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 Minor in Public Affairs is 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

UCLA Luskin’s Master of Social Welfare is a full-time, two-year program. In addition to our core curriculum, you can participate in an advanced research course or research project focused on an issue of interest to you. Two field placements with social work agencies let you put into action what you have learned in the classroom, providing invaluable real-world experience.

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 Undergraduate Minor in Public Affairs complements a liberal arts or science major through a systematic examination of a broad range of issues, mainly through the analysis of specific social, political and economic problems. An Undergraduate Minor in Gerontology is also available.

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.

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


New Grants Ensure Watts Leadership Institute’s Mission Will Continue to Grow An infusion of more than $650,000 will be invested in marginalized neighborhoods

An infusion of more than $650,000 will be invested in small nonprofits and community leaders on the ground in marginalized neighborhoods

Decriminalizing Latinos Is Focus of Criminal Justice Gathering Latino Policy & Politics Initiative brings together scholars, policymakers and nationally known advocates for the Latino community for a day of presentations, discussions and workshops

Scholars, policymakers and advocates for the Latino community gather for presentations, discussions and workshops at UCLA Luskin hosted by Latino Policy & Politics Initiative

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

    UCLA Luskin MSW students choose between two tracks — Macro, for those interested in working on the level of organizational administration or policy; and Micro, for those who wish to specialize in service delivery for individuals, families and groups.

  • 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
Graduate Advisor

Mike Alvarez
Student Affairs Officer
(310) 825-5581

Tiffany Bonner, Ed.D.
Admissions Officer
(310) 825-7737

Steven King
Administrative Specialist
(310) 825-2892

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

Tera Sillett
CalSWEC Administrative Analyst
(310) 206-6048

Follow UCLA Social Welfare

Job Openings