Graduate Studies

Social Work (MSW)

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: January-15 (December-15 for international applicants)
  • No spring admission

Three letters of recommendation and a personal statement

Program Coordinator
Meka Klungtvet-Morano and Chelsea Cornell

Two people talking. Sitting and facing each other

Is the Master of social work for you?

Do any of the following describe you?

  • Passionate about advocating for human rights and social and economic justice.
  • Committed to addressing complex problems.
  • Want to work with families, children, youth, or older adults.
  • Care about helping at-risk populations.
  • Interested in providing mental health counseling.
  • Dreaming of leading a social service agency.
  • Enjoy working with diverse populations.
  • If you’re this kind of person, the master’s in social work might be worth exploring.

Butte hall

Do these jobs sound interesting to you?

Our alumni are:

  • Behavioral health social worker
  • Licensed clinical social worker
  • Probation officer
  • Hospital social worker

Other possibilities are:

  • Addiction program director
  • Adoption agency social worker
  • Agency administrator
  • Family resource officer
  • Lobbyist
  • Policymaker

Social work students graduation

Is this the kind of salary you are seeking?

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows the following outlook for Social Workers(opens in new window):

Median Pay
$50,390 per year/$24.23 per hour

Job Outlook
9% (Faster than average)

Social workers are employed in a variety of settings, including child welfare and human service agencies, healthcare providers, and schools. Most work full-time, and some work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Kendall Hall in Fall

What if my bachelor’s isn’t in social work?

You can still pursue this degree if your undergraduate degree was in a different field. It will require prerequisites to bring you up to speed. Talk to the graduate coordinator for details.

Butte Hall exterior

How long will it take?

  • The master of social work can be completed as a one-year, 36-unit, program for students with a bachelor’s in social work.
  • Students without a BSW may complete a two-year, 61- to 63-unit, program.
  • Or students may opt for a three-year, distributed learning program with the same curriculum as the two-year program, but delivered through blended learning formats (online technology with face-to-face classes two to three weekends per semester with a possible Friday evening in the concentration year

What is it like to be a MSW student?

Selena Thao (center) works at the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center (CCLC) on Monday, April 25, 2022 in Chico, Calif. Thao will graduate with her Bachelor of Social Work degree and two minors in Multicultural Gender Studies and Gender and Sexualities Studies.

Getting You Ready

  • Training based on an advanced generalist practice model.
  • Focus in concentration year on mental health services, family/child/ youth services, or gerontology.

School of Social Work (SWRK) Title IV-E Staff Jené Rabo, Meka Klungtvet-Morano, Chelsea Cornell, Nica Digmon, and Heather Krystek-Duenas (left to right) photographed on Thursday, August 25, 2022 in Chico, Calif.

Real World Opportunities 

  • Opportunities for field education in local agencies supervised by an MSW level social worker (16–24 hours per week).
  • Integration of coursework and other activities with field education.
  • Regular consultations with faculty.

Susan Roll (center) speaks to students that work on research informs policy to Alleviate Housing Insecurity at the local level in a multidisciplinary courses, Capstone in Psychology (PSYC 401), Intro to Research Methods (POLS 331), Soc Welfare Policy/Progs/Svcs (SWRK 485), on Thursday, December 5, 2019 in Chico, Calif.

Lots of Benefits

  • Opportunities for a specialized stipend program: the Title IV-E Child Welfare Stipend.
  • Excellent employment prospects—program track record of virtually 100 percent employment upon graduation.

Here's What Our Students are Doing

Students sitting at a table with laptops out

Continuing Your Education 

  • A number of our graduates have come back to teach in the School of Social Work, and others have gone on to get a PhD.

Student smiling and holding book

Behavioral Health & Child Welfare Support

  • Many of our graduates work in the behavioral health field, counseling and supporting people with mental health challenges, running programs, and supervising other clinicians.
  • Many graduates work in child welfare supporting families and ensuring that kids are safe.

Two people smiling, looking towards camera

Working In The Community

  • Our graduates are working as school counselors and hospital workers throughout the North State and beyond.
  • Some graduates have started nonprofit organizations or developed programs within larger agencies.