Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?

For information regarding tuition and fees, please consult Student Financial Services.

How can I meet the prerequisites for admission?

ALL prerequisites need to be completed BEFORE you begin the MSW program in September.

There are several courses of action you can take to meet the requirements for admission:

  • Take a course at an accredited University or Community College. This especially applies to Human Biological Systems and Human Development/Socialization requirements.
  • Take a course available from an accredited online University or College.
  • Take a course at CSUSB through the OPEN University Program.
  • Take an online course through the Kent School of Social Work. The University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work has developed prerequisite courses for master level coursework in a self-guided online format. These courses will meet the CSUSB School of Social Work MSW prerequisites. Please consult their website.

Do I have to have an undergraduate degree in Social Sciences?

It helps. The three musts are the pre-requisites in 1) human biology, 2) research, and 3) socialization (life cycle development in a social systems framework). However, you could have majored in History and still have taken some social science coursework.

Can I work and still access this degree?

Yes. You can complete this program in 3 years while working. However, your employer must allow you to shorten your work week hours so that you can 1) Put in the 16 hours (first field year) and 20 hours (second field year) that a field placement requires and 2) Be able to attend 5:00 classes 2 days a week.

Can I transfer in any of my coursework or experience?

Our MSW curriculum calls for one elective. If you have taken a graduate elective relevant to social work within the last seven years, that course may be transferable. BSW applicants may be able to waive certain foundation courses. Although experience is desirable to be a competitive applicant, experience cannot be used in place of field hours.

What is this program that gives money?

We participate in the statewide Title IV-E Stipend Program. Students interested in public child welfare may apply and selected students receive a yearly stipend. As part of their course of study, they do field placement in child welfare agencies. And, at graduation, they agree to render 1 year of full-time employment in a public child welfare agency for each year they receive the stipend.

Can I come in and be advised by a professor?

We do not offer one-on-one consultations, but we do offer information sessions that are held in the Fall. Most questions can be answered by reading through this website or by office personnel.

How will I know if my enrollment file is complete before the deadline?

It is up to the applicant to call the office and check if specific pieces of the application have been submitted. It is the responsibility of the applicant to follow up with individuals writing letters of reference to make sure the letters are postmarked or delivered before the last Friday in January. It is also the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all their paperwork has been submitted and procesed by graduate admissions.

When will I be notified of acceptance or denial?

Typically, letters begin to go out in April and will continue through late June.

What can I do with this degree?

The Masters in Social Work is internationally recognized. There are MSWs working all over the nation and the globe. This is not the case with many other Masters degrees in counseling that vary from state to state. The MSW has "quality assurance" in that the Council on Social Work Education accredits all programs. This means that employers know they hire a quality professional whose classroom and field curriculum have standards assuring professional competence.

Social workers are the #1 provider of mental health services in the country, in both public and private organizations. They are the dominant professional in public child welfare-social services to children and families facing multiple challenges. They work in hospitals, services to older and aging adults, school settings, and even in industry-with employee assistance programs. Some work in private practice, however, many do both private practice and agency work. They work as direct practitioners, supervisors, consultants, policy analysts, administrators, and part-time teachers in college settings.

Are there jobs in this field?

One has only to look at the want ads to see the demand for social workers. Although this program has been around for more than a decade, we still cannot fill the needs in the Inland Empire for trained social workers in mental health, and child and family services.Also see our Resouces section for online job resources.

How much do you make?

Salaries vary, of course, from setting to setting and as social services experience new demands. Starting salaries for county employees may range from $35,000 to $40,000 a year. Larger non-profits such as regional centers (for people with developmental disabilities) often begin at this level with hospitals and schools generally competitive. Smaller non-profits may offer a bit less; however, part-time opportunities may be more readily available.

What happens if I miss the deadline?

Applications are accepted and reviewed until openings are filled. Complete applications received before the last Friday in January are guaranteed review. Subsequent complete applications will be reviewed until available positions are filled.

Can the transcript I submit for the School of Social Work be an unofficial copy?

The transcript submitted for the School of Social Work can be either an official or an unofficial copy.

Must I waive my right to review the Letter of Reference forms?

The Letters of Reference forms offer you the option of “waving” your right to review the forms that were submitted by the persons you gave the form to. Applicants often waive their right to review the form so the person submitting it can be completely honest. If you waive your “right to review” a letter then you may not review the letter in your file after it has been received by the school. You are not required to waive your right to review any letters submitted on your behalf.

What, if any, of my previous application materials can be used for my current application if I applied to the program last year and my application was not reviewed, I was not admitted into the program, or I was admitted, but later declined to attend?

We keep applications on file for one year. Any earlier applications are shredded. All applicants are evaluated in comparison with the current pool of applicants. Being offered admission in one year does not mean you will be offered admission in a subsequent year. So, it is generally best to submit an entirely new application packet if you reapply to the program. Your work and volunteer experience may have increased and your personal statement might reflect changes in your knowledge and experience. You could use the transcripts from your previous application if you have not completed any additional college level work since your previous application. You could also use one or more of your previous letters of recommendation, but it might be wise to provide new letters that reflect any increased work experience and or volunteer experience. You must contact the School of Social Work staff if you wish to reuse any material from the prior year in a new application as forms and requirements may have changed.