Application Requirements

The online Master of Social Work (MSW) program has the same admissions standards as the on-campus MSW program. We seek candidates who are interested in an education in clinical social work, committed to social work values, and possess the academic qualifications and work experience that will lead to success in our rigorous online program.

Application Items

Your SocialWork@Simmons application must include the following items:

  • Online application: Complete the online application in its entirety.
  • Résumé: Show relevant work experience through summer employment, volunteer work during or after college, and/or full-time employment in the human services field. No course credit will be granted for work experience.
  • Official transcripts: Provide official transcripts from each institution you attended, whether a degree was earned or not. This includes community colleges and study abroad programs. Transcript requests can take time to process, so we recommend submitting your requests as soon as possible. Please request that official transcripts be mailed to:

    Application Processing Services
    7900 Harkins Road
    Suite 501
    Lanham, MD 20706

    Many schools also issue transcripts electronically, either through their own web services or vendors. If this option is available, provide the email address or select Simmons University — SocialWork@Simmons if listed as an option by the vendor. This will expedite the delivery of the transcript(s) and completion of your application.

  • Recommendation forms: Secure three professional and/or academic letters of recommendation. One recommendation must come from your most recent direct supervisor. Additional letters may be obtained from senior employees. If you have taken any courses in the past year, you must submit a letter of recommendation from a professor or fieldwork instructor who can speak to your readiness for graduate education. Letters from friends, family members, co-workers, personal counselors or therapists, or clergy will not be accepted. Your recommenders must complete Simmons’ online recommendation form and address your commitment to and readiness for graduate clinical social work education. Additional information on recommendations is provided in the online application.
  • Statement of professional and educational intent: Address the prompts below in three to five double-spaced pages.


    1. How has your professional, volunteer, and academic experience prepared you for graduate social work education and contributed to your decision to be a professional social worker? Provide specific examples from your professional, volunteer, or academic experience to explain your answer. Make sure to describe your role and the organizational, community, and social context for your experience.
    2. What particular aspects or special fields of social work interest you most?
    3. Why does SocialWork@Simmons best suit your educational needs?
    4. What contributions will you make to the school community and to your fellow students?
    5. How do you plan to manage the rigorous demands of graduate coursework and field education?

    Please note: Simmons School of Social Work prefers American Psychological Association (APA) style citations. Should you need to cite any sources in your Statement of Professional and Educational Intent, please use the APA format. For more information about properly citing sources in APA style, please visit the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

  • Interview (by invitation): In some cases, the admissions committee may request an interview as part of the admissions process. Interviews can be conducted in person or via Skype.
  • Test scores: There is no standardized testing requirement for SocialWork@Simmons. However, if English is not your first language, you must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic score that demonstrates satisfactory proficiency.
    • TOEFL: A minimum score of 600 on the paper test, 250 on the computerized test, or 105 on the internet-based test is required. Simmons must receive your scores directly from ETS (Educational Testing Service).
    • IELTS: A minimum score of 7.0 on the Academic test is required. Score reports must be official.
    If you have questions about these requirements, contact an admissions counselor at
  • Application fee: The nonrefundable application fee of $50 can be paid electronically as part of the online application. If you submit your application before the priority application deadline, the application fee is reduced to $30.

Transfer Applicants

If you are enrolled or have been enrolled in another CSWE-accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) program, you may apply to SocialWork@Simmons as a transfer student. If you are applying as a transfer student, you must provide the following materials in addition to the general application requirements listed above:

  • A letter of good standing from the dean or program director of the MSW program in which you are currently enrolled or were most recently enrolled.
  • A statement outlining the reason for leaving your previous MSW program and transferring to SocialWork@Simmons.

If admitted to the SocialWork@Simmons program, you may petition to transfer credits from your previous institution. Faculty will review previously completed courses to determine which, if any, are eligible for transfer.

Admissions FAQ

  1. I’m not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; can I apply?

    International students are not eligible for the online program at this time. Please refer to our Field Education page for more information.

  2. I am a U.S. citizen living abroad. Can I apply?

    Yes, U.S. citizens are eligible to apply. Please note, however, that students must complete their field placements in the continental United States or Hawaii.

    There are no circumstances under which a student can complete an international field placement.

  3. Are there any prerequisite course requirements?

    There are no prerequisite courses required. However, a writing course may be recommended to some students to complete within their first term in order to optimize student success. This course teaches some of the basic skills necessary for written work at Simmons, such as writing a literature review, organizational skills in writing, using APA format, and other skills useful for entry into the program.