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Applicants for the MSW program may complete an application online. We encourage you to submit your application before the deadline date. Our admissions committee, made up of faculty, strives to evaluate complete applications within four to six weeks. Please note that the committee does not evaluate incomplete applications.

MSW General Requirements for Admission

The general requirements for admission to the master's program are:

A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants should have a broad liberal arts background that includes study in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences with a minimum of 60 liberal arts credits. Course work relating to diverse cultures, social conditions, and social problems is favorably considered. Academic credit is not given for life experience in lieu of field education or course requirements.

  • A strong academic record and demonstrated intellectual capacity for graduate education.
  • An ability to think logically and conceptually and to formulate mature judgments.
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills.
  • Knowledge of the field and evidence of a commitment to social work as a profession.
  • Evidence of emotional maturity, concern for people, and capacity for self-awareness and personal growth.
  • Demonstrated concern and commitment to the values underlying professional social work.
  • Respect for diversity.
  • The GRE is NOT required.

Indications of motivation and readiness for social work education include related work or volunteer experience and undergraduate or graduate courses in social and behavioral sciences or social work. When these are lacking, weight is given to the applicant's involvement in community activities or participation in organizations committed to humanistic values.

For more information, click on MSW Application and Admissions Guidelines.  

View essential abilities and attributes that the School looks for in applicants. Please consider these characteristics when completing your application.

student and professor

Program-Specific Requirements

Two-Year Program

General requirements apply.

Two-Year Program @ Shanghai and New York

General requirements apply. Ability to study and work in multicultural environments. First year in Shanghai and second year in New York. If English is not your native language, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) exam. Additional admissions requirements for international students are posted on the right side of this web page.

16-Month Accelerated Program

General requirements apply.

Advanced Standing Program

General requirements apply. Applicants must have earned a Baccalaureate degree in Social Work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) -accredited institution within the last five years. A grade of ‘B’ or better in their social work courses is required.

Extended Program

General requirements apply.

Extended One-Year Residence Program

General requirements apply. Applicants must have provided direct services under the supervision of an MSW social worker, a psychologist (PhD), or a psychiatrist to clients for at least two years, and be currently employed in a social work agency. During the field placement, students must be supervised by a MSW (other than their current supervisor) who is SIFI trained.

32-month Program for Working Professionals

General requirements apply. Applicants must have at least three years of professional or business experience working with people and be employed full-time.

Dual-Degree Programs

The Silver School of Social Work evaluates applicants using the same criteria as are used for admission to the two-year program, described above. Those interested in entering a dual-degree program must fill out a separate application for each school. Each school will evaluate the application based on its own requirements. No special admission standards are applied to dual-degree applicants at either school. Once admitted to both schools, the student qualifies for the dual-degree program.

  • Social Work and Child Development/MSW and MA
  • Social Work and Law/MSW and JD
  • Social Work and Global Public Health/MSW and MPH
  • Social Work and Public Administation/MSW and Executive MPA

Non-Matriculating Option

An exploratory option for people interested in the field of social work but who have not been admitted to the MSW degree program; people who are returning to school after an extended absence; people trying out classes at NYU Silver; and people looking to hone their skills. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited undergraduate school. In order for your MSW course credits to transfer into our MSW program, you must earn a grade of "B" or better.

Transfer Students

General requirements apply. Successful completion of a comparable first-year, full-time master's curriculum (including field placement) at a CSWE-accredited school of social work is required prior to the academic year of application to the School. Students must have earned a grade of B or better and the content of the course must be equivalent to ours. Courses will not transfer if they were credited toward a previous conferred degree or if they were taken more than five years ago.

Readmission of Intermitted Students

Readmission to any of our programs is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. At minimum we reserve the right to require a full application to any of our programs after an absence of a year or longer for any reason.


Some applicants may wish to reapply to the MSW program at the Silver School of Social Work at NYU. Please note that we strongly recommend waiting a minimum of one academic year.



For the Part-time Extended, Extended OYR, and Non-Matriculated programs



Contact Us

Phone: (212) 998-5910

International Students

If English is not your native language, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) exam. Applicants who have earned a degree from an institution where the language of instruction is exclusively English regardless of country are exempt from submitting a TOEFL or IELTS score. General Requirements apply.

All foreign academic records must be submitted with official translation to English or a notarized translation to English must be included along with official transcripts from international institutions. All applicants with international credentials are required to include a professional evaluation of the degree to determine if it is equivalent to the U.S. bachelor’s degree. Evaluations are required. We accept foreign credentials evaluated by companies listed on the NACES website. Applicants with such credentials should file their applications well in advance of the term for which they are applying.

Minimum scores for the TOEFL are: paper based (PBT): 580; computer based (CBT): 237; Internet based (IBT): 92-93. Our TOEFL code is 2506. We will accept an unofficial score until the official one arrives.

Admission criteria for the IELTS is an overall score of 7.0 or higher (no individual scores less than 7 in any category).

These exams (TOEFL and IELTS) should be taken far enough in advance of the term in which the applicant wishes to be admitted. An application is not complete until all official scores are submitted, and they must be submitted by the printed deadlines. Test scores (both TOEFL and IELTS) are considered valid for two years.

Applicants residing in the New York City area may take their English proficiency test at NYU's American Language Institute, located at 48 Cooper Square, Room 200, New York, NY 10003-7154, U.S.A. An appointment to take the test may be made by telephoning (212) 998-7040. Learn more about ALI and its services.

Please visit the Office of Global Services for more information.

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