MSW Degree Requirements

The School of Social Work offers courses leading to the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and is designed to provide for the education of advanced social work practitioners. The program is based upon the requirements of the Council on Social Work Education, the national accrediting body for social work programs. All MSW courses are held on the main campus in San Bernardino or online via the Pathway Distance Education Program.

There are currently no plans to teach MSW classes at our Palm Desert Campus.

The MSW program is structured into three models:

  • Model 1 offers 6 quarters of course work leading to the MSW degree within two academic years. This option is intended for students who can devote their time and attention to full-time, intensive study.
  • Model 2 offers the same course work over three to four academic years.
  • Model 3 is the Pathway Program, which offers the three year program via distance education and is intended for students who live too far away to attend courses at the main CSUSB campus or are in a work/personal situation that makes attendance at CSUSB impractical.

It must be emphasized that an MSW program is very demanding of time and energy. The three-year part-time program is not designed for students who must work 40 hours per week. It is necessary for these students to reduce their hours of employment.

The MSW curriculum in the Foundation year, consists of courses in human behavior and the social environment, practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities, policy practice, and research. In the concentration year, students select a specialization which can be a social issue, client population, or field of practice. Students apply assignments and their research projects to their chosen specialization. Listed below are some examples of some specializations:

Social Issue

  • Homelessness
  • Substance Abuse
  • Domestic Violence
  • Child Abuse
  • Poverty and Public Welfare
  • Racism and Ethnocentrism
  • Sexism
  • Spirituality

Client Population

  • Children
  • Elderly
  • Families
  • People living with HIV/AIDS
  • Minority Ethnic Group(s)
  • Immigrants and Refugees
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Population
  • Substance Abusers
  • Rural Populations
  • Inner City Populations
  • Gang Members

Field of Practice

  • Child Welfare
  • Mental Health
  • School Social Work
  • Gerontological Social Work
  • Social Work in the Health Care System
  • Physical and Mental Disabilities and Rehabilitation
  • Correctional Services
  • Social Work in the Work Place
  • Substance Abuse
  • International Social Work