MSW Prerequisites

The MSW program requires candidates to have completed a Bachelor's degree from accredited institution of higher education with a GPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale (BASW degree and 3.5 GPA for Advanced Standing program).  Applicants must also demonstrate a foundation in the liberal arts by having met the CSU general education requirements for a Bachelor's degree or a comparable course of study as an undergraduate.

NOTE:  Most applicants with a bachelors degree from an accredited institution will have met these requirements.

  • Humanities

Students with a strong liberal arts foundation in humanities recognize the importance of seeing people as capable, creative, critical thinkers and learn to express their thoughts and feelings, think and act critically, and appreciate diverse beliefs and spiritual traditions.  Applicants must have at least two courses in disciplines such as Communication, Dance, Dramatic Arts, Fine Arts, Literature, Music, Philosophy, or Religious Studies.

  • Natural Sciences

The liberal arts preparation in natural sciences provides students with knowledge of inter-relationships between human activity and its impact on the physical world.  Applicants must have at least one course in a discipline such as Anatomy, Astronomy, Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Environmental Studies, Fisheries, Forestry, Geology, Meteorology, Microbiology, Oceanography, Physics, Physiology, or Wildlife.

  • Social Sciences

From the social sciences, the liberal arts perspective develops an awareness of the personal and political connection that informs the complex intersections of race, class, and gender which are essential in our evolving cultural and political world.  Applicants must have at least one course in disciplines such as Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, or Women's Studies.

In addition to a Bachelor’s degree with a liberal arts foundation, applicants must also complete the following prerequisite coursework to be eligible for admission:  Elementary Statistics and Native American Studies.  Coursework may be in progress at the time of application, but must be completed by the applicant’s program start date. Proof of enrollment is required for in progress courses.

  • Analytic Reasoning/Elementary Statistics

Coursework in analytic reasoning or elementary statistics can be in any discipline but must be centrally organized around statistics (not research).  Eligible HSU courses include:  STAT 108, PSYC 241, SOC 282.  Other equivalent transfer courses may meet this requirement.

  • Native American Studies

Coursework must demonstrate a general introduction to the history and culture of Native peoples of America and the unique and sovereign relationship between tribal nations and local, state and federal governments.  Eligible courses at HSU include: NAS 104, NAS 200, NAS 306, SW 420*.  Other equivalent transfer coursework may qualify.

Prerequisite coursework may be in progress during application process but students must prove successful completion prior to beginning MSW program.

* SW 420 – Decolonizing Social Work with Indigenous Peoples: The Department of Social Work offers a 1.5 unit online course through the College of Extended Education & Global Engagement the last 8 weeks of Fall & Spring semester that meets the Native American Studies prerequisite for the MSW program.  Students can call the office at (707) 826-3731 or GO ONLINE TO REGISTER.  Fees are due at the time of registration.

** A helpful resource for locating online courses is the California Virtual Campus.  This should help you find courses you may need to meet the prerequisite requirements.

Questions?  Please contact our Admissions Coordinator at or (707) 826-5350.