Deadlines and 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

What is the application deadline?

Please note that applications must be completed by the listed deadline (including all supplemental documents and recommendations). Programs only begin in the semesters shown on the chart.

Program Program Start Application Deadline Application Opens
On-Campus Traditional  Full-Time MSW
Fall 2021 April 1, 2021 September 2020
On-Campus Traditional Part-Time MSW
Fall 2021 April 1, 2021 September 2020
Online Traditional Part-Time MSW
Fall 2021 February 15, 2021
September 2020
On-Campus Advanced Standing Full-Time MSW
Summer 2021 February 1, 2021 Open
On-Campus Advanced Standing Part-Time MSW
Spring 2021 October 1, 2020 Open
Online Advanced Standing Part-Time MSW
Spring 2021 October 1, 2020 Open
BA/MSW Dual-Degree
Fall 2021 April 1, 2021 September 2020
MPH/MSW Dual-Degree
(Traditional & Adv Standing)
Fall 2021 April 1, 2021 September 2020
MBA/MSW Dual-Degree
(Traditional & Adv Standing)
Fall 2021 April 1, 2021 September 2020
JD/MSW Dual-Degree
(Traditional & Adv Standing)
Fall 2021 April 1, 2021 September 2020
MSW/PhD Dual-Degree
Fall 2021 (Traditional)
Summer 2021 (Adv Standing)
February 1, 2021
PhD in Social Welfare 
Fall 2021 February 1, 2021 Open
Online DSW in Social Welfare
Fall 2021 March 1, 2021 Open
Fall, Spring, & Summer Two weeks prior to semester Open for Fall 2020

On this page:

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, MSW/PhD and Online DSW applications.

How will I know if my application is complete?

The application process is conducted entirely online. Once you submit an electronic application, you will be able to view your checklist. This allows you to upload required documents and and view the status of your application. 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.

PhD and MSW/PhD applicants should have at least two recommendations from faculty with earned doctorates. 

When should I notify my recommenders?

The application process is fully online, including the submission of letters of recommendation. Once you begin your electronic application, you will be asked to send recommendation requests to three recommenders via an automated 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 copies of your transcripts when completing the electronic application. Unofficial or "student copies" are acceptable for the review process. 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 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.

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:

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?

MSW applicants 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.

PhD, DSW, and MSW/PhD applicants are required to submit official GRE scores. 

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 bridge 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 30 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.

Can I apply if I have a felony or criminal conviction on my record?

The University at Buffalo School of Social Work supports the State University of New York Board of Trustees’ decision to remove application questions asking about prior felony convictions. Applicants to the University who have a felony offense in their background no longer have to report that information at the time of application. UB students will be asked to declare a prior felony conviction post-admission when they seek campus housing or participate in clinical or field experiences, internships, or study abroad programs.

Professional schools, such as the School of Social Work, are still obligated to inform field placement sites if a student has a felony in their background. All accepted MSW students, full and part time, traditional and advanced standing, and all dual degree, will be required to disclose any, and all, prior felonies when completing their field placement application. This will trigger a meeting with a field education staff member who will advise the student on how best to discuss their situation with prospective field placements.

Students who do have a past felony must understand that they may encounter challenges in securing a field placement, depending on the nature of the charge(s). If students are unable to successfully complete field education requirements it will result in dismissal from the program. 
Students are responsible for investigating the licensure requirements in the state in which they wish to practice. Please note that any past criminal conviction may result in denial of state licensure. Applicants should contact the governmental department that licenses social workers in the state they wish to practice.