Apply to the WWU master of social work program

1. Submit an application

Submit a graduate application and $75 application fee to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Two ways to submit your application:

  • Complete the online application and pay the fee with a credit card.
  • Print the PDF application and mail a check to Office of Graduate Studies, 204 S. College Ave., College Place, WA 99324.

2. Send transcripts

Please send your official bachelor degree granting college, university and any graduate level transcripts electronically to or in their original sealed envelope to this address:

Walla Walla University 
Office of Graduate Studies
204 S. College Ave
College Place, WA 99324

3. Provide references

Three professional references are required, including one from a former teacher or advisor. Also, references from persons acquainted with your past or current work or volunteer experience. Students with a BSW or other Human Services degree are required to submit one reference from a previous field instructor. Members of your own family or personal friends are not appropriate references.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that references are received in a timely manner. Sign the reference form if you wish to waive your right to review the reference. It is important for the person writing the reference and for the Admissions Committee to know the decision you have made regarding this right to review.

Submit the reference request form online, or download and print the reference form.  Sign the form giving your permission to complete the reference, and distribute them to the three individuals that you have selected as references. References must be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by the person completing the form.

4. Submit your resume

Submit a current resume to

5. Complete background check (MSW Students)

It is Walla Walla University’s Wilma Hepker School of Social Work and Sociology responsibility to ensure the highest level of integrity and safety to our clients, students and community. Therefore, all MSW applicants to WWU are required to submit a criminal background screening prior to matriculation. A background screening is a review of any past activities that might signify a potential risk for clients or others, including criminal behavior, that otherwise may exclude a student from eligibility for field placement or licensure after the conclusion of their academic career. This policy is an effort to ensure the safety of MSW students and the vulnerable clients they will serve during their practicum experience. 

Order your background check > 

WWU will handle payment for your background check which is covered under your application fee.

6. Write an admission essay

The admission essay is an important aspect of the application process because it reflects who you are and why joining the Master of Social Work program at Walla Walla University will allow you to meet your goals. Your essay will provide a clear picture of who you are, your goals and objectives, and your ability to think critically about social issues. The essay should be 3-5 double-spaced pages in 12 point font and address the areas outlined below.

Submit your essay using the graduate studies admission essay form >

Statement of Purpose
Address the areas described below (1 page or less).

  1. Briefly address what motivates you to seek a Master’s of Social Work degree? 
  2. Why is Walla Walla University a good fit for you personally and professionally?
  3. Career goals and experiences that will contribute to your success as a graduate student and professional social worker. 
  4. Academic and practice interests.  
  5. Professional contributions you hope to make to the field of social work

Personal Statement
Address the characteristics and accomplishments that support your application to the MSW program (1-2 pages).

  1. Characteristics that demonstrate your potential in the WWU MSW program including:
    1. Collaboration with others. 
    2. Leadership ability.
    3. Ability to empathize with others, especially those who are different from you.
    4. Communication and language skills (oral, written, bilingual, etc.).
    5. Awareness of your personal biases and privileges.
    6. Perseverance in overcoming obstacles (economic, discrimination, criminal justice, etc.).
  2.    Notable accomplishments that demonstrate your potential in the WWU MSW program including:
    1. Paid and/or practicum Social Work practice experience.
    2. Professional paid experiences or military service.
    3. Community involvement and voluntary service.
    4. Educational accomplishments and areas of focused study.
  3.  What do you see as your strengths and areas needing improvement? 
  4. If your GPA does not meet minimum standards for admission (3.0, Advance Standing; 2.75, Regular Standing) indicate special circumstances why we should consider your conditional admission.

Social Problem Analysis
Analyze a social problem of significant concern to you. Assume that you have available resources at your disposal (2-3 pages). 

  • Describe the problem, competing perspectives on the issues and groups impacted.
  •  What makes this a problem?
  • Contributing factors to the cause of the problem.
  • Prevention efforts to reduce or eliminate the problem.
  • Solution(s) and challenges that may impact the proposed solution(s).
  • Why in your opinion should society be concerned about this issue? 
  • What role do you envision yourself playing as a social worker in addressing this issue?

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