSW in ten months.
Yes. You may apply but you must supply us with an official transcript listing all completed and in-process courses. A final, official copy of your transcript listing the degree earned must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by July 31st. Offers of admission are contingent upon successful completion of your undergraduate degree.
This chart should answer your questions. If it does not, please contact Graduate Admissions.
Graduate, General Admission
Graduate, ECLB Program
TOEFL (Internet) | SU Code: 4695
Pearson Test of English
*Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will be accepting the Duolingo English Test. The minimum score required for regular admission is 110. Scores between 95-105 will be sufficient to enter through our English Language Cultural Bridge program The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken on-demand in under an hour at a cost of $49. The test is taken via a computer with a camera and includes a proficiency score, video interview, and writing sample which are shared with Seattle University when your results are sent. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session.
All assignments are made by the Field Director after the student completes a practicum application and interviews with the Field Director or designee. This is the time to let the Field Director know of any special circumstances or interests regarding placement. The placement assignment is completed when both the agency and the student notify the Field Director that the placement is accepted.
No, agencies must be approved by the Seattle University Field Education Program and agree to the educational goals, outcomes and field policies of the Field Education Program. The Field Education Director will work with you to find a placement that best supports your educational goals.
Practicum is an essential part of your MSW education, and students are expected to learn from different agencies and populations during their social work education. In some specific cases, however, it may be possible to have a placement at a current work site. Requests of this nature should be directed to the Field Director for further discussion.
Paid field placements are rare, but some placements provide a stipend to the student. The MSW program may also have student worker positions available.
Yes, after admission you will complete a criminal history background check along with your field practicum application. Additionally, some agencies may require the student to complete the agency's own background check and/or drug screening.
For the 2022-2023 academic year:
Cost per credit: $756
Two-year Program total tuition (not including fees): $49,896 (66 credits)
Advanced Standing Program total tuition (not including fees): $29,484 (39 credits)
Seattle University's MSW tuition is quite competitive while providing students with an excellent faculty to student ratio and small class sizes. Check out our tuition comparison guide here.
Tuition cost is the same for in-state, out-of-state, and international students. University fees are not included in the above estimates. A list of fees can be found here. Other questions regarding your tuition and student account can be directed to the Student Financial Services Office at FinancialServices@seattleu.edu or 206-220-8020.
Yes. The Social Work department provides scholarships based on financial need and diversity. These are not merit-based and promote equity within the program. There are also scholarship opportunities with organizations such as CSWE, NASW and the Pride Foundation. Learn more about financing resources here.
Yes. These positions are not guaranteed each year, but we generally have 2-3 Graduate Assistant/Student Employment positions each year. Faculty are always applying for grants and will connect with MSW students for applications when they have grants for paid and unpaid fellowships and assistantships.
Transcripts cannot be directly attached to the online application. They need to be sent from your prior college to the Seattle University Office of Graduate Admissions (or, delivered in person by the applicant).
No, we do not have a form that allows applicants to authorize transcripts to be sent to us. Transcript ordering procedures vary from one institution to another and we suggest connecting with your prior institution to gain specific instructions.
If your prior institution has the ability to send electronic official transcripts, please have them sent to:
If your institution cannot send electronic transcripts, official transcripts should be mailed to the following address:
Office of Graduate Admission
901 12th Avenue
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA 98122-1090
To be considered official, transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope from the college or university. Transcripts may be delivered to our office via the applicant as long as it remains in its original unopened university envelope. We do also accept official electronic transcripts that are password protected.
*We recognize that many universities in areas impacted by COVID-19 are currently closed and students may be unable to obtain transcripts and other academic credentials at this time. Currently, we can review and make admissions decisions with unofficial copies of transcripts. Attach scanned copies with your application or email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have already submitted an application. This provision is currently for applicants to the 2022 cohort and we will require official transcripts by the time classes begin in the Fall.
A Master of Social Work degree allows for a dynamic and rewarding career path. You will be trained to engage in all aspects of social work practice including psychotherapy and counseling, crisis intervention, case management, client-centered advocacy, consultation, supervision, and organizational management. Social Workers can be found in a variety of settings from hospitals to schools to community mental health centers and more! Check out this page for a sampling of employment positions held by our alumni.
There is a high need for excellent clinical social workers! Every year, we survey our alumni to see how they are doing in their careers. 100% of our respondents were able to gain full-time employment within 6 months of graduation; most gained employment within 3 months or were employed even before they graduated.
Connect with us:
email@example.com | 206.296.5539