Apply to MSW Program

We prepare social workers to improve vulnerable lives at home and in the world; we seek applicants from a variety of personal, educational, and professional backgrounds. Our admissions team guides prospective students through the application process, considering applicants’ experience while assisting with questions and concerns.

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

Deadlines

Early
12/1/21
Priority
1/15/22
Regular
3/15/22

Application & Deadlines

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

Deadlines

  • Early: December 1, 2021
  • Priority: January 15, 2022
  • Regular: March 15, 2022

Resume

Please upload your most recent resume.

Letters of Recommendation

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:

  • How do you plan on pursuing social work practice that is anti-oppressive to attain social justice?
  • 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.

Transcripts

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 swadmit@bc.edu. 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

BCSSW offers application fee waivers for:

  • U.S. military veterans
  • Full-time volunteers with a recognized non-profit service organization such as the Peace Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, City Year, or AmeriCorps

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. Please note, if you have paid the fee prior to submitting a request for a fee waiver, the fee is not refundable. 

Support for Veterans

Questions

Check Your Application Status

How can I request a visit to the Boston College School of Social Work?

MSW applicants: Contact the BCSSW Admissions Office at swadmit@bc.edu or 617-552-4024 to arrange to meet with an admissions representative. It may also be possible to speak with a current BCSSW student or visit a class, with advance notice.

PhD applicants: Contact the doctoral program office at 617-552-4064 to arrange an in-person visit with a member of the doctoral program staff.

Due to ongoing concerns regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), admission information sessions, campus tours, and events have been suspended for now. We look forward to hosting you for a campus visit as soon as it is possible.

We encourage students and families to visit campus when programming resumes. We will post future event dates shortly and will be in touch with anyone who had previously registered for an event.

How can I sign up for a campus tour?

Schedule a Tour

Do you offer any information sessions?

MSW applicants: A number of information sessions for prospective students are offered during the academic year. They provide a valuable opportunity to talk with faculty, students, and admissions representatives.

How will my application be evaluated?

The evaluation of your application will include an assessment of academic performance and preparation, related experience, career objectives, potential for leadership, and commitment to social justice.

How do I add new information if I have already submitted my application?

You can send additional application material to swadmit@bc.edu or:

Boston College School of Social Work
140 Commonwealth Ave
Admissions
McGuinn Hall - Rm 221
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

How long can I defer my acceptance?

Accepted applicants to the MSW program may defer enrollment for one year by submitting the $200 tuition deposit and response form. Accepted applicants to the PhD program may defer enrollment by one year by contacting the doctoral program office.

Is there a minimum GRE score required to apply?

The GRE is not required for the MSW program but may be submitted to strengthen your application. The GRE is required for the PhD and MSW/PhD programs but there is no minimum score. Each case is evaluated on an individual basis. The BCSSW School Code is 3219 and BCSSW Department Code is 5199.

I submitted my application, but I won't have all my supplemental materials such as recommendations by the deadline; will you still accept my application?

You are considered an active applicant once you have submitted your application. Delays in completion of the application will result in later review, however, and could put you at a disadvantage for available spaces.

Can I request an extension for my application?

There is no need to request an application extension, but late application submissions are given a lower priority due to limited space.

Do you waive the application fee for veterans and other groups?

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.

How many credits will I take each semester?

It depends on your program. Please see our Full-time MSW and Part-time MSW pages and PhD in Social Work page for curriculum details.

If I enroll in the MSW Advanced Standing Program in January or June, when will I graduate?

Advanced standing students who enroll in June will graduate the following May, completing the program in 12 months. January entrants will graduate in May of the following year, completing the program in 18 months.

If I am an MSW Advanced Standing Student, will I have one or two field placements? How many hours?

Advanced standing students have a 240-hour spring or summer placement followed by a 720-hour advanced concentration placement during the final academic year.

Can I take course electives outside of BCSSW?

A student may cross-register for one social work-related elective per semester in another graduate school or department at Boston College (e.g., Lynch School of Education, Carroll School of Management, School of Theology and Ministry, Sociology Department, Psychology Department). Students may also take electives during the academic year at Boston University, Tufts University, and Brandeis University through the Boston Area Graduate Consortium.

Are Advanced Standing students eligible to do the Global field of practice?

MSW Advanced Standing students may apply for the Global Practice concentration by taking a 16-month Advanced Standing curriculum which begins with January enrollment. After completing the Spring term Advanced Standing curriculum, students take the Global field of practice final year curriculum, beginning with summer term.

Can I transfer credits or apply for advanced standing?

Students, with the exceptions noted below, may request transfer of not more than six graduate credits taken prior to admission. Only courses in which a student has received a grade of B or better, and which have not been applied to a prior degree, will be accepted. If approved, the transfer course and credit, but not the grade, will be recorded on the student's academic record. Credit received for courses completed five years prior to a student’s admission to their current degree program are not acceptable for transfer. Requests for transfer credit must be made prior to program enrollment.

M.S.W. students who earned a B.S.W. degree from an accredited Council of Social Work Education program within the previous five years may apply for advanced standing equal to a maximum of 21 credits. Students who earned course and/or field work credits in an accredited M.S.W. program may receive up to 32 credits needed for graduation. Only courses in which a student has received a grade of B or better will be accepted.

Contact

BCSSW Admissions
617-552-4024
swadmit@bc.edu

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.

Check Your Application Status

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.

Transcripts

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 www.toefl.org.

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.

BC Office of International Students and Scholars

Financial Aid

BCSSW offers scholarships to about 95% of accepted students—with no additional application to complete. 

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