Master of

Social Work

Earn your Master of Social Work degree with a three-year, part-time program designed for active human services professionals.


Become an Agent of Change

Combat social injustice by learning the nuances of an increasingly complex society. Learn to effectively address individual, family, group, and community needs caused by inequalities of class, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation. With advocacy and social change at its core, Cal State East Bay’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares you for leadership and direct practice positions in both non-profit and public agencies.

Gain invaluable experience working with target populations in ways that enable and empower them to participate in the social work change process. The program’s dynamic Curriculum incorporates hands-on experience through placement in a field internship during your second year of the program that will prepare you to mediate complex situations in the real world.

CSWE Accredited

Accredited by the Council on Social Work (CSWE)

Princeton Review Logo Best in the West

Named a "Best in the West" College by The Princeton Review

WASC Accredited

Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges

A Convenient Way to Earn Your Degree

Receive the same great education and degree without the hassle of conforming to a full-time program’s schedule. You’ll enjoy taking classes offered year-round on Saturdays, with some courses even held partially online, making Cal State East Bay the perfect program to fit your busy schedule.

You will learn the skill set to become the social work professional that you've always wanted to be or help to fill the gaps where you see needed… I loved my experience in the program. I have a connection with the professors and would recommend this program to anyone interested in obtaining an MSW.

Tech TranMS in Social Work Graduate

An Opportunity to Make It Count

Do you want a career in which you improve the quality of life for others? As a social worker, you can look forward to helping people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges such as poverty, discrimination, abuse, addiction, physical illness, divorce, death, stress, depression, unemployment, disability, and mental illness. Working directly with the community, you’ll be in a unique position to affect change daily and really make a lasting change in the lives of those around you.

As a graduate of an accredited Master of Social Work program, you’ll find yourself qualified to hold positions in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, schools, child welfare and human service agencies, hospitals, prisons, military, elected office, corporations, and private practices.

Occupational Trends

Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 16 percent from 2016 to 2026.

—U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The median pay for social workers in 2017 was $47,980 per year.

—U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Clinical social workers must have a master’s degree and two years of post-master experience in a supervised clinical setting.

—U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

In 2016, there were over 682,000 social work jobs in America.

—U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

A Community United for Good

Join the long list of Cal State East Bay MSW graduates who are social work leaders dedicated to serving society in public, non-profit, corporate, and academic settings.

As a graduate of Cal State East Bay’s Master of Social Work program, you’ll have the practical and professional training needed to:

Practice in increasingly complex, culturally, and racially diverse communities and develop strategies and skills to support and leverage your leadership roles in public social service organizations charged with responding to social problems such as poverty, family instability, mental illness, child welfare, and urban renewal.

Serve, advocate for, and mobilize client communities to address the special needs of underserved, poor, and oppressed populations.

Demonstrate sensitivity to and competence in addressing issues of race, culture, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and age over the life course.

Become a social work practitioner equipped to engage in social research and critical self-evaluation in practice settings with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

This program has helped me flourish in my career in many ways. Through this program, I was offered a first-year internship at the Rainbow Community Center and am now the Lead Case Manager there. I was also offered employment at my second-year internship as well. This program has opened my eyes to a more developed sense of who I am as a person, the ability I have to create social change, and what I need to do to effectively serve the underserved.

Tech TranMS in Social Work Graduate

The program taught me how to be an advocate for myself and for the families and communities that I serve…the time spent in the MSW program at CSUEB was time that I spent growing and developing both personally and professionally.

Natasha PaddockMS in Social Work Graduate

Convenience to Meet Your Needs

With the part-time MSW program, you’ll be able to balance your education and personal life by taking just seven courses per year. You’ll acquire the training and practical experience needed for a successful career in social work through the same rich and diverse curriculum you would receive in the full-time MSW program while benefitting from a schedule that fits with your busy life.

In addition to the in-class coursework, you can look forward to gaining real-world experience throughout the program, including placement in a field internship during your second year of the program.

Program Format

Cal State East Bay’s three-year MSW program is offered at the Oakland Center, conveniently located in downtown Oakland at 1000 Broadway. Classes are held on Saturdays between 8:45 am and 4:45 pm, with some classes taught in a hybrid (partially online) format. All courses require weekly or bi-weekly in-person attendance.

