Action Plan to Address Anti-Blackness and Racism

Please click here to see our detailed action plan, which was written by the Social Welfare Faculty in partnership with social welfare students from the Luskin Black Caucus. This action plan details our commitment to addressing Anti-Blackness and Racism within our Department. Our plan focuses on the following:

  1. Increase Visibility and Funding of Black Students in Social Welfare
  2. Enhance Recruitment, Retention, and Positive Scholarly Trajectories for Black Students and Faculty
  3. Decolonize the Curriculum and Pedagogy
  4. Improve Climate, Space and Support for Black Students

Update About Anti-Racism Efforts – Winter 2023

Update About Anti-Racism Efforts – Spring 2021

Diversity, Disparities, and Difference (D3)

The Diversity, Disparities, and Difference (D3) Initiative at UCLA Luskin launched in 2014 by former Dean Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. as part of UCLA’s effort to build a more equitable environment on campus. The D3 Initiative aims to create a cohesive strategy to bridge differences, understand our diverse society, and confront disparities in the field of public affairs.

The D3 Initiative aims to:

  • Enhance student admissions and faculty searches by championing more diverse applicant pools;
  • Institutionalize programming that offers a critical understanding of social inequity while establishing connections with the greater community;
  • Strengthen student collaboration and cohort interaction for a more inclusive school climate.

View D3’s programs, fellowships, and opportunities here.

Courses with Diversity Context

214A. Foundations of Social Welfare Policy

Units: 4.0

Overview of key areas of social welfare policy. Roots of American social welfare policy and how they have given rise to today’s social policy structure. Path of social welfare policy development, birth of profession of social work and how it has paralleled major social policy issues from early colonial settlements to present day. Specific events and important individuals that have influenced public policy affecting vulnerable populations, such as racial and ethnic minorities, women, children, the poor, and other diverse populations. Examination of role of social research in informing social welfare policy. Letter grading.

231A. Family Systems Interventions

Units: 4.0

Application of theories and techniques to develop framework for couples and family social work practice. Examples of social work practice with couples and families may include developing relationship skills for those struggling with mental illness; supportive interventions for family members of impaired or frail elderly; parent education and skill development for welfare recipients; individual, couple, and family interventions for victims of abuse; bereavement support groups, or interventions helping families to recover from experiences with substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual difficulties, and more. S/U or letter grading.

241J. Advanced Social Welfare Practice: Community Practice

Units: 4.0

Corequisite: required social work practicum. Designed to deepen student knowledge of community practice methods and empirical base that supports these methods in field of social welfare. Theory, practice, and research methods related to major community practice approaches in context of evidence-based philosophies and processes. Development of skills to address community problems using best available data by applying course concepts to student projects. S/U or letter grading.

M290I. Children with Special Healthcare Needs: Systems Perspective

Units: 4.0

(Same as Community Health Sciences M420 and Health Policy M420.) Examination and evaluation of principles, policies, programs, and practices that have evolved to identify, assess, and meet special needs of infants, children, and adolescents with developmental disabilities or chronic illness and their families. Letter grading.

M290J. Child Welfare Policy

Units: 4.0

(Same as Public Policy M212.) Development of social policy as it affects families and children from different cultural backgrounds and as it is given form in public child welfare system. Examination of development of infrastructure to support needs of children and families. S/U or letter grading. 

M290L. Poverty, Poor, and Welfare Reform

Units: 4.0

(Same as Public Policy M214 and Urban Planning M246.) Major policy and research issues concerning poverty and social welfare policy directed toward poor in U.S. S/U or letter grading.

M290M. Health Policy

Units: 4.0

(Same as Public Policy M215.) Introduction to contemporary issues in healthcare financing and delivery, providing historical perspective on emergence of these issues. Examination of major public programs and their relationship to issues of access and cost. S/U or letter grading.

