Social Work Master of Social Work (MSW)

How to Apply

Application Deadlines

Fort Collins Cohort

Earned a BSW? Start Date Location Application Deadline
Traditional (3yr) No Spring 2022 Fort Collins July 1, 2021
Advanced Standing (2yr) Yes Spring 2023 Fort Collins July 1, 2022

Boulder Cohort

Earned a BSW? Start Date Location Application Deadline
Advanced Standing (2yr) Yes Spring 2022 Boulder July 1, 2021

Start your application online and upload materials directly into the online system. You can save your progress and return any time.

Apply Now

1 Review Admission Requirements

Admission to the Social Work (MSW) degree has the following requirements:

  • At least 400 hours of verifiable human service work and/or volunteer experience
  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution
    • Minimum of 18 credits of interdisciplinary liberal arts coursework, spanning social, behavioral and biological sciences.
      • Applicants must have completed at least one course in physical and biological sciences and mathematics (examples: biology, calculus, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, or statistics).
      • Applicants must have completed at least three courses in social sciences (examples: anthropology, economics, education, ethnic studies, gender studies, human development, international relations, political science, psychology, social work, or sociology).
    • An applicant must present a plan for completing any missing prerequisites in the above criteria before being considered for admission.
    • These courses may be taken at any accredited college, university, or community college; or by telecourse, by correspondence, by independent study, by CLEP (College-Level Examination Program), or online.
    • These courses must be successfully completed prior to the beginning of classes in order for you to begin the program.
  • 3.0 GPA (4.0 scale) – occasional exceptions may be made if applicant demonstrates ability to successfully complete graduate-level work
  • GRE scores are not required

Advanced Standing Program:

The Advanced Standing program is for applicants who have graduated from an accredited undergraduate social work program within the past 7 years. Advanced students begin our program by supplementing their BSW education with three courses, then go directly into the concentration.

The following are the minimum requirements for admission to the Advanced Standing program:

  • Four-year undergraduate degree in social work earned within the last 7 years from an accredited BSW program
  • 3.0 overall grade point average
  • 3.0 grade point average in social work courses

Note that meeting the minimum department standards does not ensure admission to the program. Admission to Colorado State University graduate programs is based on a number of factors, including prior academic and professional experience and the personal statement.

2 Prepare Application Materials

Prepare the materials below when you apply online.

  • Three letters of recommendation
    Appropriate sources for references include employers, field instructors, supervisors and university faculty. One reference must be a person who has most recently supervised the applicant in a human service delivery experience (paid, volunteer, or educational).
    Three professional recommendations are required. You will provide information about your recommenders in the online application. CSU will contact them with instructions and a link to a secure form on your behalf.

  • Resume
    This must include a computation of hours worked in each social service setting.

  • Statement of purpose
    In general, you will be asked to discuss your life experience and your professional goals and relate those to social services and the social work profession. Detailed guidelines of specific topics to include in this statement are available in MSW Distance program application.

3 Complete Online Application

Complete the online graduate application and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online). As soon as you have completed the required information, please submit your application. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete and all required materials have been received.

Boulder Cohort (Advanced Standing)

  • Select "Social Work (MSW) - Boulder" when choosing the program of study.

Fort Collins Cohort

  • Select "Social Work (MSW) - Fort Collins" when choosing the program of study.

4 Request Transcripts

Request one official transcript of all collegiate work completed from every institution attended, whether or not you received a degree from those institutions. Transcripts from Colorado State University are not required. Official transcripts can be either mailed in or sent as e-transcripts.

Send e-transcripts to: gradadmissions@colostate.edu

Send paper copies to:
Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University - Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Once your complete application, including supporting materials, is received, the department admission committee will review your application and notify you of their decision.

Information for International Students

Official transcript translation

Ensure official copies include a certified translation into English (only one set of transcripts is required).

Official test scores

Colorado State University requires that proficiency in English language be demonstrated either by the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE academic tests prior to admission. Please submit one of the official scores from the list below. Tests must be taken within two years prior to admission and submitted directly from the Educational Testing Service (select institution code: 4075).

  • The minimum TOEFL score for admission without condition is 550 (paper-based), or 80 (internet-based).
  • The minimum IELTS score for admission without condition is 6.5.
  • The minimum PTE Academic score for admission without condition is 58.

All applicants who are citizens of countries in which English is not the official language, and who do not have an undergraduate degree from the U.S. must submit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores.

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