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Application Deadlines and Requirements for Master's Programs

The application for admission to the 2024-2025 academic year is open.

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Important Considerations for Master's Programs

As you review the application requirements below for our two master's programs, the considerations here apply to both programs:

  • Application Fee: In an effort to increase accessibility and empower our prospective applicants, the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice has eliminated the application fee for master's degree programs this year.
  • Holistic Review: The Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice reviews applications holistically, meaning we consider all the pieces of your application as a collective representation of you academically and professionally.
  • GRE Scores: Applicants seeking admission to our master’s programs are not required to submit GRE scores to complete their application.
  • Interviews: Applicants seeking admission to our master’s programs are not required to sit for an interview as part of the application process.
  • Financial Aid: To be considered for Crown Family School scholarships, please complete the Financial Data Section of the online application. Many applicants, if eligible, also apply for federal student loans or federal work-study to bridge the gap between their scholarship and the cost of tuition. Please see Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid for a complete description of federal financial aid procedures.
  • Enrollment Deposit: Applicants who are admitted must confirm their acceptance by submitting a $250 non-refundable deposit to reserve their place in the School. The $250 deposit will be credited towards their tuition. 

The following apply to the A.M. in Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration program:

  • Advanced Standing Program: Applicants seeking admission to the Advanced Standing Program must submit with their application a transcript showing conferral of an undergraduate Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a college or university accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). 
  • A.B./A.M. Program: Qualified University of Chicago students in The College who wish to pursue a joint A.B./A.M. degree with the Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration program should consult with their A.B./A.M. adviser in The College and with the Crown Family School Director of Admissions as soon as their first year, but no later than early in their third year.
Master's Application Deadlines

Full-time, Part-time Day, Extended Evening, and Dual AM Programs:

  • December 1, for an admission decision by February 15
  • January 15, for an admission decision by March 15
  • April 1
  • June 3, for the Extended Evening and Part-time Day Programs (Crown Family School may continue to accept applications after April 1, depending on available space.)

Advanced Standing Program:

  • December 1, for an admission decision by February 15
  • February 15, for an admission decision by April 1 

AB/AM Program: 

  • December 1 of your third year in the University of Chicago College for an early admissions decision by February 15
  • January 15 of your third year in the University of Chicago College for an admission decision by March 15

Transfer Students: 

  • January 15 

 

Decisions for 2024 will be released on a rolling basis. All decisions per round will be sent by the respective decision dates noted above. 

  • February 1 for an admission decision by March 15
  • March 15 for an admission decision by June 1
  • June 15With the June 15 deadline falling on a Saturday this year, we will accept applications until 11:59 PM CST on Monday, June 17.
A.M. in Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration Application Requirements

Please submit the following with your application:

Transcripts are required from every post-secondary academic institution where an applicant has taken three or more courses--unless the courses with grades appear on the home institution transcript; this includes courses taken Pass/Fail.

Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts for the application review process. Transcripts should be accompanied by the institutional grading and credit system information, which is most commonly found on the reverse side of paper transcripts. If your institution does not provide digitized transcripts, applicants may upload scanned paper transcripts to the online application. Please make sure to include the reverse side with the grading and credit system information. Alternatively, applicants may send paper transcripts to:

Office of Admissions
Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice
969 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

If college work is incomplete at the time of application, a final transcript must be sent when final grades and degree conferral have been recorded. 

Students who have completed or will be completing their undergraduate education at an institution outside the United States are expected to have a baccalaureate-level degree or its equivalent and to have completed social work training in the home country and/or to have had work experience in a social service agency before applying for admission to the Master's Program.

If admitted, international academic credentials, including courses taken, grades received, and degrees granted, should be sent directly to the Admissions Office by the issuing institution. If this is not possible, copies in the applicant's possession may be acceptable if they have been certified by the proper school authorities. Applicants may not validate their own documents. The class or division of the degree must be stated if this is the customary method of reporting the quality of academic work. If the Admissions office is unable to complete a degree verification based on the documentation submitted, the Admissions office reserves the right to require a credential evaluation by an approved outside agency.   

A minimum of three recommendations are required, two of which should address your academic ability. References should be qualified to discuss your aptitude for both graduate study and social work. No more than four letters of recommendation may be submitted.

  • Current undergraduates or recent graduates must include at least two academic references.

  • Transfer students and Advanced Standing Program applicants must include two academic references and a reference from a current or recent practice professor or field instructor who can evaluate your performance in field placement or submit a final field evaluation. 

  • Applicants who are or recently have been employed must include one reference from an employment supervisor. Ask your professional references to speak to your analytic and critical thinking skills. 

     

Please write a three to four page statement addressing the following two prompts:

  1. Students graduating from the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice pursue careers and assume leadership roles in diverse areas across a range of social sectors (e.g., child and family welfare, health, mental health, education, housing, violence prevention, criminal justice, etc.) that cross individual, family, community, management, and policy levels, both domestically and globally. Please tell us what inspires your decision to pursue a degree at the Crown Family School, the type of work you hope to pursue, and how an education at the Crown Family School will help you pursue your passions and achieve your career goals. [2 double spaced pages]
  2. Please discuss how your core values and the sense of purpose motivating your career plans aligns with the Crown Family School’s mission, values, and guiding principles as you understand them. In your answer, describe how your personal and/or professional experiences have shaped your commitment to equity and social change and might inform your work as a student, professional, and future leader in your chosen field.  [2 double-spaced pages]

A current resume outlining experience.

