MSW Informational Meetings

Thank you for your interest in the MSW programs at SJSU!

The School of Social Work will be offering updated informational sessions starting in early October for the next admissions cycle (entry Fall 2020).  In-person and online informational sessions are offered, and will cover much of the same material for BOTH On-Campus and Online/Hybrid MSW Program versions. Also, please see the list of frequently asked questions at the bottom of this page.  RSVPs will be required for in-peson informational meeting sessions. The respective links are provided below to RSVP and to connect virtually.


In-Person Informational Sessions

San Jose State University
School of Social Work
Washington Square Hall
San Jose, CA 95192-0124

Here is our Main Campus MAP


Thursday, October 11, 2018
12:00 Noon to 1:30PM
[Copy of Presentation Slides]


Saturday, October 13, 2018
[Copy of Presentation Slides]


Wednesday, October 24, 2018
[Copy of Presentation Slides]


Virtual (Online) Informational Sessions


The Zoom program is used for the online informational sessions. If you have not used Zoom before, please click on the meeting link at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start in order to check your connection and download any software applications needed so that you can join the session.


Saturday, November 17, 2018
10:00AM to 11:30AM
[Copy of Presentation Slides]
[Click here to access the recording]


Monday, November 19, 2018
7:00PM to 8:30PM


Frequently Asked Questions 


Q: When did the MSW programs at SJSU begin?


The On-Campus MSW Program at SJSU was founded in 1969 and was originally designed to educate and train social workers to work with Spanish speaking populations in California.


The Online/Hybrid MSW Program option was started in 2016.


Q: Are the MSW programs accredited?


Both the on-campus and the online/hybrid programs are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.


Q: What is the overall philosophy of the curriculum?


The curriculum in the School of Social Work at SJSU is guided by a transcultural perspective for social work practice. The transcultural perspective is infused within all of the courses in the School of Social Work. This model includes 5 elements: 1) cultural knowledge, 2) cultural competency, 3) power, privilege and oppression, 4) positionality and self-reflexivity, and 5) respectful partnership.

The guiding vision of our school is:

“The School of Social Work envisions a just and equitable world in which diverse individuals, families, and communities thrive.”


Q: What kinds of courses are offered in the foundation year?


The MSW curriculum includes a foundation year in which students develop competencies within 5 content areas, which include:

  • Field education
  • Human behavior in the social environment
  • Social policy
  • Social work practice
  • Social work research


Q: What kinds of courses are offered in the advanced year of the program?


In the advanced year, students choose one field of practice and focus on developing advanced competencies. Possible fields of practice include:

  • Health and mental health
  • Children, youth and families and
  • Aging (which is available within the on-campus program only)


Q: What kinds of electives are offered?
* Not all electives are offerred, depending on interest and available resources *

  • SW Practice with Children, Adolescents, Families, Aging Populations
  • Social Work and the Law
  • Health/Mental Health Practice and Psychopharmacology
  • Social Work in Schools
  • Multi-Systems Practice: A Spanish/English Framework
  • Management in Human Services
  • Multi-systems Practice in Substance Abuse
  • International Social Work
  • International Programs – Social work study abroad
  • Some courses offered in other departments also qualify


Q: What are the options for courses of study?


There are 3 different MSW course study options:


In the on-campus program, students may choose either the 2-year/full-time program or the 3-year/part-time program.


  • In the 2-year full-time program, students enroll in a full-time course of study, which includes 4 academic courses and field education for a traditional academic year (i.e. summers off).


  • In the 3-year/part-time program, the foundation year is completed over a 2-year time period and field education begins in Year 2. In this course of study, the academic courses are primarily taken in the evening hours.


Please note that our School uses 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.


In the Online/Hybrid Program there is one course of study, and currently only those living in California can attend:


  • The course study is a 2-year program that requires continuous part-time enrollment for 2 full calendar years including potentially 2 summers.  Average enrollment is in 2 academic courses and field education concurrently throughout the program. In this program, academic courses are completed online and field education is completed in-person.


Q: What types of specialized training are available?


The on-campus program offers the Pupil Personnel Services Credential. This credential is for students who want to obtain additional training in school social work. Students take specific courses, pass the CBEST, and must also complete a placement in an approved PPSC program school setting for their second year practicum.  Online MSW Students interested in the PPSC should anticipate completing this credential through the Post-Masters version of the PPSC program.  Click here for more information.


And in the on-campus program, students can apply for the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program. This is a stipend training program for students interested in working in the public child welfare system. Qualified MSW students in the Full-Time (2-year) program will be awarded a stipend in the amount of $37,000 for up to two years, following a special selection process. Students must meet certain eligibility criteria and must go through an application and awards selection process, in addition to the University's and the School's applications. Recipients of the stipend must agree to work two years, one for each year of stipend support, in full time continuous employment in a public child welfare agency in California, upon graduation from the MSW program.


In the on-campus program, we offer the Spanish Language Counseling Certificate: This certificate is for students demonstrating advanced levels of Spanish language proficiency and social work practice skills. There are two requirements to obtaining the certificate: (1) taking ScWk 224, an elective course that uses cultural, linguistic competencies, and social work skills in the delivery of services to Latino client systems; (2) taking an exam (which is only offered upon graduation).


Q: How does placement for field education work?


