MSW Program Admissions

For Fall 2016 Entry

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


Thank you for your interest in the Master of Social Work (MSW) Program at San José State University (SJSU). Founded in 1969, and fully accredited, our MSW program has maintained an integrated and diverse student body. 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.

The Fall 2016 MSW application process begins October 1, 2015.

Please Note: 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 Fall 2016 Admissions Process:

1) Apply to San Jose State 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 1, 2016.

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

This is a specific application that must be completed in order to be considered for the Master's in Social Work Program. Please access the application here.

The deadline for the School of Social Work application is January 1, 2016.

3) Submit all required documents for admission to the School of Social Work MSW Program.

Items a and b, listed below, should be submitted via email by prospective students to Please email resume and autobiographical statement as attachments in one email. Please Note: All letters, item c, should be submitted to the email address above by the letter writer. Please send the reference letter (on letterhead, if available) as an email attachment.

              a. Resume: (File name: Last, First Resume)

              b. Autobiographical statement: (File name: Last, First Statement)

              c. Letters of Reference (3): (File name: Last, First Statement)

SJSU will issue prospective students an ID number. Please include this number on all documents you submit in section 3.

The MSW program does not require the GRE. The due date for ALL required documents is January 20, 2016.

4) 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 95192-0017

Again, the due date for ALL required documents is January 20, 2016.

For more information regarding Admissions, please contact Tabia Shawel at 408-924-5827.

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, although it is preferred that this undergraduate degree be in social work or a related field;
  2. 2.50 GPA or Better. Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 for their last 60 semester units;
  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).

MSW Program Admissions Review

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 as to their status. These notifications, depending on the applicant pool and available space, can occur as early as March and as late as June.

MSW students will be admitted to the full-time, 3-year program, or Work Study 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.

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 the status of your program application via email. Admission to SJSU does NOT guarantee admission to the MSW Program.

Transfer of Credit and Course Substitutions

Students who have taken CSWE accredited MSW-level courses at other universities may request a transfer of a maximum of 12 units of credit (excluding practice and field courses), but these requests must be made with the MSW Graduate Advisor prior to application.

Taking MSW Courses Before Being Admitted

Only those admitted to the MSW Program may take graduate-level social work courses at SJSU;

MSW classes are NOT available through Open University.

Additional Information and Questions

If you have any questions, please contact the MSW Program at the email address above, call the Social Work office at (408) 924-5827, or Email: Jack C. Wall, School of Social Work Director at

Thank you again for your interest in our MSW Program!