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Admission Information

Consideration for admission requires two separate applications: a university application and a department application.  The department application also requires three professional references.  The university application, department application, and reference forms are available via the links on the bottom right.

The university notifies the applicant of admission to the university, and the department notifies the applicant of admission to the department.  Admission to the university does not guarantee admission to the department.

Students are admitted only in the fall semester of each year. The application process for fall 2021 will begin October 1, 2020, applications for admission will be available then. The application deadline for the fall 2021 is January 15, 2021. All applications will be reviewed after the deadline. 

Application Process

Admission Requirements:

Admission to the MSW program is based on an overall evaluation of the applicant on the following criteria: 1) intellectual and academic potential, 2) relevant human services experience, 3) leadership potential, and 4) quality of reference letters.

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test is required for admissions. (Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this requirement has been waived for Fall 2021 applicants ONLY) 

Applicants must also satisfy the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) prior to attending the program. Click GRADUATION WRITING ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENT for more information on this requirement. 

Bachelor's Degree

The Department of Social Work requires a minimum of an earned baccalaureate degree for admission to its MSW program.

Essential Requirements

An applicant must meet these requirements before the Admissions Committee will review the application.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application file is complete.

  1. Possession of a Bachelor’s degree that provides a liberal arts foundation significantly equivalent to the general education requirements listed in the CSUB catalog and that is from a recognized college or university. 
  2. A GPA of at least 2.5 (on a four point scale) in the last 60/90 units.
  3. A completed University application via Cal State Apply
  4. A completed Department of Social Work application
  5. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test Scores (Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this requirement has been waived for Fall 2021 applicants ONLY)
  6. Official sealed copies of transcripts from all colleges attended
  7. Case Vignette response completed according to the guidelines in the department application
  8. Three letters of reference
  9. Cal State Apply Application fee ($70)
  10. Computer literacy

Applicants who meet items 2 through 9 above will be evaluated for possible admission to the program.  Applicants who do not yet have a bachelor’s degree may be admitted as “conditional” graduate students and must submit proof of having completed their degrees before beginning the MSW program. 

Financial Resources

All applicants are encouraged to apply to the university for financial aid.

Individuals who are interested in the Title IV-E CalSWEC program should follow the directions on the last two pages of the department application.  Additional information about the Title IV-E CalSWEC program is available from CalSWEC's child welfare site

The Mental Health CalSWEC program is available only to students in the final year of the MSW program.  Information about that program is available from CalSWEC's mental health site.

Part Time Program Information

The MSW part-time program is offered in a blended format, which includes face-to-face and on-line instruction for each course.  The blended program allows students to take all three courses in a semester on one evening during the workweek. These courses will be offered either on Tuesday or Thursday night. Part-time students will complete three courses in the fall and spring semesters of all three years and one course during the summer of the first and second year of the program.

Advanced Standing Program

Students who meet the following requirements may apply for admission with Advanced Standing:

  1. Must have completed the BSW degree within five years prior to admission to the graduate program.
  2. Must have an overall GPA of 3.0 for the baccalaureate degree.
  3. Must have a grade of B (3.0) or better for all social work courses.  

Students who qualify for Advanced Standing receive a waiver of the foundation content.  


Information Meetings

MSW Open House Flyer 2021

Virtual Open House Dates: (Email to register) 

  • Oct 2, 2020 (4-6pm) - CLOSED
  • Nov 4, 2020 (5-7pm)- CLOSED
  • Nov 30, 2020 (6-8pm)- CLOSED


Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, our department is telecommuting. If you have any questions, about the program or application status, please email us at: 

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Admission Materials

MSW Program Brochure

MSW Fall 2021 Department Application 

MSW Fall 2021 Reference Forms

Application and accompanying materials will be submitted electronically via email at: 

*The Department plans to conclude the admissions notification process in May 2021


Deadline to Apply

Fall 2021: Application will open Oct. 1, 2020 & all application materials will be due Jan. 15, 2021. The department plans to conclude the admissions notification process in May 2021