Social Work, M.S.W. Program
The Department of Social Work offers graduate study leading to the Master of Social Work (M.S.W.). This program trains social workers for leadership and direct practice positions in social work and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The program has a multicultural focus, preparing graduates to work in both non-profit and public agencies and to be proficient in serving diverse populations in urban communities.
The mission of the California State University, East Bay Master of Social Work program is to graduate culturally responsive urban social workers in the areas of Children, Youth, and Families and Community Mental Health. Social work graduates are prepared to address individual, family, group, and community needs caused by inequalities of class and identity including race, ethnicity, gender, age, (dis)ability, sexual orientation, and other forms of social injustice. Advocacy and social change around these injustices form the core of the MSW program.
Our vision is to create a cadre of diverse leaders to be catalysts for social change and transform oppressive systems in partnership with the communities we serve.
Graduates of the M.S.W. program are prepared to work with individuals, families, groups, and organizations in both public and non-profit practice. The State of California is experiencing a shortage of individuals prepared for leadership roles in social work practice. The State also has a critical shortage of social workers trained at the master’s level, and the demand is expected to increase. Social Workers are needed to work with a variety of populations, including individuals with serious health and behavioral health issues, children and families involved in the child welfare system, older adults, individuals with disabilities, and people living in poverty.
The M.S.W. degree program is open to students planning a career in social work who have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and who have earned an overall grade point average of 2.8 (on a 4.0 scale). Students with a GPA below 2.8 may be admitted based on an evaluation of their student profile, including work experience, resume, letters of recommendation, and personal statement (see below).
In addition to the online university application at CALSTATE Apply, all applicants should submit:
- A completed departmental application form;
- A personal statement (3 pages) with their application stating their reasons for pursuing the M.S.W. degree, describing their relevant work experience, and explaining their past academic performance;
- Three letters of recommendation (letters from prior instructors and/or supervisors preferred); and
- A resume. Successful experience in social work or social work-related positions will be considered in evaluating applications.
- Admission to the university and admission to the M.S.W. degree program are separate steps. It is suggested that application for admission to the university be filed together with the form for entry into the degree program.
Student Standing and Progress Toward the Degree
There are three categories of student status that reflect student progress toward the degree:
- Students are in “Conditionally Classified Graduate” status when they have been admitted to the M.S.W. degree program, but have not yet completed the prerequisites for the “Classified Graduate” status in the M.S.W. degree program.
- Students achieve “Classified Graduate” status when they have satisfactorily completed all the prerequisites for the M.S.W. degree program and satisfied the MCC-GRADIR- Graduation Requirement in Writing Proficiency [GRADUATE] (GDRP) . (See “Prerequisites for ‘Classified Graduate’ Status” below.)
- Students are “Advanced to Candidacy” when they have completed the core courses with a “C” or better in all courses.
Please note that a minimum of 42 units must be completed in residence after admission to the program.
Note: If the student fails to maintain progress by falling below a 3.0 GPA in the graduate courses for two or more consecutive semesters, it will lead to academic disqualification from the university.
Cause for Dismissal from Program
Students may be dismissed from the program at any time “for cause.” “For cause” includes, but is not limited to, poor academic or fieldwork performance, as well as behavior that is destructive to students or faculty, and/or interferes with the educational environment, and/or represents a threat to potential clients. “For cause” also includes student behaviors that are inconsistent with the legal, ethical, and/or personal responsibilities of professional social workers.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Values and Ethics: Demonstrate ethical decision making and behavior guided by the NASW Code of Ethics and other relevant codes.
- Professional Use of Self: Apply use of self as an autonomous professional tool of engagement and collaboration, demonstrated by self-awareness, bias-reduction, sound judgment, the ability to integrate supervisory feedback, and a commitment to ongoing learning.
- Critical Thinking: Critically analyze and synthesize information related to evidence-informed social work intervention, prevention, assessment, planning, policies, evaluation and research.
