How to Apply

Informational Meetings

The School of Social Work offers in-person and on-line informational sessions starting in early October for the next admissions cycle.  Sessions cover material for both On-Campus and Online/Hybrid MSW Program versions.

Currently, all Informational Sessions have been completed. Linked below are the PowerPoint Presentation and the recording of the virtual session.

Informational Meeting Presentation Slides

Recording of MSW Program Information Session



Thank you for your interest in the On-Campus Program (Full time or 3 year) and/or the Online/Hybrid Master of Social Work (MSW) Program at San José State University (SJSU).

The application process for the MSW program requires two applications: one for the University (Cal State Apply) and one for the MSW Program (MSW Application Portal).

Use the same application process and materials to apply for any of the three MSW program options. You will be able to indicate your preferences for either the On-Campus (Full time or 3 year) and/or the Online/Hybrid program when you apply.  We evaluate 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.

Steps to 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.

2. Submit an application to the School of Social Work. Application materials are obtained and submitted via the MSW Program Application Portal.

3. Submit an official transcript from all undergraduate institutions attended to 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


Applications for both the CSU (Cal State Apply) and MSW program are usually due February 1. Required documents, such as transcripts and recommendation forms, are usually due mid-February.


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).

Application Requirements

In addition to the prerequisites and preparation above, applicants must provide the following information through the SJSU MSW Application Portal:

  1. Contact and background information as requested on the application;
  2. Personal statement;
  3. Listing of social work related experience and current resume;
  4. Recommendations from three individuals. These are 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. Recommendations should be 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 writing sample. Among the types of writing samples you can submit, in order of preference: (1) a paper graded by a professor written for an upper division or graduate level course, (2) a report or publication that you wrote for work, (3) any other writing sample of your choice. 


If you have questions, please first read all of our informational materials. Also, attend an informational session. If you need to contact us, email "" or call 408-924-5800.