San Diego State University

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MSW Admissions

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MSW Admission Requirements

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree with a liberal arts foundation from an accredited college or university. Advanced Standing Applicants need to possess an undergraduate degree in Social Work earned within five years of admission.
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 units (90 quarter), but not less than a minimum of a 2.85 GPA.
  • Submit results of the GRE Examination and TOEFL Examination (if applicable). (MSW/JD applications may substitute the LSAT Exam Score). The GRE, TOEFL and LSAT must be submitted prior to by the deadline in order for your application to be considered.
  • Complete SDSU School of Social Work Application form which includes: Supplemental information, Liberal Arts Perspective Form; Personal/Professional Statement; Letters of Recommendation (Advanced Standing Program applicants need a letter from their field instructor and a social work faculty member); Education and Experience; Application Information Certification.
  • Verify volunteer, internship, and/or paid human services experience (minimum of 500 hours).
  • Complete an undergraduate statistics course.
    • Note: Completion of a statistics course is required with a grade of a C or better.  Examples would include Stats 119, Stats 250, Soc 201, Psy 280. The course may be taken in the summer but must be completed prior to beginning the MSW program.
  • All MSW students will be required to pass a background check for program participation.

Fall MSW Application Deadlines

Program Dual Degree Program Application Cal State Apply Application SDSU Decision Desk Application Test Scores/
to SDSU Graduate Admissions
1, 2, 3 and 4-year MSW programs, and MSW transfer applications not applicable Dec. 15 Dec. 15 Jan. 12
MSW at Calexico Campus not applicable Mar. 1 Mar. 1 Apr. 1
MSW-JD Dual Degree* Cal Western School of Law application required by Jul. 3 Mar. 1 Mar. 1 Apr. 1
MSW-MPH Dual Degree* SOPHAS application required by Feb. 15 (Feb. 1 recommended) Mar. 1 Mar. 1 Apr. 1




1. Submit the Cal State Apply Online Application (all applicants)

  • An application fee applies.
  • A SDSU “RED ID” number will be assigned which allows tracking of application status online.

2. Submit the Cal Western School of Law (MSW-JD applicants only) or SOPHAS Application (MSW-MPH applicants only)

3. Submit the SDSU Decision Desk Online Application (all applicants)

  • The application will ask that you upload:
    • statement of purpose
    • employment/internship/volunteer experience
    • the names and email address of references, who will be invited to complete a recommendation for the student electronically
    • application information certification
    • liberal arts perspective form (optional)
    • letter of good standing (for transfer applicants only)

4. Submit Official Test Scores and Official Transcripts to SDSU Graduate Admission (all applicants)

  • Have official GRE (and if applicable, TOEFL) test scores sent by ETS directly to SDSU (institution code 4682).
  • Mail official transcripts from all colleges attended to SDSU Graduate Admissions (Students who attended SDSU need only submit transcripts for work completed since last attendance):

SDSU Graduate Admissions
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7416

  • If you have international coursework, you must have your school send SDSU Graduate Admissions one official original-language copy of all records of academic coursework and proof of degree. For each document you must also send a certified literal English translation, which can come directly from the school itself or from a professional, certified translator. The translation must contain all information shown on the original-language documents. (For details on which documents are required, check



For MSW admissions questions not answered in the FAQ, please contact Cheryl James (