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Department of Social Work College of Social and Behavioral Sciences California State University, Northridge

  • Northridge, CA
  • Public
  • Urban
  • 62%38%
    student ratio
  • Not Reported
    total students
  • Not Reported
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • January 15
    fall application deadline
  • Not Reported
    acceptance rate
  • 1 Degree
    degrees/awards offered


Master of Social Work Program at California State University, Northridge

California State University, Northridge offers a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree program designed to meet the needs of working adults.

The university provides flexible delivery options (online and off-campus locations) that allow students to earn their degrees in 2 to 3 years. It also provides a cohesive environment that includes ongoing support from program managers and distance learning staff members as well as excellent instruction and personalized attention from distinguished faculty members.

The program's innovative curriculum, which has accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education, offers a generalist approach to social work and emphasizes urban family practice. Thus, students gain the expertise and perspective to improve quality of life at all levels: individuals/families (micro level), groups/communities (mezzo level), and systems and policies (macro level).

M.S.W. Degree Program Structure

The online M.S.W. degree program can be completed in 2 years of full-time study. Classes, except for a weekly synchronous field education class, are asynchronous so students can attend class and access course materials according to their schedules.

The off-campus program is offered at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (for DPSS employees) in City of Industry. It can be completed in 3 years of part-time study.

The Master of Social Work is a cohort degree program that allows students to progress through the program together, thus allowing them to build valuable professional relationships. Students also benefit from year round classes, guaranteed enrollment in classes, and fixed class schedules.

A Community-oriented, Urban Family Practice Model

The program's curriculum is rooted in a community-oriented, strengths-based, urban family practice model. It also promotes social justice, including sensitivity to multicultural populations. It incorporates the field's history, philosophy, and purposes and emphasizes critical and creative thinking. This allows graduates to develop, adapt, and assess interventions for urban families while remaining cognizant to significant national and global issues.

Online and Offline M.S.W. Degree Program Coursework

The online M.S.W. degree program curriculum consists of 20 courses (60 units) including field education (16 hours per week during the entire program).

The off-campus M.S.W. degree program curriculum (in Santa Clarita) has 63 units of coursework (21 classes) including field education. Three units satisfy additional criteria for the Council on Social Work's fieldwork requirements.

The off-campus M.S.W. degree program curriculum (in City of Industry) contains 22 courses (66 units) including fieldwork. Six units satisfy additional criteria for the Council on Social Work's fieldwork requirement.

Courses include "Human Behavior and Social Environment," "Generalist Social Work Theory and Practice," "Social Work Practice in Multicultural Settings," "Social Welfare Policy and Services," and "Urban Social Policy and Advocacy."

Additional Courses include "Research Methods for Social Knowledge and Practice;" "Advanced Social Work Practice with Urban Families;" "Family Crisis, Trauma, and Grief;" "Practice DSM-IV-TR;" and "Graduate Project."

The graduate project is an individual or a group research endeavor that reflects students' professional interests in working with urban families.

Field Education

Field education allows students to apply theory, policy, and research to social work practice. The university's setting in the heart of San Fernando Valley allows students to work with vulnerable populations and develop an appreciation of the planned-change process.

Practica include "Foundations of Field Education I," "Foundations of Field Education II," "Advanced Field Practicum with Urban Families," and "Advanced Field Practicum with Urban Families II."

Admissions Criteria

Admissions criteria for the Master of Social Work degree program include a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, a minimum GPA of 2.5, good standing at the last college attended, and GRE scores (for applicants with GPAs below 3.0).

Applicants each complete an online application that includes a personal statement, resume, official transcripts, and 3 letters of recommendation.

Career Opportunities

An M.S.W. degree from California State University, Northridge prepares students for careers as administrators, community advocates, counselors, direct service providers, policy makers, researchers, service workers, and supervisors.

Graduates secure positions in diverse settings including community organizations, government agencies, healthcare centers, and schools.

Experienced Faculty Members

M.S.W. degree program faculty members -- like Judy DeBonis, Ph.D., M.S.W. -- advance social work education and practice, and contribute to the well-being of individuals, families, schools, and communities. Dr. DeBonis has more than 25 years of experience in clinical practice, research, program development, and teaching.

Professor Bartle, Ph.D., M.S.W. is a skilled practitioner with experience as a caseworker and youth counselor. He is also a prolific researcher in several areas including child welfare supervision, hate crimes, public assistance, and workplace policy.

Professor James T. Decker, Ph.D., L.C.S.W. is an accomplished researcher, educator, administrator, and clinician with more than 25 years of experience in private practice. He has published numerous juried articles and book chapters, directed 3 M.S.W. programs, and served as executive director of a behavioral health organization.

Tseng College: Graduate, International, and Midcareer Education

The Tseng College at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) administers the Master of Social Work degree program. The college offers relevant graduate and certificate programs that prepare students for leadership positions in emerging fields.

To accommodate the needs of working professionals, programs are offered online, on-campus, and off-campus as well as in blended formats. Classes meet during evenings and on weekends.

California State University, Northridge

Established in 1958, California State University, Northridge is located in Northridge, California in the western region of the United States. CSUN offers nearly 36,000 students 64 baccalaureate, 58 master's, and 55 teaching credential programs as well as 2 doctoral programs.

Its rigorous and cutting-edge curricula ensure that students with diverse backgrounds, academic needs, and career goals receive superior educations at state-university costs.

Location & Contact

Department of Social Work

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
California State University, Northridge

18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330
United States

Dr. James Decker


Phone: 818-677-7630

Phone: 818-677-3755

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Social Work Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Not reported
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied Not Reported
    • Accepted Not Reported
    • Acceptance Rate Not Reported
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic Not Reported
    • Application Fee - International Not Reported
    • Electronic applications accepted? Not Reported
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 15th Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE (if cumulative undergraduate GPA less than 3.0)
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesNot Reported


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty21
    • Full-time Percentage29%
    • Part-time Percentage71%
    • Female Percentage71%
    • Male Percentage29%



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