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California Social Work Programs and Degrees Guide

Individuals who feel inspired to help others may want to consider a career in social work. These professionals get to positively impact others by ensuring that vulnerable populations achieve what they need to thrive. Social workers aid healthcare professionals, government associations, and nonprofits to make sure their clients live healthy and safe lives.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for social workers to grow 11% from 2018 through 2028, a rate much faster than average. If this career interests you, keep reading to learn how to obtain a California social work license and what kind of social work jobs in California are available.

Employment Outlook for Social Workers in California

Projected Job Growth and Average Salaries for Social Workers in California
Social Work Career Job Growth (2016-26) Average Annual Salary
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers 16.3% $61,640
Healthcare Social Workers 20.9% $76,450
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 12.9% $59,500
Social Workers, All Other 7.3% $72,200
Median Salaries for Social Workers by Degree Level (U.S.)
Bachelor of Social Work $49,000
Master of Social Work $52,000
Doctor of Social Work $68,000

Social Work Licensure in California

To earn a California social work license, you must earn a degree, acquire supervised hours, and pass a licensing exam. The Association of Social Work Boards requires you to earn a degree from a college or university with programmatic accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education, Canadian Association for Social Work Education, or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. In some cases, the board accepts a bachelor's degree from a field other than social work.

Aspiring social workers in California must attain 3,000 supervised hours to earn a clinical license. Most California schools design their program to fit California licensing requirements, so if you intend to practice in California upon graduation, consider earning your degree from a California school. You must take both a law and ethics and a clinical exam to earn your license. You can prepare with practice exams.

Individuals who feel drawn to the field and want to work in the Golden State should spend time researching requirements for a California social work license.

Should You Earn an Online Social Work Degree in California?

If you find it challenging to attend on-campus classes, consider earning your degree online. This convenient learning format allows you to earn a degree while managing work and family commitments. Aside from convenience, earning your degree online can help you save money since you avoid activities fees and commuting costs. In addition, distance learners usually receive the same in-state tuition rate as state residents.

To succeed as an online distance learner, you must stay motivated without constant supervision.

During your online studies, you can refine your time management and organization skills. You also develop soft skills, such as patience, interpersonal communication, active listening, and problem-solving abilities. The hard skills you gain, which are much easier to quantify than soft skills, include researching community resources, balancing a client's budget, and memorizing laws that affect the social work field.

To succeed as an online distance learner, you must stay motivated without constant supervision. You must also possess self-motivation and keep close track of deadlines. Your first semester of online learning might be an adjustment, but with enough effort, you can succeed in your studies. Most online learners love the convenience and ability to work from anywhere. This means you can advance your career from the comfort of home or the excitement of a foreign country.

Online Social Work Programs by Degree Level

Online Bachelor's
  1. Brandman University
  2. California State University-Chico
  3. Touro University Worldwide
Online Master's
  1. University of Southern California
  2. California State University-San Bernardino
  3. San Jose State University
  4. California State University-Northridge
  5. California State University-Stanislaus
  6. Humboldt State University
Online Doctorate
  1. University of Southern California

Online Bachelor's Social Work Programs in California

Brandman University -- Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Located in Irvine, Brandman University operates campuses throughout the state, as well as a robust virtual college. Brandman's School of Arts and Sciences offers a 120-credit BA in social work that prepares learners for a variety of roles in gerontology, mental health care, child and family social work, probation/correctional treatment, and substance abuse treatment.

The program offers fully online and hybrid formats. Learners who choose a hybrid format complete some on-campus classes in the evenings. The degree requires 42 general education credits in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. The rest of the curriculum for this California social work degree focuses on the 42-credit core and electives. Learners use elective credits to focus on special populations, such as domestic violence victims, at-risk youth, members of the military, and child abuse victims.

Students earning this BA in social work receive hands-on experience when they complete a 400-hour supervised field experience. Brandman does not offer this program in all states.

Accreditation

  • Brandman University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
  • Brandman University's BA in social work is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).

Admissions

  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Prerequisites: 12 or more baccalaureate-level transfer credits or completion of the Brandman Track

Tuition

  • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $500 per credit/$500 per credit
  • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $660 per credit/$660 per credit
  • Notes: Active-duty military personnel and their spouses enjoy steep tuition discounts.

