Academic Catalog 2024-2025

Social Work

College of Health, Human Services, and Nursing
Department of Social Work

Program Description

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program at California State University, Dominguez Hills is dedicated to pursuing a more just, global society through a critical, theoretical approach to social work education, research, and community-centered practice.  Specifically, the program is dedicated to advancing anti-racist social work education that addresses societal dynamics stemming from intersectional oppression based on race, ethnicity, culture, gender, immigration, socioeconomic status, and membership in other categories historically subjected to oppression, discrimination, and indifference.  Located in a diverse, complex urban setting, the program prepares Master level social workers to professionally and ethically deliver social work practice grounded in analysis, intervention, evaluation, and advocacy, which addresses racial oppression and other forms of structural inequality to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. 

A core aim of the Department of Social Work is to advance antiracist social work education.  The CSUDH program, grounded in Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality, is committed to dismantling racism. CRT/I framework provides an interdisciplinary and critical approach to social work education that allow the CSUDH MSW program to train practitioners to understand that the conditions that a service user presents before the social worker have just as much, if not more, to do with institutions and systems than with the client themselves. Using a CRT/I perspective allow our students to understand individual clients’ issues through the barriers of institutional racism and the intersections of multiple layers of oppression. With the support of these theoretical frameworks, our students are well poised to enter the social work field with the tools to affect systems-level change in their communities. The curriculum is developed and organized as a coherent and integrated whole consistent with program goals and objectives. California State University, Dominguez Hills offers one concentration: Social Work Practice in Communities (SWPC), and three specializations that students can choose from: Children, Youth and Families, Community Mental Health, and Community Capacity Building.

The MSW program requires completion of 60 semester credit hours, which can be accomplished through the following program options: A two-year full-time program with classes that meet on campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the day, with fieldwork hours on Monday, Wednesday, and some Fridays; or a three-year part-time program with year-round classes held in the evenings and weekends and fieldwork occurring in the second and third years during normal business hours on weekdays. The curriculum is organized around the following core areas: Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Practice, Policy, Research, and Field Education. At the end of the foundation year, students are expected to have acquired a sense of professional responsibility and the ability to use the knowledge on behalf of individuals, groups, and communities. In the advanced year, the curriculum is planned to combine the concentration around major intervention systems, or specializations that build on a generalist base obtained in the first year of study. This combination enables graduates to move into the social work community with a combination of knowledge and skills in a broad area, as well as in-depth knowledge and skills in a particular method or area of service.

Academic Advisement

Interested students should visit or contact the Department of Social Work at (310) 243-3170 for more information. Students and applicants are strongly advised to consult the website for updated information, prior to contacting the Department of Social Work.

Pre-Admission Disclosure for Academic Programs Leading to Licensure or Credentialing

Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or taxpayer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements is available from Iris A'Hirataro: WH 385 - (310) 243-3068.

Admission to the Master of Social Work Program

Applicants must apply to both the University and the Department of Social Work via the Cal State Apply online system: ( Application components are outlined, below.  Following careful review of the program materials and application guidelines that are available on the Department of Social Work’s website (, questions about the MSW program, application requirements, review process, and decisions may be directed to:

Admission Requirements

1.    Completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited, four-year institution or equivalent academic preparation as determined by appropriate campus authorities (a liberal arts foundation is preferred). Applicants without a baccalaureate degree may be eligible to apply, as long as they meet certain eligibility requirements, as outlined by the CSU Office of Admissions.

2.    A GPA of 2.75 (on a scale of 4.0) or better in the last 60 semester/90 quarter units is preferred. However, applications with a lower GPA are still considered.

3.    Satisfactory completion (earned a minimum grade of “C”, not a "C-" or below) of prerequisite courses.  Pass, Satisfactory, Credit, or other equivalent grades representing successful completion are also acceptable. However, grades representing unsuccessful completion (e.g. "C-" or below, Fail, Unsatisfactory, or No Credit, etc.) will not be accepted.  Prerequisite coursework consists of the following:

a. One (1) Elementary Statistics course, or its equivalent (visit https:// for a list of equivalent examples);

b. One (1) Human Lifespan Development course, or its equivalent (visit for a list of equivalent examples);

c. Two (2) courses in the humanities (philosophy, U.S. history, literature, religious studies, performing or visual arts, etc.); and

d. Three (3) social / behavioral science courses (e.g. social work, sociology, cultural anthropology, psychology, child development, human services, economics, political science, and gender, ethnic or disabilities studies, etc.).

4.    Submit an official transcript from every institution you have attended outside of CSUDH, even if the courses were transferred or whether you withdrew before completing a term.  Official transcripts must be submitted to the Office of Admissions by the designated deadline. The following circumstances may apply to some applicants:

·      Current and former CSUDH students do not need to order CSUDH transcriptsOnly transcripts of non-CSUDH courses need to be submitted. You will need to submit an official transcript from every institution you have attended outside CSUDH, even if you withdrew before completing a term and whether the courses are transferable. 

·       Applicants with remaining coursework at the time of application must submit an initial set of official transcripts of all college coursework completed to date, then submit updated transcripts reflecting successful completion of remaining coursework, including prerequisites and/or conferral of baccalaureate degree, if applicable.

·       Submit official transcripts (electronic transcripts preferred) by the designated deadline to:

CSU Dominguez Hills
Office of Admissions & Records
1000 East Victoria Street
Carson, CA 90747

Please direct transcript-related questions to

5.    Applicants must be in good standing at the last college or university attended.

6.    In addition to other information, applicants must submit the following (NOTE: full details of guidelines and instructions are available at ):

·   Personal statement (12-font, 4-6 double-spaced pages), using the question prompts outlined in the application guidelines

·   Statement of Time Management; 

·   Statement of Financial Management; 

·   Experience Profile;  

 ·  Names and contact information of three (3) professional and/or academic references who can evaluate the applicant's potential for graduate study. Personal references will not be accepted.