Supplimentary Information for MSW Admissions

The following materials must be submitted to complete the MSW application packet:

  1. A $30.00 non-refundable application fee.
  2. Complete the Online Graduate Application.
  3. MSW Supplemental Packet instructions embedded in the Online Graduate Application.
  4. An official transcript from each graduate and undergraduate institution you have attended.
  5. Student requesting to transfer from another MSW program must include a syllabus for course work, a copy of your field work evaluation and a recommendation from a faculty member of the school from which you are transferring.

Master of Social Work Requirements for Admission

Admission to the MSW program is based on an assessment of prior academic preparation, social work related employment, volunteer experience and/or participation in community activities; and intellectual and emotional readiness for graduate education.

Applicants are evaluated based on the following:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  2. Submission of all required admission materials. In order to ensure full consideration applications should be received by May 15th for full-time consideration & July 15th for part-time consideration.
  3. Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (calculated on the last two years of undergraduate study). A limited number of applicants may be admitted with less than the minimum GPA requirement. This exception may be granted to students who have been out of school for five or more years and/or those with references indicating outstanding work experience in human service employment.
  4. A broad liberal arts background with minimum of 33 hours required in the following areas: behavioral sciences, arts and humanities and natural science, and mathematics / statistics. Most applicants will exceed these minimums.
  5. Academic credit cannot be granted for previous life or work experience.
  6. A 3 to 5 page double-spaced essay on your career and educational objectives.

    Please address the following:

    • What in your life experience motivated you to pursue a career in social work?
    • What do you view as your personal strengths and limitations.
    • What has been your experience with diverse populations (e.g. racial, ethnic, differently-abled) in field practicum over 4 semesters.  Please indicate how you plan to meet this commitment. This is particularly critical for employed students.
    • Why do you think you would make a good social work student and an effective social worker?
    • What are your future career goals and how will an MSW program help you meet them?
  7. A minimum of three letters of recommendation. At least one academic reference is required if you graduated within the last 3 years. Other references should include individuals who have supervised your work, internship, or volunteer experiences and can objectively assess your qualifications for the practice of social work. Advanced standing applicants must have a recommendation and/or evaluation from their undergraduate field instructor.
  8. A resume.

Students with specific academic deficiencies may be asked to complete compensatory undergraduate work prior to admission. Students who do not meet all the requirements but whose experience, achievement, etc. may warrant an exception, may be invited for a personal interview to discuss admission and explore options. Because of limited class size we are not able to accept all qualified applicants.

Note: If you have been convicted of a felony or have been arrested for a crime for which criminal charges are pending, you must attach an explanation of the nature of the crime and relevant facts. (This information cannot be used to automatically disqualify applicants.) Many agencies will require background checks prior to accepting a student for an intern.

School Social Work Specialization Application for Current CSU MSW Students


The Chicago State University, School Social Work Concentration Application is required to assist the faculty in determining the best candidates for this demanding concentration. The requests for this concentration exceed the demand and therefore all qualified candidates will not be selected. Your opportunities will be enhanced by completing the following materials on or before the designated timelines.           

The School Social Work Concentration Application Deadline is December 30th .   

Click here for steps to Apply

Step One: You must be an MSW student in good standing. Only those students who hold a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 with at least a grade of B in all courses in the Social Work major will be considered. 

Step Two: You must complete the brief Specialization Application and the Field Placement Application and submit it to the Department of Social Work no later than December 30th.

As part of your application, please obtain two letters of recommendations

  • One must be from your current field instructor
  • One must be from a CSU MSW faculty member able to speak to your academic performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

600 clock hours are required by the Illinois State Board of Education for the School Service Personnel Certificate for School Social Work. That translates into about 21-24 hours weekly (depending on the length of the school day) or 3 full days per week.
Some school Districts offer a small stipend to their interns. Conditions and amounts vary and should be verified during your interview with a District.
No- you must meet a number of learning standards that require work during the traditional school day. Even if you are placed in a community school, which may have a longer school day, the bulk of your hours will be completed before 3pm.
Yes- many districts require a commitment for the full school year. Our department and the Illinois State Board require 600 clock hours therefore, even if you are completing hours through the end of the District’s school year, you should remain within the clock hour requirement.
We have affiliation agreements with Chicago Public Schools and several suburban districts in the Chicagoland area. We will work with you but in some cases (e.g. CPS) assignments are made through the District.
During the fall semester before you graduate. You are strongly encouraged to pass the exam prior to the start of field placement spring semester. Additional information on initial licensure is available here
Yes- CSU received approval from ISBE to offer the Type 73, now the PEL for school social workers in March, 2005.
Yes- the school social work concentration only allows for 2 elective courses due to the requirement that students complete S ED 5301,Characteristics of the Exceptional Child through the Department of Education. If you have completed this course at the undergraduate level within the last 5 years you will still take 3 graduate elective courses.