Academics

  • Online Social Work Programs: BA in social work
  • Program Length: 4 years, 120 credits
  • Information Relevant for Transfer Students: Students may apply military service and coursework and alternative credits and equivalencies to meet the 12-credit prerequisite threshold.

Social Work Coursework

  • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes, 400 hours
  • Capstone/Thesis Required?: No
  • Core Courses: Social policy; social work foundations interview and assessment skills in social work; social welfare; diversity and justice in a global society; human behavior and the social environment; social work practice with individuals and families, groups, communities, and organizations

Student Support

  • Technical Support: Yes

California State University, Chico -- Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Founded in 1887, California State University, Chico is the second-oldest campus in the CSU system. Since 1988, the school has ranked among the best regional universities in the West, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

Faculty designed the school's degree completion BA in social work for learners with at least two years of college experience. Learners can choose an accelerated two-year degree plan or a three-year, part-time degree plan. Students complete two-thirds of this hybrid program online and the remaining third in a face-to-face format. They attend on-campus classes two weekends per semester.

In addition to the social work core, students use elective credits to take courses in one of three areas: gerontology; mental health; or families, children, and youth services. Students complete 16 hours of field experience per week over the course of two semesters, totaling 480 hours. Students in this California social work program enjoy access to events and activities sponsored by the Student Association of Social Work, including informational speakers and leadership activities.

Accreditation

  • California State University, Chico is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
  • California State University, Chico's BA in social work is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).

Admissions

  • Minimum GPA: 2.1
  • Prerequisites: At least 60 transferable units and eight prerequisite courses completed with a "C" or better
  • Other Admission Requirements: Documented in-progress or completion of 60 volunteer hours at a social service agency

Tuition

  • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $2,699 for 0-6 units, $3,905 for 6.1+ units; nonresidents pay an additional $396/unit
  • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $3,116 for 0-6 units, $4,622 for 6.1+ units; nonresidents pay an additional $396/unit

Academics

  • Online Social Work Programs: Online BSW and MSW
  • Program Length: 2-3 years, depending on transfer credits

Social Work Coursework

  • Tracks/Concentrations: No
  • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes, 480 hours
  • Capstone/Thesis Required?: Yes, students complete a social work methods capstone.
  • Core Courses: Social welfare institutions, diversity and social justice, human behaviors across the lifespan
  • In-person Requirements: Two on-campus weekends per semester

Touro University Worldwide -- Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Touro University Worldwide offers a fully online BA in social work that trains students to work with individuals, families, groups, and communities. Students learn how to employ evidence-based strategies in their social work practice. The 120-credit curriculum includes general education classes and a 51-credit major. Through electives, students learn how to address the needs of vulnerable groups, such as victims of domestic violence, at-risk youth, and older adults.

Students pursuing this California social work degree must complete a 450-hour supervised practicum experience. Faculty deliver the program using eight-week courses. Students who take a full course load of 12 credits per semester for three semesters each year can graduate in 3.5 years. Students who enroll part time, taking six credits per semester for three semesters each academic year, earn this BA in social work in seven years.

Accreditation

  • Touro University Worldwide is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
  • Touro University Worldwide's BA in social work is in candidacy for accreditation by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).

Admissions

  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED

Tuition

  • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $400 per credit /$400 per credit
  • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $500 per credit/$500 per credit

Academics

  • Online Social Work Programs: BA in social work; MS in human services
  • Program Length: 3.5 years, 120 credits
  • Information Relevant for Transfer Students: Students may transfer up to 90 credits toward their BA in social work. They may transfer equivalent social work courses from another BSW program on a case-by-case basis.

Social Work Coursework

  • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes, 450 hours
  • Capstone/Thesis Required?: Yes
  • Core Courses: Introduction to social work; social justice and diversity; interviewing and assessing child welfare services; ethics and social policy; human behavior and the social environment; social work practice with individuals and families, groups, communities, and organizations

Student Support

  • Technical Support: Yes

Online Master's Social Work Programs in California

University of Southern California -- Master of Social Work

A leading private research college, the University of Southern California enrolls more than 47,000 students each year. USC's School of Social Work was one of the first research colleges to offer a master of social work online.

This MSW program offers a 60-credit traditional track and 37-credit advanced standing track. Faculty deliver the curriculum for this California social work degree through virtual classrooms that use breakout rooms for students to work together, opportunities for live chats, and document sharing.