Applicants to the graduate schools and divisions of the University of Chicago who do not meet the criteria below must submit proof of English language proficiency. This policy applies to all graduate programs; the score level required for admission varies by program. Only the TOEFL iBT or IELTS Academic tests are accepted as proof of proficiency.

Waiver Criteria:

  • English has been a primary language of communication and schooling for you since childhood; or
  • You were enrolled for at least one academic year in full-time status in a course of study at an accredited English-medium post-secondary institution in one of the following countries or territories within the past ten years: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States.
  • Education in English-medium institutions in other countries or territories does not qualify for the exemption.
  • Only full-time coursework in a degree program at a college or university in one of these countries or territories qualifies. Remote study, lab or research work, non-degree programs, intensive English language courses, or high school/secondary school do not qualify. The qualifying academic year must be completed – i.e., if you are now in a program and are planning to have completed a year by the time you enroll, it will not meet the requirement.

The minimum required score for the TOEFL is 104 overall (IBT) with a sub-score of 26 in each category. The minimum required score for the IELTS is 7 overall, with sub-scores of 7 in each category. Check the TOEFL and IELTS sites for more information about the test. The results of the test will be sent to the University by the Testing Service. Official reports of any required scores must be received in order for a decision to be issued. Committees will use unofficial scores for review purposes if an official score report is not available, but you should provide official reports of any required scores as soon as they are available. Applications will not be given final consideration until the results of the test have been received. The University of Chicago Institutional Code for TOEFL is 1832; the department code for Crown Family School is 95.

A.M. in Social Sector Leadership and Nonprofit Management (SSL) Application Requirements

Please submit the following with your application:

Transcripts are required from every post-secondary academic institution where an applicant has taken three or more courses--unless the courses with grades appear on the home institution transcript; this includes courses taken Pass/Fail.

Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts for the application review process. Transcripts should be accompanied by the institutional grading and credit system information, which is most commonly found on the reverse side of paper transcripts. If your institution does not provide digitized transcripts, applicants may upload scanned paper transcripts to the online application. Please make sure to include the reverse side with the grading and credit system information. Alternatively, applicants may send paper transcripts to:

Office of Admissions
Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice
969 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

If college work is incomplete at the time of application, a final transcript must be sent when final grades and degree conferral have been recorded. 

Students who have completed or will be completing their undergraduate education at an institution outside the United States are expected to have a baccalaureate-level degree or its equivalent and to have completed social work training in the home country and/or to have had work experience in a social service agency before applying for admission to the Master's Program.

If admitted, international academic credentials, including courses taken, grades received, and degrees granted, should be sent directly to the Admissions Office by the issuing institution. If this is not possible, copies in the applicant's possession may be acceptable if they have been certified by the proper school authorities. Applicants may not validate their own documents. The class or division of the degree must be stated if this is the customary method of reporting the quality of academic work. If the Admissions office is unable to complete a degree verification based on the documentation submitted, the Admissions office reserves the right to require a credential evaluation by an approved outside agency.   

Two letters of recommendation are required.

Please submit a 4-page, double-spaced statement that addresses each of the following prompts

  • What personal and professional factors have led you to pursue a master’s degree in Social Sector Leadership and Nonprofit Management at this time? What are your professional goals and how will this master’s degree provide a way to achieve them? What in particular influenced your decision to pursue this degree from the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice?
  • What, in your view, are the characteristics of an effective leader and manager in the social sector? What existing strengths and prior experience will you bring to this program, and what do you still need to learn or develop in order to become an effective leader and manager?
  • Identify a population or social issue which you feel passionate about and would like to affect through your work. Provide a critique of how current institutions, services, policies, or community practices have failed to adequately address this issue or the needs of this population, and suggest how the social sector could respond.

A current resume outlining at least 3-5 years of experience working in a social sector organiza­tion.

Applicants to the graduate schools and divisions of the University of Chicago who do not meet the criteria below must submit proof of English language proficiency. This policy applies to all graduate programs; the score level required for admission varies by program. Only the TOEFL iBT or IELTS Academic tests are accepted as proof of proficiency.

Waiver Criteria:

  • English has been a primary language of communication and schooling for you since childhood; or
  • You were enrolled for at least one academic year in full-time status in a course of study at an accredited English-medium post-secondary institution in one of the following countries or territories within the past ten years: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States.
  • Education in English-medium institutions in other countries or territories does not qualify for the exemption.
  • Only full-time coursework in a degree program at a college or university in one of these countries or territories qualifies. Remote study, lab or research work, non-degree programs, intensive English language courses, or high school/secondary school do not qualify. The qualifying academic year must be completed – i.e., if you are now in a program and are planning to have completed a year by the time you enroll, it will not meet the requirement.

