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Program & Degree Information

Program Description

The Department of Social Work offers graduate study leading to the degree of Masters of Social Work (MSW). It admits MSW students every fall to a two-year program involving full-time study. The program is designed to prepare students for a career in the field of social work, and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Two concentrations are offered as part of the MSW program: Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) and Community Mental Health (CMH). 

CYF is available for individuals interested in working in traditional child welfare services, family service agencies, adolescent services, family preservation services, etc. Applicants who apply for this concentration can choose to apply to the Title IV-E stipend program, which requires an additional and separate application process, which you can read about here.

CMH is available for individuals interested in working in community mental health agencies, crisis intervention services, case management with the chronically and persistently mentally ill and other mental health services with emphasis on public sector work.

Students attend classes from mid-August through late May and complete an internship each academic year. In the first year, students attend classes on Mondays and Wednesdays and intern at their field placements on two days (usually Tuesdays and Thursdays). In the second year, students attend classes on Mondays and Tuesdays, and intern at their field placement on the remaining days (usually Wednesday through Friday). The majority of courses are face-to-face, with a few courses in the second year being hybrid courses, which combine face-to-face and online components. Classes are scheduled during the day from morning through the late afternoon.

Program Learning Outcomes

Our course objectives are defined around seven program learning outcomes (PLO). These PLO are linked to CSUEB's institutional learning outcomes (ILO).

Values and Ethics  Demonstrate ethical decision making and behavior guided by the NASW Code of Ethics and other relevant codes.

Professional Use of Self Apply use of self as an autonomous professional tool of engagement and collaboration, demonstrated by self-awareness, bias-reduction, sound judgment, the ability to integrate supervisory feedback, and a commitment to ongoing learning.

Critical Thinking Critically analyze and synthesize information related to evidence-informed social work intervention, prevention, assessment, planning, policies, evaluation and research.

Applying Theory  Apply theoretical material to urban social work practice, grounded in a strength-based, empowering, and ecological systems perspective.

Advocacy  Advocate for sustainable well-being, build capacity and advance social justice for clients and communities, and create innovative solutions in complex social contexts.

Diversity  Engage with diverse populations from positions of cultural humility and respect for identity, embracing a commitment to culturally competent and responsive services; and

Communication Demonstrate effective written and oral communication across diverse client and social service systems. 

Degree Requirements

The MSW degree program requires completion of 60 semester units, distributed among core courses (32 units), concentration courses (20 units), an elective course (4 units), and a graduate research paper, either a yearlong research project or department or university thesis (4 units). Only graduate-level courses, those numbered 600-699 (or equivalent if taken elsewhere), may be used as part of the 60-unit graduate degree program.

A grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained in the 60 units taken to satisfy the degree requirements. All graduate degree requirements must be completed within the five (5) years prior to graduation. 

In order to graduate, students must have (a) completed the two pre-requisite courses (introductory statistics and human biology or anatomy or physiology) with a grade of C or higher, and (b) satisfied the University's Writing Skills Requirement (UWSR). The pre-requisite courses and the UWSR must be completed by the end of the first year of study for the student to be able to graduate with their cohort in the spring of the second year of study. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the prerequisite courses prior to beginning the program, but may also take these during the first year of study. Students who earned bachelor's degrees from other CSU campuses have already satisfied the UWSR.

See the University Catalog for a full description of degree requirements.

Useful Documents

Curricular Requirements

Students will take 32 units of required coursework. All courses are 4 units.

  • SW 600  Human Behavior and Social Environment
  • SW 601  Race, Gender, and Inequality
  • SW 602  Introduction to Social Welfare Policy
  • SW 603  Introduction to Social Welfare Research
  • SW 611  Generalist Practice I
  • SW 612  Generalist Practice II
  • SW 695a Social Work Practicum I
  • SW 695b Social Work Practicum II

Students will select one concentration and take 20 units of required coursework. All courses are 4 units.

  1. Children, Youth, and Families (CYF)

    • SW 621a  Advanced Practice I: CYF: Individuals and Families
    • SW 621b  Advanced Practice II: CYF: Groups, Organizations, and Communities
    • SW 689    Community-Based Research in Social Work Practice
    • SW 695c  Social Work Practicum III
    • SW 695d  Social Work Practicum IV
  2. Community Mental Health (CMH)

    • SW 621a  Advanced Practice I: CMH: Individuals and Families
    • SW 621b  Advanced Practice II: CMH: Groups, Organizations, and Communities
    • SW 689    Community-Based Research in Social Work Practice
    • SW 695c  Social Work Practicum III
    • SW 695d  Social Work Practicum IV

Students will select one 4-unit course. Not all elective courses will be offered each semester. Students may take more than one elective but only 4-units are required for the degree. SW690 and SW697 are only offered under special circumstances.

  • SW 630  The Recoery Model in Community Mental Health
  • SW 631  Advanced Psychosocial Assessment and Diagnosis
  • SW 632  Family Violence Across the Lifespan
  • SW 633  Assessment and Treatment of Substance Abuse in Social Work Practice
  • SW 634  Legal issues in Soical Work Practice
  • SW 690  Independent Study (1-4 units)
  • SW 697  Issues in Social Work (1-4 units)

Students will complete a capstone experience consisting of a yearlong research project that the student begins in SW689 Community-Based Research and completes in SW693 Integrative Project, with the same instructor. Under special circumstances and with approval by a faculty committee, students may choose to complete a Departmental or University Thesis in lieu of the yearlong research project. All courses are 4 units. Students will select one 4-unit courses.

  • SW 693  Integrative Project
  • SW 699  Departmental Thesis
  • SW 691  Integrative Seminar
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