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Master of Social Welfare (M.S.W.)

Imagine creating knowledge and opportunity for a better society.

| Social Welfare


Welcome to Social Welfare at UCLA.

Work with leading experts

on foster care,

gang interventions, and services for the elderly. Frame new approaches

to mental health,

education, and family and child welfare issues. Create strategies

for social service in one of

the most diverse cities in the world.

Opportunity and possibility?


Social A Profession and A Mission Professional social workers are an integral part of every setting where individuals and families are in need of services, and where social policies are needed to protect and promote the well-being of communities.

Welfare: Holders of THE Master of Social Welfare degree (MSW) play crucial roles in a number of different settings: patient education, end-of-life planning, substance abuse treatment, crisis intervention, mental health counseling, and employee assistance, among other services. These professionals are also well prepared to shape service delivery systems that reach broader populations: through the formation of effective social welfare policies; through interventions that focus on the interconnection of individuals, their environments, and social systems; and through the design, management, and improvement of service delivery systems that reach out to specific populations.

The UCLA Advantage The UCLA Social Welfare Department is an international leader in social work education, research, and human services. The Department’s research and teaching guide policy makers and shape practices and programs in such areas as welfare, aging, health care, mental health, children and families, and long-term support. UCLA Social Welfare faculty members are committed to placing their knowledge at the service of communities and empowering the disadvantaged and the vulnerable.

The Micro Track Helping Individuals and Families The micro concentration of the MSW program—Social Work with Individuals, Families, and Groups (SWIFG)—prepares students to work in settings where the focus of attention may be an individual or group of individuals (i.e., couples, families, support groups); special consideration is given to the larger context of relationships in the family, at school, on the job, and in religious, cultural, or other key environments. Micro practice, often called direct practice, serves clients who are confronting circumstances that threaten their well-being, whether emotional, physical, or economic. Incorporating prevention, treatment, and supportive interventions, direct practice reinforces, or in some cases, restores, a client’s ability to function effectively and attain her or his fullest potential.

The Macro Track Working in Communities and Organizations, Creating Policy The macro concentration of the MSW program—Social Work in Organizations, Communities, and Policy Settings (SWOCPS)—is concerned with the formulation of plans to solve community problems through effective social welfare programs and services. All students in the concentration acquire core skills in community planning and organizational management. Second-year courses include organizational and community innovation and change skills, management of human services, policy practice, and program evaluation. Field instruction in social work agencies provides students with an opportunity to learn practical aspects of planning for, budgeting for, and managing administration of a social service agency.

Degree Requirements The MSW degree requires two years of full-time study in the department. Degree candidates complete a total of 76 units of academic credit, including mandatory coursework in four basic academic sequences: • social welfare policy and services • human behavior and social environment • methods of social work practice • social welfare research methods Field placements: each candidate normally serves in a concurrent field placement with an approved social work agency in each of the two years, for a total of six quarters. The overall time requirement is approximately 1,200 hours over a two-year period. Additionally, students must take courses in social science research methodology and complete an advanced social welfare research course. An alternative to this advanced research course, with appropriate departmental approvals, is the satisfactory completion of an individual research project or participation in a group research project focused on a social welfare problem.

Changing Lives Through Skilled Interventions and Bold Leadership: Masters of Social Welfare Students Students in the UCLA Social Welfare Department come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and are attracted to the diversity and vitality of Los Angeles from across the country and around the world. They represent a broad range of undergraduate degrees including psychology, sociology, social work, business administration, political science, literature, and world arts. The MSW program attracts individuals with a strong interest in public service who share a passion for assisting those in need. Typically, students who are accepted into the program have a minimum of 3-5 years of work experience, although a select number of advanced students are accepted directly from their undergraduate institutions.

