MSW Program Admissions
* The MSW Application for Fall 2019 is now open. If you are interested in Fall 2019 entry, please read through this information, the informational meetings section, and all the instructions in the actual applications.
* The application process requires TWO applications: one for
the University-level (Cal State Apply) and one for the MSW
Program level (MSW Application Portal)
* Please read ALL the information and instructions carefully when applying to our MSW Program.
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 Fall 2019 is now open.
Please Note: You will be able to indicate your prioritized choices regarding preference for the On-Campus and/or the Online/Hybrid programs when you apply. Although you can indicate multiple choices, we are evaluating your application based on your overall qualifications and suitability for our MSW Program. If admitted, we then consider available space within the program choices you indicate. You DO NOT have to rank all choices; you may indicate one option.
Important: Currently our Online/Hybrid MSW Program is ONLY ACCEPTING CALIFORNIA students and residents, meaning if admitted, online students must be able to study and do internship in California.
For the On-Campus program, you can rank the 2-year Full-Time Program or the 3-year Part-Time Program.
*** Please note that for the On-Campus MSW Program, our School is using a cohort-based enrollment and learning community strategy where students in foundation courses will be taking classes with the same group of students (a cohort). Also, 2-year Full-Time students will be expected to take foundation classes primarily in the daytime hours (9:00AM to 6:00PM), and 3-year Part-Time students will be expected to take foundation classes primarily in the evening hours (6:00PM to 9:00PM). Internships are traditionally during regular agency business working hours. In the final year of classes, students will not be in cohorts or restricted to certain class times since enrollment in advanced courses will depend on chosen fields of practice. Therefore, all students in the final year of the On-Campus MSW Program are expected to be available for classes Mondays and Tuesdays anytime between 9:00AM and 9:00PM.
If you are admitted to the On-Campus Program, please expect to do some summer reading and writing preparation, attend field internship fair, and to attend as many as five days of MANDATORY orientation 1 to 2 weeks prior to the start of your first semester of classes in August.
Attending graduate school also involves significant financial planning. Please visit the Bursar's Office page for the latest fees and tuition: http://www.sjsu.edu/bursar/
For the Online/Hybrid Program, please note we are ONLY ACCEPTING CALIFORNIA students and residents, meaning if admitted, online students must be able to study and do internship in California.
*** Please note that for the Online/Hybrid MSW Program, our School is using a cohort-based enrollment and learning community strategy where students in foundation courses will be taking classes with the same group of students (a cohort). Synchronous class times are usually on the weekday evenings. Internships are traditionally during regular agency business working hours. In the final year of classes, students will not be in cohorts since enrollment in advanced courses will depend on chosen fields of practice. Those synchronous class times are also usually on the weekday evenings.
If you are admitted to the Online/Hybrid Program, please expect to do some summer reading and writing preparation, attend field internship fair (if available), and to attend a MANDATORY in-person, one-day orientation session tentatively scheduled for Saturday August 17, 2019.
Attedning graduate school and the Online/Hybrid Program involves more significant financial planning compared to the On-Campus Program. Fees are currently $475 per unit ($28,500 total for 60-unit degree plan) but are expected to increase to $550 per unit very soon ($33,000 total for 60-unit degree plan).
There will be two separate deadlines for the MSW Application. The first deadline is for Cal State Apply and School of Social Work applications (February 1, 2019). The second deadline is for the required documents (February 20, 2019), i.e., transcripts and recommendation forms.
In order for your application to be reviewed, all items requested must be completed by the specified deadlines. Please see below for the list of required application materials for the Fall 2019 Admissions Process:
1) Apply to San Jose State University via Cal State Apply website.
This application must be completed in order to be admitted to the University.
The deadline for the Cal State Apply application is February 1, 2019.
2) Submit application to be admitted to the School of Social Work.
The MSW Program Application Portal is now open:
The deadlines for the CalState Apply and School of Social Work applications are February 1, 2019.
The MSW program does not require the GRE.
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:
- Undergraduate Degree. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university in any field.
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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 (PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW ALL THE INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS IN THE PORTAL SITE; many of your questions will be answered via information found there):
- Contact, demographic, academic, and other background information;
- Personal statement;
- Listing of social work related experience and current resume;
- 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. However, it is not required that your set must incude recommendations from a professors and managers or supervisiors given that some applicants might not have access to those people. Note that traditional letters of recommendation are OPTIONAL, but completed recommendation forms are required.
- 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. Among the types of writing samples you can submit, in order of preference: (1) a paper graded by a professor written for an upper division or graduate level course, (2) a report or publication that you wrote for work, (3) any other writing sample of your choice. We understand that some applicants might not have access to their academic papers. Please note that the writing sample can be literally any written work as long as the applicant believes they are indeed submitting a sample of their best writing. Applicants are responsible for what they submit as their sample.
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. Complete applications submitted prior to the official deadline will be reviewed early. Admission decisions can therefore also occur relatively early (i.e., before the application due date), however, the usual notifications are from February to as late as June 1.
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 not necessarily kept 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. The process for unit transfer can only occur after an appliactnt is accepted into the program, and final decisions are made at the university level, not the School level.
The School of Social Work will offer informational sessions in-person and also through video conferencing. The dates and times are listed through this link.
If you have any questions, please contact the School at SocialWork@sjsu.edu. Please include in the email subject line “MSW Program Inquiry”
Thank you for your interest in our MSW Program!