Program & Degree Information

Program Overview

The Department of Social Work offers graduate study leading to the degree of Master of Social Work (MSW). The program is designed to prepare students for a career in 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 for students 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 for students 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.

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, trauma-informed, and ecological systems perspective.

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

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

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. 

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 622a  Advanced Practice I: CMH: Individuals and Families
    • SW 622b  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 Recovery 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 Social 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 course.

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