Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered for admission to CSUN when they meet both university and individual department eligibility requirements.

To be considered for admission to CSUN as a graduate student in a master's program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution;
  2. Be in good academic standing at the last college or university attended; and
  3. Have satisfied one of the following conditions:
    1. Attained a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 in a baccalaureate degree program,
    2. Attained a GPA of at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted, or
    3. Hold a post-baccalaureate degree earned at a regionally accredited institution and 2.5 GPA in either the undergraduate cumulative GPA or the last 60 units.

Competitive candidates to the Master of Social Work program will:

  1. Have earned a baccalaureate degree in Sociology, Psychology, the liberal arts or similar program, with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better;
  2. Have post-baccalaureate work experience (academic credit cannot be given for prior life and work experience); and
  3. Demonstrate evidence of personal maturity, including the ability to withstand difficult emotional challenges, a commitment to interpersonal processing within the parameters of cultural expectations, respect for others and for their life decisions, a readiness to learn advanced clinical and macro practice and research skills, a commitment to social justice and to the profession's Code of Ethics, and a capacity for flexibility and creativity.

Applicants must submit a complete application by the posted final application deadline:

  1. A submitted online application with an electronic payment of the $70 non-refundable application fee, a personal statement and resume attached (.doc or .pdf), along with a completed MSW Applicant Contract (.pdf). Applicants who have attended another graduate social work school/program must attach a letter of good standing from the director of the social work school/program and a recent field placement evaluation to their online application.
  2. A mailed package containing three recommendations in sealed envelopes with recommenders’ signatures across the seals, along with sealed official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended, regardless of whether or not credits were earned, transferred, or applied to a degree. Applicants previously enrolled at CSUN do not need to submit CSUN transcripts.

English Proficiency Requirements

The English language tests and minimum scores listed in the table below are accepted by CSUN for graduate applicants for Master of Social Work.

Test Name and Website Minimum Score Required for Graduate Students Send Score Directly To CSUN
TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language — Minimum 22 on each of the four sections
— Minimum 88 for the internet based score
— Minimum 577 paper-based
Use CSUN School Code 4707.
IELTS - International English Language Test System 7.0 or higher
Have IELTS send a copy of your Test Report Form to CSUN.
PTE Academic - Pearson’s Test of English 59 or higher Online through your PTE Academic Account

Exception:  If a graduate applicant has earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a college or university  in the U.S., the TOEFL or other English language proficiency exam is not required.

If a graduate applicant has earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a college or university  outside the U.S. where English is the principal language of instruction, the TOEFL or other English language proficiency exam is not required. Please note:

  • CSUN interprets "where English is the principal language of instruction" to mean that a school is located in a country where English is the daily medium of communication for the majority of residents, and that students receive academic instruction in English at all levels of education.
  • Countries currently meeting the above requirement are: Australia, Belize, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, plus a few nations in the Commonwealth Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and Trinidad and Tobago).

International students applying to “face-to-face” programs must also submit an Affidavit of Financial Support, bank statement, and copy of their passport information page. For financial aid eligibility for non-U.S. citizens, visit The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website.

According to U.S. immigration regulations, F-1 and M-1 students cannot pursue online degrees. The focus on classroom participation for J-1 students may mean that J-1 students cannot maintain their status if enrolled in an online program. Therefore, if admitted to the MSW Online program, F-1, M-1, and J-1 students must participate in the program from their home country.


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