The MSW program at UCLA prepares social workers for leadership and excellence in the field. A cornerstone of this training is the research capstone, which allows students to begin contributing to the knowledge base of the profession. In carrying out a yearlong applied capstone research project, students will articulate and address a specific researchable problem rooted in a larger social issue with relevance to policy or practice. There is flexibility in the types of projects that students can undertake, and a variety of research methods and data sources can be utilized. Students work in groups of three or four, except for the limited number of students approved to do individual projects.
Social Welfare Research Capstone Handbook
Research Sequence Course Requirements
The MSW research capstone project culminates a two-year research course sequence, with the following required courses:
- 213A: Social Welfare Research Methods (First Year, Winter) – 4 units
- 213B: Applied Statistics in Social Welfare (First Year, Spring) – 4 units
- 260A: Research Capstone I: Project Development (Second Year, Fall) – 4 units
- 260B/C: Research Capstone II & III – One In-Progress Course – 4 units
- Data Gathering and Analyses (Second Year, Winter)
- Interpreting and Disseminating Research (Second Year, Spring)
Important Dates for Class of 2020
- Capstone Information Session: April 9, 2019, 12:30-1:45 p.m., Room 2355
- Individual Project Proposals: June 14, 2019
- Register Capstone Group: September 13, 2019
- Submit Completed Capstone Project: May 15, 2020
- Pass / Fail Decisions from Faculty Distributed: May 29, 2020
- Revisions (if applicable): June 12, 2020
Important Dates for Class of 2019
- Individual Project Proposals – Current students should have submitted by Friday, June 15, to Laura Wray-Lake
- Pre-Capstone Orientation Session – Tuesday, Sept. 11, 1-3 p.m.
- Capstone Group Registration (submit one form per group) – Friday, Sept. 14, Deadline to Register
- Deadline to Submit Completed Capstone Project – May 17, 2019
- Pass / Fail Decisions from Faculty Distributed – May 31, 2019
- Project Revision (if applicable) Deadline – June 14, 2019
Secondary Data Resources
A limited number of students will be selected through a competitive application process to do Individual Capstone Projects. The criteria for admission includes: (1) a GPA of 3.0 or better and evidence of strong performance in previous coursework, including research methods; (2) a research proposal that is feasible and shows promise for originality and rigor; (3) identification of a faculty mentor willing to mentor the student; and (4) a letter of recommendation from a faculty member (typically the identified mentor) that speaks to the student’s qualifications.
Capstone Project Documents
Questions should be directed to:
Laura Wray-Lake, Ph.D.
Research Capstone Coordinator and
Associate Professor of Social Welfare