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Admission Requirements

Students from all academic disciplines are invited to apply to the Master of Social Work program. Students admitted to the graduate social work program may be admitted as a 1st year student (63 semester credits) or to the advanced standing program (41 credits).

Students requesting admission to either program must demonstrate the following:

  • A four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 is expected with a GPA of 3.0 or better in the applicant's major field of study. Students with an overall GPA lower than 2.75 may be considered for admission provided that the GPA from the junior and senior years of their baccalaureate program is 3.0 or higher.
  • An official transcript showing evidence of having successfully completed (C [2.0] or better) a minimum of 21 semester credits in any of the following liberal arts areas: psychology, sociology, ecology, political science, law, economics, business, statistics, research, and oral or written communication.
  • Evidence of potential to practice social work, such as submission of evaluation material from field supervisors in the applicant's baccalaureate program, letters of recommendation from supervisors in professional employment settings (or full-time volunteer settings, e.g., VISTA), letters of recommendation from faculty in a related field of study (e.g., religion, psychology, sociology).
  • Personal statement/writing sample (6-8 pages). See instructions under Application Forms.
  • A basic understanding of computer technology, including good word processing skills.

Additional requirements for advanced standing:

  • Applicants must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or better for the last 90 quarter credits or last 60 semester credits in their baccalaureate program.
  • A grade of B- [2.7] or higher is required in all upper division social work classes.
  • Applicants must have completed their BSW within five years of enrollment in this MSW program. This limit may be extended if the applicant has been working full time in the field of social work since receiving their undergraduate degree. Individuals applying for advanced standing must submit a copy of their senior practicum evaluation and any other supporting documents (such as information related to terms spent overseas, in urban or rural settings, or a copy of a research project) that can establish their competency to begin graduate study.
  • It is preferred that applicants have one full year of social work employment, one year of voluntary service in a human services setting (e.g., VISTA, MCC, AmeriCorps), or an overseas experience by the time they matriculate. Applicants need to submit a letter of reference from their on-site supervisor with their application materials.
  • Consideration for admission to advanced standing will be given to outstanding, recent graduates of BSW programs who have not completed a full year of work in a social service agency but have participated in diverse voluntary settings during their college or university experience (e.g., overseas terms, urban plunges, rural projects, or outstanding research projects).

Other options for students not qualified for advanced standing:

  • Applicants who are recent graduates of a baccalaureate program accredited by CSWE but do not meet all of the program's requirements for advanced standing may request to meet with the Program Director.
  • Applicants who are not graduates of a BSW or B.A. social work program but who have graduated in a related field and believe that a particular Generalist course will be redundant may request to take an examination as an option for challenging the course. A maximum of 12 credits may be challenged.

How to Apply

We are accepting applications for our fall 2020 start. We'll get you scheduled for the interview after your application has been received. Notification of acceptance status will be given within 1 week of the interview date.

To get scheduled for our next interview, Apply Now →

The full application packet will need to be completed to secure your interview appointment. For the complete list of application items, click on Application Forms. Your application packet will be finished once all items listed are submitted.

If you have questions or need information not available on the website, please contact Lindsay Kuhl at (208) 467-8854 or

Application Forms

In order to complete your admission file, please review below. Please return the forms that indicate they need to be returned to either or the Graduate Admissions Dept., Attn: Lindsay Kuhl, Northwest Nazarene University, 623 S. University Blvd., Nampa, ID 83686. If you have questions about these forms, please contact Lindsay Kuhl at (208) 467-8854 or

  • Application is online only and has a non-refundable $50 fee, payable with the application or by contacting the Business Office at 208-467-8591
  • Personal Statement Guidelines
  • Resume - Please include volunteer service & a brief description of duties, especially if you do not have work experience in Social Work.
  • Reference Form - A total of three reference forms, professional and/or academic. Simply send the link to this form to each of your references. When completed it will arrive here securely.
  • Official Transcript(s) - One official transcript from the college or university with your bachelor degree posted (must be from a regionally accredited institution). If transferring in graduate credits, please include graduate transcript(s) as well. We do accept transcripts submitted through a secure electronic delivery service. Note: Faxed transcripts are not official. Students who earn degrees outside the United States must have a complete evaluation done by a member of NACES to ensure undergraduate degree equivalents. Visit to locate a member.  Exceptions are:  all Nazarene Universities and Northwest University in China.
  • Nationwide Background Check -You do not need to initiate this process—it will be taken care of at the time of your interview.