Master of Social Work Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Applicants are encouraged to review the Master of Social Work requirements for admission for each track prior to beginning their application, as the admission requirements vary for each track option. 

Traditional Track

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or equivalent.
    • See our International Admissions page for additional admissions requirements including details regarding the evaluation of international degrees for grade and degree equivalency.
  • Successful completion of an undergraduate degree, typically defined by a 3.0 cumulative GPA or better. However, applications are reviewed holistically as a determination of academic readiness.
  • Computer with internet connection, including the hardware and software requirements described on the Technical Requirements page. Must also possess sufficient computer skills to navigate the internet as all classes are accessed 100% online.

Advanced Standing Track

  • Graduation from a CSWE-accredited BSW program within the last 7 years with a 3.0 cumulative GPA preferred. In some cases, advanced standing applicants may be offered to enroll in the traditional track if previous academic performance or application materials do not demonstrate an understanding of core social work principles, guidelines and ethical standards.
  • Equivalent coursework at the undergraduate level to UNE’s generalist year courses completed with a “B” or better strongly preferred.
  • Evidence of significant experience in the human services field with MSW supervision.
  • Computer with internet connection, including the hardware and software requirements described on the Technical Requirements page. Must also possess sufficient computer skills to navigate the internet as all classes are accessed 100% online.

What this program looks for in an applicant

We recognize that social work is a continually evolving field of study that draws applicants from diverse backgrounds. There is no one typical background for a successful social work student. Successful social work students bring rich backgrounds and diverse professional and academic experiences to their education, are characterized by a lifelong curiosity, are self-motivated, and have an inclination towards advocacy in its many forms. The ability to learn and adapt to new tools and technology is an asset in this program, and students who possess the skill of managing multiple competing priorities in a timely fashion are often the most successful in our online learning environment.

Go To Application

Application Process

Step 1

  • Create an account for the Online Application Portal, start a new application and fill out all required fields
    • You will be asked to compose professional statements in response to the following prompts in one to two paragraphs each:
      1. Why are you interested in the field of social work? Please reflect on your areas of strengths and areas of development that relate to you becoming a professional social worker?
      2. Please share two examples that you have observed in society where social inclusion was absent. What are your recommendations for how to address these issues?
      3. Reflecting on the priorities in your daily life, how do you plan to manage your time and the demands of this program? Also, please discuss your comfort level with pursing an online graduate degree in regards to technology, time management, etc.
      4. If your undergraduate GPA is lower than 3.0, please explain, any outstanding circumstances that led to your previous academic performance, and include any significant changes that have prepared you to be successful in our program.

Step 2

Upload all supporting documents:

  • Resume/CV: Must be current and include current professional roles and responsibilities as well as any volunteer, service learning, or community service experience.
  • Two completed Applicant Recommendation Forms.
    • These forms may be printed out and must first be completed by the applicant before giving it to the recommender to fill out.
    • Once the recommender has completed the form, the recommender must send it directly to UNE by email or mail.
    • If preferred, the applicant can reach out to an enrollment counselor to initiate an electronic version of this form to be completed by both parties online.
    • Recommendation letters should attest to applicants’ academic ability or potential to succeed in graduate school. Please keep in mind that the admissions committee likes to see recommendation forms from references in a supervisor or leadership position. For Advanced Standing applicants, recommendation letters must be filled out by a fieldwork supervisor or current or past work supervisor, and a faculty member from your BSW program. Letters from co-workers and friends will not be reviewed.
    • Advanced Standing applicants are required to submit copies of field evaluations and verification of field hours completed

Step 3

  • Request an official transcript reflecting conferral of bachelor’s degree.
  • Official transcripts must be submitted to UNE directly from the institution. Please contact your college or university as soon as possible and request that they send an official transcript via mail to the address below or by certified electronic delivery. We will notify you as soon as we receive your official transcript. If your transcript is from an international institution, it will need to be translated and/or evaluated for U.S. grade and degree equivalency and sent to us directly from the evaluation company. Please contact an enrollment counselor for more information.
  • If sent electronically, request that your transcript be sent to: socialworkonline@une.edu
  • If mailed, request that your transcript be addressed to:
University of New England
College of Graduate & Professional Studies
Attention: Social Work
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland, ME 04103

  • Please Note: Additional transcripts may be required or requested. You can always submit additional transcripts if you feel they would strengthen your application.

Step 4

  • Pay non-refundable $40 application fee.

Procedures and Policies

Transfer Credit: Master of Social Work

Students may apply to transfer up to three 3-credit courses (maximum of nine credits) into the Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing program or up to three 3-credit courses (maximum of nine credits) into the Master of Social Work – Traditional program.

Transfer courses must:

  • Be classified as graduate level
  • Be from a CSWE accredited institution
  • Be equivalent to a required program course, not an elective
  • Have been taken within seven years of application
  • Have been completed with a grade of “B” or better (P/F courses will not be accepted for transfer credit)

To request consideration for transfer credit, a student must provide an official transcript and a course syllabus for each course. Your enrollment counselor or student support specialist can assist you with this request. Transfer credit is awarded at the discretion of the School of Social Work based on specific program details listed above. Requests for approval of transfer credit should be submitted to, and will be granted at the discretion of the Program Director.

Policy Exceptions

The School of Social Work reserves the right to make exceptions to the transfer credit policy and to make changes or exceptions, on a case by case basis, when it deems such a decision is necessary and appropriate.

Expiration of Application Materials

All application materials submitted to UNE are valid for 12 months from the date received by the University. To avoid needing to re-request transcripts and letters of recommendation, we recommend that you complete your application and enroll in a timely manner. In the event that you need to re-apply or re-activate your application, materials older than 12 months will need to be re-submitted without exception.

Non-Matriculated Enrollment

Students not seeking a degree may enroll in individual courses as a non-matriculated student, space permitting and upon approval by the program manager. Non-matriculated students must hold a bachelor’s degree and submit an official transcript reflecting conferral of the degree. Students may not move from non-matriculated to matriculated status within the same semester. Please contact an enrollment counselor to assist in this process.

International Admissions

More information explaining the admissions requirements for international students or applicants with international degrees can be found here on the International Admissions page. If you have specific questions, please contact an enrollment counselor for personal guidance through the application process.

Your Social Work Enrollment Counselors

Our enrollment counselors are here to help you understand the Master of Social Work admission requirements and assist you throughout the entire application process.

 

Questions?

If you have any questions about application requirements, the coursework or program requirements, please speak to one of our enrollment counselors at the email or phone number below.