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Frequently Asked Questions

Delivery Method and Program Length

  • How long is the program?
    The program's hybrid curriculum is designed with two options:
    • 55-unit, 16-month (four trimester) program for students with any other undergraduate degree. The curriculum is cohort-based and full-time with significant embedded experiential learning and inter-professional education opportunities.
    • 32-unit, 12-month (three trimester) Advanced Standing option 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?
    An advisor 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. 
  • Do you offer admission in the spring?
    Traditional admission students are only accepted to begin the program in the fall trimester. Students in the Advanced Standing option 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.


    • 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 that you find another recommender. Do not use the recommendation forms that can be found on the university's webpage. The university recommendation forms will not be accepted by GradCAS or the program.
    • Can I submit more than the two required letters of recommendation?
      Yes, you may include a total of four letters 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", including why you decided to pursue an MSW degree, your career goals, work and leadership experiences that will contribute to your success as a student and future social worker, and your fit with Pacific's MSW program. There is no minimum length for the statement, but the maximum is 1,000 words.

    • What is a priority deadline?
      A priority deadline ensures that your application is considered first. Students who apply after the priority deadline will be admitted on a space-available basis.

    • What if my test scores (transcript, letters, etc.) don't get to GradCAS by the March 1 priority deadline?
      GradCAS will continue to accept items (e.g. test scores, 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 July 1 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 a 2.75. The Advanced Standing program's minimum GPA is 3.0. 

    • I have a graduate degree. When I calculate my overall GPA, should I include my graduate course grades?
      Yes. The Social Work Program will be looking at your last 60 units of study from all postsecondary institutions. This would include post-baccalaureate coursework (if applicable).

    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.

    • Are my GRE scores still current?
      If you have taken the GRE within the past five years, your scores are still considered current.

    Admission Process

    • When will I find out if I was admitted?
      All applicants will receive an admission decision via email from the Graduate School. A decision letter can be expected within 30 days of completing your application (applications submitted and all supplemental materials 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?
      Student decisions (to confirm our offer of admission) are 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 become available.

    Other Frequently Asked Questions

    • When do classes begin?
      Classes typically begin the last Monday in August for the fall 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.