Degree Requirements

The MSW degree program requires completion of 88 quarter units distributed among core courses, option courses, elective courses, and a graduate paper (capstone or thesis). Of these, at least 76 units must be completed in residence after being admitted to the program (transfer units are limited to 13 quarter units). No course numbered 1000 to 2999 (or equivalent if taken elsewhere) may be used as part of the 88- or 89-unit graduate degree program.

A grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained in the 88 quarter units taken to satisfy the degree requirements. All graduate degree requirements must be completed within the five (5) years prior to graduation.

Required Courses

The courses offered in the three-year MSW program are identical to those offered in the full-time MSW program with the following 20 required 4-unit courses, plus two electives, for a total of 88 units.

The application deadlines vary depending on the quarter in which you plan to enter the program.

SW 6000: Human Behavior in the Social Environment I 4
SW 6001: Human Behavior in the Social Environment II 4
SW 6010: Race, Gender, and Inequality 4
SW 6030: Social Welfare Policy 4
SW 6032: Social Work Research 4
SW 6011: Generalist Practice I 4
SW 6012: Generalist Practice II 4
SW 6013: Generalist Practice III 4
SW 6020: Field Practicum I 4
SW 6021: Field Practicum II 4
SW 6022: Field Practicum III 4
SW 6505/SW 6500: Advanced Micro Practice: CMH or CYF 4
SW 6515/SW 6510: Advanced Mezzo Practice: CMH or CYF 4
SW 6525/SW 6520: Advocacy and Macro Practice: CMH or CYF 4
SW 6932/SW 6933: Quantitative and Qualitative Research 4
SW 6935/SW 6936: Program Evaluation 4
SW 6959/SW 6960: Integrative Seminar 4
SW 6530: Field Practicum IV 4
SW 6531: Field Practicum V 4
SW 6532: Field Practicum VI 4


Substance Abuse
Psychosocial Rehabilitation
Legal Issues in Social Work Practice
Issues in Social Work: Intensive Electives offered on topics of interest to students such as Motivational Interviewing, Social Work with Latino Families, grant writing, and DSM-IV-TR

Featured Faculty

Peggy Arevalo


Peggy Arevalo, MSW, LCSW earned her BA degree in clinical psychology and her master’s degree in social work from San Francisco State University in 1993. She has been teaching for Cal State East Bay for eight years. Arevalo has taught in the undergraduate and graduate department in the areas of advance clinical practice, human behavior and social environment, field seminar, and CYF micro/mezzo practice. She has in the past worked at Lucile Packard Children's hospital/ Stanford Hospital as a pediatric oncology and emergency room social worker. Arevalo currently works as a medical social worker at Wellbound dialysis unit providing education and support to peritoneal dialysis patients.

Ben-David Barr


Ben-David Barr, Ph.D. has worked for more than 25 years as a community organizer, social worker, and LGBTQ activist. Dr. Barr is currently the executive director of The Rainbow Community Center, a social service agency in Concord, CA that provides mental health, case management, social support, and HIV prevention services for members of the LGBTQ community. He has worked as a grant writer, evaluator, and program manager on a wide variety of projects. His work has been supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, U.S. Conference of Mayors, U.S Department of Health Research Service Administration (HRSA), as well as many city, state, and local government agencies.

Dr. Barr is currently managing a multi-year MHSA funded project developing school and community-based interventions to promote acceptance and support for LGBTQ youth. He previously worked as a county-level HIV/STI program manager, where he managed HIV and STI testing clinics and also provided services for incarcerated populations, active substance users, and commercial sex workers. He also served as executive director at two of Utah’s community-based non-profits, one that provided end of life care for people with AIDS, and one that provided HIV prevention, testing, and education services.

Dr. Barr has worked as a community organizer for the Seattle-based Gay City Health Project and as an ethnographic researcher in Seattle Washington on a NIDA-funded study examining gay and bisexual men’s initiation into methamphetamine use. In 1992, Dr. Barr received a national award of merit from the director of HHS for his HIV work, and he recently received a lifetime achievement award from the Utah Gay Pride Center for his contributions to the development of health and service programs for Utah’s LGBTQ community.

Dr. Barr earned his MSW from the University of Washington and his Pd.D. from UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare.

