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Top 10 MSW Admissions Tips


Here are our Last Minute Top Ten Tips which will be helpful to you when completing your MSW Program application for the School of Social Work.


1. Sign and date your application. If your application is not signed, it will delay the processing of your application. 


2. Read the application instructions. Even if you have read them already, it helps to re-read the instructions before mailing your complete application packet. 


3. If you fill out an application online, you may have trouble with formatting if you paste words or paragraphs into the online application from a Word document. Please check your printed application to make sure the formatting looks alright before including it in your application packet. 


4. Include all upper-division courses in your upper-division GPA calculation (not just courses taken in your major). 


5. When completing the experience section, please make certain that you include dates of employment, number of months employed, and the number of hours worked each month.


6. If one of your references returns their letter of recommendation to you in a sealed envelope, but they forgot to sign the closed flap: attach a note to the envelope saying something along the lines of, “My reference did not sign the back flap of this sealed envelope. Please contact my reference if you have any questions.” Include the envelope and note in your application packet. If we have questions we will contact you.


7. If you emailed the letter of reference form to one of your references but you didn’t have a chance to sign the form beforehand, don’t open the sealed envelope containing your letter. Instead, print out a blank reference form, fill out the top portion of the form, and write on the form, “Please use my signature on this reference form for all of my letters of reference.”


8. If your reference cannot mail you their letter of reference, they can email it directly to the school at, or they can fax it to 503-725-5545, attention: Erika Gitchell.


9. If you have not received all of your transcripts or letters of reference, mail your application by the deadline date anyway. Include a note in your application packet letting us know which transcripts and letters will be sent separately. If possible, include unofficial copies of your transcripts in your application packet. Please note that it may take several weeks to match your materials sent separately to your application packet. 


10. Remember that your application must be postmarked by the admission deadline.  If you are in town you are also able to hand deliver the application until 5:00 p.m. on the application due date to the School of Social Work at 1800 SW 6th, Suite 600 in the Academic and Student Recreation Center. Advanced Standing deadline: January 4th, 2013. Portland 2-year, 3-year or 4-year and Distance application deadline: February 1st, 2013. We will email you when we have entered your application into our database.


>> Contact the School of Social Work, 503-725-4712 

Erika Gitchell, MSW Program Assistant, 503-725-8961,

Janet Putnam, Director of Student Affairs, 503-725-5021,