MSW in Social Welfare

2-Year Program:

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.

As professionals and scholars in a public research university, the faculty of the Department of Social Welfare are committed to the highest level of training to produce the next generation of practitioners and leaders for the social work profession and to advance the knowledge base for social work policy and practice.

For a complete list of Social Welfare graduate courses with descriptions, look here.

3-Year Program: 

A 3-year part-time program is available for students interested in the Child and Family Well-Being Area of Concentration. Students in this program will 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 internship will be scheduled during regular business hours. The total cost of the 8 quarter MSW is $69,244.13, while the 3-year program total cost with the PPS credential added is $77,887.15. These costs are based on CA residency and current published tuition information (subject to change).

For domestic non-resident students, the total cost of the 8 quarter MSW is $82,060.10, while the 3-year program total cost with the PPS credential added is $90,703.00. For international students, the total cost of the 8 quarter MSW is $103,444.57, while the 3-year program total cost with the PPS credential added is $116,375.00. These costs are based on non-CA and international residency and current published tuition information (subject to change).

Sample Plan of Study for the 3-Year MSW with Child and Family Well-Being area of concentration.

For a complete list of Social Welfare graduate courses with descriptions, look here.

PH.D. in Social Welfare

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.

With world-class faculty as your partners, you will benefit from a scholarly community of depth with breadth. From the time of your admission, the faculty will work with you to ensure your success. At UCLA the social welfare faculty consider doctoral students as colleagues, and because of the individualized nature of our program, you will work closely with faculty by participating actively in research projects and by co-authoring articles for publication.

The transition from a role as a practitioner to a scholar/researcher is more than a change in job title. It signifies a major change in the nature of the contribution you will make to social work and to society. UCLA doctoral students are tomorrow’s social work scholars, researchers and professors, responsible for advancing knowledge and training the next generation of practitioners.

Undergraduate Programs

The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs offers undergraduate minor programs in Public Affairs, Gerontology, and in Urban and Regional Studies. Each program offers an excellent interdisciplinary focus on problem-solving, analysis, and serves as an entry point to further graduate studies in law, policy, planning, and social welfare. Undergraduate students in the minor programs gain insight into current issues such as crime and drugs, the environment, labor policies, national security, and policy issues related to the State of California.

Minor in Gerontology

The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs’ Department of Social Welfare, in collaboration with the School of Medicine Division of Geriatrics and the School of Public Health, offers the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Minor (GIM).

As of Winter quarter 2012, undergraduate students may enroll to the interdisciplinary GIM, which utilizes UCLA’s professional schools and College resources to create an enhanced academic experience in aging.

The restructured GIM provides UCLA students the following:

  • A foundation understanding of the current state of the science related to the biopsychosocial aspects of human aging;
  • an ability to assess longevity’s potential contribution and challenge to contemporary society;
  • an appreciation of the diversity of aging over the life course and its impact on late life outcomes; and the opportunity to relate knowledge of gerontology to life-long personal and professional contributions to a diverse aging society.

For more information on the Gerontology minor read the Gerontology Announcement.

Erika Villanueva

Director of Student Services
Contact an Undergraduate Advisor
(310) 794-9662
Public Affairs Building Suite 3343

Joint Degrees

The Department of Social Welfare offers joint degrees in Asian American Studies, Law, Public Health, and Public Policy. In each case, a joint degree applicant needs to meet the admissions criteria for each degree program. This means that an applicant must apply to each program separately. When applying to a joint degree, you are essentially applying to two separate programs. You will choose the option to apply to the joint degree option on the application site, but could gain admission into both programs, one program or neither one.

Once admitted to both programs, the applicant becomes a joint degree student. Students enrolled in the Asian American Studies MA, JD, MPH, or MPP program may apply for admission to the joint degree program in their first year of their respective program.

The aim of the MSW-JD program is to prepare its graduates to assume positions of leadership in law and social policy. Individuals interested in promoting constructive social change will find this dual degree to be aligned with their desires. The program graduates are prepared for careers as social service administrators, family court judicial personnel, public policy officials,  juvenile court representatives, mediators,  guardian ad litems,  and child support enforcement administrators.