Ella Bell


Ella Bell has had a long standing career in the heath care profession. She worked as a nursing assistant, certified behaviorist, and a mental health supervisor. Bell founded the Build My Heart Foundation that serves at-risk families affected by heart disease. She also started an annual heart gala to raise funds and awareness for these families, and in 2011 she received a proclamation from Lieutenant Governor Gaven Newson for her philanthropic work with at-risk families in the Bay Area. Bell became a medical social worker for Kaiser in 2014 and continued her learning. She became a certified life care planning specialist and began assisting families with the emotional and difficult conversations of selecting a health care agent, completing advance directives, and engaging in long term planning. She continues to serve at-risk families impacted by heart disease and has partnered with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital to provide direct funding to their families who are low income.

Penny Bernhisel


Every day I come to work grateful to be a social worker and feel privileged to help others.

Penny Bernhisel believes there are multitudes of ways that social workers are needed in today’s world, and she found her purpose as a social worker first as a student in Cal State East Bay’s MSW program.

As an alumni and lecturer, Bernhisel believes teaching is a collaborative process in which she sees her job is to create an environment for open exploration, opportunities to validate intuitive and rational thinking through research and study, and innovate creative and unique projects that foster students’ individual desires for learning. Her research interests include: community mental health, trauma informed care, and primary care and mental health integration. Bernhisel is a member of Alameda County’s Mental Health Service Act Stakeholder’s Committee, and she has participated in both the Innovation Grant Subcommittee and the Community Services and Supports Subcommittee.

Mavis Braxton-Newby

Assistant Professor, Ph.D.

Mavis Braxton-Newby, MSW, LCSW, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in Cal State East Bay’s Department of Social Work. She earned a bachelor’s in social work and psychology from Oakwood College, a MSW with a concentration in children, youth and families from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. in human services with a specialization in social policy and planning analysis from Walden University. Her areas of research interest include mental health treatment and African American college students. She previously served as director of field education, CSUEB; director for the Department of Health and Counseling Services, Oakwood University, Huntsville, Alabama; and assistant professor for the Social Work Department, Oakwood University.

Carol F. Burton


I think of the students as future colleagues and that excites me!

Carol Burton received her MSW from Grand Valley State University in Michigan and relocated to California in 2008.  She is the managing director of Alameda County Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership (ACCIPP) and founder of Jeweld Legacy Group ( where she provides a range of capacity-building services for public and private institutions, organizations, and individuals serving the criminal justice population along with meeting facilitation and event planning. Burton designed Project ENABLE, a groundbreaking capacity- building model that supports organizations interested in working with the criminal justice populations. She is the principal investigator for the country's first comprehensive program and longitudinal study on children of incarcerated parents.  She serves as an advisor on several initiatives including the Sesame Street toolkit “Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration”. Burton received The White House Champion of Change Award for her outstanding work on behalf of Children of Incarcerated Parents. Burton joined Cal State East Bay as a part-time lecturer in 2015.

LeQuita Carroll-McKoy

Field Director, MSW

LeQuita Carroll-McKoy is currently serving as interim field director for Cal Stat East Bay’s Department of Social Work. Carroll-McKoy received her MSW in 2001 from Howard University in Washington, DC and her MPA from NOVA Southeastern University in Davie, Florida in 2010. With over 10 years of experience in social work, Carroll-McKoy has worked in both direct service practice and program management roles. She has served in various capacities within local government human service agencies for both Fairfax County in Fairfax, Virginia and Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Carroll-McKoy also teaches field instruction courses for both the full-time and part-time MSW programs at CSUEB.

Andrea Christian


My teaching style is integrative, as I use various techniques from role play, lectures, videos, and small group activities.

Since 2003, Andrea Christian has been an instructor at California State University, East Bay in the Department of Social Work teaching first and second year MSW graduate students in the areas of clinical theory and practice. Christian is from Berkeley, California. She attended UC Berkeley receiving her undergraduate degree in Social Welfare and her MSW from University of Chicago. Christian's teaching style is integrative as she uses various techniques from role play, lectures, videos, and small group activities in providing students with theoretical and practical understanding of concepts and interventions related to social work practice. Students are expected to give clinical and practical feedback through class presentations and facilitation.

