Admission requirements

Applicants can apply for Core (fall term start) or Advanced Standing (spring/summer term start). Core is for students who have a non-social work undergraduate degree or a BSW earned prior to 5 years. Advanced Standing is for students who have earned a BSW degree within the last 5 years from a CSWE accredited school. 

Program timeline

MSW program timeline chart

The MSW Advanced Standing program full-time option is completed over the span of 10 to 16 months, and starts during the Spring/Summer semester. The MSW Advanced Standing part-time option is completed over the course of two years, and starts exclusively during the Fall semester. The MSW Core program full-time is completed over the course of two years, and starts exclusively during the Fall semester. Finally, the MSW Core program part-time is completed over the span of three to four years, and also begins exclusively in the Fall semester.

Application information

All applicants are encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible as admissions will close once program capacity has been reached. Applications may be submitted up to one year prior to the start of the beginning term of the program. Thus, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply and submit all application materials as early as possible. Earlier admission is best for scholarship eligibility, field placement and course section availability. All students admitted to the MSW program must attend a mandatory orientation. The social work program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.

  • CORE: Only those who hold a baccalaureate degree in another discipline besides Social Work are eligible to apply for this status. The program is 60 credits and begins fall term. It can be completed in 2 years (full-time), or 3 - 4 years (part-time).
  • ADVANCED STANDING: Only students who hold a baccalaureate degree of Social Work from a CSWE accredited program are eligible to apply for this status. The program is 36 credit hours and begins summer term. It can be completed in 10 months (full-time), or 12 months, 16 months, 2 years (part-time).  Applicants applying to the advanced standing program must have a B.S.W. degree that was awarded five years or less from their admission to the advanced standing program. Those with a B.S.W. degree older than five years may apply to the core program. 
    • Note: Students may apply for the MSW Advanced Standing Fall Term start; however, this option only allows part time status and will take 2 years to complete. Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding a plan of work for more details.

All application materials must be submitted by the EXTENDED application deadline of June 1.

The links below are guides for submitting required documentation for the online application:

Applicants must complete 30-semester credits in academic work, distributed in the social and biological sciences and in the humanities, and demonstrate suitability and fitness for the profession and the ability to undertake successfully graduate professional education in social work. 

Steps to apply

Apply now

Applicants for the Wayne State University (WSU) Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree Program complete one application. School and university policies governing each application process are in the current University Graduate Bulletin.

This includes a fee, submission of official transcripts, resume, statement of purpose, and 2 references. 

The School of Social Work at Wayne State University welcomes all applicants for our social work programs. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and do not discriminate on any basis, including history of criminal background in admissions consideration. We do not discriminate or deny anyone admission based on criminal history; it is important for applicants to disclose information about background so that they understand any possible professional restrictions related to certain crimes. Read more about criminal background information here

MSW information meetings

The School of Social Work conducts bi-weekly information meetings on its programs. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of these meetings prior to applying.