Admission to the Garland School of Social Work residential graduate program is conducted by formal application. Students will be admitted regardless of race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, age, veteran status, or disability. Applicants are expected to complete the degree at the campus to which they were admitted. An application packet will be considered complete when the following materials have been received:

  1. A completed online application and application fee
  2. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended1
  3. Recommendations: Three letters of recommendation. Standard applicants, at least one of the three letters of recommendation must be from an academic professor with direct knowledge of your academic work. Advanced standing applicants, at least two of the three letters of recommendation must be from an academic professor with direct knowledge of your academic work. Of these two academic references, one must be the undergraduate program director, the director of practicum education, or the social work supervisor.
  4. A completed online GSSW Financial Aid Form
  5. Proof of completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or CSS Financial Aid Profile (for international students only)
  6. Final practicum evaluation (for advanced standing applicants only)

A file will be considered complete for review purposes with unofficial transcripts. If admitted, official transcripts will be required prior to enrolling in classes.

The letter of admission constitutes the University’s official notification of an admission decision. Admitted students will have a maximum of one year from the date of admission within which to enroll but must indicate their decision to enroll or defer by the deposit deadline of the year in which they apply. Attempts to enroll after the one-year period will require the completion of another application. Students should contact the GSSW Admissions Office for accurate dates and deposit amounts. The University reserves the right to refuse admission to applicants whose previous academic record and/or readiness for graduate study in social work is deemed unsatisfactory. Applicants who are not admitted into the residential program may reapply for the next academic year.

Admitted students must submit the health form and be cleared by Baylor University Health Services before registering for classes.

General Requirements

  1. The program requires that all applicants have either a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or proof of equivalent education at an international institution of higher learning.
  2. Applicants are expected to have a record of undergraduate study and experience that is predictive of success in graduate study. A minimum admissible grade point average is not specified, as the Garland School conducts a holistic review process.
  3. Baccalaureate coursework that demonstrates a strong liberal arts background.
  4. International students are expected to satisfy the following additional admissions requirements:
    1. If the applicant does not have a degree conferred by a U.S.-accredited higher education institution, or if the official language of their country, or region of their country, is not English, they are required to attain a minimum of 550 on the paper-based, or 213 on the computer-based, TOEFL Essentials, or 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the equivalency of these scores on other English proficiency assessments approved by the Garland School of Social Work.
    2. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years. After that time, the applicant must retake the test and submit the new scores to the Garland School of Social Work. For information about TOEFL, go to, for IELTS, go to
    3. When all of the preceding requirements have been received and satisfied, and after the applicant has been accepted by a degree program, the international student must complete the Visa Authorization form and the Confirmation of Financial Resources form. For more information regarding these forms and how to obtain an I-20, which is required for an F-1 (student) visa, contact the International Student and Scholar Services office at (254) 710-1461, or see their website at
  5. Credit for elective courses transferred from other graduate (non-social work) program. A maximum of three (3) semester hours toward the Standard MSW degree option and a maximum of three (3) semester hours toward the Advanced Standing option taken for non-social work graduate credit in other approved graduate programs may be considered for elective credit. A petition for transfer credit must fulfill the conditions listed below:
    1. The work must have been performed while the student was enrolled in good standing as a graduate student.
    2. The school from which they are transferred must be accredited by a regional accreditation agency.
    3. No earned grade for transfer is less than a “B-”.
    4. Petition for transfer of credit occurs after enrollment in the graduate program.
    5. Transfer credit will not be calculated into GPA unless it is taken at Baylor University
    6. A petition of transfer from another University request must be completed and submitted in writing to the MSW Program Director.
  6. While past professional experiences may strengthen an application, no academic credit will be given for life experiences.

Transfer Applicants

A transfer applicant is defined as any student applying to the MSW program who is currently enrolled in an accredited social work program as a standard student, or has been within one calendar year of the time of submitting a completed application. Students who are enrolled in or have completed credit in their advanced year at another university’s accredited social work program are not eligible to apply to Baylor’s MSW program. In addition to completing all general admissions requirements, transfer applicants must provide:

  1. A letter of good standing on official university letterhead from the MSW program director of any MSW program you have attended.
  2. If applicants have completed any hours in an MSW internship placement, they must provide a letter of good standing on official university letterhead from the director of practicum education.
  3. Syllabi and/or course description for any courses you wish to be considered for transfer credit
  4. Transfer applicants must provide an addendum to the application answering the following:
    1. Why do you want to transfer to the Garland School of Social Work?
    2. What do you hope to gain from being a student at the Garland School of Social Work?
    3. What will you contribute to the Garland School as a graduate social work student?

For any applicants who want to transfer courses from their previous accredited social work program,

  1. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (based upon a review of syllabi) may approve up to 12 hours of coursework for inclusion into the MSW standard degree requirements.
  2. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may approve the transfer of up to 3 additional transfer credit hours that qualify as elective credit.
  3. No credit will be given toward required MSW courses unless the following conditions apply:
    1. The courses were taken in a graduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
    2. A course description and syllabus are provided by the student, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs judges the courses to be an appropriate substitution for a specific course in the graduate program.
  4. For any requests to transfer credit for MSW required coursework, the Associate Dean will consider the conditions listed below:
    1. The work must have been done while the student was enrolled in good standing as a graduate student.
    2. The work must have been done within five years prior to the award of the master’s degree from Baylor.
    3. The school from which the credits are transferred must be accredited by a regional accreditation agency.
    4. No earned grade for transfer is less than a “B.”
    5. None of the transfer coursework consists of extension or workshop courses.
  5. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will make decisions about the acceptance of transfer credit for any required MSW course.

Advanced Standing Admissions

Students who are granted admission to the combined Garland School of Social Work BSW/MSW program are admitted into the MSW program upon successful completion of the BSW from Baylor University with at least a 3.0 overall GPA, a B in every social work course, and the recommendation of the Practicum Education office.

Students who have earned a baccalaureate degree in social work from another program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education must apply for admission into the Advanced Standing program at Baylor University. Applicants to the Garland School of Social Work Advanced Standing program with a degree from an international social work program must provide evidence through CSWE’s International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service that the program from which they have graduated or anticipate graduating is recognized/approved/certified by CSWE. 

Advanced Standing applicants must have completed their baccalaureate degrees from a CSWE accredited program no more than five years prior to submitting their application. Admission to the Advanced Standing will be based on the following, in addition to the standard graduate social work application:

  • An overall grade point average of 2.7 or higher on a 4.0 scale, a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in all social work coursework, and a minimum grade of B in all practice and internship courses
  • A copy of a final Practicum Evaluation from baccalaureate social work internship experience(s) documenting satisfactory generalist practice experience and skills in the internship (While prospective students may be admitted conditionally based on their performance in the field at the time of their application, full admission is contingent upon receipt of final practicum evaluation.

While the Baylor University health form is not considered in the application process, it must be completed prior to registration if admitted to the program.