Field education takes place in organizations that are approved by the Field Education Department in the School of Social Work. There are a wide range of field education opportunities. Student placement with an organization is a collaborative process. Students entering their first year of field education are invited to a field fair at the end of May. Students submit a list of preferred agencies and agencies submit a list of students they are interested in interviewing. Most students interview with an agency they have expressed interest in. There are also agencies that do not attend the field fair and the field office works with students whose interests align with those agencies.


Students in the online/hybrid program who live outside the local area play an even more integral role in the placement process, helping to identify agencies in their geographic areas that meet the criteria for internships. Most agencies interview first year students to ensure a good match for their program. Students must be available for matching as requested by the Field Education Department starting at the end of May and extending into the summer. Internship matches are made in a rolling process over the summer.


Placement procedures differ in the final year. In contrast to the first year, students have multiple interviews in agencies of their choice. They have the opportunity to select three agencies for consideration from agencies they meet at the Internship Fair and from those in the School’s Intern Tracking Program database. The Field Education Office, with input from the Faculty Field Liaison, refers students to agencies to confirm they are available to interview. Students arrange for a personal interview within a specific time period in the Spring semester. The Field Education Office makes the final assignment based on the following data: Priorities listed by the student based on their interviews; feedback from the agency; information available on the student’s field placement form; knowledge of the student’s educational needs and goals; and a judgment as to whether a particular site can meet the student’s educational needs. Active student and agency participation in the final year placement process is required.


Important - For our internship placement process, students have a significant role in partnership with the School to find qualified agencies.  Internship placement is not guaranteed.  In some cases, intership placement can be delayed.



 Q: How is field education taught?


The curricular design for field education includes a field instructor who provides weekly supervision and works with the Faculty Field Liaison who is an instructor with the School of Social Work. The Faculty Field Liaison communicates with the Field Instructor and the student to develop and monitor the student’s learning goals. The Faculty Field Liaison also facilitates field seminars for students in their first year of field education.  

In both years of field education, the placement provides learning experiences in direct service delivery to individuals, families, couples, and/or small groups. This may include counseling, crisis intervention, case management, and/or assessment.

Field education also includes indirect practice interventions that offer students an opportunity to utilize community social work interventions. This may include social work administration and staff development, community organizing, legislative work, policy formulation, advocacy, and/or program development.

The final year of the MSW program builds upon foundation content attained in the first year. The final year curriculum prepares students for practice from a transcultural multi-systems perspective. Because the mission of the MSW program has a special emphasis on meeting the needs of Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and other marginalized, oppressed and disenfranchised populations, families and communities are seen as critical nurturing and sustaining systems as well as important focal points for the problem-solving process.


Q: What are the differences between the on-campus program and the online/hybrid program?


On-Campus Program

Online/Hybrid Program


Foundation year: 5 core curricular areas 


Advanced year:  3 fields of practice and students pick one: Health and Mental Health ; Children, Youth and Families; and Aging

Foundation year is the  same as on-campus  program: 5 core curricular areas 


Advanced year: 2 fields of practice and students pick one: Health and Mental Health, and  Children, Youth  and Families.

Format of academic courses (NOT field education)

In-person class format at the SJSU campus with some hybrid  and online  course offerings.

Online with a combination of synchronous sessions (i.e. all students log in from their computer at one time for a class session with professor) and asynchronous sessions (i.e. students can complete the class session on their own time with a specified due date).

Length of field education

1,200 hours (total) required

480 hours in year 1 (16 hours per week)

720 hours in year 2 (24 hours per week)

1,200 hours (total) required

600 hours in year 1

600 hours in year 2

In-person field education required?



Training programs, credentials and certificates offered

Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC)


Spanish Language Counseling Certificate,


Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program

Spanish Language Counseling Certificate, by exam if able to come to SJSU

Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program – pilot for some Online/Hybrid MSW students in Bay Area counties

* Estimated cost per unit, and total cost of the program

$4,615.00 per semester

Total estimated cost = $18,460 for 2-Year/FT $24,678 for 3-Year/PT

Please see SJSU Bursar's website for latest fees

$475 per unit
(increasing to $550 per unit very soon)

$28,500 total, not including books and other expenses
(increasing to $33,000 total)



Q: What is involved in online learning?


Online learning can be quite different than learning in a traditional classroom setting. To be successful as an online student you should be able to answer "yes" to the following questions:

  1. Strong time management skills

You will be responsible for completing assignments on time. Use of a calendar and a pattern of consistent work are necessary for success.

  1. Strong organizational skills

The student organizes most of their own learning time, which requires strong organizational skills.

  1. Self-motivated

Due to the flexibility and convenience of online learning it is often easy to put off class work until the last minute. Self-motivation is key to staying current on assignments and completing class work in a timely manner.

  1. Enjoy working independently

The majority of your work will be completed on your own. There is little or no face-to-face contact with faculty or other students. Online learning requires greater than average self-discipline to be successful.

  1. Comfortable working with technology

All assignments and correspondence with faculty are conducted 100% online. The ability to correspond via e-mail and to send, receive, and view documents via your access to a reliable Internet connection is mandatory.

  1. Enjoy a challenge

Online learning requires most students to spend more time per week per class than they would typically spend in a traditional classroom setting. The very nature of learning online requires more in-depth study and interaction with faculty and class materials than what is traditionally required. Students can expect to spend 10 to 15 hours of study time per week per three-credit class.

If you have any questions, please contact the School at and put "MSW Program Inquiry" in the subject line.