The online MSW program incorporates a unique feature for students in the traditional MSW program: 210 hours of virtual field education in an intimate classroom. Students work in small group sessions role-playing with an actor who portrays a client. Students in both the traditional and advanced standing programs also complete 790 hours of field placements in their own communities.

USC's School of Social Work works with students to ensure field placement sites meet the school’s standards.

Accreditation

  • The University of Southern California is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
  • The University of Southern California's master of social work is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).

Admissions

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s from a regionally accredited college
  • GRE required?: No
  • Other Admission Requirements: Experience providing service to people is preferred

Tuition

  • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $1,928 per unit/$1,928 per unit
  • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $1,928 per unit/$1,928 per unit

Academics

  • Online Social Work Programs: Traditional MSW; advanced standing MSW
  • Program Length: Traditional MSW: 2 years, 60 credits; advanced standing MSW: 1 year, 37 credits

Social Work Coursework

  • Tracks/Concentrations: Adult mental health and wellness; child, youth, and families; social change and innovation; military social work; school social work
  • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Traditional MSW program: 210 hours of virtual field education; advanced standing and traditional programs: 790 hours of community-based field education
  • Capstone/Thesis Required?: No
  • Core Courses: Science of social work; human behavior and the social environment; policy and advocacy in professional social work; integrative learning for social work practice; social work practice with individuals; families and groups; applied learning in field education; diversity, social justice, and culturally competent social work practice
  • In-person Requirements: No

Student Support

  • Technical Support: Yes
  • Special Services Provided to Online Students: Online library services, tutoring and writing coaches, and virtual one-on-one writing sessions

California State University, San Bernardino -- Master of Social Work

Set in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, California State University, San Bernardino enrolls about 20,000 students each year. The school offers 70 programs, including online options.

Students can earn the school's 90-quarter-unit master of social work online through the Pathway Distance Education Program. This three-year program offers an MSW generalist core in the first two years followed by a year of concentration courses. Concentration options include homeslessness, domestic violence, child abuse, immigrants and refugees, and correctional services.

Students complete 900 hours of field education at approved agencies in areas such as mental health, child welfare, school-based counseling, gerontology, and forensic social work. While faculty designed this California social work degree for nontraditional learners, the program's rigor does not suit full-time professionals.

Accreditation

  • California State University, San Bernardino is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
  • California State University, San Bernardino's master of social work is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).

Admissions

  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • GRE required?: No

Tuition

  • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $1,110 for 0-6 units, $1,914 for 6.1+ units; nonresidents pay an additional $264/unit
  • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $1,388 for 0-6 units, $2,392 for 6.1+ units; nonresidents pay an additional $264/unit
  • Notes: The MSW program costs $400/unit.
  • Academics

    • Online Social Work Programs: MSW; BASW
    • Program Length: 3 years, 90 quarter units

    Social Work Coursework

    • Tracks/Concentrations: 31 concentration options include homeslessness, domestic violence, child abuse, children, elderly, immigrants and refugees, and correctional services
    • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes, 900 hours
    • Capstone/Thesis Required?: No
    • Core Courses: Foundation micro practice I, II, III; foundation macro practice I, II, III; special work research; human behavior in the social environment: birth through adolescence; human behavior in the social environment: adulthood and aging
    • In-person Requirements: No

    Student Support

    • Technical Support: Yes

    San Jose State University -- Master of Social Work

    A large school with more than 32,000 students, San Jose State University offers 250 areas of study. In 1969, the university began offering an on-campus master of social work to train students to work with the area's Spanish-speaking population. In 2016, the School of Social Work began offering an online MSW that emphasizes a transcultural perspective, including cultural knowledge, cultural competency, and positionality and self-reflexivity.

    The MSW trains social workers to address the needs of Latinos and other marginalized groups. The online MSW is a part-time program that students complete in two years. Students can complete all courses online. Courses feature asynchronous and synchronous components. The program begins with a foundation year that provides students with generalist skills.

    The second year focuses on a transcultural, multi-systems practice concentration. Students integrate theoretical learning, models, and professional values with a transcultural emphasis at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Learners engage in 900 hours of field experience at California agencies.

    Accreditation

    • San Jose State University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
    • San Jose State University's master of social work is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).

    Admissions

    • Minimum GPA: 2.5
    • Prerequisites: A liberal arts foundation and experience working or volunteering with marginalized groups
    • GRE required?: No
    • Other Admission Requirements: This program only accepts California students.

