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To be admitted to the MSW program, students must:

Note: For Advanced Standing admission requirements, see Program Options.

Application Deadlines

Please contact Karen Maynard at or (626) 857-2400 to verify if late applications are being accepted.

Admission Requirements – Domestic Applicants

The specific criteria for seeking MSW admission are:

  1. A Graduate Application for Admission (including $45 fee).
    (Apply Online | Download PDF)
  2. Use the following program code when applying: SOCW01

    Note: Use SOCW02 if you’re applying for Advanced Standing.

  3. Completion of an MSW Application Form (PDF), including resume.
  4. Transcript(s) of all undergraduate coursework.
  5. Completion of a Statistics course (3 semester units, with a grade of C or higher). If Statistics has not been taken at the time of MSW application, it must be completed (at any regionally accredited college or university) prior to the start of the MSW program in the fall. Proof of registration in a Statistics course must be given to the MSW director of student services by April 1, with proof of progression given by June 15. Proof of completion is due by September 1. Applicants needing Statistics will be admitted on provisional status until proof of completion of course is submitted, at which time provisional status will be removed. For advanced standing applicants, a working knowledge of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) is strongly recommended. Abnormal Psychology is a suggested prerequisite unless knowledge has been gained through use of the DSM in the workplace.
  6. Willingness to participate in an admission interview, including writing sample.
  7. Three reference letters (download PDF form) specifically discussing professional and/or academic interests and aptitude for MSW education. References are to be limited to individuals familiar with academic and/or professional abilities.
  8. Submission of a personal statement. Personal statements should be 6–8 pages long (double spaced), and include attention to each of the following:
    1. Motivation for pursuing MSW education, including relevant background experiences and professional goals.
    2. Professional and volunteer experiences related to social work.
    3. Expectations regarding attending a Christian university for MSW Program, and approach to faith integration in scholarship and service. Although no admissions requirements exist regarding faith orientation, Christian and other religious perspectives may be presented and discussed in classes.
    4. Discussion of a social problem of interest to you, including your perceptions of the causes of, and potential solutions to, the problem.
    5. Discussion of an ethical challenge you have encountered in professional, field, or volunteer work and how you resolved it.

Personal statements are assessed based on:

Admission Requirements—International Applicants

Azusa Pacific University is authorized under federal law by the U.S. CIS and the U.S. Department of State to enroll nonimmigrant, alien undergraduate and graduate students. APU issues and administers both the I-20 and DS 2019 (F-1 and J-1 status documents respectively).

To apply for a graduate program at APU, the following requirements must be fulfilled in addition to meeting the domestic applicant and program-specific admission requirements specified by the program.

International applicants must:

International applicants must also submit:

Submit all materials to:

International Center
Azusa Pacific University
901 E. Alosta Ave.
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000
Fax: +1-626-815-3801
Email IC

What to Expect

After the International Center receives all admission materials, a committee of department faculty review the applicant’s file. The applicant is then notified of the committee's decision.

Technical Standards

The Department of Social Work welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to apply for admission, but the BSW and MSW programs necessarily place specific requirements and demands on students accepted into the program. The following is a description of the technical standards that establish the essential qualifications required for safe and competent performance of the duties and skills needed in the social work profession.

If a student believes that he or she cannot meet one or more of the technical standards, with or without accommodations or modifications, APU will determine, on an individual basis, whether necessary accommodations or modifications can reasonably be made.

Students must have and maintain:

  1. Physical strength and stamina to perform satisfactorily in classroom and social work agency settings.
  2. Physical mobility to transport to and from their classroom, field internship agency, and additional field meeting sites.
  3. Functional use of the senses to acquire and integrate data in order to conduct accurate observations in the classroom and in field settings.
  4. Language competence to communicate effectively with faculty and students, agency staff, clients, and other professionals.
  5. Reading and comprehension skills at a level and speed to respond to reports and other written documents in a timely manner.
  6. Writing skills at a college level and produced within a timely manner.
  7. Cognitive abilities to interpret objective and subjective data, and functional use of abstract reasoning to problem-solve.
  8. Mental adaptability to work under pressure in emotionally charged situations and unpredictable environments, and to demonstrate an acceptable handling of conflict without overt emotional display or aggression.
Note: This information is current for the 2013-14 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.