Master of Social Work (MSW) Admissions

The University of New England’s School of Social Work offers several options for the completion of the Master of Social Work degree:

  • Campus-based program options
    • Traditional face-to-face
    • Hybrid/Flipped blend of online and on campus
  • Online program

Applicants are encouraged to complete and submit applications early in the cycle; applications are reviewed and admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis.  Scholarship and grant funds are awarded on a rolling basis as students are accepted.

Important Dates

  • November 1, 2015: Application decisions as well as scholarship and stipend awards begin and are made on a rolling basis throughout the cycle
  • April 1, 2016: Priority application deadline for the on-campus MSW programs

Final deadlines

To be considered for admissions for Fall 2016 all applications and supporting materials must be received by:

  • June 15, 2016: All applications for full-time enrollment
  • July 31, 2016: All applications for part-time enrollment

All applications for admissions must be electronically submitted through UNE’s online application portal

For specific academic dates, please view the UNE Academic Calendar.



To be considered for admission, you must have

  • Completed a Bachelor’s degree from a US regionally accredited college or university or international equivalent. (If degree is in progress at time of acceptance, degree must be completed prior to matriculation.)
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better is preferred.  (If your GPA is lower, please address this in your personal statement.)
  • Evidence of work or volunteer experience working with people in a human service environment.

Note: Before matriculation, accepted applicants will be expected to meet all health immunization requirements; to obtain a physical examination with proof of up-to-date immunization status.  Please visit Student Health Care for details. 

As required by clinical training sites, students will be subject to criminal background checks and drug screens prior to matriculation, and periodically throughout the MSW program.


  • Applications for admission are submitted through UNE’s online application. (Applicants must certify that all information submitted in the admission process - including the application, the personal essay, and any other supporting materials - is my own work, factually true and honestly presented).  A completed application includes:
    • A personal essay addressing:
      • Your views on social justice, cultural diversity and human dignity with reference to the School of Social Work’s mission statement,
      • Your thoughts about the most pressing issues facing our society; the ways we, as social workers, should respond to these issues; and your personal involvement working on these issues, if applicable.
      • Your assessment of your personal strengths and areas in need of development relative to becoming a professional social worker.
    • The names and emails of two (2) education/professional reference letter writers as part of the application. Reference letters from friends and family members are not acceptable.
    • Submission of a current resume.
    • Submission of official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions, 716 Stevens Avenue, Portland, ME, 04103.
    • Applications are reviewed as they are completed. Decisions are made on a rolling basis and continue throughout the year until the class is full or the program starts. 
    • Since field planning is an important part of our program, applicants are encouraged to apply early to give us time to help you find the field placement just right for you. (Scholarship and grant funds are limited and are awarded on a rolling basis as well.)
    • International applicants and applicants with international degrees must have transcripts evaluated for degree and grade equivalency to that of a regionally accredited US institution. . See International Admissions.
    • All applicants to UNE must be able to understand and communicate in English to be admitted to the university.  UNE accepts several methods of English Proficiency, (see International Admissions). If applicable, the TOEFL requirement must be completed and score received by the application deadline.

For additional information on the admissions process and requirements, please access the School of Social Work website.

Policy exceptions

The Master of Social Work program and the SSW Admissions Committee in collaboration with the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions reserve the right to make exceptions to the admissions criteria and to make changes or exceptions to policies and procedures, on a case by case basis, when it deems such a decision is necessary and appropriate.

Transfer Credit

transfer credit

The University of New England does accept graduate transfer credit from other graduate social work institutions accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

  • We will accept credit transfers for one full year of graduate social work education.
    • Transfer students must complete a minimum of 32 credit hours at UNE’s School of Social Work to earn a degree from the university. 
    • You must have a minimum grade of “B” in all courses and acceptable field work evaluation.   
    • You must have completed graduate work within seven years of admission to UNE or have substantial practical social work experience.
  • Transfer students with less than one full year of graduate education must meet the following requirements:
    • Requests for transfer of credit must be initiated at the time of application, and no later than beginning of attendance as a degree-seeking student
    • Graduate coursework must be accepted by the SSW as having a direct relevance to the program of study at UNE
    • A maximum of nine (9) credit hours for graduate credits earned in another discipline may be transferred toward elective credit, provided the credits were not taken as part of an earned graduate degree at another institution.
    • Graduate credit earned from a completed graduate program of study in another discipline will not be considered for transfer into the SSW.  Waivers of requirements without award of credit will be reviewed by faculty for consideration
  • ​Applicants wishing to apply for transfer of credit must provide the SSW with written petition along with the following documents
    • Official transcript indicating course was completed with a grade of “B” or better
    • Copy of the course description, syllabi, or bibliographies in which the course and course assignments are described.


  • Qualified graduates of BSW programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may be considered for Advanced Standing under the following conditions:
    • Graduation from a CSWE accredited BSW program within five (5) to seven (7) years of enrollment in the School of Social Work
    • Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA for the last 60 credit hours of the BSW program.
    • Review by the Admissions Committee
    •  Evidence of work or volunteer experience working with people in a human service environment
  • Students admitted into advanced standing for the campus-based option are required to enroll in one 3-credit course prior to starting the fall semester (Capstone Project I).

Applicants may not receive academic credit for work experience in the field or for life experience.