Application Information

Applications to the MSW Program are submitted through the UNC Charlotte Graduate School’s website. Use the "Apply Now" link below:

Apply Now

Applications and supporting documents are referred to the School of Social Work for review once the Graduate School has determined that all documents have been received.  The School of Social Work makes a recommendation to the UNC Charlotte Graduate as to whether or not to offer the applicant admission, but the Graduate School makes the final decision.  If you have questions related to your application or supporting documents, please contact Graduate School Admissions at  Meeting or exceeding the conditions below does NOT guarantee admission. All applications for a given entry term will be considered based upon the number of seats available and the quality of the complete application packages. 

UNC Charlotte charges an application processing fee for every application submitted.  Applicants may use a credit card to pay the fee which is required before the online application can be submitted. Once you have submitted your application for admission, you will see a confirmation display.  The application processing fee is not refundable or transferable for any reason.  

If you have any questions about the application system or about graduate student life (i.e. - Housing, residency determination, financial aid, etc.), please contact please contact Graduate School Admissions at

Application Deadlines 2021:

Thank you for considering the UNC Charlotte School of Social Work for your graduate education.  Please note that applications are reviewed on rolling basis with seats offered to those with competitive applications on a space-available basis.  Applicants with strong interest in our program are encouraged to submit in advance of the priority deadline.  There may not be seating capacity for all qualified applicants, particularly for those who submit after the priority deadlines. 

1 Year Advanced Standing Plan of Study - Begins May 
  • February 1st, 2021 - Priority deadline 
  • April 1st, 2021 - Final deadline 
2 Year Plan of Study - Begins August 
  • February 1st, 2021 - Priority deadline
  • June 1st, 2021 - Final deadline
3 Year Plan of Study - Begins May
  • February 1st, 2021 - Priority deadline
  • April 1st, 2021 - Final deadline

Advanced Standing Note:  To be eligible for the 1 year program (Advanced Standing), you must have earned a BSW from an accredited program within the past 7 years.

Scholarship Tips: Applicants interested in being considered for scholarships, including those offered through the College of Health and Human Services, the School of Social Work, and the Graduate School, are encouraged to visit the UNC Charlotte scholarship portal at

Submitting more than one application: If an applicant is considering more than one plan of study, they may apply to more than one plan of study as long as the plans of study begin in different semesters. For example, an applicant may apply to the 1 Year Advanced Standing plan of study that begins each summer (May) and the 2 Year plan of study that begins each fall (August), or they may apply to the 2 Year plan of study that begins each fall (August) and the 3 Year plan of study that begins each summer (May). However, an applicant may not apply to both the 1 Year Advanced Standing and the 3 Year plan of study, since they both begin in summer (May). If an applicant is considering more than one plan of study, they may contact our Admissions Team with questions.

Criteria considered by admissions committee:

GRE scores are no longer required for MSW applicants

The Graduate School will be waiving the GRE for all 2021 applicants. This change is still working through the official approval process within the University, but will become permanent upon official approval.  The previous requirement (any applicant with an undergraduate GPA of below a 3.0 is required to submit GRE scores) is no longer in effect. Applicants may leave the Test Scores section of the application blank.

1. Undergraduate Preparation including GPA

  • The Graduate School sets a 3.0 as the minimum GPA for admission to master's programs at UNC Charlotte and requires students to provide copies of unofficial transcripts for all institutions the applicant has attended.  Applicants with GPAs below 3.0 can still be considered for admission.  Applicants should keep in mind that the process is a competitive one.  It is rare that applicants with undergraduate GPAs below 3.0 are offered admission and usually those who are have other compelling evidence pointing to success (e.g., - GPAs very close to 3.0, extensive work experience, earned masters degree or graduate certificate in a related area).
  • Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in a liberal arts or sciences area in order to be eligible to apply to the program.  Examples include, but are not limited to: psychology, sociology, political science, human services, business, criminal justice, communications, and health systems management.

2. Recommendations

  • Three electronic recommendation forms must be completed by faculty members and/or human service professionals such as social workers and volunteer supervisors.
  • Advanced Standing applicants are encouraged to have their BSW Program Director or BSW Field Director (or equivalent role) submit a recommendation.
  • When submitting the recommendation forms, space will be provided for recommenders to upload a letter of support.  Letters of support are helpful in the review process but optional.

3. Relevant Volunteer and/or Paid Experience

  • Applicants are required to upload their resumes to the application system
  • The School of Social Work considers the applicant's familiarity with the social work field, leadership contributions, commitment to social justice/advocacy efforts, and the extent of community engagement (i.e. - length of commitment, types of activities, populations served) as described in the applicant's resume and Statement of Purpose.

4. Statement of Purpose - 2021 applicants

The Statement of Purpose should be no more than five (5) double-spaced pages. Please respond to each prompt below in your essay.
  • Discuss (a) why you are interested in obtaining an MSW, (b) what population(s) or social problems you are interested in, (c) your reasons for seeking admission to the UNC Charlotte MSW Program specifically, and (d) what you specifically hope to learn about in the program that you don’t know now.  
  • Describe a social, economic, or environmental challenge in the NC/Charlotte region in which you have interest or a passionate commitment to make a difference.   Also, discuss how a social worker might intervene with this challenge.
  • Discuss (a) a challenging educational or professional situation you have experienced, (b) steps did you take to navigate this situation, and (c) how your actions affected you and others in the situation.
  • Tell us about a professional or academic situation in the last 2 years when you received corrective feedback from a supervisor that you were not expecting.  Discuss how you personally processed this feedback and also how you specifically responded.
  • 3-Year Program Applicants Only - Describe your current schedule of work and home life family commitments.  Describe how you anticipate this schedule changing in order to accommodate 16 hours per week (typically Monday-Fridays from 8am-5pm) of field placement during years 2 and 3 of the program. 
  • Optional - Describe any extenuating circumstances that may have affected past academic performance and/or anything else you think it is important for the application reviewers to know when reviewing your application.

General Note: Academic credit is not given in the program for life experience, nor is life experience part of the admission decision making process.


Note to International Applicants:

The UNC Charlotte Graduate School requires additional materials be submitted by international applicants such as TOEFL or IELTS scores.  Please read more about these requirements at: