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MSW Admissions

Information Sessions for Prospective Applicants

Recognizing that many prospective applicants have questions about the M.S.W. program, the GCSW offers a series of information meetings between August and February. Interested persons can register online for an information meeting here.

Application Deadlines 

Fall Admissions: The deadline for submitting applications (for all applicants) to the GCSW is March 1st. Late applications may be accepted based on space availability.

*To be eligible for Advanced Standing, applicants must hold a BSW degree.

Admissions Requirements and Necessary Documentation

To be considered for unconditional admission to the M.S.W. Program, applicants must:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. The undergraduate education must reflect a sound liberal arts foundation, including courses in the humanities, as well as in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences. You must submit official academic transcripts showing the date the degree was awarded.
  • Have achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or better. (4.0 scale) for the last 60 hours of academic course work. We will calculate your GPA based on your transcripts. If your GPA for the last 60 hours is below a 3.0 but at least a 2.6 you may be eligible for conditional admission.
  • Recommendations are required from persons who can address your ability and potential for graduate education and professional social work practice (i.e., former professors, employment supervisors, professional colleagues). If you are applying for Advanced Standing, the suggestion is that at least two of your three references be from individuals in your BSW program who can speak to your BSW performance, which could include the program director, a faculty member, or your Field Instructor or Coordinator.
  • Submit a personal narrative statement that describes your interest in social work and your commitment to social, racial, political, and economic justice. Specific instructions for the narrative statement are provided on the MSW Application Checklist page.

Persons who hold a nonimmigrant type visa have additional application requirements. Please refer to the University of Houston's information for International Applicants.

A nonrefundable $60.00 application fee, payable by check or money order must accompany your application. Any application received after March 1st (fall) is a late application; a non-refundable additional late fee of $50.00 will be charged.

An additional fee of $75.00 is charged for international applicants.

Note: Proficiency in English. Any student, prior to admission or during their course of study, may be required to demonstrate English proficiency through submission of a satisfactory score on a test designated by the associate dean of the college. Students whose written or spoken English skills appear to be marginal (i.e., they may impede academic success and/or reflect communication problems as a social work practitioner) may be required to seek instruction outside the college.

Application Fee Waivers

Public Service and Volunteer Groups

University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work supports several public service and volunteer organizations by waiving the application fee of $60 for current or former volunteers/employees of Teach for America, Peace Corp and Americorp. If an applicant of one of these organizations is admitted to the GCSW, they also receive the possibility for a deferral, on admission and any scholarships they receive.

To receive the application fee waiver, request a service verification letter from your organization and email that letter to Once we have received your verification letter, we will email you a waiver code that you will use in the application before submitting. Please allow 3-5 business days processing time to receive the code and note that we are unable to provide refunds for applications submitted without the waiver code.

In addition to the application fee waiver and deferral, GCSW has a partnership with City Year which provides additional benefits, including scholarships, to City Year corps, alumni or staff members. You can read more about the partnership here.

McNair Scholars

University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work also offers application fee waivers for McNair Scholars applying to the MSW program. To receive the application fee waiver, email your verification letter to before you submit your application. Please allow 3-5 business days processing time to receive the code and note that we are unable to provide refunds for applications submitted without the waiver code.

Admissions Reviews & Decisions

Applications are reviewed by the GCSW admission committee members. Reviewers take into account the "whole applicant" and no single criterion automatically determines whether an applicant is or is not admitted into the program. Reviews are done on a rolling basis - i.e., applications are reviewed as they are completed rather than waiting for the application deadline to occur. Therefore, early application is encouraged since all openings may be filled prior to the application deadline. Admissions decisions are communicated electronically; no decisions are given over the telephone.