department menu

How to Apply

Fall 2020: Application will open in October 2019!

The priority DEADLINE is January 20, 2020! (ALL application items must be received by the deadline in order to be reviewed with that group.)  If the program is not full after the first priority deadline, a second deadline will be established. 

*We will only be offering the 2-year Full-Time and 1-year Advanced Standing programs in Fall 2020. The next admit cycle for the 3-year program will likely be Fall 2022. 

We HIGHLY recommend that you attend an MSW Information Session prior to submitting your online application! Click to view the Upcoming Information Sessions. 

Questions about the application or admissions process

Questions regarding the application or admissions process may be directed to 760-750-7373. Please read all application instructions below carefully. 

If you are interested in applying for the CalSWEC Title IV-E Stipend Program, please complete the MSW application FIRST and then visit the IV-E webpage for instructions on how to apply.    

Application Requirements

A COMPLETE application to the MSW program includes (completed in the following order):

  1. A Personal Statement (3 pages maximum)
    • upload to the "Program Materials" section of the Cal State Apply application
  2. A resume
    • upload to the "Program Materials" section of the Cal State Apply application
  3. Three (3) current letters of reference
    • applicant will enter the name and email addresses of their referents in the Cal State apply application
  4. Online Application through Cal State Apply
  5. One set of official transcripts from each college and university attended reflecting official verification of graduation and a GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester (or 90 quarter) units completed. *Applicants cannot be admitted with a GPA under 2.50 in accordance with the policy of The Office of Graduate Studies.
    • unofficial transcripts may be needed to complete the online application

NOTE: The GRE is NOT required to apply to the MSW program. 


Applying to the MSW program is a four step process. You must apply to the program through Cal State ApplyInstructions to apply are included below and they must be followed EXACTLY to receive full consideration for admission to the MSW program. We look forward to reviewing your application and all supporting documents by the deadline.

Use this Application Checklist to ensure that all components of your application are submitted.

STEP 1:  COMPOSE YOUR DOCUMENTS

PERSONAL STATEMENT 

Please carefully follow the instructions provided in the personal statement prompt when writing your response. You must answer each question to be considered for admission. The entire statement should be a maximum of 3 pages. 

*Upload the personal statement to your Cal State Apply online application under the "Program Materials" section.

PERSONAL STATEMENT PROMPT

RESUME

Provide a resume that lists all of your work experience. Thoroughly substantiate all volunteer, internship, or other paid or unpaid work experience in social work or human services positions. Please be sure to include your updated contact information: address, phone, email. 

*Upload the resume to your to your Cal State Apply online application under the "Program Materials" section . 

SAMPLE RESUME        

REFERENCES

A completed application packet includes three letters of reference (either two academic and one professional, or two professional and one academic reference).  Academic letters of reference come from professors.  Professional letters come from individuals who have supervised your paid or volunteer work experience.  Note:  Personal references (e.g. friends, colleagues) will not be considered. PLEASE NOTE: Applications will be considered incomplete until all THREE letters of reference have been received. 

If you are unable to obtain an Academic reference, please submit a 3rd professional reference and explain the reason in the "Additional Information" section of your Personal Statement. 

*APPLICANTS will enter the email addresses for all Referents in  "Program Materials" section of the Cal State Apply application.  An automatic email will be generated to the the Referent and will include a  link to click on to complete the form electronically. 

 

STEP 2:  COMPLETE THE ONLINE APPLICATION (CAL STATE APPLY) 

Applicants MUST complete the Online Application through Cal State Apply prior to submitting transcripts. This will avoid delays in the processing of your application packet. All prospective students are required to apply to the CSUSM MSW Program using the instructions below. 

*You will be required to upload your personal statement and resume in Section IV of the application, so please complete those first. 

ONLINE APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND LINK- *check back in on October 1st, 2019.       
 
**We recommend that you print these instructions so that you can follow along while completing the application.          

 

STEP 3: REQUEST TRANSCRIPTS

OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS

Request and submit one official transcript from each regionally accredited academic institution attended reflecting official verification of graduation and a GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester (or 90 quarter) units completed. *Applicants cannot be admitted with a GPA under 2.50 in accordance with the policy of The Office of Graduate Studies.

