MSW Admission & Aid

We prepare social workers to improve vulnerable lives at home and in the world; therefore we seek applicants from a variety of personal, educational, and professional backgrounds. We pride ourselves on putting our values of equity, justice, and inclusion into action throughout the admission process.

Our admissions team guides prospective students through the application process, considering applicants’ experience while assisting with questions and concerns.

We value the contributions made by a diverse community of scholars. Learn more about Boston College's notice of nondiscrimination.

Application Information


The Admissions Committee attaches particular importance to knowledge of current social issues. Professional or volunteer experience in human services is considered.

Application Form

Submit the electronic application form. Please note that the application system requires you to upload your personal statement, unofficial transcript(s) and resume prior to submission.

Start Your Application


Please upload your most recent resume.


We require three letters of recommendation, which must be submitted electronically.

  • When you register your recommenders in the application system, they will immediately receive an email with the link to the electronic reference form, so you should contact your references before registering them.
  • You can log back into your application to check which letters have been received and send reminder emails.
  • References should know you well enough to evaluate your potential in the field of social work. If you've worked in a social service agency, one reference should be your most recent employer or supervisor. If you are currently or were recently a student, one reference should be a faculty advisor or instructor. General references on file in college placement offices are usually not adequate for the purposes of this application.
Note: It is your responsibility to notify your references that they will be receiving an email with an electronic recommendation form and follow up with them to make sure they are submitted.  If for some reason any of your recommenders are unable to complete an electronic reference form, please contact the Admissions Office for instructions.

Personal Statement

A personal statement must be uploaded before submitting the application form. You must submit an essay no longer than five double-spaced pages, addressing:

  • What led to your choice of social work; personal growth stemming from your family, community, and educational background; instances of you giving and receiving help; other careers you considered; and relevance of current and/or past work experience to your choice of a major field.
  • What you expect to gain from your professional education; reasons you chose Boston College; and your goals or plans in your service choice of Clinical or Macro specialized practice.
  • How you plan to address work and other responsibilities during your course of study; how you will finance your education; and how you will do these things in addition to course and fieldwork.


University/college transcripts from ALL undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate schools attended are required for application review. Unofficial transcripts may be submitted through the online application form for review purposes only. Official copies of all transcripts reviewed for admission must be submitted upon acceptance/matriculation no later than July 1.
Official transcripts may be sent electronically or in hard copy. Hard copy official transcripts must be in signed/sealed envelopes from each institution. Electronic transcripts submitted via document management services such as Scrip-Safe may be sent to All documents in languages other than English, should include a certified English translation in addition to the original language document.

Accepted applicants may send official transcripts to:
Boston College School of Social Work
McGuinn Hall, Admissions 221
140 Commonwealth Ave.
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Application Fee

The $40 application fee should be paid online by credit card at the time of submission of the application form. You may also mail a check or money order payable to "Boston College" to the address below. The application fee is not refundable.

Fee Waiver
If you are a U.S. military veteran or a full-time volunteer with a recognized non-profit service organization such as the Peace Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, City Year, or AmeriCorps, you are qualified to receive an application fee waiver. Simply submit a form or letter certifying your dates of service, or submit one of your required recommendation letters on organization letterhead, and then call or email the Admissions office to request the fee waiver. Returned volunteers are also eligible for a fee waiver. If you have paid the fee prior to submitting a request for a fee waiver, the fee is not refundable. 



BCSSW Admissions

Application Status: After you have submitted the electronic application,  you can check the status of your application on the Application Status website.


Admissions FAQs

International Students

Application Form

Please note that the zip code field does not work if you provide an international address. Please add your zip code or postal code to Address Line 1 or Address Line 2 on the application form. If you do not have a U.S. Social Security Number, DO NOT enter one on the application. You will be assigned an Eagle ID number (Boston College student ID number) to use to identify your other application materials. This Eagle ID number will allow you to access the Application Status website to check the status of your application materials and to submit the online application fee. Please use the same last name or surname on everything you submit to the Boston College School of Social Work.

Application Fee

The $40 application fee should be paid online by credit card at the time of submission of the application form. You may also mail a check or money order payable to "Boston College" to the address below. The application fee is not refundable.


Submit official academic records (transcripts or mark-sheets) for each year of post-secondary education (college or university), as well as official copies of the degrees you have been awarded. Copies of credentials must be validated by a school administrative officer such as a registrar or an official of the issuing institution, and must be attached to a certified (notarized) English translation.

Official copies of all transcripts reviewed for admission are required, once accepted, before you can register for classes.

International transcripts under review with WES (World Education Services) must be received directly from WES to be considered official. To fulfill the upload requirement on the application page, you may upload your unofficial international transcript as long as it has been translated to English.

Evidence of English Proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS)

Students who speak a native language other than English must provide evidence of proficiency. A video essay provided on your application and a minimum score of 100 on the iBT (internet-based test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required. The minimum score for the PhD program is also 100. The BCSSW School Code is 5939 and BCSSW Department Code is 95.

You can obtain application forms and information about testing dates for the TOEFL from many U.S. consulates, USIA Centers, and TOEFL centers overseas by writing to TOEFL Registration CN 6152 Princeton, NJ 08541, USA, or by going to

Please note that we now accept the IELTS test as a substitute for the TOEFL with a score of 7.5 or above. Official score reports should be mailed to the address listed on the application instructions page.

The TOEFL/IELTS is not required if:

  • You completed a 4-year Bachelors degree (or the equivalent) at an institution where the medium language of instruction is English. The medium language of instruction is indicated on your transcript, or verified in an official letter from the institution.
  • You completed a 2-year Masters degree at an institution where the medium language of instruction is English. The medium language of instruction is indicated on your transcript, or verified in an official letter from the institution.

