Masters of Social Work (MSW)
The following is a brief description of the MSW program. For more information on the MSW program, please see the current MSW Student Handbook.
The MSW Program
Founded in 1969, and fully accredited by the Council of Social Work Education, the MSW Program maintains an integrated and diverse student body. The program was originally designed to prepare students to work with California's Spanish-speaking populations. Over time, demographic changes coupled with increasing challenges to the profession contributed to the expansion of the original mission to reflect a trans-cultural perspective. Students are prepared for professional practice that enables them to work competently with Latinos, other minority groups, and those communities, groups, families, and individuals who are disenfranchised, oppressed, and/or marginalized. It is this emphasis on trans-cultural practice that makes the program unique. This perspective further guides the school's curriculum such that graduates of the program are committed to enhancing the well-being of individuals and their communities, building upon the strengths of diverse cultures, and advocating for social justice.
The program offers students the option of attending graduate school either on a full-time (two years) or a part time (three-year) basis. The two year (full-time) program provides the opportunity for students to earn a Master of Social Work degree in a timely fashion. Classes and field education ordinarily are concurrent in both years.
In the first year of the full-time program, students develop a solid foundation in generalist social work practice to empower individuals, families, and communities in order to promote the well-being of communities of color, populations-at-risk, and groups that are disadvantaged, oppressed, or marginalized. The second year is the advanced year which focuses on the Concentration of Trans-cultural Multi-Systems Practice. This year builds upon the foundation year and students become more competent in integrating theories, models, and professional values with trans-cultural multi-systems practice at micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Students identify a field of practice to study more in-depth such as aging, children, youth, and families, health/mental health or school social work. Please click on the Typical Course Plans (two year and three-year and the MSW Student Handbook links for more details.
The three year program enables students to earn an MSW by extending the curriculum plan thus requiring students to carry a full course load. This program curriculum distributes the foundation-generalist courses into two years. Internships begin in the second year of the program. The third year is the equivalent to the full-time program's final year with students assuming a full class and internship load.
The MSW program also offers specialized training opportunities in child welfare and mental health. Please click on the following links for more information regarding these options.
To be awarded the Master of Social Work degree, students must: 1) complete 63 units of specified graduate work in the MSW Program with a 3.0 or better grade point average (GPA); 2) complete all the prerequisites, course work, and agreements outlined by the MSW Program and San José State University that includes candidacy and graduation forms properly submitted while a graduate student; 4) meet the University English Competency requirement; and, 5) finish all degree requirements within seven years (California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Education). Please note that San José State University, not the MSW Program, is responsible for conferring the degree.