Applications for fall 2020 are still open!

We're still accepting applications for the MSW program for fall 2020. Apply today!

Admissions information and how to apply

Students may apply for full-time or part-time study. Students who are applying to the MPA-MSW dual-degree program must submit two applications: one for the MSW program and one for the MPA program. Information on admissions, financial aid, housing, program costs and visiting Binghamton University's campus is presented on the Graduate School website. 

Complete instructions for applying to Binghamton University are available on the Graduate School's how to apply webpage. If you have questions regarding application submission, contact the Graduate School at 607–777–2151 or

Application criteria

For students wishing to pursue a master's social work, the following are required and will be evaluated for admission:

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Paid or volunteer human services experience
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Undergraduate studies that include a minimum of 24-credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences
  • Personal statement
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Completed Social Work contract
  • For international students: official TOEFL or IELTS scores; International Student Financial Statement Form; and Official Bank Statement/Proof of Support

Note on conduct, convictions and licensure

Applicants should be aware that some states, such as New York State, may restrict or deny professional licensure for people with felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions or actions taken against them by a professional organization. Any student with questions on any of these situations would benefit from consulting with their state's licensing board before submitting an application. The application will be subject to a more rigorous review by both the Graduate School and the Department of Social Work Graduate Admissions Committee.

Applicants should also be aware that students admitted to the program are required to satisfactorily complete one or two field placements in order to graduate. Students must obtain malpractice insurance before they are placed with field agencies. The insurance agency requires disclosure of personal information, including convictions, and may or may not issue insurance coverage. Field agencies also require personal information and conduct background checks. While the Department of Social Work will work diligently to arrange placements for students, agencies have the right to refuse placements.

Therefore, the Department of Social Work cannot guarantee field placements during the program or licensure upon completion of the program.

Personal statement guidelines for Master of Social Work program

In order for the Admissions Committee to obtain a clearer picture of who you are, why you have chosen to enter the social work profession, your readiness for graduate education, and what motivates you to apply to the Binghamton University Master of Social Work program, we ask you to write a personal statement and submit it with your application.

This statement, which is an important part of your overall application, should not include a detailed description of your entire life; it should briefly cover important experiences, interests and abilities as they relate to your seeking professional training in the Master of Social Work program.

The statement should be between six- and eight- double-spaced, typed pages. The statement should be divided into two subject areas: personal evaluation and career objectives.

Personal evaluation

Describe why you think you would make a good social work student as well as an effective social worker. In writing this description, address the following:

  • The significant life experiences that have led to the development of your personality and your value and belief system.
  • Your readiness for undertaking graduate social work education. Address how you believe you will face the rigorous demands of coursework and field education (in the latter case, especially in terms of being able to handle the emotional and practical strain of dealing with client and community problems).
  • Why you believe that Binghamton University's MSW program is best suited to your needs, bearing in mind that this program has as its mission preparing social workers for generalist practice in public and private not for profit agencies.
  • Given the program's commitment to meeting the needs and advocating for the rights of diverse clients and communities, comment on your personal or professional experience with at least three of the following aspects of diversity: race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, political belief, religion, and mental or physical disability.
  • Both your strengths and areas of your life that need strengthening in relation to the profession of social work.

Career objectives

Describe why you want to be a social worker and what you would like to do in the future. Respond to the following questions:

  • What do you hope to gain from graduate education?
  • What has led you to decide to enter the social work profession?
  • What are your future professional goals? How do your career goals fit with the program's mission? 

Upcoming MSW program information sessions