Social Work, M.S.W.
Department of Social Work Education
Dr. Martha Vungkhanching, Professor and Chair
Professional and Human Services 128
Degrees and Programs Offered
BA in Social Work, B.A.
MSW in Social Work, M.S.W.
PREB in Pre-Social Work
The profession of social work is dedicated to meeting the diverse social service needs of special populations of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. As a practice-oriented profession, social work deals with social concerns that range from societal oppression to people's emotional/behavioral problems.
The Department of Social Work Education offers two degree programs to educate beginning and advanced social work practitioners who can meet complex client needs in a broad range of public and private human service settings and who can perform in a variety of roles using a multisystems approach. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program prepares students for beginning generalist social work practice as well as for graduate study in the human service field, including social work. The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) prepares the learner for advanced multisystems social work practice as well as for doctoral study in social work and related human service arenas. Both the B.A. and the M.S.W. programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Master of Social Work Degree Requirements
In the 60-unit program, all students are required to take the following courses: SWRK 200, 203, 212, 213, 220, 221, 224, 225, 227, 246, 247, 260, 261, 280, 281, 282, 283, and 292, in addition to completing a project (298) or a thesis (299), for a total of 54 units. The remaining 6 units may be selected from social work electives. Electives from other departments must be approved by the graduate coordinator.
Master of Social Work Writing Requirement
The graduate writing requirement for the Master of Social Work is satisfied by passing a writing exam during the first semester of graduate coursework. The student must pass the writing exam as a prerequisite to advancement to candidacy. For more information about the writing requirement and the appeals process, refer to the Graduate Handbook. The Graduate Handbook is available on the Department of Social Work Education website.
Master of Social Work
This program is designed to prepare students for advanced social work practice — as social work practitioners who are capable of intervening at individual, family, small group, organization, and community levels. Students achieve competence in problem identification, assessment, development of intervention plans, and evaluation of practice. Students build cross-cultural awareness and learn to use empowerment and social justice perspectives when making interventions with client systems of various sizes.
Students complete a total of 60 units of graduate work, including 10 units of supervised internship with participating agencies in the community. They will prepare an acceptable master's project or thesis which investigates social problems and appropriate intervention strategies for the purpose of building upon the profession's knowledge base.
The program prepares students for practice and advancement in the social work profession. Students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to provide direct services, consultation, training, program development, practice evaluation, and social service research on behalf of clients and community and contribute to the advancement of the profession.
Advancement to Candidacy
Students accepted to the program must maintain an average GPA of 3.0 in all coursework, must file for Advancement to Candidacy after completion of 9 units, and pass the Graduate Writing Requirement. Graduation requires maintaining a 3.0 GPA and submission of the Advancement to Candidacy document. A minimum of a C grade is expected in all courses.
A limited extended degree program option is available. Consult the graduate coordinator for more information.
As part of the MSW, the Department of Social Work Education offers a program that satisfies the requirements for the California Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential with Specializations in School Social Work and Child Welfare and Attendance. This credential authorizes the holder to provide school social work and child welfare and attendance services as an employee of a K-12 public school in the state of California. The PPS program in Social Work at Fresno State is not available as an "add on" program to another degree and is also not available as a post-graduate option for those with an MSW or another master's degree. Students interested in the PPS program will first need to apply and be admitted to the MSW program at Fresno State. Coursework and internship specific to the PPS credential are completed in the second year of the full-time MSW program. The Department of Social Work Education, in conjunction with the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, recommends candidates for a PPS credential who have met all of the requirements of the M.S.W. and PPS credential programs. Advising and admissions information are available through the P.P.S. coordinator in the Department of Social Work Education.
The faculty members of the department represent a wide spectrum of theoretical orientations and approaches to professional social work practice. All have substantive practice experience and many engage in active research programs and social policy interests. In addition to the on-campus facilities of the university, the department uses the San Joaquin Valley’s unique urban-rural configuration of people, social-political institutions, and the accompanying host of social service needs as the setting for field internships.
Numerous public and private social service agencies in our region make their facilities and professional social work staff available for the internship requirements of the programs. Internship experiences are available in the schools, healthcare settings, behavioral health, probation, and social services departments in the counties of Fresno, Kings, Madera, Tulare, and San Luis Obispo. A representative sample of settings include Community Regional Medical Centers of Central California, Valley Children’s Hospital, Fresno Unified School District, Focus Forward, and Kings County Human Services Agency.