Colleen Friend

Colleen Friend, PhD, LCSW

Interim Director’s Message


Welcome to the Cal State LA School of Social Work. We are proud to be ranked #9 amongst the best graduate schools offering Master of Social Work degrees based on median early-career salary data by the U.S. Department of Education and Grad Reports in 2019. We are also ranked #59 amongst School of Social Work that offers graduate programs by the US News and World Report. Our faculty works hard to stay abreast of the research and emerging trends in social work practice to enhance their teaching and better serve our students.


The School of Social Work offers a Bachelor's of Social Work (BSW) and a Master’s of Social Work (MSW). In addition to 2-year and 3-year master programs, the School of Social Work also offers a new Master’s in Social Work Advanced Standing Program (ASP) in Cal State LA’s downtown campus. In all level of programs, our focus is to train urban generalist social workers. Our field education is also a core component in our programs, which enables our students to integrate their classroom learning into social work practice. Our undergraduate students have been building their field experience in a wide range of social work fields including school districts, hospitals, victim services, child welfare agencies, housing agencies, and other community based agencies.


Located in the second largest city in the U.S., Cal State LA’s undergraduate social work program focuses on educating urban generalist social workers. The urban generalist is a practitioner who engages in a strengths-based social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. The practitioner understands the urban and inner-city context and the social issues that impact individuals, families, groups and communities: poverty, multiculturalism, and reliance of family and community based resources. This practitioner is able to work at multiple system levels and is skilled at cross-cultural practice. The goals, objectives and curriculum emphasize themes of diversity, justice, community-based services and cross-cultural competence. The urban generalist is committed to promoting access to the resources and opportunities necessary to serve poor, vulnerable, under-served, and oppressed populations in order to further their well-being and promote social justice. This is one of the fastest growing majors at Cal State LA.


On the graduate level, we provide an advanced urban generalist curriculum that allows students to make a contribution to social work research with the completion of a research or thesis project. Our Advanced Standing Program (ASP) is expanding. It is located in a state-of-the-art downtown facility, with easy parking and individual and small group coaching. This is a cost effective program for BSW graduates to enter the workforce in a shorter time than more traditional programs.


I hope this brief introduction has sparked your interest in the Cal State LA School of Social Work and that we will see you at one of our future recruitment / orientations. Come grow with us.



Sincerely yours,


Colleen Friend, PhD, LCSW

Interim Director



The following are the links to our program outcomes:

BSW Outcomes for CSWE AS 4 form 2019

MSW Outcomes for CSWE AS 4 form MSW program 2019