How to Write a Personal Statement for a Social Work Masters Degree

Social workers forge relationships with people and provide guidance as listeners, advisers or advocates. Social workers assist communities, children, families and teens, helping people solve problems. Earning a graduate degree in social work allows you to work professionally as a social worker. Most degree programs for this field are increasingly competitive, which means that your application, including your personal statement has to be striking, intelligent and memorable to make you a desirable candidate.

Read the mission statement of each school you would like to attend. Each school that you apply to should have a mission statement that is in harmony with your own personal social work goals. Make a list of your work- and school-related and life experiences.

Write an engaging anecdote to explain how your interest in social work developed. For example, it might be because you've taken care of family members in need or because you've volunteered at youth centres. Regardless, your anecdote should provide the admissions representative with some background as to how you've arrived at this goal. This anecdote should be no longer than a paragraph.

Write the following paragraph to explain the personal strengths and life- and work-related experiences that you've had that you think make you a good candidate for a graduate degree. Be specific and describe how these experiences have affected you.

Write about areas in your knowledge, education, personality or experience that you'd like to develop further. Explain how you think this particular degree program can assist you in doing that.

Conclude your personal statement by explaining how the school's mission statement corresponds with your particular perception of social work.


Pay attention to the maximum word count as specified by each school; don't exceed it.

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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."

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