Visa Authorization and Finances

All applicants, including international applicants, are considered for department-based scholarships. You will be notified of any scholarship award along with your admission decision. Before a certificate of eligibility for the F-1 or J-1 Visa can be issued, a Confidential Declaration and Certification of Finances (DCF) of international applicants must be submitted to certify that you have sufficient funds to cover the rest of your educational and living expenses while attending Boston College. This form will be sent to you by the BCSSW Office of Admissions within a few weeks of receipt of your enrollment response form. Provided this documentation is in order, Boston College will issue a Certificate of Eligibility Form (Form I-20 for an F-1 Student Visa or a Form DS2019 for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa) for the student's use in obtaining a Visa. 

Boston College's Office of International Students and Scholars serves over 1,000 international students, faculty, and research scholars from more than 98 countries. The office will advise you regarding your pre- and post-arrival needs and provide valuable orientation and social programs.

Application Deadline

We are currently accepting applications for Fall 2019 enrollment. We recommend applying as early as possible to be eligible for the greatest number of financial aid opportunities.

Please note: Applications for Summer Advanced Standing are closed.

Cost of Attendance

Two-Year MSW Program

Year Tuition Credits
$38,460 30
Second $44,870 35

Three-Year MSW Program

Year Tuition Credits
$15,384 12
Second $23,076 18
Third $44,870 35

Advanced Standing MSW Program

Start Tuition Credits
$56,408 44
January $15,384 (first semester)
$41,024 (final year)

Please note: The tuition rate for MSW students for the 2019-2020 academic year is $1,282 per credit (set annually). Credit hours vary each year depending on the length of the program you are in, yet the overall cost of degree remains the same. To calculate cost per program per year, see full-time and part-time curriculum plans.

Student ID Fee: $45 one-time charge
Activity Fee: $50 per year

Visit Boston College Student Services for an estimate of living expenses and information regarding health insurance.

Types of Financial Aid

A number of social work scholarships administered directly by the Boston College School of Social Work are awarded each year. All applicants are considered for scholarship awards during the admission process. No additional application is required for BCSSW scholarships. Award notification will be included with the admission acceptance letter in most cases; however, some awards will be made on a rolling basis.

The funds available vary from year to year with the distribution of federal and agency traineeships, and work-study opportunities. Among other awards available through BCSSW are Presidential Tuition Scholarships and stipends associated with specific field placements, as well as BCSSW graduate assistantships for Final Year students.

Applicants who have completed a Financial Aid application (FAFSA) with the University will receive notice of any University-administered funding assigned to them as early as possible after acceptance. This notice will be forwarded by the University Financial Aid Office in Lyons Hall 120.  

The Office of Student Services administers and awards need-based federal financial aid programs. Please review their Financial Aid website for information and deadlines.

Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal processor. The Boston College School Code is 002128. FAFSAs are available at the Office of Student Services Financial Aid website or from FAFSA.

Submit the Boston College Graduate Financial Aid Application to the Office of Student Services.

If requested by Student Services, submit a signed copy of your (and your spouse's, if married and filed separately) most recent Federal Income Tax Return.

Upon receipt of these documents and the School of Social Work's notification of the applicant's acceptance, Student Services will review the application and notify the student regarding eligibility.

For information on financial aid terms and conditions, disbursement, loan repayment, continued eligibility for aid programs, and rights and responsibilities, contact:

Boston College Office of Student Services
140 Commonwealth Avenue, Lyons Hall
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467


The Boston College School of Social Work has compiled an exclusive listing of scholarships to aid our students with their search for additional funding. The most recent information is stored in a password-protected online scholarship database (BC username and password required).  


Associated Grantmakers and Giving New England
A library of listings and resource material regarding state, government, and private grants, scholarships, and fellowships.

Associated Grantmakers and Giving New England
55 Court Street, Suite 520 • Boston, MA 02108
617-426-2606 •

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) provides a full listing of all Federal programs available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally-recognized Indian tribal governments; Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi- public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals.


Check with Boston College Office of Student Services (617-552-3300) or your employer's personnel office to determine eligibility. Early intervention services or services for high risk children from low income communities may be applicable.


The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) unites underserved communities with thousands of dedicated clinicians. The NHSC provides a Loan Repayment Program to fully trained providers with qualified educational loans (maximum $25,000) if they choose to serve at an eligible site. Applicants must agree to provide primary care services in a priority health professional shortage area for a minimum of two years. Clinical Social Workers are possible candidates for the program.

National Health Service Corps


Resources on loan repayment options from the National Association of Social Workers - Massachusetts.


AmeriCorps, the domestic Peace Corps, engages more than 40,000 Americans in intensive, results-driven service each year. Most AmeriCorps members are selected by and serve with local and national organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, and Boys and Girls Clubs. Others serve in AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). After their term of service, AmeriCorps members receive education awards to help finance college or pay back student loans.

TTY: 202-606-3472


Teach for America places members in schools where they are often eligible for loan deferral or forbearance.

Teach for America

Financial Aid FAQs

Meet the Admissions Team

Ray Pillidge

Ray Pillidge, MSW, LICSW
Associate Dean, Enrollment Management

Francois Exilhomme

Francois Exilhomme
Assistant Director, Admissions

Sally Gillen

Sally Gillen
Senior Admissions Assistant

Kellyann Stewart

Kellyann Stewart
Admissions and Student Services Assistant

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