- Applying Theory: Apply theoretical material to urban social work practice, grounded in a strength-based, empowering, and ecological systems perspective.
- Advocacy: Advocate for sustainable well-being, build capacity and advance social justice for clients and communities, and create innovative solutions in complex social contexts.
- Diversity: Engage with diverse populations from positions of cultural humility and respect for identity, embracing a commitment to culturally competent and responsive services.
- Communication: Demonstrate effective written and oral communication across diverse client and social service systems.
Social Work Degree Requirements (60 units)
Prerequisites or Foundation Requirements
As prerequisites to “Classified Graduate” status, students must satisfy the University Writing Skills Requirement and have satisfactorily completed STAT 1000 or equivalent, and a course in human biology or anatomy and physiology with a grade of “C” or better. For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see the Testing Office website at www.csueastbay.edu/testing or call 510.885.3661.
The following 32 units of coursework are required:
Select one (1) course for 4 units from the following:
Students must select one (1) concentration for 20 units listed below:
Children, Youth, and Families Concentration
Take the following 20 units of coursework to complete the concentration requirements:
Social Work, M.S.W. Capstone Requirement
Students have three choices for completing a capstone experience in the MSW program. The first choice is the Integrative Seminar, SW 693. This integrative seminar provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the core student learning outcomes of the MSW program. Students, in cooperation with faculty and agency supervisors, complete an agency-focused project or research on a topic focused on social work practice and advocacy.
The second is the Departmental Thesis, SW 699. Students may either sign up individually with a faculty advisor or meet with their advisor in a scheduled graduate course. A faculty member serves as director of the departmental thesis. An oral defense is required. Two copies of the departmental thesis are required for the department.
The third and final choice is a University Thesis, SW 691. This choice is supervised by a faculty committee and follows a university specified format.
Note: A grade of “RP” (Report in Progress) may be given for a thesis that is not completed at the end of the semester. The “RP” grade must be changed to a passing grade within five (5) years of your initial enrollment in a thesis course, or it will become an “F.”
Other Graduate & Post-Baccalaureate Degree Requirements
In addition to departmental requirements, every student must also satisfy the University requirements for graduation as described throughout this catalog. These include the 70% unit residence requirement; the five-year rule on currency of subject matter; the minimum number of units in 600-level courses; the “C” minimum grade for each graduate course; the 3.00 cumulative grade point average; and the University Writing Skills Requirement.
Note: For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see Graduate Degree Requirements & Policies or call the Testing Office at (510) 885-3661.
Department Courses Listed by Course Type
Social Work Courses
Department of Social Work
Go to information for this department.
Social Work: Graduate
- • SW 600 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment
- • SW 601 - Race, Gender, and Inequality
- • SW 602 - Introduction to Social Welfare Policy
- • SW 603 - Introduction to Social Welfare Research
- • SW 611 - Generalist Practice I
- • SW 612 - Generalist Practice II
- • SW 621A - Advanced Practice I: Children, Youth, and Families: Individuals and Families
- • SW 621B - Advanced Practice II: Children, Youth, and Families: Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- • SW 622A - Advanced Practice I: Community Mental Health: Individuals and Families
- • SW 622B - Advanced Practice II: Community Mental Health: Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- • SW 630 - The Recovery Model in Community Mental Health
- • SW 631 - Advanced Psychosocial Assessment and Diagnosis
- • SW 632 - Family Violence Across the Lifespan
- • SW 633 - Assessment and Treatment of Substance Abuse in Social Work Practice
- • SW 634 - Legal Issues in Social Work Practice
- • SW 689 - Community-Based Research in Social Work Practice
- • SW 690 - Independent Study
- • SW 691 - University Thesis
- • SW 693 - Integrative Project
- • SW 695A - Social Work Practicum I
- • SW 695B - Social Work Practicum II
- • SW 695C - Social Work Practicum III
- • SW 695D - Social Work Practicum IV
- • SW 697 - Issues in Social Work
- • SW 699 - Departmental Thesis