  • A past recording of an online MSW-JD information session can be viewed here
  • MSW-JD Program Plan of Study

The combined MSW/MPP program offers students the opportunity to develop advanced policy practice skills with a focus on social justice and social welfare policy. Students will learn advanced policy skills to identify public issues, and policy analysis to determine alternative solutions to those issues and to become strong leaders in government, politics, and private or public organizations. The program is intended to prepare students for superior and versatile career opportunities in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, both nationally and internationally.

For the MPP, students electing to complete the APP as their research capstone (Comprehensive Exam in the MSW) would need to complete a summer block placement because of scheduling. Capstone units (8) would need to be replaced with elective units.

  • A past recording of an online MSW-MPP information session can be viewed here
  • MSW-MPP Program Plan of Study

The mission of the MSW-Asian American Studies (MA) program is to provide its graduates with the opportunity to address social inequities, encourage self-determination, and service a large and diverse Asian American community. The degree prepares its alumni for both graduate study, and careers in a variety of professional fields such as education, law, business, social work, and more, along with exposure to sub-disciplines, including education, sexuality studies, behavioral science, gender studies, history, law,  and more.

For the MA, students completing the comp exam in Asian American studies are required to complete the MSW Research Project. Students completing a Thesis capstone for their MA may take the MSW Comprehensive Exam in lieu of the research project but are required to replace the 8 units with elective coursework.

  • A past recording of an online MSW-MA information session can be viewed here
  • MSW-MA Plan of Study

The objective of the MSW-MPH program is to provide its students with the skills and knowledge necessary to advance themselves in preparation for promoting health, preventing disease, and enhancing the delivery of health and social services in the community. Graduates are prepared for work in a variety of interdisciplinary settings, and for some, the concurrent degree could possess a foundation for future doctoral study.

  • A past recording of an online MSW-MPH information session can be viewed here
  • MSW-MPH Plan of Study

Certificates, Licensure and Training Programs

UCLA Luskin’s Master of Social Welfare offers certificates, licensure, and training programs both during your time as a student and post-MSW.

LCSW Steps

Guide on Registering as an ASW

LCSW Licensing Process – California

Handbook for Future LCSWs

LCSW Exam Results (through March 2022)

UCLA MSW Curriculum and LCSW Pre-Licensure Course Requirements (The Department’s current curriculum does not meet the new suicide and telehealth requirements.)

Pre-Licensure Course Hours UCLA Course(s)
Child Abuse Assessment and Reporting in California 7 SW 231J: Advanced Practice – Child Welfare
Human Sexuality 10 SW 231X: Advanced Practice – Human Sexuality in Clinical Social Work Practice
Alcoholism and Chemical Substance Abuse and Dependency 15 SW 231G: Advanced Practice – Substance Abuse Intervention
Aging, Long-Term Care, and Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse 10 SW 231P: Advanced Practice – Gerontology/Aging and Long-Term Care
Spousal/Partner Abuse Assessment, Detection, and Intervention 15 SW 251A: Advanced Practice – Domestic and Sexual Violence
Suicide Risk Assessment and Intervention 6 NASW or other CEU provider
Provision of Mental Health Services via Telehealth (must include Law and Ethics)

*Required of those submitting an application for licensure on or after July 1, 2023 (otherwise will be required upon license renewal)

3 NASW or other CEU provider

*See BBS explanation that all accredited MSW programs in CA have met this requirement:

Applying for Licensure with a Conviction or Past Disciplinary Action:

Other References:

Updated:  03/20/2023

Click here to view or compare license requirements for licenses regulated in one or more jurisdictions.

This program provides intellectual and professional preparation to future experts who plan to work within the realm of global public affairs. GPA offers four different certificate clusters, which can be obtained in addition to any MPP, MURP, or MSW degree from the Luskin School.

Learn more about this certificate

The Network for Social​ Work Management (​​) is an international organization whose mission is to strengthen social work leadership in health and human services by advancing social work management. UCLA Luskin Social Welfare department provides a curriculum that is aligned with the NSWM ​Human Services Management Competencies​. ​UCLA MSW students are eligible to receive the Human Services Management Certificate if they meet the minimum eligibility requirements.

Human Services Management Certificate Requirements

  • California Social Work Education Consortium (CalSWEC)
  • Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH)
  • California Social Work Education Consortium (CalSWEC)
  • Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (LADCFS)

School social workers are the link between home, school, and community.  They give primary emphasis to helping public school pupils to achieve academic success by emphasizing the importance of academic advising.

Learn more about this program