Official transcripts are accepted through the following methods:

  • Electronic: Electronic delivery is the preferred transcript delivery method. Verify with your school if an electronic transcript is available. Electronic transcripts can be provided through external or third party vendors (Credential Solutions, eTranscriptCA, National Student Clearinghouse, Parchment, etc.). When ordering your transcript, please choose California State University San Marcos as the intended recipient from the school name dropdown. If California State University San Marcos is not listed, please use transcripts@csusm.edu as the recipient email address.
  • Mail:  If you select to mail your transcript, please ensure the transcript is in an envelope sealed by your school and addressed to:

        Office of Admissions & Student Outreach
        California State University San Marcos
        333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road
        San Marcos, CA 92096-0001

CSUSM Alumni: Students who just graduated from CSUSM do not need to submit official transcripts (unless they have taken additional coursework at other institutions and have not previously submitted those transcripts to CSUSM). Previous CSUSM students who have been out for over one year should resend all official transcripts from other institutions, as the originals may have been archived.

Revised/New Transcripts: Students submitting updated transcripts or transcripts from institutions not listed on the original application should email el@csusm.edu to indicate that the transcript has been sent to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Please include your full name, the school from which the transcript was sent and the program name of MSW. 

International students please note: You must submit academic records from foreign institutions.  The original foreign transcript must be on file and if they are not written in English, they must be accompanied by certified English translations.  In addition, all foreign transcripts must be evaluated by one of the eight approved CSUSM foreign transcript evaluation agencies.  Please see the list of the eight approved CSUSM foreign transcript evaluation agencies.

 

STEP 4: Apply to the Title IV-E Child Welfare Stipend Program (OPTIONAL)

Applicants that are committed to working in public child welfare may apply for the CalSWEC Title IV-E Child Welfare Stipend Program. Students selected to participate in the stipend program gain knowledge and practice experience working in child public welfare settings that will prepare them for a career in this field. Participants receive an annual stipend of $18,500 each year they are funded (up to 2 years), and upon graduating with their MSW degree, commit to working in a county child welfare agency for the period of time they received financial support.

If you are interested in applying for the CalSWEC Title IV-E Stipend Program, please complete the MSW application FIRST and then visit the IV-E webpage for instructions on how to apply for the stipend program.

 

International Student Admissions Requirements

(Applicants who have taken coursework internationally only)

For Extended Learning degree programs, "foreign students" include those who hold U.S. visas as students, exchange visitors, or in other nonimmigrant classifications. Foreign students must submit academic records/transcripts from all foreign institutions they have attended.  If the records are not written in English, they must be accompanied by certified English translations. You must send your foreign transcripts to be evaluated by one of eight CSUSM-approved foreign transcript evaluation agencies.  Both the evaluation and the original foreign transcript must be submitted to Extended Learning.

International students, please note:  If you have an F-1 visa, you are only eligible to enroll in the full-time MSW program (F-1 visas require full time student status.)  Non-F-1 visa holders, who do not need an I-20 document for their status (e.g. H-1 and E-1), are eligible for the part time MSW program.

Test of English as a Foreign Language 

All applicants, regardless of citizenship, who do not possess a bachelor's degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must satisfy the English language proficiency requirement. Typically, applicants demonstrate the English Proficiency requirement by submitting results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, or Cambridge English score report. Submission of these test scores should be sent to the following address:

California State University San Marcos
ATTN: Extended Learning, MSW
333 South Twin Oaks Valley Road
San Marcos, CA 92096-0001

*NOTE: We encourage applicants to submit the documents listed above in one packet; however, we understand this may not be possible. Please review your Student Center at MYCSUSM to ensure we have received your documents in a timely manner.

Provided below are the CSU required minimum scores for each option:

  • TOEFL score of 80iBT
  • IELTS overall band score of 6.0, writing score no lower than 6.0 and no section score below 5.5
  • Cambridge English C1 Advanced (CAE), C2 Proficiency (CPE)-certificate awarded with a Cambridge English score of 180 or higher.

Admission Deadlines

The MSW program has a priority deadline as indicated at the top of the How to Apply page. However, the program accepts applications on a rolling basis thereafter until the cohort is full. This means that the earlier you submit your completed application, the more likely you are to be accepted into the program.  

Please note: The administration of the MSW program is contingent upon having the appropriate number of qualified candidates.  In the event the number of minimum qualified candidates is not satisfied, the program may be delayed or cancelled prior to the program’s stated start date. Accepted applicants will be notified in writing if the program is cancelled or delayed. We encourage you to visit our website frequently for the most up-to-date information.