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Masters in Social Work

Link to Field Education webpage

» MSW Program
» MSW Program Advanced Year Client Populations
» MSW Course Programs
» Masters Thesis
» Graduate Fieldwork
» MSW Program Curriculum Sequence

Please note the last information meeting for the season will be Tuesday, January 7, 2014 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm in Salazar Hall room 343.

The MSW application Deadline for Fall 2014 is January 15, 2014.

Please note that ALL application materials must be received by the application deadline in order to be reviewed. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 

MSW Program
The MSW Program at California State University, Los Angeles educates students to assume leadership roles in professional practice.  Our advanced urban generalist graduates analyze, intervene, evaluate and advocate with diverse, underserved and oppressed clients and communities. 

 The Master of Social Work degree is a rigorous course of study, comprised of 90 quarter units. The demands of the academic course work and the educationally focused field work sequence are strenuous and require a high degree of concentration and attention. The full time model of the MSW program is designed to allow students to complete the program in two years. Due to the intensity of the program and its multiple requirements, students enrolled in the full time (2 year) program are expected not to work in addition to their full time MSW enrollment. Students in the full time two year program take classes all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Three year model of the program is designed to allow more flexibility. Students in the three year program take classes one evening a week form 6:00 to 10:00 pm and on Saturdays.

MSW Program Advanced Year Client Populations:                                                                


Children, Youth, Women, and Families (CYWF)
The Children, Youth, Women, and Families (CYWF) advanced generalist curriculum provides students the opportunity to increase their scope and depth of knowledge and skills for advanced social work generalist practice with children, youth, women, and families. CYWF focuses on prevention, crisis intervention and short- term treatment with Children, Youth, Women, and Families. Required courses prepares students to assume practice and leadership roles and responsibilities in multiple practice settings including public child welfare (child protection, placement and adoption), school based services, mental health, physical health, corrections and other non-profit community base settings.


Aging and Families (AF)
The Aging and Families (AF) advanced generalist curriculum provides students the opportunity to increase their scope and depth of knowledge and skills in social work practice with older adults and their families at the individual, community, and broader social-political levels. The demographics of aging is increasingly drawing attention within the field of social work due to the dramatic growth of the older population in the United States especially among the oldest age segment (those over 85 years). The aging of the population affects all generations. Advanced curriculum in the Aging and Family prepares students to assume practice and leadership roles and responsibilities in such settings as community agencies, social service, mental health organizations; health care and long-term care institutions; federal, state and local government agencies, including the aging network supported by the Older Americans Act; retirement communities; academic and other educational and research settings; and business and industry. For additional information regarding Geriatric Social Work, please visit Geriatric_Social_Work.doc


Forensics (FSW)  ***ONLY available in the 2 Year Program***
The Forensic Social Work (FSW) involves working with individuals, families, and groups within institutional and community systems in order to bring about positive change through advocacy, empowerment and therapeutic interventions for offenders and victims in various settings. Typically, Forensic Social Workers within this system work with both victims and offenders. In Urban settings these clients are notably from ethnic minority cultures and lower socioeconomic backgrounds who are over represented in the system. Graduates of the Forensic Social Work program will be able to advocate at the policy level to improve service delivery systems and to guide practice with voluntary and involuntary clients. Specifically, forensic social workers may work in the following areas: child custody, correctional facilities (including jails and prisons), courts, criminalistics (crime scenes—including man-made disasters, such as 9-11), forensic mental health hospitals, domestic violence (including child and partner abuse), juvenile justice system (including probation and residential settings such as the California Youth Authority), legal issues (expert witness testimony), law enforcement, DCFS and victim assistance programs.
For additional information on Forensic Social Work, visit FSW Fact Sheet.doc


MSW Course Programs
Entering cohorts for each program are expected to adhere to the designated classes in the pattern shown below. Classes taken each quarter are not chosen by the student, except for electives. In addition, once an applicant is accepted into a concentration, he/she WILL NOT be allowed to switch their area of concentration.
MSW Advanced Aging & Families Client Population 2 Year Program
MSW Advanced Aging & Families Client Population 3 Year Program
MSW Advanced Children, Youth, Women & Families Client Population 2 Year Program
MSW Advanced Children, Youth, Women & Families Client Population 3 Year Program
MSW Advanced Forensic Social Work Client Population 2 Year Program


Masters Thesis
Students are required to complete a master’s thesis, which covers three quarters of work. Students will have an opportunity to study in-depth a research question of interest to them in their concentration. The thesis project provides students with the opportunity to conduct a research study using primary or secondary data. At the close of thesis students will give an oral defense of their thesis. Thesis is completed in the second year in both programs.

Graduate Fieldwork
The students are required to complete 21 units of educationally focused field work at selected social work/social service agencies in surrounding communities. Each student has two fieldwork placements (in two different agencies) during the course of study. First year placements focus on direct service. Second year placements may focus on direct service or on administration/ management activities. In both the first and second year field placements, students are required to have a macro experience.

The first placement requires 480 hours of fieldwork in a community setting while second-year placements require 600 hours. For the full time program, first year students are in field 16 hours a week (two days a week Monday and Wednesday). Second year students are in field 20 hours a week (three days a week Monday, Wednesday and Friday). For the Three year program, students will have their field internships in their second and third year of the program. The fieldwork sequence encompasses a total of 1080 hours. The schedule for the academic year model of fieldwork parallels the University academic year, with field placement beginning in September and continuing through mid-June (field work is completed in 3 consecutive quarters in the same agency). Students take concurrent course work and a field seminar.

Students need to have daytime hours available for fieldwork placements. Field education hours are typically completed during the daytime in the regular work week (Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm). Three year students need to have at least two 8-hour days available during the work week (Mon. - Fri.) from 8:00 am to 5:00 p.m. for fieldwork placements as no weekend or evening hours are available. Students who are employed are expected to be available for field placements during regular business hours. There are no weekend hours available for fieldwork. A car is essential for use in field instruction. Not having a car available to you will limit the availability of field placements.  If this is your situation, please explain and identify your alternative transportation arrangements. 

Please be advised that a completed criminal clearance is required since most public human service agencies and many non-profit private human service organizations are requiring criminal background checks for student interns. Many fieldwork agencies also require the applicant to have a physical (which may or may not include a drug screen), and/or take the Minnesota Multi-phasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Although any of these might not preclude you from entering field, it will affect the type of agency you are assigned. 


Link to MSW Admissions webpage

5151 State University Drive . Los Angeles . CA 90032 . (323) 343-3000
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Last Update: 12/18/2013