Admissions Requirements

An undergraduate degree in social work is not required for the MSW program. However, students who already have a BSW degree may apply for the one-year, full-time Advanced Standing MSW program. GRE scores are not required to apply to either program.


  • Bachelor's degree
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 or a GPA of at least 3.0 for the last 60 credit hours of your bachelor's program (provisional admission may be considered for candidates who do not meet the GPA requirements)

How to Apply

  • Online application and fee
  • Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals able to judge your potential for social work, such as a social worker, field instructor or individual familiar with your academic potential
  • Transcripts
    • You must personally request transcripts from all previous schools you have
      attended. Requests for official transcripts should be made as soon as possible to ensure
      timely receipt of these documents. In addition, applicants who either currently attend or
      have attended UMKC must make a new request for transcripts to be reported to us. For transcript assistance, please call 816-235-1121. Individuals with speech
      or hearing impairments may call Relay Missouri at 1-800-735-2966 (TT) or 1-800-735-2466
  • Statement of values and ethics
    • Refer to the NASW Code of Ethics and address these points in a two- to five-page typewritten, double-spaced essay.
      • What is your reason for pursuing a master’s degree in social work?
      • What is your personal value framework in comparison with the Code of Ethics?
      • What human needs do you hope to address as a professional social worker?
      • How will you infuse all of the six NASW ethical principles into your future social work practice?
      • Describe a personal life experience that challenged your values and ethics. How did you
        respond to this challenge?
  • Essay on preparation for professional training
    • Provide complete answers to the prompts below in a two- to five-page typewritten, double-spaced essay. Answer all questions with clear, logical and reasonable responses and provide examples. The quality of the content of each narrative section will be used to determine your preparedness for a professional graduate education.
      • Did you experience any difficulties or successes in your undergraduate academic career?
      • How would you evaluate your academic experience up to now?
      • Can you identify how you have managed the personal and professional challenges in your life?
      • What social supports do you have in place to assist you with managing work, family and academic commitments? If you don't currently have these supports in place, what can you do to put them in place?
      • Can you identify the areas in which you need further academic and personal development?
  • Essay for Advanced Standing MSW program — Only candidates applying for the Advanced Standing MSW program must submit this third essay. Applicants applying to the Traditional MSW do not provide this essay with their application.
    • Provide a three- to five-page typewritten, double-spaced response to these prompts.
      • Provide an overview of your field practicum experiences.
      • Describe lessons learned from your field experiences, providing specific examples.
      • How do you think these lessons will affect your future social work field experiences?
      • In relation to the social work profession, how can you strengthen your personal and professional growth?

Application Deadlines

  • Advanced Standing program — February 1
  • Traditional MSW — March 1
  •  Open enrollment — April 1 for Summer Session, June 1 for Fall Semester and November 1 for Spring Semester
    • Open enrollment provides flexibility in program length by allowing students to begin out-of-cycle and complete electives at the beginning of their program. Students in this program cannot complete a field practicum until the Fall semester of the academic year following acceptance.
    • Students with a BSW can begin in the Fall or Spring Semester and complete electives only within their first semesters. They continue into the advanced standing program in the Summer Session.
    • Students with a bachelor's degree in social, behavioral or psychological sciences, as well as other related disciplines, who begin in the Fall Semester may complete the three-year program track if space is available in required course offerings. If space is not available, they may complete electives only in their first year.
    • Students with a bachelor's degree in social, behavioral or psychological sciences, as well as other related disciplines, can begin in the Spring or Summer Semester and complete electives only in their first semesters, then continue into the three-year program track in the Fall Semester.

Start your application

Additional Resources

School of Graduate Studies

Find services, support and information about funding for UMKC graduate students.

Visit SGS

International Student Affairs Office

Are you an international student who needs help with your test scores or visa?

Visit ISAO

Admitted Students


Before you enroll, you must create a full plan of study with your advisor. Schedule an appointment with your advisor on Pathway or through contact information in the faculty directory. Students who have not been advised by enrollment for Spring Semester may have a hold placed on their account.


As you proceed through the program, identify faculty areas of practice in which you are interested. By establishing a mentoring relationship in your area of interest, you will discover the best field practicum fit for your interests and, ultimately, the best job fit after graduation.