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Master of Social Work: Curriculum

Our Master of Social Work (MSW) program provides you with a theoretical and professional practice focused curriculum in social work that promotes an understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity and its importance to competent advanced generalist practice.

The 60-credit MSW program begins in the fall. The full-time, two-year program requires five semesters (summer included). The part-time regular track takes three years; students must register for at least six credits in the fall, spring and summer terms, are required to follow the plan for appropriate course sequencing, and must complete degree requirements within six years.

If you're a student with advanced standing (bachelor's degrees in social work from CSWE accredited programs), review our advanced standing curriculum.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of 12 credits of prior MSW course work and three credits of related graduate course work may be submitted for faculty review. Transfer credits must have been completed within six years of entrance into the program, must have a grade of "B" or better and must be the equivalent of any courses they replace. No credit is given for life experiences, previous work experiences or non-course credit work.

Get a description of each of Cal U's social work courses from our Course Catalog.

Below is a recommended framework of courses to earn your MSW degree.

Full-time Regular Program (57 credits):
Course NameCredits
Foundation Year, Fall Term
*SWK 701 Generalist Practice I3
*SWK 705 Human Behavior and the Social Environment3
*SWK 709 Social Welfare Policy, Services and Program Design3
SWK Elective3


Foundation Year, Spring Term
*SWK 702 Generalist Practice II3
*SWK 707 Human Diversity3
*SWK 716 Social Work Research Methodology and Data Analysis3
SWK 730 First Year Field Practicum I6


Concentration Year Two, Fall Term
SWK 801 Advanced Generalist Practice3
SWK 803 Differential Assessment3
SWK 806 Rural Family and Community Policy3
SWK 829 Advanced Field Practicum I6


Concentration Year Two, Spring Term
SWK 808 Advanced Practice Evaluation 3
SWK 812 Practice in Supervision and Administration3
SWK Elective3
SWK 830 Advanced Field Practicum II6

*May be waived through examination

Full-time Advanced Standing Program (39 credits):
Course NameCredits
Fall Term
SWK 705 Human Behavior and the Social Environment3
SWK 715 Research, Policy and Rural Social Work Practice3
SWK 801 Advanced Generalist Practice3
SWK 829 Advanced Field Practicum I6


Spring Term
SWK 812 Practice in Supervision and Administration3
SWK 808 Advanced Practice Evaluation3
SWK 830 Advanced Field Practicum II6
SWK Practice Elective3


Fall Term
SWK 803 Differential Assessment3
SWK 806 Rural Family and Community Policy3
SWK Elective3
Advanced Practice Special Topics
Course NameCredits
SWK 811 Practice with Aging in Rural and Small Town Environments3
SWK 813 Practice in Health Care and Health Planning in Rural and Small Town Environments3
SWK 814 Practice in Mental Health/Mental Retardation in Rural and Small Town Environments3
SWK 815 Juvenile and Adult Justice System Practice in Rural and Small Town Environments3
SWK 816 Practice with Children and Youth in Rural and Small Town Environments3
SWK 821 Social Work with Substance Abuse/Addictions in Rural and Small Town Environments3
SWK 840 Electives (varied)3

Field Practicum: The program makes extensive use of a wide variety of practicum sites.