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Master of Social Work



What will I learn?

The social work profession is grounded in a commitment to serving vulnerable and oppressed populations and to advocating for public policies that promote social justice. The Department of Social Work offers the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree, which prepares students for advanced generalist social work practice. Graduates are prepared to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in fields such as mental health, physical health, family and child welfare, gerontology, corrections, juvenile justice, youth services, and substance abuse treatment. The program involves 60 semester units of academic work, a 960-hour internship, and a culminating experience.

The program consists of foundation and advanced level courses, in which students develop the knowledge, skills, and values of social work consistent with advanced generalist practice. Students may participate in the program on a fulltime or part-time basis. An advanced-standing option is available for students who have received a BSW from an accredited program within the last five years.

The mission of the California State University, Bakersfield, Department of Social Work, is to prepare students for social work practice and leadership at the advanced generalist level. Graduates possess the knowledge, values, and skills required to competently and ethically work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities using best practices. The Department is committed to improving social conditions in the Central Valley by promoting culturally responsive practice, social justice, and life-long learning.

The goals of the MSW program are:

To prepare advanced generalist social workers who identify with the social work profession and model the values and ethics of the profession.
To prepare graduates to continue their professional growth and development throughout their careers.
To prepare students for leadership roles in an interprofessional environment within the community.
To prepare advanced generalist social workers who are competent to engage in autonomous practice within the context of multiple systems and diverse environments, using a multidimensional perspective applicable across the lifespan.
To prepare advanced generalist social workers who use research knowledge and skills to evaluate their social work practice.
To prepare advanced generalist social workers to advocate for human rights and social and economic justice in the broader social environment.

Which department am I in?

School of Social Sciences and Education

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
US$13,794.00 per year
Full‐Time Students w/24 units; Note: Non‐resident Fees are an additional USD $396 per unit (reflected in tuition fee estimate). Tuition is based on 6 units
Start date

23 January 2023


School of Social Sciences and Education

9001 Stockdale Highway,



93311, United States

Entry requirements

For international students

Possession of a Bachelor’s degree with a liberal arts foundation from a recognized college or university. For degrees earned in the United States, this means the degree must be from an institution that is accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations.
A cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5 (on a four-point scale)

The following additional conditions must be met for advanced standing:

The student must have completed the Bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW) within five years prior to admission to the graduate program.
The applicant must have an overall GPA of 3.0 for the baccalaureate degree.
All social work courses must have a grade of 3.0 or better. Courses with a grade of less than 3.0 will not be waived.

International Students
In addition to meeting the requirements for admission given above, international students must take TOEFL and have a score of 550 or higher (or 80 on the new conversion scale for the computer-based TOEFL exam).

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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