Academic Catalog 2021-2022

Social Work

This is an archived copy of the 2021-2022 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

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 intentionally designed to address the diverse social service needs, issues and problems particular to a large metropolitan area such as Los Angeles County. Building on the diversity of the various ethnic groups and cultures residing in the area, the program will prepare social work students for contextually competent social work practice, inclusive of the issues of culture, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, class, sexual orientation and gender. The effects of bias, prejudice and institutionalized racism are examined so that students understand how these issues can affect social work practice, policy development and program implementation. Students learn a variety of perspectives and ways of identifying strategies and interventions for addressing these concerns and other problems in social work practice with individuals, families and communities.

The Department of Social Work promotes a psychosocial, ecological and cross-cultural approach to social work practice with Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality serving as the theoretical framework for contextually competent practice. 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 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 tax payer 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 are available from Sharon Chun Wetterau: WH 385 - (310) 243-2040.

Admission to the Master of Social Work Program

Applicants must apply to both the University and the Department of Social Work.  In order to be considered for admission to CSU Dominguez Hills and the MSW program, eligible applicants must complete an on-line application through Cal State Apply: Supplemental program materials must also be submitted and may be obtained through the admissions page of the Department of Social Work’s website: Official transcripts should be submitted approximately two (2) weeks after completing the online application.

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 are 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. Applications with a lower GPA may be considered based on their meeting certain other criteria.
  3. A successful applicant must have satisfactorily completed (earned a grade of “C”, not “C-” or better) each of the following eight courses:
    • Elementary Statistics or its equivalent (visit for a partial list of equivalent courses);
    • Human Development or its equivalent (visit for a partial list of equivalent courses);
    • Three courses in the behavioral sciences (social work, sociology, cultural anthropology, psychology, child development, human services, economics, political science, and gender, ethnic or disabilities studies, etc.);
    • Two courses in the humanities (philosophy, U.S. history, literature, religious studies, performing or visual arts, etc.); and
    • One course in English composition.
    Students without this background are encouraged to apply and may be admitted to the MSW program but will likely be required to complete certain liberal arts requirements prior to matriculation.   
  4. Official transcripts of all college coursework completed to date, 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 submit CSUDH transcripts.However, the Department of Social Work still requires applicants to submit updated official transcripts from all non-CSUDH institutions.
    • 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 (and conferral of baccalaureate degree, if applicable).
    Submit official transcripts (electronic transcripts are 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 or (310) 243-3645.
  5. Good standing at the last college or university attended.     
  6. Apply to CSU Dominguez Hills and the Department of Social Work via Cal State Apply ( Application guidelines and forms required by the Department of Social Work are available at Students must submit the following documents as part of the on-line application process:
    • A 4-6 (four to six) page personal statement;
    • Statement of Financial and Time Management; and
    • Experience Profile
  7. Submission of a recommendation form and a formal recommendation letter from three (3) separate individuals who can evaluate the applicant's potential for graduate study (forms and guidelines are available at Completed reference materials should be mailed or hand delivered by the designated deadline to:
    CSU Dominguez Hills
    Department of Social Work (Welch Hall A-385)
    College of Health, Human Services, and Nursing
    1000 East Victoria Street
    Carson, CA 90747