Apply to the MSW Program

All our MSW programs, except the 4-year on-campus program, are full for Fall 2022.  We will continue to review applications for our 4-year on-campus program until it is filled.

MSW Program Admission Requirements

Admissions decisions to the MSW program are primarily based on a review of your previous undergraduate and graduate work, your experience in human services (paid, volunteer, research and internship)., and the references and written documentation you provide.  You must meet the following criteria:

  1. Evidence of an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, or be enrolled in a course of study that will result in the award of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university before you begin your MSW studies.
  2. A satisfactory scholastic average, generally a minimum cumulative grade point average of B or better (3.0 on a 4-point scale) on undergraduate or graduate course work. Occasional exceptions may be made if the applicant demonstrates the ability to successfully complete graduate-level work, and these applicants may be admitted on a probationary basis.
  3. An undergraduate record that reflects a liberal arts perspective as demonstrated by the successful completion of a minimum of at least four courses in the social and behavioral sciences (psychology, sociology, anthropology, human geography, social work, economics, political science, curriculum & instruction, government, criminal justice, history, languages, etc.) and two courses in humanities (philosophy, religion, history, English, art, music). NOTE: Other social and behavioral sciences courses and humanities outside of the listed disciplines may be accepted.
  4. A grade of “C” or better in an introductory statistics or research methods course in any undergraduate department or a plan to complete this prerequisite within the first semester of graduate study.
  5. Evidence of critical thinking skills and the ability to communicate effectively in writing, as reflected in the application documents.
  6. Evidence that the applicant possesses the personal qualities, aptitudes, and values essential for the social work profession, congruent with social work values, and respectful of the dignity of all human beings.
  7. Evidence that the applicant is able to meet the emotional requirements of the program and possess a capacity to develop positive interpersonal relationships.
  8. Experience related to social welfare or human services including volunteer, paid, internship, or research experience.

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE), the Miller’s Analogy Test (MAT), and other graduate tests are not required.

Advanced Standing Applicants:

Advanced Standing applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Evidence of an earned Bachelors degree in Social Work (or completed BSW degree by the time of matriculation) from a Council on Social Work Education accredited BSW program within the last seven (7) years.
  2. Equivalent coursework at the undergraduate level to UMaine’s Generalist year courses completed with a “B” or better strongly preferred
  3. 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA, or better, preferred
  4. Evidence of experience in the human services field with MSW supervision

International Applicants:

Applications from international students are accepted provided they meet all admission requirements plus those regulations established by the university for international students.

English proficiency requirements:

  • TOEFL – minimum score of 550 (paper test), 213 (computer-based test) or 80 (Internet)
  • IELTS – minimum score of 6.5
  • PTE – Minimum score: 60

In order to obtain a student visa, applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to pay for one year of education at the University of Maine.  For more information about financial requirements to obtain an I-20 form, please contact the Office of International Programs – International Admissions

MSW Application Directions

Applicants for the MSW program are required to submit all of the following materials in order for their application to be considered complete. Applicants should review the School of Social Work MSW Application information listed below.  It is especially important that you review the information about completing the UMaine School of Social Work personal essay.  After you have reviewed our MSW application information, applicants should review the Application Instructions and Application Steps provided on the Graduate School’s website.

1. University of Maine Graduate School Application

All University of Maine graduate program applications, including the MSW program, are completed using a central online application site.  Specifically, MSW applicants may complete applications by using the Graduate School’s online application .

2. Official Transcripts

The School of Social Work’s Graduate Admission committee requests applicants to provide official transcripts from all institutions at which they have taken classes. All transcripts must be sent directly to the University of Maine Graduate School from the issuing institution (either by post mail or electronically). If you have taken classes or obtained your degree from a University of Maine System campus, your transcripts will be obtained by the Graduate School and you will not be required to submit them.

3. MSW Admissions Essay 

MSW Admissions Essay Guidelines

Please upload a brief essay of between 800 and 1,000 words (about 4 double spaced pages) please address the following topics:

  1. Please reference the NASW Code of Ethics in describing the values that guide your life and work.  Please include information about your background and your life and employment experiences that demonstrate your fit with the social work profession.
  2. What are your professional goals and how do you see this degree as helping you achieve those goals?
  3. Explain your plan for managing your graduate education.  Let us know how you will balance employment and other responsibilities with the demands of the MSW program, including field practicum hours, courses and homework.
  4. Describe your understanding, experiences, and commitment to advancing diversity and social justice.
  5. Describe one major social problem that is of greatest personal concern or interest to you.  Discuss why, in your opinion, the problem deserves public attention and resources, and make a recommendation or several recommendations for addressing the problem.

4. Three Letters of Recommendation 

The UMaine Graduate School Application will ask for the names and email addresses of at least three people who will be providing references on the your graduate application. References reflecting your academic ability and/or suitability for social work are desirable. If you are currently employed or volunteering in a social service agency, it is important to include a reference from your direct supervisor. Members of your own family, your therapist or personal friends are not appropriate references.

5. Resume

Please include a brief resume of your education, professional development activities, work, and volunteer experiences.

6.  Field Evaluation

For applicants to the Advanced Standing program, please provide your final field evaluation.  For students who have not yet graduated, please provide your mid-year field evaluation as part of your application.

Questions about the application process?

Please contact Lynne Gamperle, our Administrative Specialist for Student Services, at 207.581.2389 or