Program: M.S.W., Social Work

Program Description

The Master of Social Work degree at CSUN provides students with a strong academic program with professional skill development that provides social services to the San Fernando Valley and adjacent cities, as well as state, national and global communities. The MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and offers one specialization: advanced generalist practice with a focus on urban communities. This full-time program consists of two academic years and 20 courses equaling 60 credits, of which 12 are in practicum internship placements. The first year or generalist year of the program consists of two semesters for all students, including core course content of social work micro, mezzo and macro practice; multicultural practice; DSM diagnosis; human behavior and the social environment; social welfare policy and advocacy; and social research and practicum placement. The second year or specialized year of the program builds on the core content taught in the first year and includes other required content for professional accreditation: social work values and ethics, populations at risk, diversity, and social and economic justice. The total units (minimum of 60) in the program meet the requirements for professional accreditation.

The evening student cohorts complete their course of study over a 3-year period. Students take two or three courses per semester taking place on weekday evenings. The practicum placement for the 3-year, part-time program consists of a minimum of 16 hours of practicum internship per week during two of the 3 years.

This program is available through one of the CSUN academic colleges or through self support (funded entirely by student fees and offered in a cohort format) in partnership with The Tseng College.
Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU, and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., Social Security number or taxpayer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements is available from the department. See Notice to Students: Licensure and Certification for more information.

Program Requirements

A. Admission Requirements

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited University. Sociology, Psychology, the Liberal Arts or a similar program is preferred.
  2. A GPA of 3.0 is recommended.
  3. Submit a Social Work program application form that includes responses to supplemental questions.
  4. Official transcripts.
  5. Applicant contract.
  6. Resume.
  7. Applicants from countries in which the official language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants must obtain a minimum score on the TOEFL of 88 and score a minimum of 22 on each of the four individual sections in order to meet the department requirement. Additionally, the University accepts the IELTS and PTE Academic tests. The Social Work department requires a minimum score of 7.0 on the IELTS.

B. Course Requirements

1. Foundation Courses (30-33 units)

SWRK 501 Human Behavior and Social Environment I (3)
SWRK 502 Human Behavior and Social Environment II (3)
SWRK 503 Psychosocial Assessment and Diagnostic Formulation (3)
SWRK 510 Generalist Social Work Theory and Practice I (3)
SWRK 520 Social Work Practice in Multicultural Contexts (3)
SWRK 521 Generalist Social Work Theory and Practice II (3)
SWRK 522/P Generalist Practicum Education I and Placement (2/1)
SWRK 523/P Generalist Practicum Education II and Placement (2/1)
SWRK 525 Social Welfare Policy and Services (3)
SWRK 535 Social Work Research Methods I (3)

2. Advanced Concentration Courses (30 units)

Focus: Advanced Practice with Urban Families

a. Required (27 units)

SWRK 601 Advanced Social Work Practice with Urban Families I (3)
SWRK 602 Advanced Social Work Practice with Urban Families II (3)
SWRK 621 Advanced Social Work Practice in Urban Communities (3)
SWRK 622/P Specialist Practicum Education with Urban Communities I and Placement (2/1)
SWRK 623/P Specialist Practicum Education with Urban Communities II and Placement (2/1)
SWRK 630 Family Crisis, Trauma and Grief (3)
SWRK 635 Social Work Research Methods II (3)
SWRK 645 Urban Social Policy and Advocacy (3)

Culminating Experience

SWRK 698 Capstone Project (3)

b. Electives (3 units)

SWRK 650A-Z Selected Topics in Social Work (3)

Total Units Required for the M.S.W. Degree: 60-63

More information

For more information about this program, please contact


Department of Social Work
Chair/Graduate Coordinator: Wendy Ashley
Sierra Hall (SH) 208
(818) 677-7630

Staff: Laura Mancia
(818) 677-4638

Staff: Allyse Navarro
(818) 677-5184

Online Program

Master of Social Work
Graduate Coordinator: Allen Lipscomb
(818) 677-7630

Staff: Mario Arriaga
(818) 677-3836

Staff: Yvonne Carrillo
(818) 677-7646

Staff: Mikayla Jakubecy-Gibson
(818) 677-5789

Staff: Genesis Sandoval
(818) 677-7707

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Master of Social Work will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  2. Advance human rights and social, racial, economic, and environmental justice.
  3. Engage anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADEI) in practice.
  4. Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
  5. Engage in policy practice.
  6. Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  7. Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  8. Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  9. Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.