    Tuition

    • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-state): $3,300 for 0-6 units, $5,742 for 6.1+ units; nonresidents pay an additional $396/unit
    • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-state): $4,164 for 0-6 units, $7,176 for 6.1+ units; nonresidents pay an additional $396/unit
    • Notes: The MSW program costs $475/unit.

    Academics

    • Online Social Work Programs: MSW
    • Program Length: 2 years, 60 units
    • Information Relevant for Transfer Students: Students may transfer in up to 12 credits from a CSWE-accredited master's program.

    Social Work Coursework

    • Tracks/Concentrations: Transcultural multi-systems practice
    • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes, 900 hours
    • Capstone/Thesis Required?: No
    • Core Courses: Social policy and services, social policy analysis, human behavior in the social environment I and II, transcultural generalist practice I and II, transcultural multi-systems practice I and II, multi-systems practice: a Spanish/English framework
    • In-person Requirements: No

    Student Support

    • Technical Support: Yes

    California State University, Northridge -- Master of Social Work

    Situated on a 356-acre campus in San Fernando Valley, California State University, Northridge features a diverse learning community of about 38,000 students. The school was one of the first colleges to offer distance education programs in the U.S., and faculty and staff continue to receive training and support to ensure distance learning excellence.

    Students can pursue a master of social work online. This 60-unit program prepares students to address the needs of vulnerable and at-risk populations at the individual/family, group/community, and societal/policy levels. The MSW emphasizes the social service needs of residents in the Greater Los Angeles and Southern California regions.

    The Department of Social Work delivers the program in two- and three-year formats for full-time and part-time students, respectively. Students can meet for live online classes one night each week or watch recordings of the class at their convenience. MSW participants complete 400-600 hours of field education in their foundation year and 500-700 hours in their concentration year. Students enroll in the program as a cohort to facilitate on-time completion, student interactions, and community building.

    Accreditation

    • California State University, Northridge is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
    • California State University, Northridge's master of social work is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).

    Admissions

    • Minimum GPA: 2.5; 3.0 desired
    • GRE required?: No
    • Other Admission Requirements: Competitive candidates should hold a bachelor's degree in sociology, psychology, or a similar program.

    Tuition

    • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $1,665 for 0-6 units, $2,871 for 6.1+ units; nonresidents pay an additional $396/unit
    • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $2,082 for 0-6 units, $3,588 for 6.1+ units; nonresidents pay an additional $396/unit

    Academics

    • Online Social Work Programs: MSW
    • Program Length: 2-3 years (full-time or part-time basis), 60 units

    Social Work Coursework

    • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes, 400-600 hours in the foundation year and 500-700 hours in the concentration year
    • Capstone/Thesis Required?: Yes, capstone research project required
    • Core Courses: Human behavior and social environment I and II, psychosocial assessment and diagnostic formulation, generalist social work theory and practice, social work practice in multicultural contexts, generalist social work theory and practice II, foundations of field education I and II, social welfare policy and services, advanced social work practice with urban families I and II, family crisis trauma and grief
    • In-person Requirements: No

    Student Support

    • Technical Support: Yes
    • Special Services Provided to Online Students: Students enjoy ongoing support from a designated program manager from the beginning of the program to graduation.

    California State University, Stanislaus -- Master of Social Work

    California State University, Stanislaus enrolls almost 10,000 students annually and operates two campuses in Turlock and Stockton. The master of social work is the school's second most popular graduate program.

    The College of Education, Kinesiology, and Social Work offers a hybrid MSW that students can complete in two years. This 60-unit program trains social workers in core social work practice competencies with a built-in specialization in integrative clinical practice in health and behavioral health settings. The program cultivates social workers who can advance social justice.

    Students complete the program mostly online, attending in-person class sessions one Saturday per month. Participants complete 40 hours of field education per week for three consecutive summer months, totalling 1,000 hours. Students receive field placements primarily in the central California region. Learners cannot work during this practicum period.

    Students pursuing this California social work degree are admitted in the fall.

    Accreditation

    • California State University, Stanislaus is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
    • California State University, Stanislaus's master of social work is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).

    Admissions

    • Minimum GPA: 2.5; 3.0 in the last 60 units preferred
    • Prerequisites: Academic coursework in behavioral and biological sciences related to the human condition. Voluntary and/or paid experience in human services.
    • GRE required?: No

    Tuition

    • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $1,665 for 0-6 units, $2,871 for 6.1+ units; nonresidents pay an additional $396/unit
    • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $2,082 for 0-6 units, $3,588 for 6.1+ units; nonresidents pay an additional $396/unit
    • Notes: Tuition for the entire MSW program is $35,000.

