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. 

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 science—biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and statistics.

Social Sciences courses include:

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Social Work
  • History
  • Criminal Justice

(Human Biology no longer required effective November 2007)

Applicants applying for advanced standing must have earned a BSW degree from an accredited Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) baccalaureate program within seven years of their scheduled enrollment dates.

We do not require GRE Scores.

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 2020, 2022, 2024, 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.

Pitt’s MSW program does not grant academic or field-education credit for life, volunteer, or employment experience.

Apply to the School of Social Work MSW Program