231J. Advanced Social Work Practice: Child Welfare

Units: 4.0

Corequisite: required social work practicum. Advanced-level, critical analysis of role of public child welfare worker in relationship to consumer, agency, and community. Further development of social work and case management skills in context of public child welfare practice. Clinical case management explored as intervention in its own right in addition to its use as mechanism for linking children and families to other social systems, professions, and forms of intervention. Interpretation of current public child welfare events, trends, terms, and laws and their relationship to direct practice issues. S/U or letter grading.

231K. Advanced Social Work Practice: Mental Health

Units: 4.0

Corequisite: required social work practicum. Designed to provide students with grounding in social work practice with adults in mental health settings. Emphasis on evidence-based approaches to providing services to pervasive and persistent mentally ill. Exploration of strengths-based recovery-oriented approaches that are consistent with knowledge and values of social work practice. Exposure to range of interventions applicable to most common mental health problems and barriers to service delivery for this vulnerable population, such as stigma, criminalization, cultural bias, and gaps in knowledge. S/U or letter grading.

231M. Advanced Social Work Practice: Health (offered in alternating years)

Units: 4.0

Corequisite: required social work practicum. Advanced-level, critical analysis of various roles that social workers occupy in health settings and strategies for working with healthcare teams. From case-based approach, examination of variety of clinical challenges, assessment techniques for use in multiple settings, and interventions to implement with individuals, families, groups, and multidisciplinary healthcare teams. Evaluation of policy implications that impact social work practice in health settings. S/U or letter grading.

231N. Early Childhood Mental Health (offered in alternating years)

Units: 4.0

Evidenced-based practice training with children and their caregivers in agency-based settings. Integration of theoretical bases of practice with associated methods. Focus on early attachments relationships and on-going life experiences with conflicts, loss, and trauma that occur within context of relationships. S/U or letter grading.

231P. Advanced Social Welfare Practice: Gerontology (offered in alternating years)

Units: 4.0

Corequisite: required social work practicum. Advanced-level, critical analysis of theoretical models related directly to practice with diverse population of older adults. Presentation of comprehensive tools for multidimensional geriatric assessment. How to engage in collaborative treatment planning across range of late-life problems and address impediments to intervention process. Theoretical underpinnings and most effective practice models to enable students to serve needs of older clients and their families as they adjust to late-life transitions, as well as to health and mental health problems most prevalent for older adults. Client populations range from well elderly to physically frail and/or demented from diverse backgrounds. S/U or letter grading.

231S. Child and Adolescent Trauma

Units: 4.0

Introduction to common concepts (general theory and foundational knowledge), which inform evidence-based assessment and intervention with traumatized children and adolescents. Strength-based practice highlighted along with focus on identification of protective and promotive factors that foster resiliency and post-traumatic growth. Trauma is broadly defined, and includes children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events including but not limited to natural disasters, war, abuse and neglect, medical trauma, and witnessing interpersonal crime (e.g. domestic violence) and other traumatic events. Highlights role of development, culture, and empirical evidence in trauma-specific case conceptualization and treatment planning. Addresses level of functioning of primary care giving environments and assesses capacity of community to facilitate restorative processes. Letter grading.

M241E. Leadership, Development, and Governance of Nonprofit Organizations

Units: 4.0

(Same as Public Policy M228 and Urban Planning M288.) Designed for graduate students. Various patterns of community action for attaining social welfare objectives; research and field experience directed toward study of social problems within context of community planning; emerging patterns of physical, economic, and social planning within framework of social change theory. Letter grading.

241H. Advanced Social Welfare Practice: Institutional Governance and Human Services Management

Units: 4.0

Corequisite: required social work practicum. Conceptual framework and analytic tools provided to understand organizational features of human services. Human service organizations work on people to improve, sustain, or prevent decline of well-being. Because of their function these organizations have special attributes that distinguish them from other organizations. Examination of these attributes, theoretical perspective to study them, and analysis of factors that shape nature of work they do. Explanation of determinants of relations between workers and clients by looking at such variables as policy environment, values and mission, internal structure, service technology, reward structure, organizational responses to staff and client diversity, and power relations between workers and clients. S/U or letter grading.

