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How to Apply

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Are you ready to take the next step?

Start to develop your voice as a social worker and apply now to earn your Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) online from Virginia Commonwealth University. All applicants must submit three letters of reference, official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities attended, a professional statement of intent, a current resume or vitae, in addition to completing the online application through VCU Graduate Admissions.

The admissions process is rigorous for the M.S.W. Program. The application review process includes an evaluation of each applicant across four areas of consideration: educational preparation, work experience, professional statement of intent and recommendations. Admissions decisions are also based on evaluations on compliance with the Technical Standards and Essential Functions for Social Work Students.

How to Apply

Open an application at VCU Graduate Admissions and choose the online M.S.W. Program format term start that you would like to apply for. Make sure that you have looked at the admission requirements. If you have any questions, you can talk to an enrollment advisor by emailing or calling (804) 207-4973.

Applicants will be required to respond to three different questions. Each statement should be no more than 500 words. We are looking for your ability to demonstrate your understanding of the social work profession, ethics/values and your suitability for our program. Visit the National Association of Social Workers website to learn more about social work ethics and values as well as the VCU School of Social Work website to learn more about our school’s commitment to social and racial justice. The questions include:

  • Identify one value from the NASW code of ethics (e.g. social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, etc.) and how it relates to your desire to complete/acquire an M.S.W. degree. Tip: Refer to the NASW Code of Ethics.
  • Please describe your social work career goals.
  • The School of Social Work is committed to social and racial justice. We stand against oppression of all groups and acknowledge specifically anti-Black racism and white dominance in perpetrating institutional discrimination. (See the school’s commitment statement). Please comment on what these statements mean to you and your desire to be a social worker.

Please provide transcripts from all undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institutions. Also, provide transcripts from any graduate institutions where you were enrolled in courses. For application purposes, you may use unofficial transcripts, but admitted applicants will be unable to matriculate without submitting their official transcripts from their degree-granting institution(s) to VCU Graduate Admissions. Official transcripts from all degree-granting institution(s) should be submitted electronically to

  • Three letters of recommendation. Select a cross-section of references, including employers, faculty or other individuals who have evaluated your work and can speak to your academic abilities and/or related paid social work or volunteer experience.
    • Applicants will provide details about each recommender with an email address, and an email to the online recommendation form will be sent to the recommender.

Students must have received a ‘B’ or better or pass in their senior field placement. If the applicant has not completed their senior placement, one of their letters of recommendation should be from someone who can assess their potential to do well in a field placement.

In addition, under the statement of intent, advanced standing students will be required to upload a response to a case statement (see application for prompt) and meet additional field requirements.

View the full list of requirements for Advanced Standing.

When you submit your application, there will be a $70 non-refundable application fee required to apply for the program.

Key Dates and Deadlines


Bachelor’s degree is required.

By submitting this form, I agree to be contacted via email, phone or text to learn more about the programs at Virginia Commonwealth University.