Our application process is completely electronic. All documents should be submitted through the application portal.
All application components (including recommendations) must be received by the deadline in order to be considered.
Apply to the University at Buffalo School of Social Work using our electronic graduate application system.
Be sure to select the "Online DSW in Social Welfare" program option from the drop-down menu, since each program has different application questions. If you do not see the program listed, it means that it is not currently open. Check our deadlines page for information about when program applications open and close.
On the application form, you will be asked to send electronic recommendation requests to three professional references. Appropriate individuals to ask would include:
Do not use personal friends, relatives, friends of the family or other personal relationship sources. In addition, do not use clients or individuals you provide services to, or therapists or other individuals you receive services from, or anyone that directly reports to you.
When you send the requests, your recommenders will receive an email with a link to complete the brief evaluation form and upload their letter of recommendation for you electronically. You will receive a notification email when a recommendation has been received.
Your recommenders should be able to comment on attributes such as:
Plan ahead to give your references enough time to submit their recommendations before the deadline.
Copies of transcripts should be uploaded to the application portal. Please note:
If you prefer to send official transcripts instead of uploading copies, you may do so. Note that official transcripts will take longer to arrive, so be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline. All transcripts MUST be received in the School of Social Work admissions office by the posted application deadline.
If accepted to the program, you will be required to submit final official transcripts from all schools attended (except from the University at Buffalo) if you have not already.
Official transcripts must be mailed to:
University at Buffalo
School of Social Work- Admissions
685 Baldy Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1050
or sent via secure and official electronic delivery to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
After you submit your application form, you will be redirected to your status portal, where you will be able to upload an up-to-date CV/ resume to your application checklist.
This should contain information such as (but not limited to): relevant education, work experience, presentations, publications, and other professional involvements.
After you submit your application form, you will be redirected to your status portal, where you will be able to upload your personal statement to your application checklist.
Please write a personal statement responding to ALL the following questions:
Essays should be 12-point font, double spaced, four pages maximum.
After you submit your application form, you will be redirected to your status portal, where you will be able to upload proof of licensure to your application checklist. This must be a document that shows you currently hold valid and active social work licensure, certification, or registration in the state (or country) in which you are practicing. It could be a copy of a certificate, letter, or other official document. If you have more than one current license, please upload all of them.
We recognize that unlicensed social workers may have significant relevant experience and be appropriate for admission into the UBSSW DSW program. Social workers who do not carry licensure can seek a waiver from this requirement. To do so, a brief statement outlining the rationale for consideration for licensure waiver should be uploaded in lieu of the licensure document and address three areas:
After you submit your application form, you will be redirected to your status portal, where you will be able to upload your writing sample to your application checklist. This must be a sole-authored paper written in English; the paper may be from a previous class or a new composition regarding an issue relevant to social work or social justice. The paper should be academic in tone and include citations per APA style. Research-based papers are preferable.
After you submit your application form, you will be redirected to your status portal, where you will be able to upload your letter stating that you have access to a target population that will be used for your capstone project to your checklist. Please upload a statement on agency letterhead from a supervisor, program director, the board of directors, or appropriate agency representative attesting that you have their support to 1) develop and implement a capstone project at said agency for the program and 2) use the client population, practitioners, and/or service system at or affiliated with said agency as your “target population” for the program.
If you work in private practice, please submit a letter, on professional letterhead, attesting that you have a private practice and that you alone have the authority to sanction involvement with your client base as your target population. You may also want to include some additional information, such as the emphasis of your practice and the approximate number of clients served annually. You should also, in the letter, attest that you are fully licensed and in good professional standing.
On May 18, 2021 the University at Buffalo Graduate School Executive Committee approved an extension of the temporary suspension of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) requirement due to the current environmental context and COVID-19 pandemic. In light of this suspension, the UBSSW PhD and DSW programs are waiving the GRE requirement for the 2022-2023 application cycle (Fall 2023 applicants).
In order to maintain consistency and fairness for all applicants this year, GRE scores will not be included or taken into consideration as part of your application.
After you submit your application form, you will be redirected to your status portal, where you can find the secure payment link, allowing you to pay the non-refundable application fee by credit card or e-check.
The DSW application fee is $100.