MSW Application Information | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Apply for the Master of Social Work Program

We’re glad you’re ready to take the next step towards joining the Brown School community!

The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis admits one class each year for the fall semester. Applications are accepted on a modified rolling basis; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early. Priority deadlines for admission and scholarship consideration are December 1 (early action) and March 1 (priority consideration). After March 1, admission and scholarship decisions are made based on availability through July 1.

  • Early Action: December 1
  • Priority Consideration: March 1
  • Rolling Admissions: After March 1
  • Final Deadline to Apply: July 1

Read more about the admissions timeline.

Application Instructions

Please review the following instructions carefully prior to beginning your application. Apply for the MSW here

The Brown School promotes a self-managed application process; the applicant is responsible for the timely submission of all required materials. We will review your file once you submit your application online and all required supporting materials have been received.

Click on each type of supporting material to learn more. 

Note: As of the Fall 2023 admissions cycle, the analytical essay is no longer a requirement for the MSW application.


Applicants are required to demonstrate successful completion of a bachelor’s degree (or degree in-progress*) from a regionally accredited college or university.

Unofficial electronic or scanned student-issued copies of transcripts should be provided for application review. Record your academic institution(s) and upload your unofficial transcript(s) in the Academic History section of the application. You must report all institutions where 6 or more credit hours have been completed towards your primary undergraduate degree.

Transcripts must provide the name of the institution, applicant name, dates of attendance, grades received for each course taken in all terms attended, degree conferred and the date of conferral (if applicable*), and transcript key or interpretation guide. Failure to upload unofficial copies of transcripts will cause your application to be considered incomplete until transcripts are received by the Brown School Office of Admissions & Recruitment.

Note: If coursework for study abroad/AP credit/summer courses is reflected on the transcript from the home academic institution, no additional transcripts are required for those courses.

*In-Progress transcripts: If you have not yet completed your bachelor’s degree at the time of application, please provide your unofficial transcripts showing the work you have completed to date. An admissions decision will be rendered, however any offer of admission is contingent upon successful completion of your degree.

Admitted students are required to provide a final official transcript from the institution that conferred the undergraduate degree upon accepting their offer of admission. Official transcripts must be sent to the Brown School directly by the issuing institution or its authorized agent. Final transcripts are accepted in electronic or hard copy format.

Secure electronic delivery of official transcripts should be routed to
Official physical transcripts should be mailed to:
Brown School Admissions
MSC 1196-0251-46
Washington University
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130

The Brown School reserves the right to revoke an offer of admission if discrepancies are found between your uploaded unofficial documents and official educational documents.

Personal Statement

Provide a personal statement that describes your interest in social work. Your essay should be two (2) pages single-spaced and should include the following:

  • Significant factors influencing your decision to pursue a Master of Social Work degree.
  • Relevant leadership experiences that will contribute to your overall success as a graduate student and in the social work profession.
  • Career goals and commitment to social change.
  • Specific reasons the Brown School is a good fit for your educational and professional goals.

Upload to the Application Materials section of the application.

Resume or CV

Submit a comprehensive resume or curriculum vitae highlighting your experiences, skills, awards, and accomplishments.

Upload to the Application Materials section of the application.

Video Interview

The Brown School requires applicants to the MSW, MPH and MSP programs to complete a video interview for admission consideration. A personalized link to the online video interview platform, Kira Talent, will be located within the "Video Interview" section of your application. Learn more about the process here.

Letters of Recommendation

Three (3) letters of recommendation from professional and/or academic colleagues are required. You will be asked to provide contact information in the application. Your recommenders will receive an email with instructions for completing the recommendation form and uploading a recommendation letter through our online system.

This format is preferred, however if a recommender is unable to submit their recommendation online, they may contact our office to arrange for an alternate submission.

$50 Non-Refundable Application Fee

The application fee can be paid by credit card in the online application. (Visa, MasterCard and Discover are accepted.)

MSW application fee waivers will be applied automatically for applicants meeting any of the following criteria, as demonstrated in the application:

  • Current Washington University students
  • Active duty, reservists, or veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Persons of American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) descent
  • Members of a national volunteer service corps organization (AmeriCorps, City Year, Peace Corps, TFA, etc.)
  • Participants in an academic pipeline to post-baccalaureate outreach program or scholars organization (Bonner Foundation, Coro Fellows, Fulbright, Gates Millennium Scholars, McNair Scholars, etc.)

The Brown School will consider application fee waivers for financial hardship or other extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis upon request.

Standardized Testing

The Brown School does not require a graduate entrance exam, such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), for admission to the MSW program.

International students are required to provide proof of language proficiency. Preferred standard testing options are the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS). See the international application requirements for additional information and options.

Please refer to the additional instructions provided if you are an international applicant; an advanced standing (BSW) applicant; a dual- or joint-degree seeking applicant; a transfer applicant; or a Washington University undergraduate student applying to the 3-2 program.