290E. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health, Law, and Public Policy

Units: 4.0

Examination of LGBT-identified communities throughout U.S. Identification of health disparities that exist within broad conception of LGBT-identified communities, including disparities among most marginalized individuals and those living at intersections of multiple identities. Use of law and policy by situating goal of achieving health equity for LGBT communities in current political climate. Offers opportunity to evaluate how better health outcomes for LGBT people may be helped by bringing relevant social science research to bear in shaping law and policy matters moving forward. Letter grading.

290F. Firearm Violence Prevention Policy

Units: 4.0

Introduction to upstream way of thinking about firearm-related violence. Examination of range of topics connected to contemporary debates about firearm violence in U.S. using collection of philosophical, social, and epidemiological literature. Ways of thinking theoretically and scientifically about causes and consequences of firearm violence in different contexts, from mass shootings to firearm suicides. Major theories advanced to explain firearm violence, methods used in scientific study of firearm violence, and important research findings about correlates, patterns, processes, and trends related to firearm violence. S/U or letter grading.

214B. Leadership for Social Change

Units: 4.0

Overview and understanding of leadership and social policy elements for effective social change in dynamic and diverse society. Builds on foundations of social welfare history and policy developments. Examination of elements of policy advocacy and competencies for effective social work leadership in organizational and community settings and integration of research and theory in addressing and resolving complex social problems. Letter grading.

M215. Global Public Affairs: Governing in Interconnected World

Units: 4.0

(Same as Public Policy M228B and Urban Planning M231). Conceptually, focus on interplay between three major institutional complexes of modern, globalizing societies and organizations that operate within them: state, market, and civil society. Study moves between abstract theory and concrete examples, offers sense of where these institutions and organizations have come from, and helps chart their present trajectories. From perspective of governance, assessment of roles and configurations of institutions and organizations to address today’s challenges. S/U or letter grading.

231Q. Advanced Social Welfare Practice: Psychopharmacology

Units: 4.0

Offers distinctive social work/social welfare approach to psychopharmacology and psychiatric medications by emphasizing systems thinking, critical thinking, working with clients as partners, and social justice. Discussion of how psychoactive/psychotropic/psychiatric drugs are named and classified, and how they are studied and approved by FDA. Review of current effectiveness and safety data (and placebo effects) for main classes of drugs, and highlighting of current crisis of confidence in field. Brief summaries of basic neurobiological actions of drugs. Examination of previous and emerging roles of social workers around medications, as well as legal and ethical dictates of practice. Four practice skills are taught as essential for beginning social workers: reviewing relevant literature critically, taking psychiatric medication histories, understanding clients’ subjective views and meanings of medications, and monitoring medications to reduce harms. Letter grading.

232. Prevention and Promotion in Health and Mental Health

Units: 4.0

Core course for Health and Mental Health Across the Lifespan area of concentration. Introduction to social determinants/pathways of health, one of over-arching integrative and evidence-based frameworks accounting for upstream influences on health and mental health of populations. Review of different aspects of this approach and illustration of them with examples from efforts to prevent health and mental health problems and to promote positive health and mental health. Introduction to leading pscyhosocial theories that underpin social work practice in health promotion and disease prevention. Letter grading.

242. Resilience, Risk, and Thriving among Children and Families

Units: 4.0

Core course for Child and Family Well-Being area of concentration. Introduction to advanced study of child and family well-being from social work perspective. Conveys seminal knowledge of key settings–and experiences within them–that impact children and family functioning. Drawing from resilience theory and empirical research, review of aspects of contexts such as parenting and family systems, schools, and neighborhoods–that serve as risk and protective factors for healthy child development. Emphasis on prevention efforts to ensure healthy development for all youth, stop family violence, and increase social connections. Prepares students for professional roles as social workers who serve, advocate for, and empower children and families around relevant social and economic justice issues. Letter grading.

