You can email the file to yourself on the iPad and you will be able to open the document and read it but you will not be able to save or edit the file without a third party app that is compatible with MS Word.
There are quite a few of these apps available like Pages, Documents to Go, Office2 HD, and more available in the app store. All of these apps support the iOS feature called File Sharing which allows you to move the documents from your computer to the iPad and from the iPad to the computer. You can read this for more information about file sharing.
iOS: About File Sharing
You can also use a cloud service like DropBox to transfer the files back and forth.