MSW Program Admissions

For Fall 2017 Entry

Master of Social Work Program - School of Social Work
College of Applied Sciences and Arts
San José State University

For Fall 2017 Entry


Thank you for your interest in the On-Campus and/or Online/Hybrid Master of Social Work (MSW) Program at San José State University (SJSU). The Mission of the School of Social Work at San José State University is to prepare social work professionals for effective, ethical practice and leadership from a transcultural perspective with diverse individuals, families and communities.

Admissions for 2017 for the MSW Online/Hybrid and On-campus programs will open October 7, 2016.

Please Note: You must select either the On-Campus program or the Online/Hybrid program when you apply. You cannot apply to both.

For the On-Campus program, you must also choose either the 2-year Full-Time Program or the 3-year Part-Time Program.

There are two separate deadlines for the MSW Application. The first deadline is for the CSU Mentor and School of Social Work applications. The second deadline is for the required documents. The deadlines for these items are found below. 

In order for your application to be reviewed, all items listed below must be completed by the specified deadline. Please see below the complete list of required application materials for the Fall 2017 Admissions Process:

1) Apply to San Jose State University via CSU Mentor website.

This application must be completed in order to be admitted to the University. 

The deadline for the CSU Mentor application is in January 5, 2017.

2) Submit application to be admitted to the School of Social Work.

The MSW Program Application Portal is here:

The deadline for the School of Social Work application is January 5, 2017.

The MSW program does not require the GRE. The due date for ALL required documents is January 20, 2017.

3) An official transcript from all undergraduate institutions attended.

This is also a required document that must be sent to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluation (GAPE) office. Do NOT send transcripts to the School of Social Work. Contact information for GAPE is as follows:

Phone:     (408) 924-2480

Address:  Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluation (GAPE)
               San Jose State University
               One Washington Square
               San Jose, CA 95192

Applicant Prerequisites and Preparation

Applicants for admission to the MSW Program must demonstrate academic preparation and professional commitment to social work. Applicants must have:

  1. Undergraduate Degree. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university in any field.
  2. 2.50 GPA or Better. Applicants must have achieved a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 (this is officially evaluated by the SJSU GAPE office).

  3. Social Work Experience. Applicants must have significant volunteer, internship, and/or paid work experience with groups such as Latinos, African Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and other marginalized, oppressed, or disadvantaged groups.
  4. Liberal Arts Foundation. Applicants must have a foundation in liberal arts, usually achieved through general education or major coursework in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Your transcripts must demonstrate this foundation.
  5. 550 minimum paper-based, 80 minimum internet, or 213 computer-based TOEFL Score or 7.0 Minimum IELTS Score. All applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English, must demonstrate competence in English. Those who do not possess a bachelor’s degree from a post-secondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a minimum score of 7.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Applicant Information and Application Portal

In addition to the prerequisites and preparation above, applicants must provide complete information through the SJSU MSW Application Portal the following:

  1. Contact, demographic, academic, and other background information;
  2. Personal statement;
  3. Listing of social work related experience and current resume;
  4. Recommendations from three individuals composed of evaluative ratings and comments entered through our Recommenders Portal. Actual letters of recommendation are optional.  At least one recommender should be able to evaluate the applicant’s ability to succeed in an academic graduate program, and at least one recommender should be able to evaluate the applicant’s suitability to be in the social work profession. Please note that you should be obtaining recommendations from professionals (i.e., supervisors, managers, professors, etc.) who can evaluate and comment on your ability to be in a graduate-level academic program and about your suitability for the social work profession.
  5. A sample of the applicant’s best writing, i.e., a paper written for an upper-division or graduate-level class, technical report, or other example of your work.

The MSW Program Application Portal is here:

MSW Program Admissions Review

As long as ALL application materials are complete and submitted on-time within the due dates, your application is fully considered for your entry into the MSW Program.

The MSW Program Admissions Committee evaluates each applicant on the basis of all submitted materials and information. Because admission into graduate degree programs is competitive and enrollment space is limited, many qualified applicants are not accepted into the MSW Program. The MSW Program Admissions Committee will notify applicants as soon as possible after the admission decision has occurred. These notifications begin as early as February and as late as June.

MSW students will be admitted to the On-Campus program or the Online/Hybrid program depending on the option that they indicated on their application. In addition, individuals applying to the On-Campus program will be admitted to the full-time or the 3-year program as indicated on the application and according to available space. Applicants denied admission will also be notified, and must reapply the following year if they wish to be reconsidered for admission. Admitted applicants cannot defer their admission to another year. In addition, students admitted to either the On-Campus or Online/Hybrid programs cannot switch between the programs; they must enroll in the program to which they were admitted.

Admissions decisions are final and applications will not be reconsidered. Application materials are destroyed after the admissions process is completed.

Checking Admission Status: SJSU and MSW Program Applications

Applicants should frequently check their SJSU admissions status on-line through MySJSU. You can confirm if your SJSU-level application has been processed or if materials are missing. The MSW Program will notify you of the status of your program application via our designated online system. Admission to SJSU does NOT guarantee admission to the MSW Program.

Transfer of Credits

Students who have taken CSWE accredited MSW-level courses at other universities (within the past 7 years) may request a transfer of a maximum of 12 units of credit (excluding practice and field courses).

Informational Sessions

The School of Social Work will offer informational sessions in person and also through video conferencing. The dates and times can be found here: 

If you have any questions, please contact the School at SocialWork@sjsu.eduPlease include in the email subject line “MSW Program Inquiry”

Thank you for your interest in our MSW Programs!