Increasing student interest in the social work major at Fresno State has outpaced the program’s capacity, prompting the Department of Social Work Education to announce it will not admit new undergraduate students to the bachelor’s degree major for the 2013-14 academic year.

The one-year moratorium applies to freshman and transfer students admitted in fall 2013. They also will not be allowed to change their major to social work once admitted to the university.

Dr. Virginia Rondero Hernandez, chair of the Department of Social Work Education, said 152 students were admitted as majors this year, the largest class ever and 20-25 students more than are traditionally admitted.

 “The social work major has grown steadily,” said Rondero Hernandez. “The total number of students majoring in social work is 566, compared to 434 students in 2005 – a 30 percent increase. This strains our faculty capacity and our ability to get students the field placements that we require them to complete.”

Dr. Sal Montana, undergraduate program coordinator for the Social Work Department, laments the action, but said it is necessary to maintain program quality.

“Many students in the Central California region want to give back to their communities and social work has been a pathway for fulfilling this dream,” Montana said. “As a program, we value the commitment of students to serve their communities and the many relationships we have with community groups who work with us to provide students a quality educational experience.”

In addition to the moratorium on new admits, the department is evaluating prerequisites for the major and changes in the social work program that will be announced next spring, Rondero Hernandez said.

She and Montana urged students interested in pursuing a social work major to consider applying to other CSU campuses for fall 2013. To determine which campuses are accepting social work majors, prospective students should consult California State University “search degrees” at

 For more information, contact Sal Montana at 559.278.8581 or

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