Letters of Reference

Letters of reference help the admissions committee assess your potential for graduate study in social work. The most useful references include those from:

  • undergraduate or graduate professors
  • supervisors from work, internships or volunteer experiences related to social work or human services

Family and friends are not appropriate sources of references.

When you begin your online application, you will be asked to enter the names and contact information for each reference. As soon as you complete the recommender section, each reference will receive an email from Salem State with instructions on how to submit the reference electronically. Each reference will be asked to fill out the online MSW reference form and upload a narrative statement online. It is highly recommended that references be completed electronically to expedite your application process. However, if your reference is not willing to complete the reference online, a paper MSW reference form [PDF] can be submitted.