Information For

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program is designed to develop effective, ethical, culturally competent professionals for direct social work practice with diverse populations, such as those found in the San Diego region. CSUSM's MSW program prepares San Diego area students to practice in a variety of settings including public, private, and nonprofit agencies and organizations in social services, child welfare services, human services, healthcare, and mental health.

The MSW degree requires the completion of 60 graduate units, and may be completed in 2 (full time) or 3 (part time) years. Students choose one of two concentrations for their program: Children, Youth, and Families (CYF), or Behavioral Health (BH).


The MSW program at Cal State San Marcos offers the following two concentrations for the students' advanced year:

Children, Youth and Families (CYF) 

The Children, Youth and Families concentration focuses on a myriad of issues impacting diverse family systems including, but not limited to, substance abuse, domestic violence, incarceration, and child abuse and neglect.  CYF courses prepare students to assume practice and leadership roles and responsibilities in: public child welfare programs such as child protection, placement, and adoption; school-based services; and in major public service systems including mental health, physical health, and corrections.  Special populations of focus in the CYF concentration include indigenous and native populations, and displaced peoples such as the homeless, refugees, and immigrants.

Focusing on prevention, crisis intervention, and treatment, the CYF curriculum provides students with opportunities to increase their scope and depth of knowledge, values, and skills for social work practice with children, youth, and families at the individual, community, and broader socio-political levels; with a bandwidth much larger than just public child welfare.

Behavioral Health (BH)

The Behavioral Health concentration focuses on the promotion of health and prevention among vulnerable populations impacted by health disparities. The advanced curriculum provides students with opportunities to expand their scope and depth of knowledge, values, and skills for holistic social work practice with individuals facing physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual health challenges. This integrative curriculum, grounded in the ecological framework, exposes students to mind, body, and spirit perspectives for working with diverse populations within community and institutional systems.

Utilizing a risk and resiliency framework, special populations of focus in the Behavioral Health concentration include, but are not limited to, military personnel, veterans, and families, and other individuals who are impacted by life altering events that may include interpersonal and community violence, substance abuse, and displacement.

Request for Information: