Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Social Work at Cal State Fullerton is to educate emerging and committed professionals for direct social work practice with vulnerable, marginalized, and disadvantaged populations. The Master of Social Work (MSW) programs offered by the Department pay particular attention to individuals and groups in socially, culturally, and economically diverse environments, with special sensitivity to the multicultural populations of Orange County and the Southern California region. The mission of the Department includes a commitment to developing competent and effective professional social workers who will provide leadership in developing social work knowledge, addressing social problems, and advocating against social injustice. This mission is consistent with the purposes of the social work profession as defined by the Council on Social Work Education.

MSW Programs

The Department of Social Work offers two MSW programs; both programs require 60 semester units to complete.

The two-year MSW program at the Fullerton campus offers students two direct service specialization options: Child Welfare and Community Mental Health (with specialization options, including Aging: a Multigenerational Perspective). The Child Welfare concentration focuses on services in the child welfare system, such as child protective services, foster care, and adoption assistance. The Community Mental Health concentration prepares students to work with various client populations across the mental health care system, including children, families, adults, and older adults. Courses in the two-year MSW program are offered weekdays only.

The MSW Flex program through Extension and International Programs, formerly University Extended Education, offers students two direct service specialization options: Child Welfare and Community Mental Health, as described above. This program allows students to complete the program in three years, with some flexibility. Courses in the MSW Flex program are offered on weekday evenings.

Both MSW programs provide two years of field education, typically completed in four consecutive semesters (Fall and Spring terms). The field education is comprised of two internships at two different social service agencies. The Director of Field Education places students in field agencies intended to optimize the development of both the students’ professional interests and social work practice skills.

Presently, the Department of Social Work does not offer advanced standing in either MSW program.

Both MSW programs are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

MSW Program Goals

  • To prepare social work students to take leadership roles in public social service organizations charged with responding to societal problems such as poverty, family instability, mental illness, and child abuse;
  • To prepare students to enhance the social functioning and interactions of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities by teaching strategies to involve targeted populations in accomplishing goals, developing resources, and preventing and alleviating distress;
  • To prepare social work students to be change agents and to work effectively in increasingly complex, culturally and racially diverse communities;
  • To prepare social work students to understand the impact of racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of oppression in creating and maintaining barriers to effective participation in American society;
  • To prepare social work students to understand the relationship of the economic, political and social system to the maintenance of poverty and oppression in American society;
  • To prepare students to develop and use research, knowledge, and skills that advance social work practice.

Core Values

Service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence.

Department of Social Work

800 North State College Blvd.,
Fullerton, California 92834
Room EC-207,
Phone: (657) 278-8452,
Fax: (657) 278-2440


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