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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Our FAQs provide more details about applying to the UB School of Social Work. We are also happy to answer any other questions you may have—contact us at

On this page:

What is the application deadline?

Program Program Start Application Deadline
(Full-time Traditional)
Fall March 15
(Part-time Traditional)
Fall March 15
MSW Online
(Part-time Traditional)
Fall March 1
MSW Online Advanced Standing
Spring Extended to October 2
MSW Advanced Standing 
Summer February 1
MSW Advanced Standing
Spring Extended to October 2
Fall March 15
(Traditional & Adv Standing)
Fall March 15
(Traditional & Adv Standing)
Fall March 15
(Traditional & Adv Standing)
Fall March 15
Fall February 1
Fall February 1
(Advanced Standing)
Summer February 1

Are there any extensions to the deadline?

If an application deadline is extended, it will be posted above.

Is there an application fee?

There is a nonrefundable application fee of $75 for MSW, BA/MSW and PhD applications.

There is a nonrefundable application fee of $100 for online MSW, JD/MSW, MBA/MSW, MPH/MSW and MSW/PhD applications.

How will I know if my application is complete?

The application process is conducted entirely online. Once you submit a GrAdMIT application, a username and PIN are issued. This allows you to log back into the application and view the status. You are responsible for communicating with your recommenders about the deadline and submission process.

All application materials, including recommendations, must be received by the end of the business day of the posted deadline.

Who should I ask to be my recommenders?

Select three academic or professional references who are best able to assess your potential for graduate-level academic work and for the profession of social work. This includes:

  • faculty
  • classroom instructors
  • academic advisors
  • current or past employers, supervisors or professional colleagues

Do not use friends, relatives, friends of the family or other personal relationship sources. Also, do not use clients you provide services to, or counselors or other individuals you receive services from.

When should I notify my recommenders?

The application process is fully online, including the submission of letters of recommendation. Once you officially submit your GrAdMIT application, each of your three recommenders will be sent an email. The email will contain instructions on how to log into the recommender portal. The recommender will be asked to respond to a few questions AND upload a letter or recommendation. It is a good idea to give your recommenders plenty of time to write letters (usually four weeks). Give them a deadline in advance of the application due date so that when they receive the email they can promptly complete the electronic submission of the recommendation.

When should I request transcripts?

You must upload transcripts electronically when completing the GrAdMIT application. Unofficial or "student copies" are acceptable for the review process. If accepted to the degree program, final official transcripts are required at that time. It takes time for colleges and universities to process transcript requests. Make sure you request transcripts as soon after an acceptance as possible.

If I’m missing something from my application, can I fax it to your office?

No. We cannot accept any applications or supporting documents by fax. All required documents should be uploaded at the time of the online application submission.

Will I need to take any entrance exams?

As an MSW applicant, you do not need to submit standardized test scores. If you are applying to interdisciplinary programs, you have to take the standardized test required by the collaborating department or school.

International Applicants

If you are an international applicant and English is not your first language, you must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic score.

The minimum accepted scores are:

  • TOEFL iBT®, 90
  • TOEFL CBT, 233
  • TOEFL PBT, 577
  • IELTS, 7.5
  • PTE Academic, 61

The test must be dated no more than two years prior to the actual semester start date.

What is a non-matriculated student?

You are considered a non-matriculated (or non-degree) student if you are enrolled in classes but not seeking a degree. If you have earned a bachelor’s degree, you can be approved to take elective credits as a non-matriculated student. There is a $35 application fee.

Up to 9 credits of electives can be applied to degree requirements if you subsequently apply and are accepted into our MSW degree program. Non-matriculated students pay tuition and fees per credit hour and may take up to 6 credits in a semester.

What is advanced standing and how do I know if I’m eligible?

The advanced standing program is a 35-credit MSW program available if you have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program. Advanced standing status waives the foundation courses, but you must take two 3-credit courses during the semester preceding entry into your advanced year coursework.

In addition to the traditional MSW application requirements, applicants to the advanced standing program must have:

  1. A bachelor’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program
  2. A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or greater
  3. No more than six years between conferral of the bachelor’s degree and start date of the MSW program
  4. Received a B- or better in ALL social work major courses

Can graduate credits earned through another graduate program be accepted as degree credits at the University at Buffalo?

A maximum of 6 credit hours of elective coursework (3 credits for advanced standing) from an accredited graduate program in a field other than social work may be accepted from outside the School of Social Work as transfer credit to the MSW program. Such coursework must have been taken within the previous six years at an accredited institution; content must be social work related and have been graded B or better. Up to 31 credits earned in a CSWE-accredited MSW program may be transferred.

Can I earn course credit for life experiences?

No. The University at Buffalo School of Social Work does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.