Admissions and Application Requirements

The online Master of Social Work (MSW) program from Hawai‘i Pacific University is designed to help you develop a multicultural social work practice and assist in healing communities affected by intergenerational consequences of historical and cultural trauma.

We look for applicants with an open mind and the will to serve in their communities. To be eligible for admission into the program, you will need a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

See below for more information on the application process and requirements.

Start Dates

The online Master of Social Work program offers three start dates per year.




Application Deadlines

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so the sooner you apply, the sooner you can receive an admissions decision and begin planning your future. If you apply by the priority deadline, you are eligible to have your application fee waived.

The deadline for the August 2024 cohort has been extended to July 22, 2024.

Program Start DateEarly Action DeadlinePriority DeadlineFinal Deadline
August 2024
Monday, May 13, 2024
Monday, June 10, 2024
Monday, July 8, 2024
January 2025
Monday, September 23, 2024
Monday, October 21, 2024
Monday, November 18, 2024

Admissions Criteria 

To be eligible for admission into the online MSW program, you must meet the following requirements to apply:

Traditional track:

  • Bachelor’s degree with at least 30 credits in Liberal Arts from an accredited four-year institution
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA, but applicants below that will be considered for provisional admission
  • Completed courses in Statistics and Research Methods
    • Applicants must have completed each course with a grade of a “C” or higher 

Advanced Standing track:

  • Bachelor’s degree in social work from an accredited program within the past five years
  • Minimum 3.25 GPA on a 4.0 scale in social work courses

Application Requirements

Hawai‘i Pacific University reviews applications holistically. No GRE or GMAT scores are required to apply. You will need to submit the following materials to be considered for admission:

  • Complete the online application. The application fee is $55. If you submit your application by the priority application deadline, you are eligible to receive an application fee waiver.

  • You will need to submit transcripts reflecting your bachelor’s degree. Both official and unofficial transcripts can be submitted for application review. To submit unofficial transcripts, request them directly from the university/school(s), and upload them yourself to your application (your transcript(s) will be considered unofficial). You can also choose to provide official transcripts directly as you apply to the program.

    All international transcripts must be submitted in the original language, accompanied by an official English translation and certified U.S. bachelor’s equivalency evaluation.

    Please note: If you are admitted to the program but have not yet provided official transcripts, you will need to provide official transcripts before you can register for your second term of the program. For your transcript(s) to be considered official, the transcript must be sent directly from your institution(s) or through an electronic transcript vendor retained by that institution. 

    Transcripts submitted by enrolled or prospective students are considered unofficial documents, even if they are in a sealed envelope provided to you by the issuing university.

    If you are an international applicant, see the section below for specifics on submitting your transcripts.
    If you need to submit any other application items, use the following email address:

  • Submitting your current résumé can help with practicum placement, but it is completely optional. If you choose to submit yours, be sure to list any relevant professional and academic experience, including volunteer work.

  • Submit an essay that expands on: 

    • Why you want to study social work, specifically at Hawai‘i Pacific University. 
    • How your unique background would contribute to the diversity of Hawai‘i Pacific University’s graduate programs, and to the educational experiences of your fellow classmates. 
    • Your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. 
    • Any related qualifications, including community activities and collegiate and professional accomplishments not already mentioned in your application.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required. Choose recommenders who can explain how your experience and qualifications have prepared you for academic and professional success. The letters can come from academic or professional recommenders. You will submit contact information for your recommenders in the online application.

  • Transcript Evaluations

    All international transcripts must be submitted in the original language, accompanied by an official English translation and certified U.S. bachelor’s equivalency evaluation. Please note that no U.S. student visa will be issued for this 100% online program.

    Translations of any non-English document must be literal and complete versions of the originals and translated/evaluated by one of the following: 

    English Proficiency

    International applications who come from a country that’s not on the Hawai‘i Pacific University English Speaking Country and Territory List can show that they meet English language proficiency requirements for entry to a graduate program in one of the following ways:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) 
      • Score of at least 550 (pBT) or 80 (iBT) 
      • Hawai‘i Pacific University’s Institution code is 4352
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
      • Overall band score of at least 6.5. 
      • The general training exam is not accepted. No institutional code is needed.
    • Pearson Test of English (PTE)
      • Score of at least 55
    • Duolingo English test
      • Score of at least 110
    • Cambridge Score
      • Score of at least 176
    • Step Eiken
      • Test level of Grade 1
    • iTEP (International Test of English Proficiency)
      • Score of at least 3.9
    • GTEC (Global Test of English Communication)
      • Score of at least 1200

    International applicants can also demonstrate their English proficiency in several other ways. To learn more about international application requirements and English proficiency requirements, visit our international students webpage.

Ready to Move Forward?

Request information to learn more about the online Master of Social Work program — or start your application today.

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