Guide for California Social Work Degrees and Schools

 The sunshine and balmy weather,

The glamour of Hollywood,

The rolling waves crashing on shores,

Which place is gifted like this, you might wonder.

Well, California it is!

From diverse landscapes and woody forests to sun-kissed coastlines and the best beaches, the Golden State of California is a wonderland by itself. You can discover hundreds of scenic spots and lively cities all in one place.

California is not just about the attractions but is the first state to attain trillion dollars in the gross state product. The economy of California is the largest in the United States and ranks seventh in the world. 

University education in California is one of the best in the country, with five universities listed in the top 25 best colleges in the United States.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the jobs in Social work are about to grow 11% from 2018 through 2028, which is a much faster rate than average. Studying Master's of social work in California provides graduates with several employment opportunities in the international job market.


What is Social Work?

Social work is a stream in academics and a practice-driven profession. It is associated with individuals, groups, and communities that enhance social functioning and overall well-being. Social work drives individuals to find solutions that lead to self-reliance.

Studying masters of social work in California will fetch you wholesome job opportunities like a clinical social worker, social worker, mental health social worker, etc.

A social worker's motto is to improvise people's mental health and change their vision towards society in a positive angle. With various forms of services like public assistance, Mental health counseling, and advocating the policies, social workers are striving to make an impact.

Why Study the Masters of Social Work in California?

California is the only state which employs the highest number of social workers. Eventually, it has become one of the best places for social workers compared to other urban cities in the United States.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics report, it is estimated that 10,600 social workers practice their trials in the Golden State. The annual mean wage of the social workers in California is $66,300, which accounts for the state's higher living cost.

We have listed out the few best Universities offering Masters of Social work in California. Scroll through and take note!

1) Azusa Pacific University (APU ) - School of Behavioural and Applied Studies

The Department of Social Work at Azusa Pacific University offers both bachelor's and Master's degree programs. The courses' primary focus is to provide students with practical experience and Internship programs.

Students can opt for a particular focus area of social work like domestic violence, addiction, mental health, etc.

Masters of Social Work at APU:

Students studying their Masters of Social Work program will have to focus on their education with a broader, and more diverse range of internships. A student who is enrolled for full-time studies can graduate along with their Master's in nine months, whereas a part-time student might take two years to complete the program, including the internship opportunities.

Internship opportunities are conducted in the following facilities:

  • Mental Health Clinics
  • Shelters
  • Hospice Centers
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Group Homes
  • Schools etc.

 2) California State University, Long Beach ( CSULB ) - College of Health and Human Services

The social work programs at CSULB are well structured. It is curated to prepare students for varied employment levels, such as professional social work and specialized social work.

The Social Work program at CSULB is labeled a "highly impacted" major, and admission into the program can be competitive.

Masters of Social Work at CSULB:

The Master's program at CSULB offers more advanced education in the social work field like Children, Youth, and Families & Older Adults and Families.

The Children, Youth, and Families concentration focuses on issues affecting juveniles and their families while the Older Adults and Families concentration focuses on problems associated with the concerns about the older adults and their families.

Career options for these disciplines are as follows:

  • Services Eligibility Worker
  • Social worker
  • Community Organizer
  • Probation or Parole Officer
  • Case Management
  • Child Welfare Caseworker
  • Services Coordinator
  • Administrator (Organizational and Health Care)
  • Researcher
  • Social Policy Analyst

3) Humboldt State University - College of Professional Studies

Humboldt's social work programs establish a robust foundation of critical thinking skills and a solid background of social work. The main focus is on a specific area like generalist social work - a unique, focused program supporting the rural communities and the Native American populace.

In this particular program, the under-served community is given high importance to encourage fairness and social responsibility among students. Humboldt has designed the flow of the social work program to meet the needs of the tribal community.

Masters of Social Work at Humboldt:

The Masters of social work at Humboldt is quite unique. Students are educated in diverse cultural relations and strive to achieve equality and fairness.

4) Loma Linda University ( LLU )- School of Behavioural Health

Intending to build a strong foundation, LLU has chosen the practical approach for social service practices. The program is curated to choose any two concentrations or a dual degree that provides a more comprehensive understanding alongside a complementary degree.

Masters of Social Work at LLU:

The Master's degree program at LLU is competitive, and prerequisites must be completed before acceptance into the program. Liberal arts courses are part of this requirement.

Classes in the following categories are,

  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences

Apart from the classes mentioned above, LLU offers two concentrations in the social work program. They are clinical and policy.

The clinical concentration includes study techniques and skills related to clinical and mental health. The policy concentration involves managing social work, planning, administration, and analysis, and organization.

Along with this, the Fieldwork is a significant game changer in this program. It takes 1200 hours of Fieldwork to graduate at LLU. 

5) San Diego State University ( SDSU ) - College of Health and Human Services

SDSU's extensive social work program structure begins with liberal arts foundations and continues with studying social issues. The program ends with well-rounded Fieldwork and lots of theories and practices.

Masters of Social Work at SDSU:

The Master's program at SDSU offers two concentrations. They are Clinical and Administration & Community Development.

The clinical concentration focuses on real-world concerns while the Administration and Community Development concentration bring up the managerial activities & training.

6) University of California at Berkeley - School of Social Welfare

Berkeley's unique Master's degree in social work is characterized by a series of elements like coursework, Fieldwork, and a few research methodologies. The social work program at Berkeley is segregated into five concentrations.

Masters of Social Work at Berkeley:

With an organized structure of five concentrations, the social work program requires an intense amount of Fieldwork. The fieldwork schedule at Berkeley's is 142 days, in which it has to be completed.

The five specific concentrations feature direct practice implementation.

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Child and Family Services - Child and Family services concentrate on children and families at-risk. Practice settings are generally schools, foster care facilities, and other establishments where child welfare is a factor.

Gerontology Services - The Gerontology concentration is focused on the welfare and assistance of the elderly and their families and the challenges associated with aging.

Health Services - Health Services assists people in need of planning, aftercare, counseling, and other concerns associated with health problems, either chronic or sudden.

Management and Planning - Management and Planning concentrations study the administrative angle of social work.

7) University of Southern California ( USC ) - School of Social Work 

USC offers a feasible program in social work degree for both full-time and part-time students. The program has two, three, and four-year study plans, one-on-one advising, concentration options, sub-concentrations, and several dual-degree choices.

Masters of Social Work at USC:

The comprehensive degree program offers several concentrations to choose from and sub-concentrations that are meant to act as an enhancement for the primary concentration selected.

Concentrations offered are:

  • Community Organization, Planning, and Administration
  • Families and Children
  • Health
  • Mental Health
  • Social Work and Business in a Global Society

 Sub-Concentrations include:

  • Military and Veteran Services
  • Gerontology
  • Child Welfare
  • Mental Illness Recovery
  • School Services

Several dual degrees can be taken as well. The Master's of Social Work at USC can be earned alongside a law degree, gerontology, public administration, MBA, or Ph.D. programs.

Start exploring your path in the field of Social work in California, considering the above-listed options.

Now that you have a good view on the best Universities offering Masters of Social work in California, go on and take the next big step towards your study abroad plans! You can connect with our friendly AECC counsellors for better guidance and support.


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