School of Social Work

MSW Distributed Learning Program

ANNOUNCEMENT: The School of Social Work will now offer a one-year MSW DL cohort beginning summer 2020. The MSW application process opens October 1, 2019 - January 5, 2020. Please continue to visit this site for updated information regarding the One-Year MSW DL admission requirements and application process.

Are you passionate about social justice and supporting the community? Do you want a career to create social change and help others? 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. 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 field 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.

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.

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.

Is the Social Work Distributed Learning Program appropriate for me? Still not sure? Join one of our information sessions to learn more and speak with the DL Coordinator!

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