The minimum required score for the TOEFL is 104 overall (IBT) with a sub-score of 26 in each category. The minimum required score for the IELTS is 7 overall, with sub-scores of 7 in each category. Check the TOEFL and IELTS sites for more information about the test. The results of the test will be sent to the University by the Testing Service. Official reports of any required scores must be received in order for a decision to be issued. Committees will use unofficial scores for review purposes if an official score report is not available, but you should provide official reports of any required scores as soon as they are available. Applications will not be given final consideration until the results of the test have been received. The University of Chicago Institutional Code for TOEFL is 1832; the department code for Crown Family School is 95.

Re-application

Applicants who re-apply will need to submit a new application online and provide the following application materials:

  • Candidate Statement: Applicants who previously applied in the last year are not required to re-submit a candidate statement, but are strongly encouraged to update the previous statement to add any interim work experience, education or activities. Applicants who applied more than a year ago are required to submit a new statement.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Applicants who previously applied in the last year are not required to submit any new letters of recommendation, but are strongly encouraged to obtain one new letter or update a previously submitted letter.
  • Transcripts: Transcripts from a previous application are kept on file for one year. New transcripts should be submitted if any subsequent courses were taken elsewhere.
Transfer Applicants and Returning Students

To be considered as a transfer student, an applicant is permitted to transfer one (1) full year of course work from another accredited master's program in social work if the work was done within three (3) years of the application for transfer. Individual courses from other institutions or other parts of the University prior to matriculation at Crown Family School are not accepted for transfer credit toward the master's degree at Crown Family School, and Crown Family School neither awards nor transfers life experience credit. Students are permitted to transfer up to three (3) Crown Family School courses that were taken prior to matriculation (enrollment) in a degree program at Crown Family School.

In addition to the basic admission requirements for all master's degree applicants, transfer students must:

  • Include successful completion of the 1st year core required courses  and 1st year practicum.
  • Include with their application an addendum explaining their reason for transferring to the Crown Family School program from their current social work program.
  • Include two academic references and a reference from a current or recent practice professor or field instructor who can evaluate your performance in field placement or submit a final field evaluation.
  • Submit the application and all of the supplemental materials no later than January 15. Late applications and materials will not be accepted.
  • Students will be required to complete the Clinical Practice or Social Administration concentration requirements while enrolled at Crown Family School.
  • As a transfer student, you may have the opportunity to participate in one of our programs of study. You are encouraged to explore the programs of study prior to admission and be prepared to submit the required materials for the program of study immediately after admission is granted into the degree program.

Returning students in the Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration and the Social Sector Leadership and Nonprofit Management programs will need to submit a new application online. 

  • Candidate Statement: Returning students should prepare a candidate statement to the admissions committee updating the previous statement and describing interim social work education, experience, or activities.
  • Letters of Recommendation: You will need to submit two additional letters of recommendation. At least one recommendation should be from a faculty member at Crown Family School.
  • Transcripts:  Transcripts of any subsequent courses taken elsewhere should be ordered and submitted on-line.
  • Students absent from the program for 5 years or more will be required to repeat all coursework and internships.
Application Tips

A strong candidate statement will address why one wants to pursue their respective program at the Crown Family School, draw connections between your past academic and professional experiences and your future career goals, and demonstrate your aptitude for effective written communication.

When writing your candidate statement, be careful to respond directly to all the statement prompts regarding your professional goals, your strengths, and your learning objectives with regards to a career in social work and social welfare (for A.M. in Social Work applicants) or nonprofit management (for A.M. in Social Sector Leadership applicants).

Be sure to elaborate on why you want to be at Crown Family School. What is it that we do here that you want to be a part of? Are there any specific faculty members whose research interests align with yours?

Consider how your paid or unpaid experiences might contribute to the classroom and a career in social work and social welfare (for A.M. in Social Work applicants) or nonprofit management (for A.M. in Social Sector Leadership applicants). If your prior experience is not in social work or social/human services, briefly highlight how that experience might be related to supporting a career in social work/social welfare or social sector leadership/nonprofit management.

Lastly, keep in mind that the essay is about both content and comprehension, so read and re-read your statement for content and flow, and to catch any grammatical errors you might have missed during your first readthrough. 

Your references should be individuals who know you well and can evaluate your potential for success in the fields of social work (for Social Work applicants) and nonprofit management (for Social Sector Leadership applicants). Recommendation letters that can speak to your academic performance or professional experiences and how those experiences might enrich our campus community are preferred. Consider requesting recommendation letters from employers or supervisors, a staff member from a volunteer experiences, or college professors. 

Be sure to inform them of the deadline for submission, so that their letters arrive on time. 

All required materials must be submitted in order for your application to be considered complete. Make sure you request your transcripts and your letters of recommendation with enough time to meet the deadline you're applying for. 

 

Questions?

Any questions about the application process or about the status of a particular application can be sent to Admissions at admissions@crownschool.uchicago.edu

“Crown Family School prepares you to work in proximal fields to social work... In addition to clinical field training, the systems perspective training that I received at Crown Family School makes sense to me broadly for issues of professional practice or research.”

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Eric Brown
Eric Brown
AM '08