    Academics

    • Online Social Work Programs: MSW
    • Program Length: 2 years, 60 units

    Social Work Coursework

    • Tracks/Concentrations: Integrative clinical practice in health and behavioral health settings
    • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes, 1,000 hours
    • Capstone/Thesis Required?: Students complete a comprehensive exam in their final term.
    • Core Courses: Social welfare policy and services for social justice I and II; psycho-social assessment; human behavior and the social environment I and II; social work practice with trauma survivors; social work research methods; generalist social work practice using a strengths perspective; advanced integrative social work practice with children, adults, and families; advanced integrative social work practice with client-centered groups; advanced social work practice with communities and organizations
    • In-person Requirements: Students attend in-person class sessions one Saturday per month.

    Student Support

    • Technical Support: Yes
    • Special Services Provided to Online Students: Online tutoring

    Humboldt State University -- Master of Social Work

    Founded in 1913, Humboldt State University is part of the 23-campus California State University system. The school enrolls almost 8,000 students annually. Humboldt State offers an online master of social work delivered through the Distributed Learning Community system. The program addresses the needs of individuals in rural communities who are interested in earning an MSW to help strengthen tribal and other communities.

    Students complete the degree mostly online with one four-day campus session each year. The part-time MSW offers traditional and advanced standing programs. Faculty deliver live web sessions every Thursday night, and students complete weekly modules on their own schedule.

    The traditional MSW requires students to complete 960 hours of field education. Learners in the advanced standing program need only complete 480 hours. Humboldt State provides field placements within a network of more than 200 placement settings in Humboldt, Lake, Del Norte, Mendocino, Trinity, and Shasta counties. One of the best online social work programs in California, the program enrolls students in January and June.

    Accreditation

    • Humboldt State University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
    • Humboldt State University's master of social work is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).

    Admissions

    • Minimum GPA: 3.0, traditional program; 3.5, advanced standing
    • Prerequisites: Applicants must pass a Native American Peoples of America course with a "C" or better
    • GRE required?: No
    • Other Admission Requirements: Advanced standing students must hold a CSWE-accredited BSW.

    Tuition

    • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $1,665 for 0-6 units, $2,871 for 6.1+ units; nonresidents pay an additional $396 per unit
    • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $2,082 for 0-6 units, $3,588 for 6.1+ units; nonresidents pay an additional $396 per unit
    • Notes: The MSW program costs $510/unit.

    Academics

    • Online Social Work Programs: Traditional and advanced standing MSW tracks, BASW
    • Program Length: Traditional, 3.5 years; advanced standing, 2 years

    Social Work Coursework

    • Field Education/Practicum Required?: Yes; 960 hours for the traditional program and 480 hours for the advanced standing program
    • Capstone/Thesis Required?: No
    • Core Courses: Distributed learning community courses; social policy; generalist social work practice; qualitative and indigenous research methods; social work practice in Native American and rural communities; human development, diversity, and relationships; generalist social work policy; the dynamics of groups, agencies, organizations, and communities
    • In-person Requirements: One four-day campus session each year

    Online Doctoral Social Work Programs in California

    University of Southern California -- Doctor of Social Work

    The University of Southern California is a leading private research college located in Los Angeles. The school was among the first colleges to offer a doctor of social work online. The two-year program, administered by USC's School of Social Work, prepares scholar-practitioners to address the 12 Grand Challenges outlined by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

    While a Ph.D. prepares scholars for careers in research, this 42-unit DSW prepares working professionals to advance in social work practice. The Grand Challenges link to issues such as social justice and family and child welfare. Social work students address these issues through coursework, residencies, and a capstone project that outlines a viable solution to one of the challenges. Faculty deliver the program through USC's Virtual Academic Center. Students complete two in-person residencies during their third and sixth semesters. Each residency lasts for six days and takes place on the USC campus.

    Admission requires a CSWE-accredited MSW or a related degree, such as a master of public administration, master of public health, or master of science in nursing.

