Master of Social Work - Advanced Standing in Downtown LA

MSW-Counseling Session

Program Description

The Master of Social Work, Advanced Standing program in Downtown Los Angeles prepares graduate students for entry into advanced and specialized social work practice where they will be able to provide effective service to individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. 

The Advanced Standing Program facilitates completion of the MSW degree requirements for students with a bachelor’s degree in social work from an accredited school of social work and allows them to complete their degree in 1-year. Cal State LA’s program starts with a Summer Term with one 3 unit course. Following the successful completion of the their Summer Term, core content from the first year of the traditional MSW program will be waived and students will be Advanced to Candidacy to begin upper division graduate level coursework aligned with the traditional program curriculum.

Please read the MSW, Advanced Standing presentation. It includes FAQs, application process, curriculum information, and more.

Participate in an upcoming information session to learn more.

Who Should Enroll?

This program is ideal for:

  • Students who have earned their undergraduate degree in the field of Social Work from an accredited school of social work within the past 5-years 
  • Individuals interested in advanced and specialized social work practice

Tuition & Fees

Cost Per Unit $525
Total Program Cost $17,325

Financial Assistance

Learn more about Financial Assistance opportunities.


Applicants to the Master of Social Work Advanced Standing program must complete the following steps in order to be considered for admission:

1) Complete and submit the following materials directly to Cal State LA's School of Social Work:

  • A School of Social Work Supplemental Program Application
  • A personal statement
  • Four (4) reference forms from each of the following categories: Academic, Integrative Seminar Instructor, Field Instructor from your BASW internship, and one (1) Professional Reference.                                        Note: Letters of recommendation may be submitted in addition to the reference forms. This is optional.
  • A current resume
  • An Unofficial copy of transcripts from all schools attended
  • Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended

2) Submit a graduate program application through Cal State Apply when instructed to do so. 

F-1 student visas are not available to study in this program.

Important Note: Students pursuing their degree on Cal State LA’s Main Campus may not take courses at Cal State LA Downtown as part of their degree program. Only students admitted to programs offered in Downtown may attend courses at Cal State LA Downtown after paying all required fees. Current Cal State LA students are welcome to pursue a program at Cal State LA Downtown in addition to their degree, but additional fees will apply. Programs offered at Cal State LA Downtown are not transferable to Cal State LA's Main Campus. Students admitted to a program at Cal State LA Downtown are welcome to pursue a program at Cal State LA's Main Campus, but an additional application is required.

Program Curriculum

Summer Term 2018*** Units Fall 2018 Units Spring 2019 Units
SW 5401
Social Work Research and Statistics
SW 5203
Mental Health Assessment and Diagnosis
SW 5204
Advanced Based Social Work Practice
SW 5301
Administration of Social Service Agencies
SW 5304
Advanced Policy Analysis and Practice
SW 5970
Advanced Social Work Research (Thesis)
SW 5990
SW 5950C
Field Practicum
SW 595-D
Field Practicum
Elective I*
Elective II*
*SW 5802 Recovery and Empowerment in Mental Health
*SW 5805 Policy and Practice in Public Child Welfare
***During Summer Session one, three (3) units will be taken. Therefore, financial aid is not available. Please note that students must be enrolled in at least six (6) units (half-time) to be eligible for a Summer Federal Direct loan. If you would like more information regarding private loans, please contact Tom Lau.

To Apply/Application Deadline

The Summer 2018 application window has now closed. Please check back here for the Summer 2019 application window. 


Please submit all Official Transcripts to:

Office of Admissions and Recruitment
Cal State LA
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032