Feb 25, 2024  
University Catalog 2023-2024 
University Catalog 2023-2024

Social Work, M.S.W.

Location(s): Main Campus

The Master of Social Work degree prepares graduate students for entry into advanced and specialized social work practice where they will be able to provide effective services to individual, families, group, organizations and communities.

The MSW program offers a 2-year or a 3-year option and a 1-year advanced option. The 2-year or 3-year options can be completed at the main Cal State L.A. campus and the 1-Year program at the downtown Cal State LA (DTLA) campus.


The School of Social Work Admissions Committee is guided by the following criteria:

  • Voluntary and/or paid experience in general, and in social services in particular;
  • Professional promise, which includes social consciousness and commitment to the values of the profession and the specific mission of the program; and
  • Personal readiness, motivation, ability to communicate effectively, and ability to relate as an effective helping person to individual, organizational and societal needs.

Admission Requirements for the 1-Year Advanced Standing Program (ASP) at the downtown (DTLA) campus

  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from a CSWE accredited college or university.
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA).
  • Three recommendation letters, one must be from each of the following:
  1. Field instructor or field supervisor from BASW internship
  2. Academic BASW professor
  3. Supervisor
  • Completion of all 3 prerequisites with a “C” or better grade at the time the application is submitted;
  • Research Methods and Statistics (introductory to statistics class) and 8 quarter/6 semester units of upper division social science courses;
  • Work or volunteer experience in social services or human services is highly desired.

Admission Requirements for 2-Year or 3-Year Options

Applicants must first apply to the University and receive their Campus Identification Number before applying to the MSW Program. Admission to the School does not guarantee admission to the College of Health and Human Services and/or the University. Admission to the University does not guarantee admission to the School and/or College. In addition to an evaluation of the applicant’s potential for advanced practice in the profession of social work, the minimum requirements for admission are:

  • Acceptable bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university;
  • Minimum 2.75 grade point average in the last 90 quarter units (60 semester units);
  • Completion of a course in research and/or statistics and 8 quarter units (6 semester units) of upper division social science courses with a grade of  “C” or better; and
  • Good academic standing at the last graduate college or university attended.

Degree Requirements

A total of 33 units are required.
Only available at the DTLA campus and other remote sites. Students will begin their program in July with 3 semester units of Bridge coursework in the summer prior to the beginning of the fall semester. Upon a successful completion of the summer Bridge Program, students will continue to the remaining two semesters (fall and spring semesters) taking 30 units of courses indicated below. 
A total of 60 units are required.
A total of 60 units are required. 
*All courses are offered on campus, but have the option to be taught online or as hybrids.

Degree Requirements for the 1-year ASP (33 units)

Summer Bridge Course (3 units)

Degree Requirements for Two Year Option (60 units)

Degree Requirements for Three Year Option (60 units)