MSW Program Admissions

* The MSW Application for Fall 2018 is closed. If you are interested in Fall 2019 entry, please read through this information and look for updates in October 2018.


* The application process requires TWO applications: one for
    the University-level (Cal State Apply) and one for the MSW
    Program via the 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 2018 for the MSW Online/Hybrid and On-Campus programs is now closed.  Admissions for Fall 2019 will open in October 2018.

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.

There will be two separate deadlines for the MSW Application. The first deadline is for Cal State Apply and School of Social Work applications. The second deadline is for the required documents. The deadline for these supplementary items (i.e., transcripts and letters of recommendation) will be announced in October. 

In order for your application to be reviewed, all items requested must be completed by the specified deadline.  Please see below the ANTICIPATED list of required application materials for the Fall 2019 Admissions Process (PLEASE LOOK FOR THE UPDATED INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS IN OCTOBER 2018 BEFORE YOU FORMALLY APPLY):

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 will be announced in October 2018. 

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

The MSW Program Application Portal is now open:

The deadline for the School of Social Work application will be announced in October 2018.

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:

  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 (PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW ALL THE INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS IN THE PORTAL SITE; many of your questions will be answered via information found there):

  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.


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.

Informational Sessions

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.eduPlease include in the email subject line “MSW Program Inquiry”

Thank you for your interest in our MSW Program!