    Accreditation

    • The University of Southern California is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

    Admissions

    • Prerequisites: MSW or a related degree, such as an MPA or MSN

    Tuition

    • Average Undergraduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $1,928/unit; $1928/unit
    • Average Graduate Tuition per Credit (In-state/Out-of-State): $1,928/unit; $1928/unit

    Academics

    • Online Social Work Programs: MSW, DSW
    • Program Length: 2 years, 42 units

    Social Work Coursework

    • Field Education/Practicum Required?: No
    • Capstone/Thesis Required?: Students complete a capstone project that outlines a viable solution to one of the Grand Challenges.
    • Core Courses: Managing innovation and change in social work, leading public discourse in social work, the science of social work, informatics and social innovation, leading and managing complex systems, financial management for social change, data-driven decision-making in social services, evaluating innovation and change
    • In-person Requirements: Students complete two six-day in-person residencies during their third and sixth semesters.

    Student Support

    • Technical Support: Yes
    • Special Services Provided to Online Students: Online library services, one-on-one video office hours with faculty, mentoring, and help with individualized educational plans

    Accreditation Information for California Social Work Schools

    School Graduation Rate1 Transfer-Out Rate1 Associate’s SW Program Bachelor’s SW Program Graduate SW Program CSWE Accredited5 US News Best Social Work Grad Schools Ranking4 Net Price*1
    Azusa Pacific University 67% N/A No Yes Yes Yes #75 tie $31587
    Brandman University N/A N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $13830
    California State University-Bakersfield 41% 2% No No Yes Yes #147 tie $5690
    California State University-Chico 59% 5% No Yes Yes Yes #147 tie $11781
    California State University-Dominguez Hills 32% 2% No No Yes Yes #174 tie $1640
    California State University-East Bay 38% 5% No No Yes Yes #147 tie $8723
    California State University-Fresno 52% 2% No Yes Yes Yes #128 tie $5599
    California State University-Fullerton 56% 3% No No Yes Yes #105 tie $5542
    California State University-Long Beach 65% 2% No Yes Yes Yes #72 tie $7672
    California State University-Los Angeles 41% 2% No Yes Yes Yes #68 tie $2735
    California State University-Monterey Bay 45% 11% No No Yes Yes #147 tie $8121
    California State University-Northridge 47% 12% No No Yes Yes #128 tie $7654
    California State University-Sacramento 44% 3% No Yes Yes Yes #128 tie $7446
    California State University-San Bernardino 48% 2% No Yes Yes Yes #128 tie $5993
    California State University-San Marcos 12% N/A No No Yes Yes #147 tie N/A
    California State University-Stanislaus 53% 4% No No Yes Yes #174 tie $6340
    Fresno Pacific University 63% 19% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $16325
    Humboldt State University 44% 5% No Yes Yes Yes #128 tie $11836
    La Sierra University 50% 28% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $24027
    Loma Linda University N/A N/A No No Yes Yes #105 tie N/A
    Mount Saint Mary’s University 65% 26% No Yes No No Not Ranked $27334
    Pacific Union College 46% 36% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $22738
    Point Loma Nazarene University 73% 22% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $30171
    San Diego State University 66% 3% No Yes Yes Yes #59 tie $10085
    San Francisco State University 50% 6% No Yes Yes Yes #75 tie $9356
    San Jose State University 52% 4% No Yes Yes Yes #75 tie $10729
    Touro University Worldwide 80% 27% No Yes No No Not Ranked $11988
    University of California-Berkeley 91% N/A No Yes Yes Yes #3 tie $16655
    University of California-Los Angeles 91% N/A No No Yes Yes #15 tie $12510
    University of Southern California 91% N/A No No Yes Yes #17 tie $31189
    Whittier College 65% 27% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $24289

    *The net price is calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics by subtracting the average amount of aid (including grants and scholarships) from the total published cost of attendance for in-state/in-district students, which includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses. To gain a better understanding of how to interpret the statistics discussed in this table, see our list of important definitions.

