California Schools for Master's in Social Work Programs

Students can earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) at one of several schools throughout California, where many programs enable students who have a bachelor's degree in social work to enter advanced tracks and bypass core courses. Keep reading to learn about the programs, credit requirements, and tuition figures. Schools offering Addictions & Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Azusa Pacific University

Azusa Pacific University has a Master of Social Work program that consists of 60 credit hours and can be completed through full-time or part-time study as well as a 36 credit-hour advanced standing option for qualified students. The program offers concentrations in clinical practice with individuals & families or community leadership & program administration and enables students to customize their experience further by taking elective courses such as marital therapy, military social work, and Spanish/bilingual practice.

California Baptist University

The Master of Social Work program at California Baptist University consists of 60 credit hours with core courses in social research, case management, and human behavior. Students can pursue a concentration in community social work practice or clinical social work and choose from elective courses such as elder abuse, human rights, displaced populations, and grief.

California State University - Bakersfield

California State University at Bakersfield offers an advanced generalist MSW program that allows students to choose a concentration in mental health, child & family services, or gerontology/health social work. Students can choose full-time or part-time study and complete their program in as few as two years (60 credit hours, regular) or one year (30 credit hours, advanced standing).

California State University - Chico

The Master of Social Work programs at CSU - Chico have an advanced generalist concentration with optional focus areas in families, children & youth services, gerontology, and mental health services. The school offers a one-year program for qualified BSW students that consists of 34 to 36 credit hours, a two-year program for standard students that consists of 59 to 61 credit hours through full-time study, and a three-year distributed program that also consists of 59 to 61 credit hours but through part-time study (admits students every three years).

Humboldt State University

The advanced generalist MSW program at Humboldt State University emphasizes multiple approaches, ethics, and compassion in social work. Standard students are required to complete 60 credit hours in two years (full-time) or 3.5 years (part-time), and advanced standing students can complete the required 30 credit hours in one or two years.

Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University has a traditional on-campus and hybrid MSW program that can be completed in two to four years (78 quarter units/52 credit hours), as well as a one-year advanced standing program (53 quarter units/35 credit hours). The programs have a clinical practice concentration, and students can also pursue a dual degree in criminal justice or gerontology.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University offers three Master of Social Work programs: the MSW Advanced Standing Program (MSW-ASP) consists of 38 credit hours and is built to be completed in one year; the SDSU-IV program is a three-year cohort program at the Calexico campus that consists of 60 credit hours; the standard MSW program can be completed in two years and consists of 60 credit hours. Students in any program can choose a concentration in direct practice/clinical or administration & community development with a sub-focus in health/aging, mental health, or children/youth/families. SDSU also offers MSW dual degrees in law and public health.

San Francisco State University

The Master of Social Work program at San Francisco State University consists of 60 credit hours and allows students to concentrate their program in school social work, individuals, families, & groups, and/or child welfare. Students who have earned a BSW can request to have some courses transferred but will need to take elective courses to meet the credit hour requirements.

University of Southern California

University of Southern California has a Master of Social Work program that can be completed in four, six, or eight semesters with one of the following concentrations: adult mental health & wellness, social change & innovation, military social work, or children, youth & families. Students will complete 60 credit hours (as few as 37 for advanced standing students) and can also pursue one of eight dual degrees including public health, gerontology, and business administration.

School Name Programs Offered Average Graduate Tuition (2018-2019)*
Azusa Pacific University MSW
Clinical Practice with Individuals & Families
Community Leadership & Program Administration
$17,112
California Baptist University MSW
Clinical Social Work
Community Social Work Practice
$13,420
California State University - Bakersfield Advanced Standing MSW
MSW
Child & Family Services
Gerontology/Health Social Work
Mental Health
$7,176 in-state
$16,680 out-of-state
California State University - Chico One-Year MSW
Two-Year MSW
Three-Year MSW
Families, Children, & Youth Services
Gerontology
Mental Health Services
$7,176 in-state
$16,680 out-of-state
Humboldt State University MSW
Advanced Generalist
$7,176 in-state
$16,680 out-of-state
Loma Linda University Advanced Standing MSW
Online/Hybrid MSW
Traditional MSW
Clinical Practice
2 Dual-Degree Options
$26,080
San Diego State University MSW
MSW-ASP
SDSU-IV MSW
Administration & Community Development
Children/Youth/Families
Direct Practice/Clinical
Health/Aging
Mental Health
2 Dual-Degree Options
$7,176 in-state
$16,680 out-of-state
San Francisco State University MSW
Child Welfare
Individuals, Families, & Groups
School Social Work
$7,176 in-state
$16,680 out-of-state
University of Southern California MSW
Adult Mental Health & Wellness
Children, Youth & Families
Military Social Work
Social Change & Innovation
8 Dual-Degree Options
$44,712

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Several schools throughout California offer social work master's degree programs that enable students with a bachelor's degree to earn a Master of Social Work in as little as one or two years, depending on undergraduate studies. Many programs offer MSW concentrations that further prepare graduates for specific areas of social work such as gerontology, school social work, and families.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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