Congratulations on your admission to the Berkeley Social Welfare MSW Program!
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 2021
The University of California is planning for a return to primarily in-person instruction systemwide in fall 2021. We know you have lots of questions and we will keep you informed here, as well as through email communications, about plans for the Fall 2021 semester as they take shape. Below are some important information resources to read and follow:
- Update on UC Berkeley's plan for the fall semester (Mar. 17, 2021)
- Message from UC Berkeley administration regarding Fall 2021 semester (Jan. 11, 2021)
- Berkeley Academic Guide Online Class Schedule
We expect the Fall 2021 Class Schedule to be published in late April.
- Berkeley Campus Coronavirus Information Hub
Experience Diversity 2021 Series for New Admits
The Office for Graduate Diversity is sponsoring 11 virtual events open to any admitted graduate student. All newly admitted graduate students will receive the registration links and information in an email from UC Berkeley. Admitted students are welcomed to register for as many events as they may be interested in attending! All events will be available on-demand 24 hours after the live event. For more information and a schedule of events, please visit the Experience Diversity 2021 Series website.
Important Dates and Deadlines
|April 15, 2021||Deadline to accept offer of admission|
|June 1, 2021||Deadline to submit required Statement of Legal Residence|
|July 15, 2021||Deadline to submit Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) Waiver|
|July 16, 2021||Enrollment begins for new graduate students|
|August TBA||New MSW Student Orientation Activities|
|August 20, 2021||Registration Fee Payment Deadline|
|August 25, 2021||Fall 2021 instruction begins|
|October 1, 2021||Deadline to submit final official transcripts to Graduate Division Admissions Office|
Newly Admitted MSW Student FAQ
Accepting Your Admission Offer
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 15.
What if I need more time?
If you need an extension of the April 15 deadline to accept your offer, please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
May I defer my admission offer to Fall 2022?
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. We do not anticipate any change to this policy for Fall 2021 admits.
I am on the waitlist for Fall 2021 admission; when will I hear from you about my admission status?
We will begin contacting all applicants on the waitlist after April 15, 2021.
Classes and Field Placement
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.
When will I be contacted by my field adviser about my field placement?
Field Consultants will begin reaching out to incoming MSW students in early May.
Fees, Fellowships and Financial Aid
I didn’t receive a fellowship 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. You can learn more by reviewing our guide to Financing Your Graduate Degree.
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:
Can you say more about what “other departmental support opportunities” might “become available?”
Departmental Fellowships are awarded throughout the academic year. For example:
- those fellowships that were offered to a newly admitted student who declines our admission offer will be awarded to an incoming student who has accepted admission to Berkeley. These awards will be made after the April 15th deadline to reply to admissions offers.
- Applications for Continuing Student Fellowships are announced each spring semester for awards for the following academic year.
When will I be notified if I am subsequently selected for a new student departmental fellowship?
Incoming students will be notified of any new departmental awards starting in early June.
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
- Accept your admission offer by completing the “Reply to Offer of Admission” form in your UC Berkeley online admission application account.
- Submit a completed FAFSA as soon as possible upon accepting admission.
- Establish your CalNet ID and bConnected account.
- Set up your berkeley.edu email address.
- Accept the email invitation to join the SSW Graduate Academic Hub when you receive it in your campus email.
- 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 email@example.com or by calling 510-643-4222.
- Complete tasks listed below under "Preparing for Orientation."
- 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 berkeley.edu 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 berkeley.edu email address immediately upon activating your CalNet ID (see above).
Once your berkeley.edu 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.
New 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:
- Join the SSW Graduate Academic Hub as soon as you receive the email invitation once you have established your campus email address.
- Read the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics
You will be asked to sign a Pledge Card affirming your commitment to upholding and abiding by our profession's code of ethics.
- Read the Academic and Professional Standards for Master of Social Welfare Students
Academic and Professional Standards for the MSW Program set forth the responsibilities and expectations of all Berkeley MSW students. You will be asked to acknowledge your understanding of these requirements at Orientation.
- Review the online MSW Student Handbook and the MSW Student Guide to Field Education.
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 20, 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 2021.
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.
About Your Field Placement
Once you have accepted your offer of admission, we will provide your contact information to the Field Education Office. You will be contacted by your assigned Field Consultant in early May to begin the engagement process for determining your first-year field placement. To learn more please visit Field Education.
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 intent 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.
Incoming students who receive a fellowship or stipend offer should establish a berkeley.edu email address as quickly as possible in order to begin receiving communications about accepting a departmental financial support offer.
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 berkeley.edu email right away, and monitor it regularly! All students should also review our guide to Financing Your Graduate Degree for more information about fees, fellowships and financial aid.