Lee Collyer


Lee Collyer, MSW is an adjunct lecturer in the Cal State East Bay’s Department of Social Work. Collyer received his BA in Political Science from Marlboro College in Vermont, where he was the graduating class speaker. Collyer received his MSW from Wheelock College in Boston, MA where he was the Graduate Policy Fellow for the Legislative Children’s Caucus at the Massachusetts State House.

Collyer has over 10 years of experience working with youth and families in various environments--including public schools, residential treatment programs, correctional facilities, and therapeutic boarding schools.

He has taught and trained professionals on topics such as juvenile incarceration, psychology of poverty and intergenerational poverty, crisis management, behavior management, seclusion and restraint elimination, and positive behavior support.

Collyer’s primary research interests include: seclusion and restraint reduction, status offender rehabilitation programs, sexual abuse prevention, and child and family mental health policy.

In addition to his work with Cal State East Bay, Collyer currently oversees Lincoln Child Center's intensive counseling programs in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Renee Fentress

Field Liaison, MSW

Raised in a military family, Renee Fentress eventually settled in Alabama where she attended Oakwood University and received her BSW. Two days after graduating with her BSW, she started the Advance Standing Program at Alabama A&M University where she received her MSW. She loves traveling, music, laughing, and spending quality time with friends and family. Fentress worked with adolescents in locked residential settings before working as a dialysis and later hospice social worker.

Prior to working at Cal State East Bay, Fentress returned to her alma mater and worked at Oakwood University in the Social Work Department as field liaison. She joined the faculty at Cal State East Bay’s Department of Social Work in Spring 2012 as a part-time lecturer/liaison and officially came on board as a full-time lecturer/liaison in Fall 2012. Currently she teaches Field Instruction in the full time program and is the admissions coordinator for the department.

Siang Sin Goh

MSW, M.Ed.

Siang Sin Goh, MSW, M.Ed. is the project coordinator for the Title IV-E Stipend Program. Sin comes to the department with over a decade of experience working with children and families across criminal justice and health settings. She was a researcher with Save the Children Singapore and part of a team that established the country’s first program for children with incarcerated parents, aimed at promoting resilience and addressing reunification barriers. She also worked as a medical social worker serving infants with complex medical conditions from Hawaii and the Pacific region. In the Bay Area, Sin managed regional and national community health programs, collaborating with federal, state, and community agencies on policy initiatives ranging from access to healthcare to food justice issues for underserved populations.

Born and raised in Singapore, Sin received her master’s in social work and educational psychology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. 

Stuart Hanson


Stuart Hanson is a program evaluator and policy researcher with thirty years experience in the social services, health care, mental health, and disability fields at the local, state, and federal level. Currently he is evaluating a federally-funded mental health program for homeless veterans in Santa Clara County, CA. Hanson has taught research methods and statistics in the Department of Social Work at Cal State East Bay since 2004. Prior to that, he taught at UC Berkeley, San Jose State University, and the University of San Francisco. 

Hanson received his MSW from the School of Social Welfare at State University of New York, Stony Brook.  

Marian Meadows


With one foot in the field and one in the classroom, I am committed to supporting students in becoming the kinds of colleagues with whom I would trust one of my clients.

Marian Meadows has been a part-time instructor for the CSUEB MSW Program since 2012 and has served as a CSUEB field instructor for several years. Meadows’ teaching and supervision style is student-centric, strengths-based, and culturally responsive. When not teaching, Meadows is a full-time school social worker at the district level in a local school district and maintains a small private practice. Meadows brings with her 20 years of experience working with children, youth, and families in school settings, before and after school programming, environmental education, licensed childcare, and residential programs. She also has experience working in education policy, domestic violence prevention, and women and girls’ empowerment.

A strong proponent of public education, she received her BA in Psychology and Women's Studies from San José State University (SJSU) in 1998, her Master of Social Work degree and Pupil Personnel Services Credential from SJSU in 2002, and Preliminary Administrative Services Credential from Cal State East Bay in 2011.

Michelle Morales

Field Liaison, MSW

Bay Area native Michelle Morales, MSW, PPSC, graduated from San Francisco State University with an MSW and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC). She has served for over 17 years in school based mental health services in a variety of capacities for schools in Oakland, Berkeley, and East Side Union High School Districts. She has worked extensively with underserved and at promise children between the ages 0-18. Her teaching interests include social justice and bilingual and multicultural school social work practice. In addition, she has trained credential students in Parents Rights and Responsibilities in CA Public Schools, and in Special Education.

