Headquartered at IUPUI
Locations on 8 IU Campuses


Instructions to MSW applicant reference: 

An email will be sent with a form link to the referee to provide the applicant's reference.  Make sure the applicant has your proper email address. The application system sends the referee an electronic form to be completed. The referee will be asked to upload a letter of recommendation in their electronic form.

Sample Request


The applicant gave us your name as a reference and indicated that you are willing to provide a reference in support of his/her application for the Master of Social Work program at Indiana University. If you accept this request, please complete the electronic letter of recommendation form and upload a letter attesting to the student's character, skills, and abilities in completing a MSW. The recommendation can be completed in more than one sitting. You will be asked to upload a letter of recommendation. However, please know the student's application will be flagged as incomplete and will not be processed unless your submission is received on or before the due date.

We would appreciate a candid discussion concerning the applicant's capabilities and limitations in relation to potential academic performance and suitability for the profession of social work. Some of the characteristics that social workers must possess are:

  • An absolute commitment to work on behalf of oppressed populations
  • Intellectual ability
  • Ability to work with others
  • Emotional stability
  • Sense of responsibility
  • Advanced oral and written communication skills
  • Creativity and motivation
  • Leadership skills
  • Ability to think critically

With the above in mind, you will be asked by the applicant to supply a letter of recommendation addressing the following questions:

  1. What strengths/weaknesses does the applicant possess that would impact his/her progress in the MSW Program?
  2. How would you compare/describe this applicant's personal/philosophical values/ethics and the congruence with the values/ethics of social work?
  3. How have you witnessed the applicant's commitment to social justice?
  4. How do you rank the applicant's ability to excel academically?