251A. Advanced Social Welfare Practice: Domestic and Sexual Violence

Units: 4.0

Designed for second-year MSW students in macro and clinical social work. One most pervasive aspect of women’s existence has been violence against them as consequence of their gender. Factual information and critical examination of theories, research, and clinical and policy practices in social work regarding various forms of violence against women and girls in their homes, workplaces, and communities provided. Exploration of macro- and micro-level interventions in social work practice to address impact of violence on communities and individuals. Letter grading.

252. Theories and Practices of Social Justice

Units: 4.0

Core course for Social and Economic Justice area of concentration. Trains students to understand philosophies of social justice, history of ideas, and key ethical frameworks underpinning social work. Connects theory and practice through focus on poverty interventions, welfare policy, mass incarceration, community organizing, homelessness, and displacement. Focus on U.S. with emphasis on global and comparative approach to social welfare. Letter grading.

290D. Criminal Justice and Mass Incarceration

Units: 4.0

Exploration of relationship between social welfare and criminal justice system focusing on gangs, prison organization, reform, and reentry. Examination of life trajectories, development of and response to gangs in U.S. and globally. Examination of origin and development of major criminal justice policy surrounding gangs and relationship to punishment, incarceration, death penalty, and development and endurance of prison gangs. Analysis of criminal justice system history, future directions, and capacity of social welfare programs to address needs of marginalized populations. Letter grading.

290G. Psychotropic Drugs and Medications: Harm Reduction Policies

Units: 4.0

Philosophy and policy applications of harm reduction approaches to legal (including prescription) and illegal psychoactive drug use in U.S. and elsewhere. Visions and obstacles for future management of psychoactive drugs such as opioids, stimulants, psychedelics, and benzodiazepines according to harm reduction principles. Implications for social work practice across lifespan. Letter grading.

M290K. Mental Health Policy

Units: 4.0

(Same as Public Policy M213.)  Examination of evolution of social policy and services for mentally ill, with emphasis on political, economic, ideological, and sociological factors that affect views of mentally ill and services they are provided. S/U or letter grading.

M290N. Public Policy for Children and Youth

Units: 4.0

(Same as Public Policy M216.) Policy issues that affect children and adolescents in relation to their interaction with schools and community, with emphasis on impact of policy across federal, state, and local levels. S/U or letter grading.


  • Entering students pursuing terminal or professional master’s degrees or the JD who meet the diversity criteria below are encouraged to apply.
  • The diversity of the people of California has been the source of innovative ideas and creative accomplishments throughout the state’s history into the present. Diversity – a defining feature of California’s past, present, and future – refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and geographic region, and more.

    Regents Policy 4400: Policy on University of California Diversity Statement | Board of Regents

  • Applicants must be nominated by their home department.
  • One year of funding from the Graduate Division
    • $20,000 stipend + fees/tuition + non-resident supplemental tuition (if applicable)
    • If awardee is in a professional degree program, the professional degree supplemental tuition is not provided by this fellowship.
  • Fellows may not work in the first term of the fellowship.
  • PhD, DrPH, DEnv, DMA, MD or DDS degrees are not eligible.
  • Eligibility
    • U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or undocumented students who qualify for nonresident supplemental tuition exemptions under AB 540
  • Apply
    • The deadline is the same as the deadline for your admissions application. Contact your prospective home department for any exceptions.
    • Review the GOFP Application Instructions and complete the appropriate sections within the online admissions application, including the Personal Statement.

