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 Application SOPHAS Application CalState Apply Application School of Social
Work Application
(SDSU Decision Desk)
Test Scores/
to SDSU Graduate Admissions
1, 2, 3 and 4-year MSW programs, and MSW transfer applications not applicable not applicable Dec. 15 Dec. 15 Jan. 12
MSW at Calexico Campus not applicable not applicable Mar. 1 Mar. 1 Apr. 1
MSW-JD Dual Degree* see CWSL application not applicable Mar. 1 Mar. 1 Apr. 1
MSW-MPH Dual Degree* see DPH for application Feb. 15 Mar. 1 Mar. 1 Apr. 1

* Dual Degree applicants – Submit all materials by Feb. 1 for priority consideration.



1. Submit the CalState 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 SOPHAS Application (MSW-MPH Dual Degree Applicants ONLY)

  • Follow this link to the SOPHAS instructions on the SDSU Graduate School of Public Health page- The SOPHAS application is to be submitted only by those applying to the MSW-MPH Dual Degree program.
  • Applications for the concurrent program are reviewed by both the SDSU School of Social Work and the SDSU Graduate School of Public Health.

3. Submit the School of Social Work (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 (




 last updated: 5/25/2017