Admission Qualifications


Persons seeking admission to the MSW program must exhibit potential and professional capabilities essential to function effectively in a graduate school environment.

An applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A minimum average of a B (3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale) in all undergraduate work.
  • We do not require GRE Scores.

All applicants are reviewed holistically. A student with a grade point average of less than 3.0 may be admitted provisionally to the program. Applicants with grade point averages of less than 3.0 may be required to interview with the school’s admissions office.

Successful completion of 3-credit coursework in statistics or quantitative analysis (If a student does not have a course in Statistics, this requirement must be completed before enrollment).

A minimum of 60 undergraduate (or undergraduate plus graduate) divided into 30 credits in the liberal arts and 30 credits in the social sciences is recommended, not required.

Liberal Arts classes include:

  • Humanities—English, fine arts, languages, literature, philosophy, religion, and communication
  • Fine Arts—art, photography, dance, and theater
  • Natural sciences—biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and statistics
  • Social Sciences classes include:
  • Psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, political Science, social work, history, criminal justice

School of Social Work Policy #25:4: Consistent with the Council on Social Work Education's Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards, the School of Social Work's MSW Program does not grant course credit, transfer credit, or exemptions for prior life, volunteer, or employment experience

Advanced Standing

Students who enter the MSW Program with full advanced standing can complete their program with a minimum of 39 credits, with full-time enrollment options for both 12-month (fall, spring, summer) and 16-month (fall, spring, fall) options.

Students who have received a social work degree within the past seven academic calendar years from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program (or one recognized by the Council on Social Work Education’s International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service, or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors) are eligible for advanced standing.

Those students who are granted advanced standing during the admission process can receive up to 15 academic credits. The number of advanced standing credits granted depends on the comparability of the student’s undergraduate courses to this Program’s generalist courses and on the grades they earned in those undergraduate courses (i.e., must be a “B-” grade or higher).

In addition, students entering with advanced standing can receive six (6) field education credits. The six (6) credits of field education are granted based on the number of hours of field experience completed at the undergraduate level, provided that the undergraduate social work practicum totals a minimum of 400 clock hours and the student has achieved a passing grade or at least a “B-“ grade or better.

See Advanced Standing Sample Courses of Study

Bradford & Johnstown Campuses

The School of Social Work offers its MSW degree program at both the University of Pittsburgh’s Bradford and Johnstown campuses. Admissions requirements at those two campuses are the same as at the Pittsburgh campus, except that the Bradford and Johnstown campuses offer the MSW degree in a part-time-only program format. In addition, the Bradford and Johnstown campuses will only admit students once every other year (in 2024, 2026, 2028, etc.).


Formerly enrolled students who withdrew from Pitt’s MSW program for more than one year and wish to be readmitted to the school must resubmit an MSW application. In addition, such students must submit a two-page, double spaced personal statement stating why they are requesting readmission and why they believe they will be successful this time around. Also, one new letter of recommendation (not from a reference previously submitted upon initial enrollment to the school) must be submitted.  

Transfer Applications

Applicants who within the past seven academic years have completed graduate-level coursework may be granted transfer credit. For applicants requesting transfer credit from non-social work graduate degree programs, a maximum of 12 credits can be transferred. Applicants transferring from other Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited schools can receive a maximum of 30 transfer credits.

Consistent with the Council on Social Work Education's, Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards, the School of Social Work does not grant course or field credit, transfer credit, or exemptions for prior life, volunteer, or employment experience.

Apply to the School of Social Work MSW Program