Masters of Social Work (MSW)

The following is a brief description of the MSW program. For more information on the MSW program, please see the current MSW Student Handbook.

The MSW Programs at SJSU

The on-campus MSW program at SJSU was founded in 1969 and was originally designed to educate and train social workers to work with Spanish speaking populations in California. The online/hybrid MSW program was founded in 2016. Both programs are fully accredited by the Council of Social Work Education. Our curriculum is guided by a transcultural perspective to social work which includes 5 elements: 1) cultural knowledge, 2) cultural competency, 3) power, privilege and oppression, 4) positionality and self-reflexivity, and 5) respectful partnership.

The MSW curriculum prepares students for professional practice that enables them to work competently with Latinos, other minority groups, and those communities, groups, families, and individuals who are disenfranchised, oppressed, and/or marginalized. It is this emphasis on transcultural practice that makes the program unique. This perspective further guides the  school's curriculum such that graduates of the program are committed to enhancing the well-being of individuals and their communities, building upon the strengths of diverse cultures, and  advocating for social justice.

In the on-campus program, students may choose either the 2-year/full-time program or the 3-year/part-time program. The two year (full-time) program provides the opportunity for students to earn a Master of Social Work degree in a timely fashion. Classes and field education ordinarily are concurrent in both years.

In the 3-year/part-time program, the foundation year is completed over a 2-year time period and field education begins in Year 2

The two year (full-time) program provides the opportunity for students to earn a Master  of Social Work degree in a timely fashion. Classes and field education ordinarily are concurrent in both years.

In the Online/Hybrid MSW Program, there is one course of study: A 2-year program that requires continuous part-time enrollment (i.e. 2 academic courses and field education). In this program, academic courses are completed online and field education is completed in person.

In the first year of the full-time program, students develop a solid foundation in  generalist social work practice to empower individuals, families, and communities  in order to promote the well-being of communities of color, populations-at-risk, and  groups that are disadvantaged, oppressed, or marginalized. The second year is the  advanced year which focuses on the Concentration of Trans-cultural Multi-Systems Practice.  This year builds upon the foundation year and students become more competent in integrating  theories, models, and professional values with trans-cultural multi-systems practice  at micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Students identify a field of practice to study  more in-depth such as aging, children, youth, and families, health/mental health or school  social work. Please click on  the Typical Course Plans (two year and three-year  and the MSW Student Handbook links for more details.

The online/hybrid and the on-campus programs both offer the Pupil Personnel Services Credential. This credential is for students who want to obtain additional training in school social work. Students take specific courses, pass the CBEST, and must also complete a placement in an approved PPSC program school setting for their second year practicum.

And in the on-campus program, students can apply for the Child Welfare Title IV E Program This is a stipend training program for students interested in working in the public child welfare system. Qualified MSW students in the Full-Time (2-year) program will be awarded a stipend in the amount of $37,000 for up to two years, following a special selection process. Students must meet certain eligibility criteria and must go through an application and awards selection process, in addition to the University's and the School's applications. Recipients of the stipend must agree to work two years, one for each year of stipend support, in full time continuous employment in a public child welfare agency in California, upon graduation from the MSW program.

In the on-campus program, we offer the Spanish language counseling certificate: This certificate is for students demonstrating advanced levels of Spanish language proficiency and social work practice skills. There are two requirements to obtaining the certificate: (1) taking ScWk 224, an elective course that uses cultural, linguistic competencies, and social work skills in the delivery of services to Latino client systems; (2) taking an exam (which is only offered upon graduation).

To be awarded the Master of Social Work degree, students  must: 1) complete 63 units of specified graduate work in the MSW Program with a 3.0 or better grade point average (GPA); 2) complete all the prerequisites, course work, and agreements outlined by the MSW Program and San José State University that  includes candidacy and graduation forms properly submitted while  a graduate student; 4) meet the University English Competency requirement; and, 5) finish all degree requirements within seven years (California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Education). Please  note that San José State University, not the MSW  Program, is responsible for conferring the degree.