How to Apply

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Choose your program to find details about how to apply:

Contact the Mandel School Admissions office at mandelschool@case.edu with any questions.


Master of social work: On-campus, Intensive Weekend or Online

  • Transcripts from an accredited college or university that demonstrates completion of a bachelor’s degree in any field of study. We require transcripts from any school at which you completed 6 or more credits. Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded into the application system for application review. Official transcripts will be required following admission.
  • Two-part essay that is five pages in length and exemplary of graduate-level writing.
    • Part one: Discuss significant factors influencing your decision to pursue a Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA). Your essay should include information regarding your interest in the Social Work profession, your intended concentration/specialization, and career goals. Please reflect on how any past school, community, volunteer, professional work, and leadership experiences will contribute to your success as a graduate student. Describe how you see yourself contributing to the vibrancy of our student body and School community. Describe any strengths or limitations that might influence you being successful in your field placement. Finally, please include why the Mandel School is a good fit for your educational goals.
    • Part two: Analyze a social justice problem of great concern to you. What do you think are the causes of this problem? Assuming you have the power and resources at your disposal, in what ways do you think this problem could be addressed? Please include possible steps for implementation and challenges likely to surface in seeking a solution.
  • Current resume highlighting paid and volunteer experiences.
  • Three recommendation letters, preferably from faculty members, direct supervisors and/or volunteer coordinators.

Students pursuing dual degrees in bioethics and medical humanities, business, law or public health must apply to the Mandel School with the materials above plus apply separately to those programs via the methods described on their webpages.


Master of Nonprofit Organizations

  • Transcripts from an accredited college or university that demonstrates completion of a bachelor’s degree in any field of study. We require transcripts from any school at which you completed 6 or more credits. Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded into the application system for application review. Official transcripts will be required following admission.
  • Two-part essay that is five pages in length and exemplary of graduate-level writing.
    • Part one: Discuss significant factors influencing your decision to pursue a Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO). Your essay should include information regarding your interest in nonprofit management and your career goals in the field of nonprofit management. Please also reflect on how any past school, community, volunteer, professional work, and leadership experiences will contribute to your success as a graduate student. Describe how you see yourself contributing to the vibrancy of our student body and School community. Finally, please include why the Mandel School is a good fit for your educational goals.
    • Part two: Discuss some of the forces impacting nonprofit organizations today. Imagine you are a nonprofit executive. Identify three things you would do to ensure the success and effectiveness of the programs your organization delivers. Who would you seek to collaborate with to achieve these objectives?
  • Current resume highlighting paid and volunteer experiences.
  • Three recommendation letters, preferably from faculty members, direct supervisors or volunteer coordinators.

Dual degree: Social Work and Nonprofit Management

  • Transcripts from an accredited college or university that demonstrates completion of a bachelor’s degree in any field of study. We require transcripts from any school at which you completed 6 or more credits. Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded into the application system for application review. Official transcripts will be required following admission.
  • Two-part essay that is five pages in length and exemplary of graduate-level writing.
    • Part one: Discuss significant factors influencing your decision to pursue a dual degree program with the Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) and Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO). Your essay should include information regarding your intended path of study and career goals. Please address both degrees independently.
      • Please reflect on how any past school, community, volunteer, professional work, and leadership experiences will contribute to your success as a graduate student. Describe how you see yourself contributing to the vibrancy of our student body and School community. Describe any strengths or limitations that might influence you being successful in your field placement. Finally, please include why the Mandel School is a good fit for your educational goals.
    • Part two: Analyze a social justice problem of great concern to you. What do you think are the causes of this problem? Assuming you have the power and resources at your disposal, in what ways do you think this problem could be addressed? Please include possible steps for implementation and challenges likely to surface in seeking a solution. Finally, include your plan as a nonprofit manager addressing this problem. How would you mobilize your team? What are key factors to consider before implementing a plan of action?
  • Current resume highlighting paid and volunteer experiences.
  • Three recommendation letters, preferably from faculty members, direct supervisors and/or volunteer coordinators.

PhD in Social Welfare

We consider your career goals and how well they match our program and your personal statement and research interests to make sure there is a good match between you and our faculty members’ research interests.

  • To be admitted to the Mandel School doctoral program, candidates should have a master’s degree from an accredited school of social work or a master’s degree in a related field and demonstrate a superior record in undergraduate and graduate studies.

  • Admission considerations include practical experience in social welfare; scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the past five years; letters of reference; and competency in written and spoken English.

  • Identify and upload an unofficial transcript from each post-secondary institution directly onto the application. ONLY if you are admitted, then you will be required to submit official transcripts. In order to alleviate the cost and logistics of applying, please do not send transcripts in with your application; they will not be reviewed. International Students: Documents in languages other than English must be accompanied by certified scanned translations in English.

  • In order to alleviate application costs and logistics, it is not necessary to send official score reports during the admissions process; please upload unofficial score reports onto the application for review. ONLY if you are admitted, then you will be required to submit official score reports.

    • GRE - The GRE is valid for five years after the test date. There is no minimum GRE score, applications are evaluated holistically. Scores can be sent officially through ETS using CWRU's school code 1105.

  • Students from non-English speaking countries must submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), taken within the past two years.

    • International applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency. Minimum language scores to gain admission are below; we do not offer conditional admission to applicants who do not meet the minimum language scores.

    • You only need to upload your unofficial score report; you do not need to send official test scores unless you are formally admitted. The TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE are all valid for two years after the test date.

      • TOEFL - 90 minimum if internet-based or 577 if paper-based. (minimum of 80 TOEFL if applying to a Course Focused Engineering program) Scores can be sent officially through ETS using CWRU's school code 1105. * The School of Graduate Studies does not accept the TOEFL MyBest Scores. Applicants must achieve a minimum of 90 on one exam date; exams will not be superscored.

      • IELTS - 7.0 minimum. Please do not send scores officially, simply include your TRF number on your application and we can verify your score online.

      • PTE Academic - 61 minimum. Scores can be sent officially through the Pearson website to be verified online.

  • One writing example (not exceeding 25 pages) of a recent, single or co-authored work of scholarly writing that provides evidence of your capacity to think analytically and critically about a social welfare issue. The following are examples of appropriate submissions: published article, book chapter or book, unpublished research report, term paper written in a graduate-level course or a grant application.

  • Written personal statement (3 to 5 pages) that describes and evaluates your professional development, including your career goals and how doctoral education is relevant to them and your area of research interest within the social work profession.

  • Three letters of recommendation, including at least one from a faculty member.

  • $50 nonrefundable application fee.

  • Highly recommended:

    • A phone or in-person interview with the chair of the program or a faculty member.

    • Site visit, sitting in on a doctoral class, meeting with faculty and current doctoral students. Please contact the program chair Sonia Minnes or 216.368.2309 to arrange an in-person visit or get more information about the program.

  • The Doctoral Program Admissions Committee meets and makes the decision on each application.

See what we're looking for when reviewing PhD applications.