Master of Social Work

MSW Admissions

Admission Deadlines for Fall Entry:

  • Advanced Standing Applications:      January 15 (priority); March 15 (deadline); May 1 (late deadline - if space available)
  • Regular MSW Applications:              January 15 (priority); March 15 (deadline); May 1 (late deadline - if space available)

Required Application Materials:

  • Completed on-line application
  • $50 non-refundable application fee (paid on-line)
  • Personal Statement
  • Two reference forms with accompanying letters
  • Original official transcripts from previous undergraduate colleges and universities; and, if applicable, graduate colleges and universities.  The official transcripts (with the college or university seal) must be submitted directly from the colleges or universities.  Notify the Office of Graduate Admissions if your transcript is under a former name.

      International Applicants:

      In addition to the above requirements, international applications must submit:

  • TOEFL scores for applicants whose first language is not English;
  • International transcripts evaluation (All international transcripts that are not from an English-speaking institution must be translated and evaluated by a reputable credential evaluation services);

Refer to the Office of Graduate Admissions for additional materials required for admission to Hawaii Pacific University.

Criteria for Admissions:

      For Regular MSW Status:

  • Conferred baccalaureate degree with at least 30 credit hours in Liberal Arts, from an accredited four-year institution;
  • Minimum overall GPA of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale (preferably a 3.00); and,
  • Completion with a grade of a “C” or better in (a) statistics; and, (b) research methods.

      For MSW Advanced Standing Status:

  • Conferred baccalaureate degree in social work from an CSWE accredited BSW program at a four-year institution no more than five years before initial enrollment in the MSW program;
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.00on a 4.00 scale;
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 for social work courses;
  • Completion with a grade of a “C” or better in (a) statistics; and, (b) research methods;
  • One reference form and accompanying letter from a former BSW faculty who can attest to your ability to successfully perform advanced standing graduate work; and,
  • Copy of BSW field evaluations demonstrating successful field performance.

MSW Transfer Applicants:

Applicant must be enrolled or have recently enrolled in a graduate social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  In addition, to the requirements for regular MSW status (or MSW advanced standing status) transfer applicants must submit:

  • A personal statement that reflects reasons for wanting to transfer to the School of Social Work at Hawaii Pacific University;
  • Letter of good standing from the Dean or the Director of the program (or their designee);
  • Field evaluation for any fieldwork accomplished up to this point; and,
  • A syllabus and course catalog description for each course you wish to transfer for credit, up to 15 credits.  These documents are required only after begin accepted into the program).

      For Provisional MSW Status:

Applicants whose overall GPA is below 2.75, but not less than 2.65, on a 4.0 scale may be considered for admissions on a case-by-case basis.  Students under this category will be restricted to none credit hours of course work during the first semester and must earn a B grade or better in each of the course.  Students who fail to earn B grade or better in each course will automatically be dismissed from the MSW program at the end of the fall semester.

MSW Graduate Assistantships:

Graduate Assistantships are now available for incoming, full-time Masters in Social Work students. Assistantships are available to domestic and international students.

A Graduate Assistantship is a merit-based tuition scholarship for eligible graduate students to work directly with a social work faculty member and perform academic research or gain experience teaching in the classroom. A 25% tuition scholarship will be provided for 9 hours/week work, for up to six selected students, and one 50% tuition scholarship may be granted for 18 hours/week work.

HPU's Graduate Assistantship program offers a limited number of graduate assistantships each year to qualified students. Once a student is awarded the assistantship, they can keep it for the duration of their degree up to 2 years.


  • Students must be applying to an MSW degree program, either advanced standing or the regular program (graduate certificate and post-Masters students are not eligible to receive assistantships).
  • Assistantships are available to domestic and international students.
  • Be in good academic standing and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 from an accredited university.
  • Full-time course enrollment required during Fall and Spring semesters.


  • January 15th for first consideration
  • March 15th for second round consideration

Click Here to Apply

Students must submit a Graduate assistantship application and resume.

For more information about graduate assistantships, and for an application, call Dr. Michaela Rinkel, MSW Program Director at (808) 566-2489 or email

Application Review Process:

The MSW Admissions Committee is responsible for the acceptance or denial of applications for the MSW program.  To ensure impartiality, all applications are reviewed and ranked for admissions by members of the committee, using a rubric.  Applicants may be subject for an interview with the MSW Program Director or another MSW faculty for further assessment of the applicant’s potential success for the rigor of graduate studies.  The Office of Graduate Admissions will send an official letter of acceptance or denial to the applicant.  If there is any contingent conditions associated with admissions, they will be described in the letter of acceptance.

Click here to be directed to the Hawaii Pacific University Office of Graduate Admissions