Morales joined the faculty at Cal State East Bay’s Department of Social Work in Fall 2012 as a full time lecturer/liaison. Currently she teaches field instruction in both the full and part-time programs.  

Macheo Payne

Assistant Professor, Ed.D.

Macheo Payne, Ed.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Work at Cal State East Bay. With a focus on addressing disparities among students and families of color in schools and social systems, Dr. Payne's research focuses on finding solutions to systemic inequity at the institutional and program level. Dr. Payne has over 20 years of experience as a skilled trainer and facilitator. As a registered clinical social worker, Dr. Payne trains and supports clinicians on how to provide mental health support to individuals and groups with an equity-minded focus. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Dr. Payne also holds a Master of Social Work from Cal State East Bay and doctorate in educational leadership from San Francisco State University. Dr. Payne lives in Oakland with his wife and two sons.

Amon Porter


Social work practitioners can make the world a better place.

Amon Porter, Ph.D., LCSW, is a child welfare supervisor with Alameda County Children and Family Services Department and a part-time lecturer at California State University, East Bay in the Department of Social Work. Dr. Porter is also a licensed clinical supervisor through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, and he is a licensed psychotherapist specialized in youth and family services. Dr. Porter has over 10 years of experience working with delinquent and foster youth in California. His research interests include foster care and social work policies.

Dr. Porter earned his Master of Social Work degree at San Francisco State University specializing in mental health and his Ph.D. in Social Work at Norfolk State University specializing in youth and families.

Dr. Porter is a member of the National Association of Black Social Workers, National Anger Management Association, American Psychology Association, and National Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.

Deborah Son


Each of our students has a unique story in their path to social work. It is my job to support their journey toward becoming transformative leaders and advocates, while continuing to be grounded in these inspirations.

Deborah Son, MSW, is a Cal State East Bay alumnus. She has served for over 10 years in various social justice capacities including work in anti-violence, gender and race equity, and healthcare advocacy. She has dedicated her work to programs and communities locally in the East Bay and has also provided national consultation and training around engaging communities of color through trauma-informed practices.

During her graduate tenure, Son was the founder of the API Social Work Association and recipient of the Lighting the Candle Award, Diana Ming Chan Scholarship, the API Faculty and Staff Association Scholarship, and CSUEB's Graduate Equity Fellowship. She served as regional director for NASW, was co-chair of the API Social Work Council, and currently serves as a commissioner in Contra Costa County. Son joined CSUEB’s Department of Social Work faculty in 2015 as an adjunct instructor.

Sarah Taylor

Assistant Professor, Ph.D.

Sarah Taylor, Ph.D. focuses her research on building the capacity of social service systems to improve the quality and effectiveness of their services. The systems she focuses on primarily serve transition-age youth, individuals with serious mental illness, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. Dr. Taylor is most interested in applied, community-based, participatory action research. She recently completed a photovoice project as an independent consultant for Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services, and she is currently collaborating with three of her students on a photovoice project with the Arc of Alameda County, an organization that serves individuals with developmental disabilities. She is also interested in diversity and social justice centered teaching and scholarship. Dr. Taylor enjoys teaching a wide variety of courses, with an emphasis on research and policy.

Dr. Taylor received her MA in Social Welfare and her Ph.D. in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. 

Tech T. Tran


Tech Tran identifies as a hetero-cisgender, Vietnamese Californian refugee. As a social worker, Tran is a fierce advocate and strong ally against the oppression of minority and marginalized people. He earned his master’s in social work at California State University, East Bay with an emphasis in community mental health and his undergraduate degree in sociology. Along with his unwavering pursuit to provide culturally compassionate case management, Tran is a school social worker for the Mount Diablo Unified School District and clinically counsels clients recovering from substance abuse. Additionally, leading with love, empathy and compassion, he instructs and supervises social work students from local universities.

Holly Vugia


You already have ‘helping’ in your soul, but let’s refine it and learn to do it with best-practices.

