Welcome to the UW School of Social Work!

Congratulations on your admission offer to the School of Social Work at the University of Washington!

At the UW School of Social Work, we focus on delivering leading-edge learning opportunities that engage and transform students inside and outside of the classroom. Education that embraces diversity, teaching recognized for excellence, and research that sparks real change: these are the hallmarks of our School and the mainstays of a social work practice that is critical to solving the pressing social issues of our day.

We are thrilled to offer you admission to our MSW program and we believe in your passions and desire to contribute to everchanging field of social work.

Deciding on a graduate program is a big decision, and our admissions team is here to help. Below you will find resources and important information to help guide you through this process. We hope you will join our incredible community and take the next step in your career with an MSW degree.

“Our School will continue to push for systemic and structural changes that ensure health equity and the rightful place of social work within the health care system.”
— Dean Eddie Uehara


“Social change is inevitable, but human needs are the same from one generation to another.”

— Arlien Johnson, UW School of Social Work Founding Director


Save the Date: Admitted Student Preview Days on March 30 – April 1, 2023

All admitted graduate students are invited to participate in Admitted Student Days from March 30th to April 1st! Join us for both in-person and virtual opportunities to learn more about the School of Social Work’s MSW Program and engage with the School community. Admitted Student Days give you the opportunity to hear from faculty, meet our students, connect with your future peers, and ask any questions about the MSW program, student experience, and academic experience. Click here to view the agenda and registration link!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have an academic advisor?

There is no reason to worry! Yes, Student Services staff will serve as preliminary advisors for all incoming MSW students. For all academic advising questions, feel free to reach out to 

When are applicants notified if they receive funding? What potential financial aid is available?

Applicants who completed a FAFSA or WASFA can expect to receive funding information (loans, need-based aid) via email from the Office of Student Financial Aid by late March to early April. Non-residents should expect to see only loans and possibly work study. Residents, depending on their EFC, may be eligible for up to $12,000 in grants as well as loans. Questions about financial aid (including questions about revising your financial need figure) should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid (


Applicants who completed an MSW funding consideration form are automatically considered for potential departmental funding; notifications about departmental scholarships, if applicable, will be sent throughout March and April on an ongoing basis (notifications of departmental funding do not necessarily come at the same time as your admission offer).


MSW applicants can also apply separately for graduate assistantships. The main assistantship opportunity for incoming students is the Student Information Specialist. The application is due March 13. Details here


There are also resources offered by UW’s Graduate Funding Information Service

How do I set up a UW Net ID and email?

All students need to set up BOTH their UW NetID and UW email in order to access UW/School of Social Work applications and Canvas.

  • Set-up your UW NetID
  • Select “UW Student”.
  • Your Private Access Code (PAC) can be found in the MyGrad portal where you applied to the program.
  • After your enrollment confirmation deposit has processed, you’ll be able to set up a UW email.

When is orientation? How and when do I register for classes?

There is no need to worry about getting into the classes you need, since these classes are reserved for you. The Office of Student Services will send information about Orientation over summer (spring for Advanced Standing students.)


Typically, Orientation occurs over two days, and takes place in mid July (for Advanced Standing) and mid September (for Day and EDP) prior to the start of classes. You do not need to come to Seattle any earlier than this. 


If you’ve accepted your offer, you are now an incoming student. Please check Canvas for the most-up-to-date information in regards to class registrations and other logistics.


Advanced Standing:

– Orientation with Program Office, Field Education, and Student Services (Virtual) – Tentatively Thursday, July 13th 5:00-7:00pm PST

– Critical Dialogue (In-person, Mandatory) –  Tuesday, July 18th, 9:30-4:00pm PST


DAY – Dates tentative – will be confirmed by end of March

– Orientation with Program Office, Field Education, and Student Services (Virtual) – Tuesday, Sept 12th, 5:00-7:00pm PST

– Critical Dialogue (In-person, Mandatory) – Scheduled tentatively for Sept 20th and 21st. Please save both days, 9:30am-4:00pm PST, although you’ll only attend one day.


EDP – Dates tentative – will be confirmed by end of March

– Orientation with Program Office, Field Education, and Student Services (Virtual) – Wednesday, Sept 13th, 5:00-7:00pm PST 

– Critical Dialogue (In-person, Mandatory) – Scheduled tentatively for Sept 18th, 9:30am-4:00pm PST.

What housing options are available to me as a graduate student?

There are many factors to consider when looking into housing in Seattle including cost, neighborhood, on-campus or off-campus housing, commute options, and more.


Created by MSW students, the Housing in Seattle guide walks you through typical housing considerations and provides you with the information you need to make an informed decision. Included in the guide are additional housing resources and links. Here is another resource from UW Housing and Food Services: UW Graduate Housing

What will my class and practicum schedule look like?
When do I choose my specialization?

For ADVANCED STANDING, you are admitted into a specific specialization.


For DAY students, you will select your advanced specialization at the beginning of winter quarter of your first year. The specializations are Administration and Policy Practice, Community-Centered Integrative Practice, and Clinical Social Work.


For EDP students, there is only one specialization choice: Clinical. 


For more information on specializations, please visit the following program pages:

When and how do I select my practicum site?

Practicum allows students to integrate the intellectual contribution of the classroom in the field. It allows students to partake in a supervised and supportive learning opportunity, where they can implement their coursework. Students work with the School of Social Work Field Faculty who are specialists in field education.


Day and EDP students work with Field Faculty to identify both their generalist (first) placement as well as the specialized (second) placement. Placement choices for the first placement are guided by the requirement for students to participate in a generalist placement focused on breadth of knowledge and skill at the micro, mezzo and macro levels of practice. In the second placement, choices are guided by the student’s chosen Specialization and their career interests.


Advanced Standing Students Only: You can begin browsing practicum opportunities here! Keep in mind new listings are posted daily, click here to get started. The Office of Field Education will reach out by email to provide instructions on how to meet with a Field Faculty advisor and apply to your top choices. You cannot apply before meeting with a Field Faculty advisor. Our goal is to place students before summer quarter begins. 


To learn more about practicum and how practicum assignments are established, please visit the Field Education webpage.

What immunizations do I need to complete before beginning the program?

By accepting enrollment into the UW School of Social Work, students agree to meet immunization requirements in accordance with CDC guidelines for healthcare personnel and as outlined by the Health Sciences Immunization Program. Exemptions are granted rarely and only in alignment with CDC recommendations. 


It is a program requirement that all admitted Social Work students will need to become compliant with the current CDC recommended screenings and immunizations in order to be placed in practicum (including the Covid 19 vaccine). There are no exemptions for personal or religious reasons, although students may be exempt from a specific immunization from a medical provider outlining the medical reason for the exemption.


Your immunization tracking account will be administered through CastleBranch and will be DIFFERENT from your background check account (also administered through CastleBranch), please do NOT upload any immunization related documents until you receive more details from Student Services. In the meantime, we recommend students collect any immunization records they may have.


We will send out specific immunization information including the link to set up your account ($43 account set-up fee required), after the enrollment confirmation deposit deadline has passed. For specific information and deadlines on immunization requirements, please visit here

What graduate certificates are available to me?

There are several certificates that current students can pursue concurrently with the program. Please note that a certificate may postpone your graduation quarter and is typically completed in the last year of your MSW program.  

How do I obtain social work licensure?

The first step toward a license is to earn an MSW. Social work licenses, such as the LICSW license, are earned after graduating with an MSW rather than while you’re studying in the program.


Our MSW programs meet the CSWE requirements as well as requirements for the Washington State social work licensure. While in the program, the school holds regular licensure workshops to support students who are interested in obtaining their social work license. For students planning to get their license out of Washington state, please make sure to check with your state for specific requirements.

Can I complete a concurrent degree?

The University of Washington makes it possible to potentially build the kind of concurrent degree program that fits your professional career goals. The most common concurrent degrees that align with social work are in public health and public policy. Here is a previous info session we did on exploring MSW Concurrent Degrees Path. You can also view this page on our MSW website for more information.

If you are anticipating a legal name change, we recommend students begin the UW Registrar’s legal name change process early. More information on legal name policy through the UW Registrar’s office: legal name change.


The UW allows students to identify the name they would like to be called in classroom settings and when interacting with University personnel. This preferred name is used in a variety of applications.


For more information on how to change your preferred name, please visit the Registrar’s website: preferred names.


*You might not be able to make changes to your preferred name until you submit your deposit/create your UW NetID.


Whether you change your legal or preferred name, once it is reflected in UW databases, you will want to get it changed in School of Social Work system(s). We will provide additional information on this step in future communication. 

How will COVID impact Fall? Will classes & practicum be online or on campus?

The UW coronavirus page is the best resource for up-to-date information. We have been able to offer our students in-person practicum activities since Autumn 2020 and plan to be in-person for almost all classes, barring any significant change in public health situation. Currently at UW, 98% of faculty, staff, and students are fully vaccinated.

Get to Know Our Alumni

Tahani Daugherty


Education: BASW ‘13, MSW ’14 (Advanced Standing)

MSW Specialization: Mental Health

Identities: Person of Color

Ashley Ellerson


Education: BA in Psychology with minors in Creative Writing and Criminal Justice ‘14 at Bradley University, MSW ’17 (Day)

MSW Specialization: Mental Health


Identities: First generation graduate student, Black

Jon Monteith


Education: BA in Rhetoric ’07 at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, MSW ’20 (EDP)

MSW Specialization: Multigenerational Practice with Children, Families, and Elders

Identities: Queer and nonbinary, Non-traditional student, Career changer

Genevieve Caruncho-Simpson


Education: BASW ‘04 and BS in Health Information Management ’04, Masters in Health Policy and Management ’06 at NYU

Identities: BIPOC, dual degree

Meet Our Team

Val Kalei Kanuha, PhD











Lissan Tibebe, MSW

Counseling Services Coordinator












Incoming Dean


Contact Us

For questions about academic services, please email

For general admissions inquiries, please email

Talk with Admissions

If you would like to speak with Admissions, please book an appointment below. We’d be more than happy to help!