Apply to the Master's Program
Applications for Fall 2023 have closed
Applications for Fall 2024 are anticipated to start in October 2023. Please stay tuned for updates on the informational sessions.
Prior to asking about the details of the application process, please first review the materials below and instructions within the MSW Application Portal.
There is also an FAQ section and helpful videos at the bottom of this page.
Steps to Apply
Step 1: Submit Cal State Apply Application (Guide Provided Below)
Click here for detailed guide to Cal State Apply. [pdf]
It is highly recommended to submit an application to SJSU through Cal State Apply before November 15 in order to be issued an SJSU ID# in-time and needed to meet the December 1 deadline.
Applicants need to allow for a minimum of 5-10 business days for SJSU to create and email you your SJSU ID#.
-Please note that if you are not issued an SJSU ID# by December 1, you can still complete the MSW Application. In these situations, please enter nine zeros (000000000) as your SJSU ID# in the MSW Application.
-Please also note that you will need both the CAS ID# and SJSU ID# to submit your MSW Application.
A 10-digit Cal State Apply ID# (CAS ID#) will be sent to your email after submitting your Cal State Apply application.
*Do not submit your personal statement through Cal State Apply.
*Do not submit your work experience and resume through Cal State Apply
*If you are applying to other MSW programs, please check their requirements as their requirements may differ.
- Step 2: Submit MSW Program Application
Submit an application to the School of Social Work through the MSW Program Application Portal (Apply to MSW Program Fall 2023).
*You can start the application process once the portal opens, but both a CAS ID# and a SJSU ID# are ultimately required to submit the application.
* Cal State Apply Portal opens October 1 and closes December 1.
* MSW Program Portal opens October 8 and closes December 1.
*Submit your personal statement (3,000 word maximum), writing sample, resume, 3 recommendations, and all other requirements as indicated and described in detail within the MSW Program Portal.
Your personal statement should address and answer the following questions:
A. How has your personal background and experience influenced your decision and preparation to become a social worker? If you have faced adversity and/or challenges in your life (e.g. trauma, addiction, immigration/acculturation experiences, mental illness, etc.) please explain how you have overcome these challenges and are now prepared for graduate studies.
B. How has your professional background and experience influenced your decision and preparation to become a social worker? More specifically, what have been your experiences with and/or thoughts about working with diverse populations to promote social justice? Examples of diversity may include, but are not limited to, people of different abilities, sexualities, races, countries of origin, genders, and/or socio-economic status.
C. Describe some of the harms and/or opportunities you have experienced because of your identities, as an individual and as a member of communities and groups. Examples may include, but are not limited to, experiences of privilege and oppression based on race, class, gender, sexuality, ability and/or country of origin.
D. What are your professional goals? In light of those goals, discuss what your contributions will be to society or the profession, especially in terms of our program’s mission emphasizing culturally competent (culturally sensitive) practice with Latinx, other minority groups, and those communities, groups, families, and individuals who are disenfranchised, oppressed, and/or marginalized?
E. What are the strengths that you will bring to the program? Please also identify areas of growth that will enable you to become an effective social worker. Examples of strengths include, but are not limited to, communication skills, leadership abilities, personal characteristics, unique experiences, etc. Areas of growth include, but are not limited to, needing additional experience with certain populations, character development, maturity, ability to deal with crisis etc.
- Step 3: Submit official transcripts to GAPE
Submit an official transcript from all undergraduate institutions attended to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluation (GAPE) office by December 1, 2022. Contact information for GAPE is as follows:
Phone: (408) 924-2480
Address: Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluation
San Jose State University
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192
Electronic transcripts can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current SJSU and prior SJSU students do not need to submit their SJSU transcripts to the GAPE office.
- Regular MSW Program Prerequisites
Applicants for admission to the Regular MSW Program (non-Advanced Standing) 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 Related Experience. Applicants should preferably 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.
TOEFL and IELTS (if applicable). 550 minimum paper-based, 80 minimum internet, or 213 computer-based TOEFL Score or 6.5 Minimum IELTS Score.
*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 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). All applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English, must demonstrate competence in English.
- Advanced Standing MSW Program Prerequisites
Applicants for admission to the Advanced Standing MSW Program must demonstrate greater academic preparation and professional commitment to social work. Applicants must have:
Bachelor’s degree in social work from a program accredited by CSWE at the time of admission or within the last seven years.
A minimum grade point average of 3.5 and minimum grade of A- in all BSW/BASW (social work major) courses.
At least 400 hours of recent social work related experience (cumulative internship, paid, or volunteer experience) in addition to the minimum internship hours requirement for the BSW/BASW degree.
An English language proficiency test is required if a student's baccalaureate was earned outside of the US. Applicants must satisfy the school’s minimum requirements. 550 minimum paper-based, 80 minimum internet, or 213 computer-based TOEFL Score or 6.5 Minimum IELTS Score.
As also described in the MSW Application Portal, Advanced Standing applicants must submit their BSW/BASW Field Internship evaluations and pass a personal interview as part of their application process.
*Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission into the Advanced Standing option. Advanced Standing applicants may also be considered for admission into one of the regular MSW Program options if they indicate that in the MSW Program application. Applicants who believe that they meet most of the criteria listed above may request a review.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much does the On-Campus MSW Program cost?
Please visit the Bursar's page for additional information.
- How much does the Online/Hybrid MSW Program cost?
Attending graduate school and the Online/Hybrid Program involves more significant financial planning compared to the On-Campus Program.
Fees for the Online/Hybrid program are currently $475 per unit ($28,500 total for 60-unit degree plan) but are expected to increase to $550 per unit or more soon (approximately $33,000 total for 60-unit degree plan).
- Do I need to take the GRE?
No, we do not require the GRE
- How do I know if my application was recieved?
Applicants should frequently check their SJSU admissions status on-line through MySJSU to 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.
- When will you notify applicants of admission decisions?
The MSW Program Admissions Committee will notify applicants as soon as possible after the admission decision has occurred. The usual notifications are from February to as late as June 1.
- Can I transfer credits earned elsewhere to SJSU?
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 applicant is accepted into the program, and final decisions are made at the University level.
- After I am accepted, can I switch between the on-campus and online programs?
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.
Recorded Informational Session
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