Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions  Orientation  Advising


I am interested in becoming a social worker, but need information about the profession and what social workers do. Where can I find more information?
To learn more about social work and our profession, please visit the National Association of Social Workers. We also recommend two books:

Ginsberg, L. H. (2001). Careers in social work (2nd ed.). Needham Heights, MA:

Allyn Bacon. Sowers, K. M., & Thyer, B. A. (2006). Getting your MSW: How to survive and thrive in a social work program. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books, Inc.

I am ready to apply to the MSW Program at San José State University. Where do I start?

We only admit students for the fall Semester each academic year. Our application and admissions cycle begins a year prior to the fall Semester of interest. Please plan ahead. Application due dates are announced in the fall.  Click on the link below to access the current application for admission:

I would like to speak with someone about the MSW Program and the application process. How do I get my questions answered?

Many answers to student questions about our MSW Program can be found on the School of Social Work Website.

At the beginning of each application cycle (usually in October), the MSW Program hosts Informational Meetings. Each year's schedule of Information Meetings is posted on the th School's webpage and can be found here: 

For specific questions, contact the School of Social Work via or 408-924-5800.

I'm considering the 3-Year Program. I have read the MSW Program Bulletin. Is there any other information that might be useful to me?

Students who have been in the 3-Year Program and faculty developed an FAQ sheet specifically for those considering this option. Remember that the 3-Year program is not a true part-time program. It does plan for a reduced class load for the first two years, splitting the full-time foundation year into two years. However, the final year of the 3-Year program is equivalent to a full-time schedule.

I hear there are special opportunities for training and for funding my education. What are these?

Currently we have the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program. The Child Welfare Training Program, as part of the Master of Social Work Program, was created to increase the number and diversity of child welfare professionals with Masters in Social Work degree in California county child welfare services. A limited number of stipends are available to students who are committed to careers in public child welfare. Students must meet certain eligibility criteria and must go through an application and selection process after being admitted into the University and MSW Program. In return for the stipend, students must agree to work after graduation in a county child welfare agency for a specified period. For more information and access to the application, please visit the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program web site or contact the Title IV-E Coordinator at the School of Social Work at (408) 924-5833. 

I have questions about fees, financial aid, student services, and other aspects about San José State University. Where do I find more information?

For questions regarding fees, financial aid, and student services, contact the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluation (GAPE) office. 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


If I am accepted, what kind of orientation should I expect before beginning the MSW Program?

MSW Student Orientation specific to students entering the MSW Program is usually scheduled for 2 days in August the week before classes begin in the fall semester. The schedule and itinerary are announced when the admissions cycle for that year is completed. This orientation includes the mandatory Field Internship Training. San José State University also hosts a few other orientation events, but it is up to students if they would like to attend those SJSU-sponsored events. The MSW Program Orientation in August is mandatory. Students not entering field work in their first year (i.e. incoming 3-Year students) are not required to come to the field portions of the orientation until prior to the beginning of the second year of their program when internship preparation is more pertinent at that time.

Are there ways to prepare for orientation?

Each year, the MSW Program assigns a set of books for students to read before coming to the MSW Student Orientation. In preparation for the Transcultural Perspective, we assign a non-fiction book relevant to culturally-competent social work practice. For example, the last few years the incoming class has read and discussed Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, a story about a Hmong family and their experiences with American culture and the medical system. In preparation for internship, the School also assigns a field education guide. After the completion of the admissions cycle, updated information about preparatory reading will be distributed to the incoming class prior to the orientation event.

In addition, you can review the information posted on the School of Social Work web site.


After being accepted into the MSW Program, what kind of advising support can I expect?

The MSW Program Coordinator and Graduate Advisor has the responsibility for providing academic and professional advisement. Before contacting the MSW Program Coordinator and Graduate Advisor, social work graduate students should first consult the MSW Student Handbook. If the concern is internship related, please first contact your Director of Field Education, Internships, and Student Services. 

I have a disability. Is there additional support for me?

San José State University has a specific office called the Accessible Education Center to assist students with specific academic needs. Please visit their site to learn more about services and accommodations.

If I need some kind of reference guide regarding the MSW Program, where do I go?

The MSW Student Handbook is the best resource for information regarding course plans and descriptions, the curriculum, School policies, and details about the MSW Program. You will find many answers to your questions in this handbook.