School of Social Work

MSW Distributed Learning Program

Are you passionate about social justice and supporting the community? Do you want a career to create social change and help people? Are you searching for a degree program that will fit your busy lifestyle?

Your Future in Social Work

Pursuing a degree in social work will prepare you for a career path in human services; thus, applying your education into practice in a variety of interdisciplinary fields, including health care, education, government, mental health, rehabilitation, criminal justice (adult corrections and juvenile probation), child and adult protective services, counseling, and community service.

The career field of social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the U.S. with forecasted growth of almost 20% through 2022 (U.S. Department of Labor). For professional variety, few careers can compare with social work. While social workers are employed as lobbyists, administrators, and policymakers, they frequently choose to work directly with individuals, families, and groups of people who experience economic, political, and social challenges.

We take pride in our fully-accredited degree completion program*, here on the California State University, Chico campus. In addition to a traditional, campus-based program, the Chico State School of Social Work offers a distributed learning (DL) Master of Social Work (MSW) degree completion program.

*Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Coursework Expectations

The MSW Distributed Learning program offers the same, fully-accredited curriculum as the campus-based two-year program.

Through the DL program, however, curriculum is delivered in a hybrid format that combines online and face-to-face coursework in a part-time, three-year course plan and the one-year accelerated advanced-standing program. Students complete 67% of the course content online and 33% in a face-to-face format. Students attend courses on the Chico State campus two to three weekends per semester (fall, spring, and summer) and attend regularly scheduled live class sessions through Zoom webinar platform.

In addition to coursework, the program requires 1200 hours of practicum in the Chico State service area. Many students are able to use their employment sites for an internship.

School of Social Work Service Area
ButteColusaDel NorteGlennHumboldtLake

Upon completion of the program you will have a foundation of knowledge and skills to access, analyze, plan, evaluate, and treat clients from diverse backgrounds in various settings and systems.

Prerequisite Courses

For information about pre-requisite courses, visit our MSW application website(opens in new window).

Program Options

  • One-year, full-time, year-round, accelerated, advanced-standing one-year Course Sequence.
  • Three-year, part-time, year-round three-year Course Sequence.
MSW Course Sequences(opens in new window)

Application Process


The One-Year MSW DL program is an accelerated, advanced-standing program offered every year. 

The application period is open from October 1st to January 15th every year. Applicants will complete one application through Cal State Apply(opens in new window). For admission and program information, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies(opens in new window).


The Three-Year MSW DL program admits students once every three years, with the next cohort of students starting fall 2024.

The application period will open fall 2023 for the next three-year cohort, the 2024-2027 cohort. Applicants will complete one application through Cal State Apply(opens in new window). For admission and program information, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies(opens in new window).

Is the Social Work Distributed Learning Program appropriate for me? Still not sure? Join one of our information sessions(opens in new window) to learn more.

More Information


Molly Calhoun, MSW, PhD
Distributed Learning Coordinator
Office: Butte 513
Phone: 530-898-5597

Caroline Oster
Distributed Learning Advisor
Office: Butte 511