An engaging instructor, Holly Vugia (Dr. V) brings decades of clinical and academic experience to CSUEB’s classrooms. She has served as interim chair, field director, graduate admissions coordinator, undergraduate social services option coordinator, and San Jose State University’s School of Social Work program coordinator. Her experience spans the life cycle from infant mental health to geriatric services, with particular expertise in therapeutic work with families and kids, school social work, self-care, supervision, and trauma. Across diverse groups, social contexts, geographical areas, and service systems, Dr. Vugia practices from a relationship-, strength-, and empowerment-based perspective. Her students come away valuing integrity, identity, and innovation in the service of personal and social well-being. 

Rose Wong

Assistant Professor, Ph.D.

I’m motivated to teach and often touched by our students’ compassion and their natural interest in social problems and desire to contribute.

Rose Wong, Ph.D. specializes in community-based research and culturally sensitive mental health assessment and education in Asian American immigrants. She has developed Chinese depression educational materials and screening instruments and is currently developing training materials for professionals who work in primary care and community settings. She studied psychology and public administration in France and worked as an international development consultant in Brazil and Portugal prior to entering social work. Dr. Wong’s professional experience includes providing counseling to Chinese immigrant families who experienced domestic violence and training clinicians for integrated care practice.

Wong received her MSW and Ph.D. from UC Berkeley.

Karen Zeltzer


My goal in and out of the classroom is to engage, inspire and build knowledge, skills and confidence in my students. This includes helping each one to find his/her voice and place in the field of social work.

Karen Zeltzer, LCSW, RAS has been providing individual and group treatment, clinical supervision, trainings, consultations, and program administration in hospitals and community-based mental health and substance abuse programs for the past 20 years. Her areas of specialty include addiction, domestic abuse, trauma, and affect regulation. Zeltzer is a Registered Addiction Specialist and a Certified Batterers Intervention Counselor. She enjoys incorporating her experiences in the field into the classroom for real-life, practical discussions.

 Swipe left or right for the next/previous instructor
Peggy Arevalo

Peggy ArevaloMSW, LCSW

Ben-David Barr

Ben-David BarrPh.D.

Ella Bell

Ella BellACSW

Penny Bernhisel

Penny BernhiselLCSW, CPRP

Mavis Braxton-Newby

Mavis Braxton-NewbyAssistant Professor, Ph.D.

Carol F. Burton

Carol F. BurtonLMSW

LeQuita Carroll-McKoy

LeQuita Carroll-McKoy Field Director, MSW

Andrea Christian

Andrea Christian MSW

Lee Collyer

Lee CollyerMSW

Renee Fentress

Renee Fentress Field Liaison, MSW

Siang Sin Goh

Siang Sin GohMSW, M.Ed.

Stuart Hanson

Stuart HansonMSW

Marian Meadows

Marian MeadowsLCSW, PPSC

Michelle Morales

Michelle Morales Field Liaison, MSW

 Macheo Payne

Macheo PayneAssistant Professor, Ed.D.

Amon Porter

Amon PorterPh.D., LCSW

Deborah Son

Deborah SonMSW

Sarah Taylor

Sarah TaylorAssistant Professor, Ph.D.

Tech T. Tran


Holly Vugia

Holly VugiaPhD, MSW, PPSC, LCSW

Rose Wong

Rose WongAssistant Professor, Ph.D.

Karen Zeltzer

Karen ZeltzerLCSW, RAS

Thank you for your interest in California State University's Master of Social Work Part-Time Program.

Unfortunately the program is currently on hiatus until further notice.

Please click the "Request More Info" button below for more information on the program and to be placed on our interest list to receive notifications on the status of the program.

Applying to the Program

When you are ready to apply to the program, you will need to submit two separate applications -- one to the University and another to the Department of Social Work. To apply to the University, please complete the Graduate Online Application through Cal State Apply. When applying, be sure to choose "Hayward" when asked for campus and "Social Work - MSW - 3 Year Spec Sess" for program. Please note that the University charges a $55 application fee.

Admission Requirements

If you are planning a career in social work and have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with an earned overall grade point average of 2.8 (on a 4.0 scale) in your last 90 quarter units (60 semester units) of undergraduate work, you are invited to apply to the MSW program. If you have a GPA below 2.8, you may still apply and be admitted based on an evaluation of your student profile, including work experience, resume, letters of recommendation, and personal statement.

