JD/MSW Application Process

In order to be a dual-degree student, you will need to submit two separate applications and be admitted to both the School of Social Work and the SUNY Buffalo Law School.

Before you get started

Application Prerequisites

For ALL applicants

  • Bachelor's degree (or international equivalent) in any discipline from an accredited institution. 
  • Minimum of 24 credits of undergraduate liberal arts coursework. Of those 24 credits:
    • 6 must be in the social or behavioral sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science).
    • 6 must be in the arts or humanities (e.g., history, English, foreign languages, philosophy, ethnic/gender studies).
    • 12 credits may be made up with any combination of the above or with courses from the natural sciences or mathematics.
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 preferred.
  • Human biology undergraduate course (3 credits) must be completed prior to the advanced year MSW curriculum, if not fulfilled at the time of application.
Additional Advanced Standing Prerequisites (must have ALL to qualify)
  • Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited program, with no more than six years between BSW conferral and start date of the MSW program.
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 required.
  • B- or better in all undergraduate social work major courses.

School of Social Work Application Process

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.

1. Complete the electronic graduate application

Apply to the University at Buffalo School of Social Work using our electronic graduate application system.

Be sure to select the "JD/MSW (Law/ Social Work)" program option from the drop-down menu, since this indicates to us that you are also applying to the Law School for dual-degree consideration. 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.

2. Identify three recommenders

On the application form, you will be asked to send electronic recommendation requests to three 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 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. 

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.

Plan ahead to give your references enough time to submit their recommendations before the deadline.

3. Upload copies of academic transcripts

Copies of transcripts should be uploaded to the application portal. You must provide transcripts for all previous schools attended at the undergraduate and graduate levels, regardless of whether a degree was received. Transcripts must include the institution name, all courses taken with semesters, grades received, overall GPA, and transcript key if available (often printed on the back). Do not upload web printouts or advising reports. If you prefer to send official transcripts for the application review process instead of uploading copies, you may do so (see mailing address below).

If accepted to the program, you will be required to submit final official transcripts from your bachelor's institution (and any graduate degree or graduate coursework, if applicable), 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: swinfo@buffalo.edu

4. Upload your personal statement essay

After you submit your application form, you will be able to upload your personal statement to your application checklist. This is a key component of your application. Your essay should reflect strong technical writing and critical thinking skills. Write a full essay answering ALL questions in the Guidelines for Writing the Personal Statement

5. Pay the application fee

After you submit your application, 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 JD/MSW application fee is $100. 

School of Law Application Process

You will be required to complete a separate law application through the Law School Admission Council and submit Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.


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Felony Disclosure

If you have a previous felony or criminal conviction, please read our felony disclosure statement before applying. 

MSW Application Process [14:29 min]

MSW application process