The Master of Social Work (MSW) program is designed to develop culturally competent, ethical, and effective professionals for direct social work practice with diverse populations. The MSW program will prepare students for direct 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/behavioral health.
The CSUSM MSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
The MSW degree requires the completion of 60 graduate units, and may be completed in two or three years. Students choose one of two concentrations for their program: Children, Youth, and Families (CYF), or Behavioral Health (BH).
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. The CYF concentration also prepares students to address issues related to in public child welfare programs such as child protection, foster care placement, and adoption. These courses also prepare students to practice in non-child welfare settings such as 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 children with social, emotional, and behavioral problems, survivors of trauma, military families, and populations at risk.
Focusing on prevention, crisis intervention, and treatment, the CYF curriculum provides students with opportunities to increase their breadth and depth of knowledge, values, and skills for social work practice with children, youth, and families at the individual, group, community, and broader socio-political levels; with a scope much larger than just public child welfare.
Behavioral Health (BH)
The Behavioral Health concentration focuses on the promotion of health and prevention of health disparities among vulnerable populations. 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 multiple perspectives for working with diverse populations within community and institutional settings.
Utilizing a risk and resiliency framework, special populations of focus in the Behavioral Health concentration include, but are not limited to, individuals with mental illness, military personnel, veterans, and their families; and other individuals who are impacted by life altering events that may include interpersonal and community violence, and substance abuse.