In addition to the Graduate Online Application, you will need to submit the following to the Department of Social Work:

A completed departmental application form

A personal statement (not to exceed five pages, double spaced; instructions in departmental application)

Three letters of recommendation, along with this cover sheet (letters from prior instructors or supervisors preferred)

A current resume

One complete set of official transcripts (in sealed envelope)

The application process checklist (with applicant’s signature)

The department does not charge an additional application fee.

Successful experience in social work or social work-related volunteer and paid positions will be considered in evaluating applications. 

It is suggested that application for admission to the University (Part A of the application) be filed together with the form for entry into the degree program (Part B of the application).

Common Questions

Does the MSW degree come with any options?
Yes, there is a Community Mental Health and a Children, Youth, and Family option.

Can I obtain credit for courses taken in other programs or at other schools?
Yes, you may be able to test out of certain first year courses, up to a maximum of 13 quarter units: Human Behavior in the Social Environment I & II, History and Philosophy of Social Work, and Introduction to Research.

I have a full-time job now. Can I enroll in the program?
Yes, the program was developed specifically for the working professional. Academic classes are offered on Saturdays between 8:45 am and 4:45 pm. During your second and third year, it is likely that you will need to adjust or reduce your work schedule to accommodate the 1,080 hours of internship required to attain the MSW degree.

My undergraduate degree is not in Social Work. Can I enroll in the program?
Yes, students in the program typically have a liberal arts degree.

Are there any classes offered online or hybrid?
Yes, some classes are offered in a hybrid format, where some of the course material is provided online. Fully online courses are not currently offered, and all courses require some face-to-face class time.

How many school terms are there, and how long is each school term?
The MSW program is offered on a quarterly basis, year-round. There are four quarters each year, and each quarter is 10 weeks long. You will complete your degree in three years.

Where is the program offered?
The campus is located at The Oakland Center located at 1000 Broadway, Suite 109, Oakland, CA. It is right next to the 12th St. Oakland City Center BART station.

When does the program start, and when will I graduate?
The program starts in the fall quarter (September) and graduates fall quarter (September), three years later. New students are only admitted for the fall quarter, and you may not begin the program mid-year.

Will I receive the same MSW degree as students at the Hayward campus?

What is the course schedule?
Two courses each quarter, typically one is hybrid and the other course is face-to-face.

The face-to-face course is usually offered from 8:45-12:15 every week; the hybrid course is usually offered 1:15-4:45 every other week. The schedule is subject to change.

Why is the 3-year part-time program separate from the full-time MSW program at the Hayward campus?
The full-time MSW program is offered at a different campus, with a different schedule, and covers all the MSW courses in two years. The part-time program caters to working adults and is completed in three years.

What if I need to withdraw from a course?
Withdrawal and Refund Policies vary depending on the type of program in which you enroll and some Continuing Education programs have course-specific refund policies. Please contact the program coordinator directly if you have any questions about refund and drop policies or visit the Registration Policies section for more information.


What are the admission requirements?
To be admitted in the program, you must hold an undergraduate degree in the liberal arts with a 2.8 GPA at minimum, provide three letters of recommendation, and submit TOEFL scores (for international students). Cal State East Bay also requires a human biology, anatomy, or physiology course, as well as a statistics course. No GRE required. If you have not taken the statistics or human biology/anatomy/physiology courses, you may still apply. If admitted, you will need to take those by the end of your first year in the program.


Is there financial aid available for this program?
Yes. Please access financial aid details on the University’s Financial Aid website. If you work for a county that receives Proposition 63 funds, please consult with your management staff to see if tuition reimbursement funds are available.

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At Cal State East Bay, we pride ourselves on putting students first, from the moment you inquire until you graduate. We hope you've found answers to your questions in this support center, but if not, please get in touch.

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At a Glance

Area of study: Master of Social Work with a concentration in Community Mental Health or Children, Youth, and Families

Ideal for: Professionals with a strong interest in mental health or family life across the lifespan

Individuals with diverse life experiences, including those with disabilities, interest in mental health services, members of the LGBTQ community, and members of racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in the social work profession

Program format: In-person

Number of courses: 22 courses

Program length: 3 years

Tuition costs: $28,000 (Tuition fees are subject to change at any time.)


Please let us know if we can answer any questions about the Social Work program. Many answers can also be found in our online Support Center.

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