MSW Application Process

MSW Home > Apply to MSW Program

Applications open: September 1, 2020 for the 2021 academic year
(PLEASE NOTE: Applications started prior to September 1 will not be considered)

Early bird deadline: December 1, 2020

Final deadline: January 10, 2021

To complete the application process you need to complete the following. Click on the link for each item for more information as well as tips for putting together a strong application. We also recommend that you download the PDF with complete instructions and that you download and print this checklist to make sure you submit all the required pieces.

  1. Complete a domestic student online application or an international student online application. See our Online Application Instructions for more information.
  2. Request an official copy of your transcripts be sent via email to or mailed to:
    Graduate Programs
    School of Social Work
    655 Auditorium Road
    239 Baker Hall
    East Lansing, MI 48824
    An official copy is one that is generated by the institution and submitted in a sealed envelope by the institution. Unofficial transcripts submitted by the applicant will not be accepted. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree from MSU (or who are expecting one by May) do not need to submit transcripts.
  3. Complete the following through the graduate education student portal.
    • Upload your Applicant Statement as a Statement of purpose/intent. Applicant Statement instructions
    • Register three recommenders (from a professional, academic, and/or volunteer setting).
      • Advanced Standing applicants must have one recommendation from a field practicum supervisor. If for some reason that is not possible, you will be asked to briefly explain why in the online application.
    • Complete the Criminal Background Statement of Understanding and upload. All applicants to the University must answer a question regarding criminal conduct and academic dishonesty as part of the application process. Students who are admitted to the University may also be required to undergo a criminal background check related to study in a particular field, licensing requirements, or internship placements.
    • Complete the Liberal Arts Form and upload.
    • Upload your résumé.
    • Read the NASW Code of Ethics, complete the Code of Ethics Agreement Form, and upload as a Supplemental Application.
    • For Statewide Blended Regular applicants, upload the Regular Additional Requirements Form as a Supplemental Application.
    • For Statewide Blended Advanced Standing applicants, upload the Advanced Standing Additional Requirements Form as a Supplemental Application.
    • For Weekend applicants, upload the Weekend Additional Requirements Form.
  4. International applicants: review the additional requirements on the International Admissions page.
  5. Pay your $65 application fee. (NOTE: Once you have paid the fee and submitted your application you will not be able to make changes).
  6. Log in to the student portal regularly to view your application status and respond to any messages in the E-Message Center.

    Communication about your application will be made through the student portal. Make sure notifications from the portal are not going to your Spam and log in to the portal regularly.

    You are responsible for making sure all information is complete and required documents are uploaded in a timely manner.

Instructional Videos for the Application Process

We have created a series of instructional videos to help you navigate the application process.

Screenshot of beginning of our MSW Application Instructional Videos