The School of Social Work prepares BASW and MSW students for skilled professional practice in socially, culturally and economically diverse urban communities. Our strength-based program educate generalist social workers who are committed to social and economic justice and are able to facilitate change and growth at all levels of practice.
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 form 8:00 am to 12:00 noon including Summer Quarter.
Children, Youth, Women, and Families (CYWF)
The Children, Youth, Women, and Families (CYWF) concentration 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. Although CYWF concentration is focuses on prevention, crisis intervention and short- term treatment with Children, Youth, Women, and Families, the scope is larger than just public child welfare. Required courses in this concentration prepare students to assume practice and leadership roles and responsibilities in such public child welfare programs as child protection, placement and adoption, school based services, and in major public service systems including mental health, physical health and corrections.
Aging and Families (AF)
The Aging and Families (AF) concentration provides students the opportunity to increase their scope and depth of knowledge and skills for 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). It is estimated that by 2030, as the peak of the Baby Boomers will be 65 years old. The average life expectancy has surpassed 75 years, and many older adults are a part of four and even five generational families.
The aging of the population affects all generations. Course work in the Aging and Family concentration prepare 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 /sites/default/files/dept/soc_work/text/Geriatric Social Work.doc
Forensics (FSW) ***ONLY available in the 2 Year Program***
The Forensic Social Work (FSW) serves people who interact with the criminal justice system. This includes students working with individuals, families, and groups within institutional and community systems in order to bring about positive change through advocacy, empowerment and interventions for offenders and victims in various settings.
Typically, social workers within this system work with both victims and offenders. 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 involuntary clients. Specifically, forensic social workers may work in: 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.
Below are the MSW Course Programs for the full-time (two year) and three year programs. For additional information on Forensic Social Work, visit Word/FSW Concentration Fact Sheet 12-06 (2).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 Concentration in Aging & Families 2 Year Program
MSW Concentration in Aging & Families 3 Year Program
MSW Concentration in Children, Youth, Women & Families 2 Year Program
MSW Concentration in Children, Youth, Women & Families 3 Year Program
MSW Concentration in Forensic Social Work 2 Year Program
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 prepare a Poster Board presentation and will be given an oral exam. Thesis is completed in the second year in both programs
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 involves 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. 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.
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 page