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. The application opens annually on September 1. Applications are accepted on a modified rolling basis; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early. Deadlines for admission and scholarship consideration are December 1 (early review) and March 1 (priority review). After March 1 admission and scholarship decisions are made based on availability until the following deadlines:

  • International Applicant Final Deadline – April 1 
  • Domestic Applicant Final Deadline – July 1 

Read more about the admissions timeline.

Application Requirements

Please review the following instructions carefully prior to beginning your application. The Master of Social Work application is available here through the Washington University Graduate Admissions portal.

The Brown School promotes a self-managed application process; it is your responsibility to monitor the status of your application and ensure the timely submission of all required materials.Your submitted application will be considered fully complete and placed under review once all MSW application requirements are met.

Click on each application requirement 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. Degrees earned outside the U.S. must be determined equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree.

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.

Unofficial transcripts must provide the institution name, applicant name, dates of attendance, grades received for each course taken in all terms attended, degree information, and transcript key or interpretation guide.

*In-Progress transcripts: If you have not yet completed your bachelor’s degree at the time of application, please provide unofficial transcripts showing the work you have completed to date. 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. 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 and demonstrates your understanding of social work concepts. 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 complete a brief video interview. You will access the interview through a personalized link to our video interview platform, Kira Talent. The link will be available in your application checklist once you submit your MSW application. Learn more about the interview process here.

Letters of Recommendation

Two (2) 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.

$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 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 MSW application fee waivers for financial hardship or other extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis upon request.

Scholarship Consideration Form

The Brown School offers a range of partial-tuition scholarships to assist students with funding their degree.

Students wishing to be considered for scholarship must complete the Brown School Scholarship Consideration Form within the Application Materials section of the 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 through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). See the international application requirements for additional information.

Please refer to the additional application instructions for the following groups: