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How to Apply

Apply for our Master of Social Work (MSW) program.

If you are an international student, you'll have additional requirements. Find the MSW program's requirements for international students.

Application Deadlines

Application Deadlines

Fall Start

Priority Deadline: April 1
Standard Deadline: June 1

For scholarship consideration, please submit your application by the priority deadline.

If you wish to apply and be considered after the deadline, please contact Graduate Admissions at 617.349.8300 or email luadmissions@lesley.edu to discuss a late application.

Application Form

Application Form

Apply online for your Master of Social Work (MSW) program.

Apply online for 2024

Submit Documents

Submit Documents

You'll need to submit the following supporting materials.

You can send the documents separately, but we won't be able to make an admissions decision until we've received everything.

Official Transcripts

Have each institution where you earned an undergraduate or graduate degree send us your official transcript.

If your transcript is not in English, provide a notarized translation of it.

If you’re enrolled in a degree program when you apply, submit your transcript of the courses you’ve taken to date. Submit your final official transcript once you’ve completed the degree program.

If your degree is from outside of the United States, you will be required to submit a Foreign Academic Credentials Evaluation to demonstrate U.S. bachelor's degree equivalency. A bachelor's degree or U.S. equivalency to a bachelor's degree is required for all graduate programs.  

Evaluation Agencies

Contact one of these agencies to get your credentials evaluated:

You’ll need a document-by-document evaluation. Exception: Expressive Therapies master's degree programs require a course-by-course evaluation instead.

If you’re submitting a foreign academic credential evaluation, unofficial transcripts are acceptable for your transcript requirement if official transcripts were provided to the evaluation agency. Please note that graduate programs will only accept three-year bachelor’s degrees from member institutions within the Bologna Process. However, certain licensure-track graduate programs may still require a four-year bachelor’s degree, even from a member within the Bologna process, so please check with your admissions counselor before applying.


Your transcripts need to be:

  • Conferred by regionally accredited colleges or universities
  • Original documents bearing the official institutional stamp
  • Received by Graduate Admissions Services in envelopes sealed by the sending institution, or sent electronically directly from the institution

Send transcripts to:

appstatus@lesley.edu or

Lesley University
Graduate Admissions Services
29 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

3 Letters of Recommendation

Include 3 recent recommendations from those you’ve worked with closely in an academic or professional setting.

  • At least one of your recommendations should come from a present or former supervisor.
  • If you’re in school, or are a recent graduate, one recommendation should come from a professor.
  • We don’t accept recommendations written by friends or family, or that were written more 2 years before your application date.

Within your online application form, include the names and emails of the people writing your letters of recommendation. They'll receive an email from you with an electronic recommendation form, and they can upload a letter if they choose.

Written Personal Statement

Our graduate programs require that you write a personal statement. Your written personal statement gives us insight into your motivation, purpose in pursuing a degree program, writing skills, and communication style. It’s an important part of our review process.

Write a 750-1250 word statement (3–5 pages).

Please address all of these areas in your statement:

  1. In 1 to 2 paragraphs, explain why you are interested in the Lesley University Master of Social Work (MSW) program. As you describe your interest, please also provide an in-depth discussion of your understanding of the skills and resources needed for advanced graduate study. For example, how you will manage the time, emotional, and cognitive challenges of this program?
  2. Discuss the populations or social issues that you would like to address as a professional social worker. If you have a particular reason for this interest, please include this information in your statement.
  3. What volunteer, work, role models, or life experiences draw you to social work? How do these influence your interest in this field?
  4. Are there any populations with whom you would be uncomfortable working based on factors such as gender, culture, ethnicity, morals, values, or sexual orientation? If so, please explain.
  5. What strengths—as a person and as a social work graduate student—do you believe make you a good match for this profession?
  6. What are your areas in need of growth, as a person and as a student? Self-reflection, a commitment to personal growth, a willingness to engage with others, and the ability to seek and use constructive feedback are essential qualities for this profession.
  7. Is there additional information about you as a candidate for the MSW degree that you would like for the Admissions Committee to consider?
  8. Candidates with a GPA of 3.0 or lower must answer the following: Please address why you believe you are academically prepared for the MSW program. Reference your undergraduate transcript or any academic work for which you have submitted a transcript.

Current Résumé

Show relevant work, volunteer, or academic experience on your résumé. Please also show all of the languages you speak and your level of proficiency in each one.



If you have a GPA of 3.0 or lower in your undergraduate program, we may require that you interview with one or more faculty members or graduate admissions counselors. The interview may be conducted here on the Lesley University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by phone, or by Skype. A graduate admissions counselor will contact you to schedule the interview if needed.

Contact Admissions

Contact Admissions