    Directory of California Social Work School Programs

    Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

    Schools with an asterisk (*) have programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

    Azusa Pacific University*
    901 E Alosta
    Azusa, CA 91702-7000
    (626) 969-3434
    http://www.apu.edu

    Brandman University*
    16355 Laguna Canyon Rd
    Irvine, CA 92618
    800-746-0082
    http://www.brandman.edu

    California State University-Bakersfield*
    9001 Stockdale Hwy
    Bakersfield, CA 93311-1099
    (661) 654-2782
    http://www.csub.edu

    California State University-Chico*
    400 W 1st St
    Chico, CA 95929-0150
    (530) 898-6116
    http://www.csuchico.edu

    California State University-Dominguez Hills*
    1000 E Victoria St
    Carson, CA 90747-0005
    (310) 243-3300
    http://www.csudh.edu

    California State University-East Bay*
    25800 Carlos Bee Blvd
    Hayward, CA 94542
    (510) 885-3000
    http://www20.csueastbay.edu

    California State University-Fresno*
    5241 N Maple Ave
    Fresno, CA 93740
    (559) 278-4240
    http://www.csufresno.edu

    California State University-Fullerton*
    800 N State College Blvd
    Fullerton, CA 92831-3599
    (657) 278-2011
    http://www.fullerton.edu

    California State University-Long Beach*
    1250 Bellflower Blvd
    Long Beach, CA 90840-0115
    (562) 985-4111
    http://www.csulb.edu

    California State University-Los Angeles*
    5151 State University Dr
    Los Angeles, CA 90032
    (323) 343-3000
    http://www.calstatela.edu

    California State University-Monterey Bay*
    100 Campus Center
    Seaside, CA 93955-8001
    (831) 582-3000
    http://www.csumb.edu

    Student Review: “The social work I was involved with on campus was through the Service Learning Program where I was a Service Learning Student Leader. I worked with other student leaders on campus and we did action projects together. I also worked off campus at an HIV/AIDS organization and my main job was to help run the needle exchange in the most impoverished area in the city where there were hundreds of homeless people and many of them were addicts. I helped exchange the needles to prevent the spread of illness, as well as managed the student volunteers and tried to help them get the most of their experience. To explain more about my interpretation of Service Learning is essential to understand the role I played in the community. Service learning is often misunderstood as community service.” – Student at California State University-Monterey Bay
    stars-5

    California State University-Northridge*
    18111 Nordhoff St
    Northridge, CA 91330
    (818) 677-1200
    http://www.csun.edu

    California State University-Sacramento*
    6000 J St
    Sacramento, CA 95819-2694
    (916) 278-6011
    http://www.csus.edu

    California State University-San Bernardino*
    5500 University Pkwy
    San Bernardino, CA 92407-2397
    (909) 537-5000
    http://www.csusb.edu

    California State University, San Marcos*
    333 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd
    San Marcos, CA 92078
    (760) 750-4000
    http://www.csusm.edu

    California State University-Stanislaus*
    One University Circle
    Turlock, CA 95382-0299
    (209) 667-3122
    http://www.csustan.edu

    City College of San Francisco
    50 Phelan Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94112
    (415) 239-3000
    https://www.ccsf.edu

    Student Review: “The Community Health Worker (CHW) program at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) was well worth the effort. The CHW field itself, which is now nationally recognized and utilized in hospitals and care facilities throughout the country, was created at CCSF. The teachers literally wrote the textbook. It’s pretty inspiring to be learning from experts such as these and they are nothing short of amazing. The program combines book work, professional lectures in many areas of social work, field trips, group projects, resource development, role playing, advocacy, community graded projects and exams, and a long internship. The student can choose just the general CHW degree or can choose a focus area such as Youth Health Work or Post Prison Health Work and earn either or both of those additional certificates concurrently. There is plenty of room to be yourself in the classes and fully contribute your unique, personal qualities and knowledge to the class. Furthermore, the teachers and staff are super supportive and well connected to the various resources one might need to utilize to excel in the program. They are compassionate, understanding, yet by-the-book and somewhat strict. It is a good balance between flexibility and rigidity. Support and encouragement. The results are a program which consistently produces highly qualified, yet compassionate and confident professionals who are itching to get out there and start their careers!” – Student at CCSF
    stars-5

    Fresno Pacific University
    1717 S Chestnut Ave
    Fresno, CA 93702
    (559) 453-2000
    http://www.fresno.edu

    Humboldt State University*
    1 Harpst St
    Arcata, CA 95521-8299
    (707) 826-3011
    http://www.humboldt.edu

    La Sierra University*
    4500 Riverwalk Pkwy
    Riverside, CA 92505
    (951) 785-2000
    http://lasierra.edu

    Loma Linda University*
    11139 Anderson St
    Loma Linda, CA 92350
    (909) 558-1000
    http://www.llu.edu

