Delivery Method and Program Length

How long are the programs?

Traditional Program: 55-unit, 16-month program in four straight trimesters without a summer break. The curriculum is cohort-based and full-time with significant embedded experiential learning and inter-professional education opportunities.

Advanced Standing Program: 32-unit, 12-month Advanced Standing Program in three trimesters for students with a bachelor of social work degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Cost and Financial Aid

How much does it cost to attend Pacific's MSW program?

Visit Tuition and Fees to see current costs.

What kind of financial aid is available?

Financial aid packages at Pacific are tailored to each individual's qualifications and program of study. Students will receive financial aid information once they are admitted and have accepted admission to the program. For answers to specific financial aid questions, applicants can contact the Office of Financial Aid department at 916.739.7158 or

Do you offer teaching assistantships or graduate assistantships?

At the present time, the program does not offer teaching or graduate assistantships.

Are student loans available?

Graduate students who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens may apply for federal student loans. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at for more information about financing options.

General Application

Is it possible for me to visit the campus and talk with an advisor?

A faculty member is available to talk with you to provide more information about the program and to help you assess your fit with the program. Our program also offers online and in-person information sessions throughout the year to help answer prospective students' questions and tour our facilities. Set up a meeting by emailing

Do you offer admission in the spring?

Traditional Program admission students are only accepted to begin the program in the fall trimester. Students in the Advanced Standing Program will begin the program in the spring trimester.

Do I need to submit official transcripts to GradCAS and Pacific when I apply?

During the application process, you will need to submit official transcripts to GradCAS. Please do not send official transcripts to the university.


Where do I go to access the GradCAS application?

The GradCAS application can be accessed at

What if my recommender doesn't want to fill out his/her letter of recommendation online?

GradCAS requires that all letters of recommendation be completed online. If your recommender does not want to complete the recommendation online, we suggest that you find another recommender. Do not use the recommendation forms that can be found on the university's Graduate School webpage. These forms will not be accepted by GradCAS or the MSW program.

Can I submit more letters of recommendation than required?

Traditional (16-month) Applicants:

  • Three letters of recommendation are required.
  • Applicants may also submit an optional fourth letter of recommendation.

Advanced Standing (12-month) Applicants:

  • Two evaluation forms are required. They should be completed by the student’s BSW Field Instructor and Faculty Field Liaison.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required.
  • Students may also submit an optional third letter of recommendation.

What is the prompt and length requirement for the personal statement?

The prompt for the personal statement is "please describe your interest in social work." You should include the following: (a) significant factors influencing your decision to pursue a MSW degree; (b) career goals and commitment to social justice and social change; (c) relevant academic, professional, and leadership experiences that will contribute to your overall success as a graduate student and future social worker; and (d) how Pacific's MSW program is a good fit for your educational and career goals. Please use a 12-point font and limit your statement to a maximum of 1,000 words (approximately 4 pages). 

What is a priority deadline?

We admit students on a rolling base (i.e. as they apply). A priority deadline ensures that your application is considered first. Students who apply after the priority deadline (March 1) will be admitted on a space-available basis.

What if my transcripts or letters don't get to GradCAS by the March 1 priority deadline?

GradCAS will continue to accept items (e.g. transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.) after the priority deadline. However, applications that are still missing items after March 1 will not be reviewed for priority consideration. The program will continue to review applications and admit students through the final deadline on a space-available basis.


What is the minimum GPA required to apply to Pacific's MSW program?

The minimum GPA required to apply is 2.75 for the Traditional 16-month program. The Advanced Standing Program's minimum GPA is 3.30. 

I have a graduate degree. When I calculate my overall GPA, should I include my graduate course grades?

Yes. The MSW Program will be looking at your last 60 units of study from all postsecondary institutions. This would include post-baccalaureate coursework (if applicable). The program will consider your bachelor's degree GPA as well in a holistic review of each applicant.

GRE Exam

Is the GRE exam required?

The GRE exam is not required for admission. However, an applicant may submit GRE scores in the Academic History section if they have taken the exam. The GRE code is 4609.

Admission Process

When will I find out if I am admitted?

All applicants will receive an admission decision via email from the Program and the Graduate School. A decision letter can be expected within 30 days of completing your application (when your application is submitted and all supplemental materials are received). The MSW program's goal is to make admission decisions as soon as possible to provide applicants sufficient time to plan.

If admitted to the program, when will I need to make my decision?

Your decision (to confirm our offer of admission) is due two weeks after the date on your admission letter. In making your decision, you may wish to request a phone contact or personal visit and tour with an MSW faculty member.

What happens if I'm placed on the waiting list?

If you are placed on the waiting list, you will be asked to let the program know whether or not you want to remain on the waiting list by emailing The admissions committee will meet and review those who remain on the waiting list and will begin notifying students on the waiting list as space becomes available.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

When do classes begin?

Classes typically begin the last Monday in August for the fall trimester, and the first Monday in January for the Spring trimester.

Is it possible for me to work my full-time job while in your program?

No, this program is a full-time, cohort-based program. Some students are able to work part-time, however. There may be a possibility of completing your MSW field internship(s) at the headlt/social services agency where you are employed.

No social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.

The MSW program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience. Life and work experience, past or present, cannot be substituted for required field education experience nor any generalist or specialized practice courses.