Social Welfare Faculty Faculty of the UCLA Social Welfare Department are nationally and internationally recognized as leading researchers in the areas of child welfare, mental health, aging, immigration, poverty, and adolescent issues, among many other subject specialties. Laura Abrams, Associate Professor, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley. Adolescent identity, gender and social welfare history, juvenile delinquency, program evaluation. Laura Alongi, LCSW, Field Faculty, MSW University of California, Los Angeles. Mental health issues with children, adolescents, and their families; parenting education and training and early childhood bonding process Helmut Anheier, Professor, Ph.D. Yale University. Civil society, nonprofit organizations, philanthropic organizations, NGO’s, globalization and civil society, comparative social and cultural policy, research methodology, social movements and networks. Rosina M. Becerra, Professor, Ph.D. Brandeis University. Social gerontology; child welfare; evaluation of welfare reform; policy issues in health and mental health over the lifespan; relationship between social work and ethnic communities. A.E. (Ted) Benjamin, Professor, Ph.D. University of Michigan. Patterns of public response to needs of people with disabilities; access, quality, and organizational models of home- and community-based services; politics of long-term care and intergenerational issues. continued on following page

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Steven Clark, Field Education Director, Ph.D. University of Southern California. Clinical practice theory as it relates to work with couples and families. JoAnn Damron-Rodriguez, LCSW, Adjunct Professor, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles. Community-based long-term care; gerontology/ geriatric education; minority aging. Larthia R. Dunham, ACSW, Field Faculty, MSW, University of Minnesota, Duluth. International social work; black families and communities; public child welfare. Todd Michael Franke, Associate Professor, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin. Educational and health service systems; school reform; hospitalization outcomes. Briget Freisthler, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley. Child abuse and neglect, substance use and related problems, environmental interventions, spatial econometrics and GIS. Yeheskel (Zeke) Hasenfeld, Professor, Ph.D. University of Michigan. Social welfare policy and service delivery systems; implementation of social service systems; management of human services; poverty and welfare reform; program evaluation. Woo “Toby� Hur, Field Faculty, MSW University of California, Los Angeles. Program development, resource development, strategic planning and management, volunteer management, coalition building, social marketing and research, human service management. Alfreda P. Iglehart, Associate Professor, Ph.D. University of Michigan. Social service delivery systems; public child welfare; foster care; community self-help.

Aurora P. Jackson, Professor, Ph.D. Ohio State University. Risk and resiliency among poor and near-poor single mothers and their young children; low-wage maternal employment; maternal psychological well-being, parenting, family processes, and child development; welfare reform. Stuart A. Kirk, Marjorie Crump Professor of Social Welfare, D.S.W. University of California, Berkeley. Mental health services and policies; intervention research; clinical decision-making; development of psychiatric diagnoses; deviant behavior; research utilization. Gerardo P. LaviĂąa, LCSW, Field Faculty, MSW University of California, Los Angeles. Public child welfare; school social work; multicultural issues. Jorja Leap, Adjunct Associate Professor, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles. Attachment, separation, and loss; organizational change; violence and cultural order; leadership; information technology; culture and communication. Karen Lee, LCSW Field Faculty, MSW, University of Southern California. Gerontological social work; mental health. LenĂŠ Levy-Storms, Associate Professor, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles. Aging and communication, satisfaction with care, mixed methodology, and program evaluation. Ailee Moon, Associate Professor, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley. Social welfare finance and policy; social service program evaluation; gerontology; welfare reform. Barbara J. Nelson, Professor, Ph.D. Ohio State University. Social policy in industrialized nations; organizational theory and behavior; social movements.

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Mary Kay Oliveri, LCSW, Diplomate, Field Faculty, MSW Washington University. Children and families in the mental health and public child welfare populations; psycho-social and cultural components of illness, disease, and intervention; support for families coping with mental illness, substance abuse, child abuse and neglect. Paul Ong, Professor, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley. Welfare-to-work; immigration; employment policy. Robert F. Schilling, Professor, Ph.D. University of Washington. Social intervention research; substance abuse intervention; HIV prevention; child protection. Heidi J. Staples, Director of the Center on Child Welfare, Field Faculty, MSW, San Diego State University. Child welfare and adoption systems, history, practice; foster and adoptive parent recruitment, placement, and retention; federal child welfare systems, grants, and legislation; training, technical assistance, and capacity building; the Multi Ethnic Placement Act (MEPA) and diligent recruitment with communities representative of children in care; child maltreatment identification and dynamics. Michelle Talley, Field Faculty, MSW University of California, Los Angeles. Youth and families, education issues, domestic violence, substance abuse/dependence, attachment/early bonding issues, and abuse and neglect issues. Fernando M. Torres-Gil, Professor and Chair, Ph.D. Brandeis University. Gerontology; the politics of aging; long-term care and services to the elderly; social policy; health care, Social Security and welfare reform; urban planning issues. Sharon Chun Wetterau, LCSW, CalSWEC Coordinator, Field Faculty, MSW University of CA, Los Angeles. Public child welfare; cultural competence; strengthening Asian and Pacific Islander American families and communities.

A High-Demand Profession Nationally, social work is one of the 10 fastest-growing professions in the country and in Los Angeles, trained social workers are in high demand. UCLA Social Welfare alumni are prepared for multifaceted careers in both the private and public sector, as leaders in social service agencies, and in policy making capacities in government. Among our graduates are administrators of the county mental health agencies and federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; probation officers and clinical social workers serving juvenile offenders; service providers to the elderly; and therapists in private practice. They work in state and federal legislative offices and in organizations such as the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Department of Veterans Affairs, Watts Labor Community Action Committee, and Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo Service Center. Numerous alumni choose to teach in an academic setting as field faculty or lecturers, and those who have completed the social welfare doctoral program are on the faculty of prestigious universities both in the U.S. and abroad, including: Columbia University; the University of Michigan; the University of Hawaii; Washington University; the University of Southern California; campuses of California State University; and universities in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Korea.

Costs and Financial Support Financial Aid at UCLA is provided to graduate students in the form of grants, fellowships, traineeships, teaching assistantships, and graduate student researcher appointments. Support based solely on need is also provided, in the form of work-study and loans, through the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office administers financial support based on need to domestic, full-time students. To apply for financial aid, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the FAFSA Renewal Application by March 2. Completion of the FAFSA or the FAFSA Renewal Application is required for all financial aid programs. For further information on Graduate Financial support, visit For information on Financial Aid, visit Current fee information may be accessED online at

Contact Us Department Information: (310) 825-2892 Admissions Information: (310) 825-7737 Lance Fooks, Admissions Officer Tanya Youssephzadeh, Graduate Advisor Fernando Torres-Gil, Chair

Fieldwork Stipends Stipends for students engaged in fieldwork are available through funding from several partner agencies: Practice Area / Agency Stipend

YEARS OF Funding

Post-degree Work Commitment


2 years

2 years


1 year

1 year

Public Child Welfare The California Social Work Education Center (CALSWEC) Inter-University Consortium/Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (IUC/DCFS)

Gerontological Social Work Southern California Geriatric Social Work Education (GSWE) Consortium

$4,000– $6,000

1 year (2nd year only) None

Veterans* Veterans Administration

$4,000 None

Mental Health** The California Social Work Education Center (CALSWEC) $18,500 *Participants are eligible for employment at the V.A. **Bilingual abilities are a plus for candidates.

1 year (2nd year only)

1 year

Many other field placements offer annual stipends that in the past have ranged from $500 to $8,000, including the Los Angeles City Mayor’s Fellowship for students interested in policy advocacy and implementation in the highest level of city government. Contact VC Powe, Executive Director, External Relations at for further information. Information and Deadlines MSW Information Sessions: October (check for dates and registration.) MSW Application Deadline: January 15 Fellowship Consideration Deadline: December 15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Deadline: March 2 Standardized Tests: GRE required for all applicants; TOEFL or IELTS for international students with less than two years of completed university-level coursework in an English-language institution.

About Social Welfare at The UCLA Luskin School Of Public Affairs “Our goal is to change the world. Students who graduate from the public policy, social welfare, and urban planning programs have the power to provide leadership, to effect remarkable changes for people across economic and geographical boundaries, and to bring about long-term solutions for the problems we face in our local and global communities. We’re here to create a better world—one project, one job, one action at a time.” —Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., Dean, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Founded in 1947, the UCLA Social Welfare program combines research and teaching that guides policy makers and shapes practice and programs in such areas as welfare, aging, health care, mental health, children and families, and long-term support. Social Welfare—offering MSW and Ph.D. degree programs, as well as joint programs in law, public policy, public health, and Asian American studies—is one of the three departments of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Together with the departments of Urban Planning and Public Policy, this academic intersection that is the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs allows for academic cross-collaboration and a graduate education that values perspectives at the macro- and micro-organizational levels. Graduates of the master’s degree and doctoral programs are well prepared to take leadership roles and effect change as practitioners, researchers, and policy makers in the public, private, and nongovernmental sectors.

Department of Social Welfare 3250 School of Public Affairs Building, Box 951656, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656

UCLA Master of Social Welfare (MSW) Program Brochure 2011  

2011 UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Master of Social Welfare program brochure