School of Social Work

MSW Distributed Learning Program

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


The California State University, Chico School of Social Work offers a distributed learning Master of Social Work (MSW) for Northern California residents.* Coursework is delivered in a hybrid format that combines online and face-to-face weekend courses. Students complete 67% of the course content online and 33% in class by coming to Chico campus two weekends a semester. Students complete coursework in either an accelerated, two-year course plan or a part-time, three year course plan.

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.

*Students enrolled in the MSW program must complete their field practicum in one of the 18 Northern California Superior Region counties: Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, or Yuba.
School of Social Work Service Area
ButteColusaDel NorteGlennHumboldtLake

Your Future in Social Work

Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States with forecasted growth of almost twenty percent (20%) through 2022 (U.S. Department of Labor).

Our fully-accredited degree completion program** will prepare you for a career path in the fields of health care, education, government, mental health, rehabilitation, criminal justice, child and adult protective services, counseling and community service.

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.

Among the settings that employ social workers are schools, hospitals, behavioral health clinics, private counseling services, addiction treatment centers, job training programs, adult and child social services, in-home services for older adults or persons with physical and health challenges, social welfare agencies, adult corrections and juvenile probation.

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


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

The majority of the curriculum delivery is through an online format with mandatory on-campus face-to-face time 2-3 weekends each semester. The three-year program requires a varying total of 61-63 units of course work depending on the chosen program plan and 1200 hours of field education practicum experience.

In addition to coursework, field placements are made throughout the Chico State service area.* Many students are able to use their employment sites for an internship.

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

Program Timeline

  • Three-year, part-time, year-round

Course sequence for three-year program (PDF)

Application Process

The MSW DL program admits students once every three years, with the next cohort of students starting fall 2018. The application period is closed for the 2018-2021 cohort.

The application period will open fall 2020 for the next three-year cohort 2021-2023. Click here to learn more about applying.(opens in new window)

Students interested in the Distributed Learning Three-Year MSW program must also apply to the CSU, Chico Graduate School. For admissions and program information, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies(opens in new window).

If you have questions about the School of Social Work Distributed Learning Program, please contact us!

Contact the DL Program

Judy Vang, MSW, PhD
Interim DL Coordinator
Call/Text: 916-320-6764

Melissa Cheatham
DL Administrative Support Assistant

More Information


Judy Vang, MSW, PhD
Interim DL Coordinator
Call/Text: 916-320-6764

Melissa Cheatham
DL Administrative Support Assistant