Master of Social Work Program


The Master of Social Work Program at California State University, Stanislaus prepares social workers to advance social justice. This education is committed to social change based on an analysis of social, political and economic structures and their impact. This teaching and learning environment enables faculty, students and graduates to collaborate with others to transform the conditions which contribute to privilege and oppression. Graduates are prepared to use an advanced integrative practice approach to work with individuals, families and communities to promote personal and collective liberation.

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Learn About:
The academic program
Admission requirements
The application process

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Program Goals

  1. Prepare professional social workers to engage with diverse populations in a process of critical reflection and action to address oppression and promote social justice.
  2. Prepare professional social workers to engage in the struggle to understand and transform their biases.
  3. Prepare social workers to use an integrative practice framework for multi-system interventions guided by ethics and informed by research.
  4. Prepare professional social workers to assume leadership roles in meeting the social service needs of the region.
  5. Create a learning environment based on principles of social justice where faculty and students participate in the development of knowledge that contributes to improving the social conditions of the region.
  6. Create partnerships with community constituents based on principles of social justice that allow faculty and students to participate, both as leaders and learners, in the development of social work knowledge and service delivery systems.

The Master of Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Fall 2017 Admission Deadline is February 28, 2017

Admission to the MSW program is based on meeting the general University requirements, plus an evaluation of the applicant'€™s potential for advanced practice in the profession of social work. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.  Students are admitted to a 2 or 3-year program in the Fall semester only.

Two applications are required -€“ one to the University and one to the Social Work Program. No spring admission.

University Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • For post baccalaureate status, grade point average of 2.5 in the last 60 units is required.
  • Good standing at the last college or university attended.
  • Complete the on-line University application at for admission and pay application fee.
  • Provide one official copy of transcripts for all previous college work.  Send official transcripts to the Graduate School at California State University, Stanislaus, One University Circle, Turlock CA 95382.  It is strongly recommended that applications be submitted by January 10 as the University must complete processing of your University application before the MSW program will review your application to the program.

Questions about the University application, call the Graduate School at (209) 667-3129.

Social Work Program Requirements

Applicants must meet the following Social Work Admission Requirements.pdf

  • Complete University requirements.
  • GPA of 2.5 required; 3.0 in the last 60 units preferred.
  • Liberal arts background demonstrated by having met the CSU general education requirements or a comparable course of study as an undergraduate.
  • Academic background including instruction in the behavioral and biological sciences related to the human condition.
  • Voluntary and/or paid experience in human services.

It is recommended that applicants complete a course in statistics and be computer literate.

Complete the following application materials:

  1. Social Work Program Admission Application.pdf (Admission application for Fall of 2017 not yet available)
  2. Autobiographical statement (1200-1500 words) refer to Social Work Admission Requirements.pdf (page 2) for detailed guidelines.
  3. At least three academic and/or professional references (including the completed Request for Reference Form.pdf and a reference letter attached) from individuals who can address your qualifications for graduate study in social work, your academic readiness and work performance and proficiency.
  4. Criminal History Form.pdf
  5. Provide a resume or vitae.

Send complete application materials to:
Department of Social Work, DBH 122
California State University, Stanislaus
One University Circle
Turlock, CA 95382

All application materials must be postmarked or in the department office by February 28, 2017. Applications will be reviewed when all documents are received.

It must be emphasized that meeting the above academic requirements alone does not guarantee admission to the MSW program. Applicants are accepted or denied on the basis of their academic preparation, breadth of background and experience, and evidence of promise in the field of social work. In addition to being academically qualified, applicants should be emotionally mature, interested in working with people from diverse backgrounds, and capable of assuming the heavy responsibilities which are inherent in professional social work practice.

If you cannot access the Adobe PDF forms, please contact the social work department to request a printed copy.