Essay Details

The two-part essay is the most important section of your application package. We are interested in understanding 1) how your experiences influenced your desire to obtain a Masters in Social Work and 2) the quality of your writing and argumentation as it relates to analyzing and addressing a social problem. The essay must be formatted in APA Style, 12 pt font, and double spaced.

Part 1. Autobiographical statement (2-3 pages). In your statement, be sure to address fully each of the following questions:

  • Why do you want to pursue a career in social work?
  • What do you view as barriers to obtaining your MSW degree and what are your plans for overcoming them?
  • How does your experience with and/or knowledge of diversity issues inform your desire to obtain an MSW degree?
  • How have your past and current volunteer, internship, fieldwork, employment, and/or other experiences prepared you for graduate studies in social work?

Part 2. Clinical Issue/Social Problem Analysis (2 pages – not including reference page). Describe a contemporary clinical issue or social problem that you believe is relevant to the social work field. Please address the following prompts:

  • What is the social problem and how is it relevant to the social work field?
  • What are the societal contributions to the origin and maintenance of this problem?
  • Why does this problem deserve public attention and resources?
  • What research supports your position?
  • Describe some possible ways for social workers to address the problem, including leadership roles you might undertake.
  • If relevant, and space permitting, include any personal experiences that have contributed to your identification and understanding of the problem.

For assistance preparing a resume and/or essay, please refer to the Writing Center's Graduate Resources.