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MSW Admissions FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Does the MSW program admit students for the spring semester?

No. New MSW students are admitted only for the fall semester.

When is the application deadline?

February 1st at 11:59 pm EASTERN time for all MSW (Mānoa campus-based and Distance Education) applicants.

Are there any prerequisite courses to apply for the MSW program?

There are no specific courses required for admission to the MSW program, but you must have a bachelor’s degree and a liberal arts background.

The liberal arts background is defined as at least one course with a grade of C or better in each of the following areas  – logic/analytical thinking, behavioral science, social science, biological science with a focus on human biology, and culture.

Is your MSW program online?

No. We have a Distance Education (DE) option for the MSW program, but online instruction is only one of several distance education delivery modalities utilized in this option. For this and other reasons, the DE option is available only at limited locations. For more information, go to

Are Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores required?

Not for most applicants. Exception: If more than 25 percent of your undergraduate course work was graded under a nontraditional grading system (e.g., pass/fail, credit/no credit, S/U, etc.), you must take the GRE general test and submit the results to the UH Mānoa Graduate Division Student Services Office. For more information, go to and

If I am an international student, do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required for most international applicants. Test scores must be submitted directly to the UH Mānoa Graduate Division Student Services Office. A minimum TOEFL score of 560 on the paper-based test or 83 on the internet-based
test is required. An overall band test score of 6.5 is required for the IELTS. Test scores cannot be more than two years old. International applicants should visit the following websites for further information and requirements:

Does the MSW Admissions Office accept unofficial transcripts?

Yes, please upload unofficial transcripts in SocialWorkCAS for every college/university attended, regardless of how many credits taken and even if transfer credits are reflected on another transcript submitted.

But as a reminder, transcripts are also required by the UH Mānoa Graduate Division.  Refer to for Graduate Division transcript submission requirements.

Can I get credit for work experience?

No. Students cannot receive course credit for previous work or life experience. However, be sure to include this information in your resume and personal statement.

How do I fit field education (practicum) into my schedule?

Students are required to complete four semesters of field education (practicum) totaling a minimum of 900 clock hours (two semesters for a total of 450 hours for Advanced Standing). Now is the time to figure out how practicum will fit into your life, school, and work schedules. Practicum requires a minimum of 16 hours per week each semester. The business of social service agencies and appropriate field placement settings is primarily conducted during the business day (8 am-5 pm, Monday-Friday); therefore, students should expect to allot 16 daytime/business hours per week to complete the Field Education requirement.

How much is tuition?

Please refer to for UH Mānoa graduate tuition rates. The total number of credits required for the MSW degree is 57 credits (or 30 credits for Advanced Standing).

MSW students take 12-15 credits per semester to graduate in two years (or one year for Advanced Standing), 9-12 credits/semester for a three-year academic plan, or 6-9 credits/semester for a four-year academic plan.
Residency for tuition purposes is determined at the time of admission by the UH Mānoa Graduate Division based on the Residency Declaration Form (refer to in accordance with University residency regulations (refer to

When will I receive my admission decision?

Most (but not all) applicants will receive a decision letter from the UH Mānoa Graduate Division sometime between early March and mid-May.

Please be sure to keep both the Graduate Division and the MSW program updated with your most current contact information to ensure that you do not miss any important notifications.

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