MSW Application Information | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

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!

We accept one class each year for the fall semester. Applications are accepted on a modified rolling basis; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early.

To receive priority consideration for admission and scholarship, applicants should apply by the regular decision deadline.

  • Priority Consideration: December 15
  • Regular Decision: March 1
  • Rolling Admissions: After March 1
  • Final Deadline to Apply: July 1

Read more about the admissions timeline.

Application Instructions

The application for the Brown School’s Master of Social Work program is available online. Please review the following instructions carefully prior to beginning your application. Then, use the link on our Apply page to create an account in the Brown School Admissions Portal and access the application.

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 of the following supporting documents have been received.

Click on each type of supporting document to learn more.


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 may be provided for application review. Record the academic institution(s) attended and upload your unofficial transcripts to the relevant sections of the online 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 relevant section of the online application.

Analytical Essay

Analyze a social issue that is of great concern to you. Your analysis should be two (2) pages single-spaced and should include the following:

  • A description of the issue and key factors contributing to it.
  • Plausible solution(s) to the issue and possible steps for implementation.
  • Challenges likely to surface in seeking a solution.
  • Credible sources cited throughout the essay to support your analysis. A third page may be used for References/Work Cited.

Upload to the relevant section of the online application.

Resume or CV

Submit a comprehensive resume or curriculum vitae. Upload to the relevant section of the online application.

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 are available for applicants meeting specific criteria: Active duty, reservist or veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces; applicant of American Indian or Alaska Native descent; member of national service volunteer service-based agency or organization; member of academic pipeline to post-baccalaureate outreach program; applicants with demonstrated financial hardship.

If you are eligible to request an application fee waiver, please download the MSW Application Fee Waiver Request Form and gather required supporting documentation. Upload the form and required certification to the relevant section of the online application.

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.

Washington University encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid, and employment. The University does not discriminate in access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, veteran status, or disability. Inquiries about compliance should be addressed to the University's Executive Director of Human Resources, Washington University in St. Louis, Campus Box 1184, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130-4899, (314) 935-5990.