    Modesto Junior College
    435 College Ave
    Modesto, CA 95350
    (209) 575-6550
    https://www.mjc.edu/

    Student Review: “I have truly benefited from being part of the amazing social work program that is offered at Modesto Junior College. I took one class as a former child development major and I was hooked ever since. The professors are brilliant and they aren’t hired unless they have had clinical experience and have actually spent many years working in the field. The professors in the social work program have real life experiences to add to their students’ education and they connect students to possible job leads. The professors focus on different theoretical perspectives, different types of counseling, and education in the classroom as well as field training. Students are encouraged to explore multiple theories, relevant issues, as well as complete field training in an area of interest so they can find their niche in the program. This program offers many different options for students based on their individual interests in social work. Additionally this is the only program in California that prepares students to sit for and take the California State licensing exam for Drug & Alcohol Counseling. This program prepares their students for long term success in the field of social work.” – Student at Modesto Junior College
    stars-4

    Mount Saint Mary’s University-Los Angeles
    12001 Chalon Rd
    Los Angeles, CA 90049
    (310) 954-4000
    http://www.msmu.edu

    Pacific Union College*
    1 Angwin Ave
    Angwin, CA 94508
    (707) 965-6311
    https://www.puc.edu

    Point Loma Nazarene University*
    3900 Lomaland Dr
    San Diego, CA 92106
    (619) 849-2200
    http://www.pointloma.edu

    San Diego State University*
    5500 Campanile Dr
    San Diego, CA 92182
    (619) 594-5200
    http://www.sdsu.edu

    San Francisco State University*
    1600 Holloway Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94132
    (415) 338-1111
    http://www.sfsu.edu

    San Jose State University*
    1 Washington Sq
    San Jose, CA 95192-0001
    (408) 924-1000
    http://www.sjsu.edu

    Student Review: “I had a great time acquiring knowledge at San Jose State while studying Social Work as an undergraduate. The school’s diversity gave me the chance to meet people from other walks of life. The professors were experienced and always ready to answer questions as soon as you drop it. The atmosphere in the class is always friendly with everyone having a sense of belonging. By the second year, invitations for internships started coming in, all thanks to one of the professors who dedicated his time gathering necessary information for internship opportunities. He would send out tons of emails every day offering internships, funds, grants for research among others. Although there were several hardcore courses that I only passed by the whiskers, every single class contributed to my vast knowledge and I can boldly say I graduated from the school ten times better than I was before gaining admission into the program. I couldn’t have had it better elsewhere! My first job came when the department organised a job fair with potential high ended employers. I was interviewed and one of my professors had to write a recommendation. Since we have been assigned a professor each at the beginning of the program for mentorship, I did not stress out to get a recommendation. I got my first job with Santa Clara County and I worked there for 2 years before proceeding.” – Student at San Jose State University
    stars-5

    University of California-Berkeley*
    200 California Hall
    Berkeley, CA 94720
    (510) 642-6000
    http://www.berkeley.edu

    University of California-Los Angeles*
    405 Hilgard Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405
    (310) 825-4321
    http://www.ucla.edu

    Student Review: “I’ve had nothing but amazing experiences with UCLA’s social work program. The faculty and student network with numerous social work committees made it not only very accessible but easy to get really deeply involved. The email newsletters made it very easy to be notified of who, when, and where a guest speaker was speaking along with information on upcoming meetings or projects. I specifically remember when I wanted to get involved with a particular social work project, I was able to set up an in-person meeting with the professor involved despite being outside of office hours. After discussing, he personally set up a meeting for me with the person in charge of said social work project allowing me to not only work in the project but later working for the project leader on more extensive work. If anything could be improved from UCLA’s otherwise amazing social work program, the program’s website could be benefited with updates to its server hosting as there were times the site loaded slowly or was down.” – Student at UCLA
    stars-5

    University of Southern California*
    University Park
    Los Angeles, CA 90089
    (213) 740-2311
    http://www.usc.edu

    Whittier College*
    13406 Philadelphia St
    Whittier, CA 90608
    (562) 907-4200
    http://www.whittier.edu

    *Programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

    References:
    1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
    2. Kiplinger’s Best College Values: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-private-colleges/index.php?table=all
    3. US News & World Report Social Work Best Grad Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/social-work-rankings
    4. Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs 2018: /degrees/masters/online/
    5. Council on Social Work Education: https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation/Directory-of-Accredited-Programs.aspx