Master of Social Work Degree

The mission of the Northern Arizona University’s MSW Program, grounded in the history, purpose, and values of the profession, is to educate competent generalist and advanced generalist social workers for practice with diverse populations and multi-level social systems in local, regional and global contexts. 

Our generalist and advanced generalist foci are grounded in social work knowledge, values and skills; geared to practice with rural and Indigenous populations of the Southwest; and, focused on addressing poverty, structural racism, and oppression; providing leadership in promoting human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice; and service with vulnerable and underserved populations locally, regionally, and globally.

Different programs for different learners

  • The two-year online Master of Social Work program begins Fall of 2018.
  • Applicants selected for the one-year online Master of Social Work with Advanced Standing will be able to complete their MSW in one year, beginning in May of 2019.
  • An in-person two-year Master of Social Work program is planned for launch in late August of 2019. Students seeking an in-person MSW should not apply during the current 4/15/18 deadline period
  • Further information on these programs will be supplied as we get closer to launch. Eligibility and application information can be found below.

 Eligibility requirements for admission:

General requirements for admission

  • A baccalaureate from a regionally accredited university.
  • A course in human biology (by the end of the first semester in the MSW Program)
  • A course in basic or applied statistics. (by the end of the first semester in the MSW Program)
  • An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a four point scale.
  • A minimum of 250 volunteer and/or relevant paid human service work experience.

Additional requirements for admission with Advanced Standing

Strong applicants who meet the following criteria may be offered admission to a one-year advanced standing MSW Program. No separate application is required.
  •  A BSW from a CSWE-accredited institution earned within five years. 
  • An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 on a four point scale
  • The admissions committee reserves the right to request your undergraduate Field Evaluation for consideration 

Applications will be considered until April 15th, as space allows. 

 Students will need to apply to the Graduate College at Northern Arizona University and be accepted 


Submit a complete Master of Social Work application which includes:

1. A personal statement addressing the following three questions. (typed/ 5-6 pages/ double spaced) 

  • Describe any experiences that have influenced your selection of social work as your professional career.
  • Discuss your understanding of the following concepts: structural racism, advocacy, human rights, and social, economic and environmental justice.
  • Explain your reasons for selecting the NAU MSW Program and discuss how you plan to be fully engaged in all the academic requirements of the MSW program, including field practicum and graduate level coursework.

 2. Professional resume documenting a minimum of 250 volunteer and/or relevant paid human service work experience.

3. Official College/University transcripts (one (1) copy from each institution attended) 

 4. Prospective students will also need to identify three references (At least one of these must come from a professor at an academic institution, and one from an employer or volunteer supervisor.) 


Please email all application materials to  



MSW Resources







 Please read our MSW FAQ's, then contact if you have additional questions about the program.