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Department of Social Work Education


MSW Application for Fall 2023 closes at 11:59pm Pacific time on January 30, 2023 in Cal State Apply

2022-23 MSW handbook


Master of Social Work

The profession of social work and the Department of Social Work Education are dedicated to meeting the diverse social service needs of special populations of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Because we are a practice-oriented profession, the graduates of our program deal with social concerns that range from societal oppression to people's emotional/behavioral problems. The social work practitioner who is educated in our program is taught to help at-risk populations which typically include the poor and homeless, abused/neglected children and adults, people of color, women, recent refugees, chronically mentally ill, developmentally disabled, physically ill or disabled, substance abusers, criminal offenders and the aged. In focusing on disadvantaged groups, the student is trained to use a range of traditional and non-traditional methods to promote well-being, personal growth, and social justice, e.g., individual client and large system policy advocating, brokering, consulting, individual, family and group counseling/psychotherapy, mediating, researching, supervising and teaching.

The master's degree in social work offered by our department is designed to educate advanced social work practitioners who can meet complex client needs within a diversity of public and private human service settings and who can perform in a variety of roles using multiple social work practice methodologies. This course of study prepares the student learner for autonomous social work practice at multiple levels of intervention as well as for doctoral study in social work and related human service arenas.

                                                                         MSW/Title IV-E info sessions October 21 and December 2, 2022. Fresno State campus, room IT 101 (SE corner of Barstow and Campus Drive) from 6 to 7:30 pm. Call 559.278.3992 for information or accommodations.

The MSW Program Has The Following Requirements:

A bachelor's degree in a non-professional field, from a regionally accredited institution, earned before the start of the graduate program is acceptable.

  • Applicants who have a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0 must provide a statement in the appropriate area of the Cal State Application in which they explain the circumstances that affected their cumulative GPA, and evidence to demonstrate their potential to successfully complete graduate level course work (e.g., grades received in upper division or graduate level coursework taken since receiving the BA/BS degree).
  • Additional consideration would be demonstrated commitment to the profession as evidenced by a significant number of years (e.g., over 6 years) of employment as a human services professional.
  • For applicants with cumulative GPA less than 2.5, your application will not be reviewed or considered.

Your undergraduate education must have breadth, i.e., include courses in the sciences, arts and humanities, and social sciences. General education patterns often provide much of this breadth. (This expectation does not require a major in Liberal Studies.)

Prerequisite Courses

Required for all NON SOCIAL WORK majors

Prerequisite course work must be taken for letter grades (or document that CR means a “C” or better); you must earn a minimum grade of “C” in each course – there are 3 course prerequisites:

  1. Research Methods/Data Analysis
  2. Human Biological Development
  3. Cultural Diversity (Must be an upper division course) 

NOTE: Three prerequisites (research methods/data analysis, human development over the life span, and cultural diversity) are required for non-social worker majors.

Please visit our prerequisites web page for more information. You will need to submit a MSW course substitution form (link on page) separately from the MSW application. The submission instructions are on the form, and can be sent in year-round.


Questions about the MSW program? faq 5.20.19




MSW and Title IV-E 2023 Virtual Info Session pencil icon

(click titles to access each video)
 MSW                           Title IV-E                        Graduate Admissions


M-F 8:00am-5:00pm
Office staff are not available from 12:00-1:00pm for lunch.

For More Information Contact:

Department of Social Work office                      Randy Nedegaard, MSW Coordinator                      
Phone 559.278.3992                                            Phone 559.278.6129                                                 
Office: PHS 128                                                     Office: PHS 148                                                             

Faculty and staff are also available remotely via email. You can find the faculty/staff directory here.