The University of California, Los Angeles, Luskin School of Public Affairs (UCLA Luskin) and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) agree to participate in a partnership program to grant CBCF Leadership Institute alumni who apply and are subsequently admitted and enroll in one of the full- time master’s programs at UCLA Luskin (Public Policy, Social Welfare, Urban Planning), all of the following opportunities during the application for admission process:

  • Merit-based scholarships of a $7,500 annually
  • Consideration for additional merit-based aid based on the strength of application for admission

Partnership Program Benefits

As part of this designation, each academic year, UCLA Luskin will award CBCF Alumni Graduate Student Scholarships of $7,500 to incoming students enrolled in one of its full-time programs who are verified alumni of the CBCF Leadership Institute. There is no minimum number of scholarships to be awarded. Disbursement of the award will be made at the time of admission and the award is renewable for the second year of graduate study, provided that the student remains enrolled in a program of study at UCLA Luskin, has a 3.5 GPA by the end of their first-year, and it is contingent on the department’s ability to provide additional funding for second-year students. Students may also earn additional assistantships, fellowships, or other awards; however, total funding assistance cannot exceed the cost of attendance.


The partnership program is designed for CBCF Leadership Institute alumni who have successfully completed their bachelor’s degree. To be considered, applicants should indicate their status as a CBCF alumnus (including program and program date) on the application for admission. Students are granted admission on the basis of academic achievement, performance on the entrance exam, experience in the proposed field of study, leadership experience, how well their goals align with the program of interest, and recommendations that indicate they are capable of excelling in a rigorous master’s program. No single factor guarantees or prevents admission; all factors are weighed in the process.

Tuition and Fees

Recipients of the UCLA Luskin Graduate Student Scholarship for graduate study at UCLA Luskin are responsible for paying tuition and fees in excess of the scholarship amount for the semesters of study required for the graduate program at the UCLA Luskin.

Admission Requirements

To apply, prospective students must submit the following materials online via

  • UCLA Graduate Application (online)
  • Transcripts from each college or university attended in the U.S. or abroad
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (At least one academic)
  • Current Resume or CV

Eligible students are still able to apply for 2022-2023 fellowships related to the University of California’s Native American Opportunity Plan (NAOP) which covers in-state tuition and student services fees for California residents who are also enrolled in a federally recognized Native American, American Indian or Alaska Native tribes.

Students do not need to fill out an application to qualify. To be eligible for NAOP funding, students must meet all of the following criteria:

        1. Must be a current or newly admitted University of California graduate or

            professional school student.

        2. Must be a California Resident for tuition purposes.

        3. Must be an enrolled member in a federally recognized Native American, American

            Indian, and/or Alaska Native tribe.

Students must submit tribal enrollment documentation from their federally recognized tribe and/or from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Documentation may include one or more of the following:

  • Certification of tribal enrollment on tribal letterhead
  • Enrollment/membership card that contains the tribal seal and/or official signature of the tribal leader
  • Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) if the CDIB includes tribal enrollment  information
  • Tribal identification card with an enrollment number

In addition, students must submit tribal contact information (address, phone, and email) if it is not evident on the submitted documentation.

All information must be submitted via email to UCLA Fellowships ( with the subject line: NAOP.

For additional program information please visit the Native American Opportunity Plan webpage.


The UCLA Graduate Student Resource Center (CSRC) aims to provide students with a user-friendly and accessible listing of numerous resources to aid in the transition into a graduate program.

Topics include:

  • Academic support and services
  • Career and Professional Development
  • Housing
  • Funding and Financial support
  • Health and Well-being
  • Safety, Support, and Emergency Services
  • General resources

View the UCLA Graduate Student Resource Center here.

Diversity Statistics

The MSW Class of 2022 and 2023 consists of 50% under-represented minorities, including 33% who identify as Latinx, 36% as White/Caucasian, 17% as Asian, 10% as Black/African American, and 3% as American Indian/Alaska Native. 89% are California Residents, 11% are Non-California Residents, and 2% are International. 82% identify as women, 15% as men, and 3% identify as non-binary. 52% identify as First-Generation.

Demographic Composition of Students Currently Enrolled in the Luskin MSW Program for Fall 2021

Race and Ethnicity of Students
African American
American Indian
Gender Demographics
Geographic Demographics
California Resident
Domestic, Not California Resident
First-Generation Status