Newly Admitted Grad Students

students in classroom

Congratulations on your admission to Berkeley Social Welfare!

Berkeley is an incomparable place to pursue a graduate professional degree. We are delighted to welcome you to our active and vibrant intellectual community!

This welcome page contains important information and links to essential resources for getting started as a new graduate student at Berkeley. Please review these details carefully and take all required actions promptly to help ensure a smooth transition to your new graduate career.

Information for Students Entering Fall 2024

Mark Your Calendars!

  • TBA: Social Welfare New Graduate Student Orientation
  • TBA: Berkeley Graduate Division Orientation

Important Dates and Deadlines

April 1, 2024 Department deadline to accept offer of admission
April 2, 2024 Priority filing date for FAFSA 
June 1, 2024 Deadline to submit required Statement of Legal Residence
July TBD, 2024 Deadline to submit Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) Waiver 
July TBD, 2024 Enrollment begins for new graduate students
August TBD, 2024 New MSW Student Orientation & Welcome Activities
August 23, 2024 Registration Fee Payment Deadline
August 28, 2024 Fall 2024 instruction begins
October 1, 2024 Deadline to submit final official transcripts to Graduate Division Admissions Office

Newly Admitted Student FAQ


Accepting Your Admission Offer

How do I accept my offer of admission?
Log into the status page of your UC Berkeley Graduate Admissions Application account and follow the instructions to “Reply to Offer of Admission.”

What is the deadline to accept my admission offer?
We are eager to learn of your decision and hope to soon welcome you to Berkeley! We hope you will let us know as soon as possible. Our departmental priority deadline is April 1st.

What if I need more time?
If you need an extension of the April 1st deadline to accept your offer, please let us know by sending an email to

Admission Deferral

May I defer my admission offer to Fall 2025?
No. Berkeley Social Welfare does not offer deferred admission. Applicants who accept an offer of admission and then must later decline or withdraw must reapply in a future admissions cycle. 


I am on the waitlist for Fall 2024 admission; when will I hear from you about my admission status?
We will begin contacting all applicants on the waitlist on April 1, 2024.


Where can I find information about the fall class schedule and courses?
You can view the official Schedule of Classes and Berkeley Course Catalog by visiting the Berkeley Academic Guide.

Fees, Funding and Financial Aid

How do Social Welfare graduate students pay for school?
Educational financing needs are diverse and will vary according to individual circumstance. In addition to a personal contribution to pay for graduate school, most graduate students receive some form of financial assistance through a combination of resources listed on our Fees and Financial Aid departmental website. At Berkeley, 90% of all graduate students receive some form of financial support (including loans).

I didn’t receive a department or stipend award with my admission offer. How do I apply for financial support from the department?
Offers of financial support from the department for new (incoming) students are made at the time of admission. Upon accepting your admission offer, regardless of whether you received a financial award or not, you will be eligible to apply for other departmental support opportunities as they arise. We always notify all students when new opportunities become available, and how to apply for them; you don’t need to submit any additional applications at this time. 

All U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents should also submit a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as quickly as possible, even if you don’t intend to take out student loans. You can decide later whether to accept aid for which you are eligible. A FAFSA is required for certain campus-based funds (e.g., Graduate Division Parent Grant, Work-Study.)

What if I’m not eligible to submit a FAFSA?
If you aren’t eligible to submit a FAFSA, visit the following links for information about other possible alternatives:

If I receive a stipend (such as Child Welfare Scholars) am I still eligible for federal student loans?
Most likely yes, although the total amount you are eligible to borrow may be reduced. To learn more, see the publication, Federal Student Loans: Basics for Students.

New Student Checklist

  1. Accept your admission offer by completing the “Reply to Offer of Admission” form in your UC Berkeley online admission application account.
  2. Submit a completed FAFSA as soon as possible upon accepting admission.
  3. Establish your CalNet ID and bConnected account.
  4. Set up your email address.
  5. Accept the email invitation to join the SSW Graduate Academic Hub when you receive it in your campus email.
  6. Submit Statement of Legal Residence in CalCentral.
    Please take a moment to review the full text of the campus residency policy, what students should do once they arrive, and applicable deadlines, which can be found on the Office of the Registrar's Residency website. Students with residency questions can also contact the Residence Affairs unit by email to or by calling 510-643-4222.
  7. Complete tasks listed below under "Preparing for Orientation."
  8. Get your Cal 1 Card (campus student ID card).

First Next Step: Get Onboarded!

Upon accepting your offer of admission, you will receive an email with your Student ID number and a temporary password you will use for creating a CalNet ID to access CalCentral, UC Berkeley’s student portal, where you will start the onboarding process. Please review the onboarding messages and checklist items under “Tasks” on My Dashboard that you will need to complete in order to prepare for your arrival and register for classes.

Establishing Required Electronic Communication

All University of California, Berkeley students must establish a e-mail address. Students are responsible for keeping the address current and for regularly monitoring their email for official communications from the University. You should establish your bConnected account and set up your email address immediately upon activating your CalNet ID (see above).

Once your email address is available in CalCentral, you will begin to receive official email communications from us, as well as other campus administrative and student support units. Emails are frequently the only means of official communications from the University, so please make sure you understand your responsibilities related to electronic communication.

Registration, Enrollment and Fee Payment

Enrollment for new graduate students begins in late July. Students complete all enrollment, registration and fee payment actions through the CalCentral student portal. You will receive detailed instructions from the MSW Advising Office sent to your official Berkeley email address in early summer, prior to the start of the enrollment period.

Registration fees must be paid by Friday, August 23, either in full or with the 1st Installment on the Fee Payment Plan (FPP). You can activate the FPP through CalCentral once you have enrolled in units for Fall 2024.

Please be sure to monitor your CalCentral account for any upcoming tasks you need to complete. The "Tasks" section of your CalCentral dashboard will show any current or upcoming tasks you need to complete for other campus units (i.e. The Residence Affairs Unit, the Berkeley International Office, the Graduate Division, etc.). Please monitor this list regularly to ensure that you are completing tasks assigned to you in a timely manner.

Fees, Fellowships and Financial Aid

All U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents are required to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If eligible, you should submit a completed FAFSA as soon as possible even if you don't intend to take out student loans. You can decide later whether to accept aid for which you are eligible. All students who accept our offer of admission and submit the FAFSA will receive information about financial aid from the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office in early summer.

All incoming students will automatically receive notifications about any new opportunities for financial support as they become known - please make sure you set up your email right away, and monitor it regularly!

MSW Social Work Practicum Education

Newly admitted MSW students will be contacted by the Practicum Education Office in mid-April to begin the engagement process for determining your foundation (first-year) placement. To learn more please visit the Practicum Education Office.

New MSW Student Orientation

Information about new student orientation activities and welcome events will be posted here as plans develop. Please check back often for updates! Meanwhile, here are some things we recommend to help you get started:

Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Prevention Mandatory Trainings

The University of California is committed to a campus environment where all persons are free from sexual violence and sexual harassment (SV/SH). To help support this commitment, and ensure that new students are aware of our community expectations of respect, as well as your rights and resources, all incoming graduate and professional students are required to complete SV/SH prevention education training prior to the start of instruction. For more information, please visit the Graduate Division's New Graduate Student Welcome page.

Accept Your Admission Offer

To let us know you're coming and reserve your space, please log into the status page of your UC Berkeley online application to accept or decline our offer of admission by April 1, 2024.

Get Connected

Find Housing

We recommend that you arrive to campus at the beginning of August since August 1 can be a convenient date to start a housing lease. Arriving in early August also allows you some time to settle in on campus before Orientation.

Health and Safety Information