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MSW Admission Criteria

  • Completion of the Boise State University Graduate Admissions Application.
  • Acceptance by the Boise State University Graduate College
  • Acceptance by the MSW Admissions Committee.
  • An overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher and a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Note: Applicants will not receive academic credit for work experience in the field or for life experience

Instructions for Graduate Applicants

For your convenience, you can download following Instructions in PDF format.

Thank you for considering the Boise State University School of Social Work Graduate Program.
The process of applying is relatively straightforward and fully online. The application is broken down into three distinctive parts:

  1. Create an account
  2. Apply to the Graduate College
  3. Apply to the Social Work Graduate Program

1. Create an Account

Go to the Graduate College how to apply page and start your application. You will be redirected to the ‘Create New Account’ page. Submit your information. Shortly after, you will receive an email similar to the one below, confirming your credentials.

2. Apply to the Graduate College

To continue your application, follow the link in the account confirmation email you have just received or visit the login page. Log in using your newly acquired credentials. At this time, you will be asked to pay the application fee (please refer to the Graduate College for the current fee). This part of the application still pertains to the Graduate College only. Once you submit it, you should receive an email similar to the one below. Please read it carefully.

3. Apply to the Social Work Graduate Program

Finally, you are ready to apply to the Social Work Graduate Program. To continue your application, follow the link in the second email you have just received or visit the log in page. For the Social Work application, you will need to prepare, and subsequently upload two documents:

  1. Personal Statement
  2. Professional Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

You will also need to provide three letters of recommendation, answer questions about Criminal History and read the NASW Code of Ethics (explained below).

We offer our programs at four locations: Boise, Coeur d’Alene, Twin Falls and Lewiston. At this point in the application, you will be able to select your preference.

Personal Statement

Your personal statement is a series of questions to be answered in essay format in one document, limited to no more than 7 double-spaced pages (8-9 pages for Advance Standing applicants). Clearly label each answer using following headings:

  • Life Experience, Education, and Volunteer Experience
  • Social Work Philosophy
  • Diversity
  • Personal Strengths
  • Undergraduate Social Work Education (Advanced Standing applicants only)

Your essay should reflect your best professional writing. Be specific in addressing your experiences and distinguishable qualities and explain how they contribute to your interest in and preparation for the field of social work. Your discussion on the listed topics will assist the Admissions Committee in evaluating your capacity and readiness for graduate social work education. In essence, this is your interview with the Admission Committee.

Life Experience, Education, and Volunteer Experience (1-2 pages)
Describe how personal life experiences, formal education and/or volunteer work have contributed to your decision to seek admission to the graduate social work program and the impact you expect them to have on your professional practice.

Social Work philosophy (1-2 pages)
Reflect on the following statement from the preamble to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers, and explain how it relates to your career goals:

 “The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s focus on individual well-being in a social context and the well-being of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living.”

Diversity (1-2 pages)
Discuss how contact with persons who differ from you in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic class, political perspectives, religion, or cultural background have affected your personal philosophy, values and world view.

Personal strengths (1 page)
Discuss the strengths you bring that will contribute to your success in graduate social work education.

Undergraduate Social Work education (1-2 pages) – ADVANCED STANDING APPLICANTS ONLY!
Discuss the contributions of your BSW education and post-BSW professional practice experience to your preparedness for graduate social work education. Include practice responsibilities, accomplishments, recognitions, professional development and continuing education activities.

Current Resume or CV

Your resume or CV should be chronological, and must include information about your education, employment, awards, and any paid or unpaid social work experience.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. Only letters received through this online application system will be considered for review. Thus, you must complete all fields, including an email address for each recommender, as your letters must be uploaded through this system. The program will not accept as valid any letters sent in hard copy or emailed directly to the program. The process is streamlined, and your recommendation writers will receive an email (similar to the one below) informing them of your request. Your recommenders will be asked to create their own accounts and upload the recommendation letter.

NOTE: Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, students have access to their education record, including letters of recommendation. However, students may waive their right to see letters of evaluation, in which case the letters will be held in confidence. In the application, you will be asked if you wish to waive this right, and your decision will be communicated to the recommender.

Criminal History

Social Work practicum and employment agencies frequently require criminal background checks for students and employees. While past convictions do not necessarily preclude admission to the MSW Program, they may affect availability of practicum placements and future employability. The School of Social Work offers professional education in preparation for social work licensure and practice. Examination for the license to practice social work in Idaho and other states includes an evaluation of the applicant’s criminal record.

Ethical Statement

The NASW Code of Ethics is intended to serve as a guide to the everyday professional conduct of social workers. If admitted to our program, you will be asked to provide signed and notarized Ethical Statement. At this time however, in the online application, we only ask for the confirmation that you have read the NASW Code of Ethics and are aware that violation of the code may result in the termination from the program.