The UCLA Department of Social Welfare offers the Master of Social Welfare (MSW) and a Ph.D. in Social Welfare. Joint degrees offer an even broader range of skill and expertise development.  An undergraduate B.A. in Public Affairs, Minor in Public Affairs, and Minor in Gerontology are also available.

The UCLA Department of Social Welfare’s research and teaching guide policy makers, shape practice and programs in such areas as welfare, aging, health care, mental health, children and families, and long-term support. UCLA Social Welfare faculty members are committed to placing their knowledge at the service of communities and empowering the disadvantaged and the vulnerable.

Academic Programs

The Master of Social Welfare is a two-year period of full-time study program (6 quarters) merging theory, leadership, and research with generalist and specialized fields of practice. Our curriculum is comprised of coursework and two separate year-long field placement components with social work agencies that allows our students to actualize what they are learning in the classroom, providing holistic, integrated experiences.

The Ph.D. in Social Welfare is a national leader in educating the next generation of social welfare scholars. Whether your interest is in service delivery or scholarly research, you will design your own advanced education aimed at pursuing your own intellectual interests.

The B.A. in Public Affairs offers an in-depth and engaged educational experience with a clear public service ethos. Drawing from UCLA Luskin’s expansive resources in Public Policy, Social Welfare, and Urban Planning, the major combines critical thinking, social science methodology, and experiential learning, connecting the dots between theory and action. The Minor in Public Affairs teaches students the skills of policy analysis and exposes them to the many issues facing today’s policymakers and opinion leaders. The Minor in Gerontology is an interdisciplinary program which utilizes UCLA’s professional schools and College resources to create an enhanced academic experience in aging.

Part-Time: As of fall 2021, a three-year period part-time program (8 quarters or 9 quarters with Pupil Personnel Services Credential) is available as an option for students interested in the Child and Family Well-Being area of concentration.  Students in this program take classes in the mornings and work with their field agencies to complete their required internship hours over the course of their academic program. Please note that this is not an evening and weekend program; classes and an internship will be scheduled during regular business hours.

Concurrent Degree Programs include four joint graduate degrees: Social Welfare MSW / Asian American Studies MA; Social Welfare MSW / Law JD; Social Welfare MSW/Public Health MPH, and Social Welfare MSW / Public Policy MPP.

International Study Opportunities include summer programs, internships, international/comparative planning workshops and international exchange agreements.

Visitor Programs attract and highlight visiting scholars, post-doctoral and graduate researchers, international professionals and trend-setting work by students at other institutions.

International related courses are also available to our students.

Certificates, Licensure and Training Programs

Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) Licensure, Global Public Affairs Certificate, Human Services Management Certificate, Mental Health Training Programs, Public Child Welfare Training Programs, Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC)

CSWE Accreditation

As a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, our MSW program measures and reports student learning outcomes.  Click the link below for the most recent data, which is updated every two years.

Form AS4 (M): Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes


Latoya Small is one of several recent additions to the outstanding Social Welfare faculty. Find out more about Small and her research in a recent profile by the Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services.

Why Study Social Welfare at UCLA?

The UCLA Department of Social Welfare’s research and teaching guide policy makers, shape practice and programs in such areas as welfare, aging, health care, mental health, children and families, and long-term support. UCLA Social Welfare faculty members are committed to placing their knowledge at the service of communities and empowering the disadvantaged and the vulnerable.

  • Top Faculty

    The full-time faculty members in the Social Welfare program are extraordinary scholars in their fields of study. 

  • Outstanding Curriculum

    Choose between three advanced areas of concentration: Child and Family Well-Being, Health and Mental Health across the Life Span, or Social and Economic Justice.

  • Top Students

    Bright, accomplished, diverse and passionate, our students are consistently honored for their work.

  • A History of Excellence

    Established in 1947, UCLA’s Department of Social Welfare is committed to enhancing human well-being and promoting social and economic justice for disadvantaged populations. Among UCLA Luskin’s departments, Social Welfare is the oldest and largest in terms of both student enrollment and number of faculty. As professionals and scholars at a great public research university, the faculty has a responsibility to train the next generation of practitioners and leaders for the social work profession and to advance the knowledge base for social work policy and practice in California and around the world. Graduates assume leadership roles in social work practice and scholarship, and they address the social, health, and mental health needs of diverse populations.

  • Diverse

    UCLA is committed to increasing diversity in graduate education. We embrace the principles of diversity and inclusion to understand, appreciate, and respect differences in cultures and customs, religious beliefs, gender identity, sexual preferences, immigration status, and political points of view.

    Our graduate population reflects broad intellectual interests and includes students from many cultures and backgrounds. We feel it crucial to continue to increase the diversity of our graduate student population so the university community more accurately reflects the demographics of California and the nation.


  • Location

    UCLA offers action-oriented study in arguably the most dynamic region in the world.

  • Financial Support

    UCLA Graduate Division awards numerous fellowships supporting diversity. Luskin School-wide fellowships support our commitment to social justice. The department offers merit-based fellowships to top applicants regardless of citizenship status. All eligible Social Welfare students receive a need-based fellowship award. Ph.D. students typically receive tuition and fees.


Students in our programs come from a wide variety of backgrounds and are attracted to the diversity and vitality of Los Angeles from across the country and around the world. They represent a broad range of undergraduate degrees including psychology, sociology, social work, business administration, political science, literature, and world arts.

The programs attract individuals with a strong interest in public service who share a passion for assisting those in need. Our program reflects the commitment to making a difference that is common among social workers nationwide and reflected in recent public service announcements from the National Association of Social Workers.

Single Parents PSA
Older Adults PSA

Typically, students who are accepted into UCLA’s program have a minimum of 1-2 years of work and/or volunteer experience.

Most students live off campus and spend a significant percentage of their time in field placements. The Department of Social Welfare and the students themselves have compiled a list of department and university resources to aid them in their studies here at UCLA.


Department of Social Welfare
Luskin School of Public Affairs
3250 Public Affairs Building
Box 951656
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656
phone: (310) 825-2892
fax: (310) 206-7564

Laura Abrams
(310) 825-5932

Shelly Brooks
(310) 825-1429

Tanya Youssephzadeh
Director of Student Services

Oliver Ike
Admissions Officer
(310) 825-7737

Ervin Huang
Student Affairs Officer
(310) 825-5581

Brianna Miller
Academic Program Coordinator
(310) 825-2892

Carmen Mancha
Administrative Analyst, Field Education Office
(310) 825-2257

Tera Sillett
CalSWEC Administrative Analyst
(310) 206-6048

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