Master of Social Work

Program Overview


The urban setting of CSUN's graduate-level social work program supports its focus on urban family practice. Based in the heart of Los Angeles County’s San Fernando Valley, our program gives students the opportunity to work with vulnerable and at-risk populations and cultivates an appreciation of the planned-change process.

Unlike many social work programs, CSUN’s Master of Social Work expands students' career possibilities by offering a generalist approach. The curriculum also enables students to gain the skills and perspective to work at any level: individual/family (micro); group/community (mezzo); and societal/policy (macro).

Two convenient learning options for maximum flexibility

Designed in collaboration with the Department of Social Work in CSUN's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the program offers students choices in how to pursue their degree:

Delivers the best value in education

All courses are taught by distinguished CSUN faculty members who are experts in their fields. No matter which learning option – online or off-campus – students choose, they receive outstanding instructional quality together with personalized support, at a state-university price. In fact, CSUN’s online program can prepare students in less time, and can cost half as much, as a private university program.

CSUN's Master of Social Work offers other distinct advantages:

  • Outstanding support - Online or off-campus, students admitted to the program are guaranteed enrollment in all required courses. What’s more, the complete and on-going support of a designated Program Manager, from application to graduation, frees them to focus on their studies and their field placement requirements.
  • A cohesive and supportive learning community – both online and off-campus - The cohort format of this program facilitates on-time completion of the degree through student interaction on weekly assignments, which also leads to the development of strong professional relationships.
  • Well-designed, effective distance learning - As one of the first American universities to offer graduate degrees online, CSUN does not entrust its learning community to commercial providers. Rather, CSUN faculty and practitioners receive training and support to ensure instructional excellence. Students also benefit from the beginning-to-end support of the Tseng College's professional Distance Learning staff.

CSUN's MSW degree prepares students for careers as direct service providers, administrators, community advocates, counselors, policy makers, researchers, supervisors and service workers in a wide variety of settings, including community and government organizations, health care centers, schools, and more.

All CSUN academic programs are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This program is also fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Note: Your state may have its own specific licensure requirements for social work practitioners. Please check with your state's licensing department for more information.

Badge: Most affordable Social Work Degrees - 2014 by OnlineU

No. 7 Most Affordable Social Work Degree

Congratulations to California State University, Northridge's MSW program for its recognition by OnlineU as No. 7 of 2014's 10 Most Affordable Social Work Degrees.

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