Promoting social justice through program development, implementation, evaluation, community organizing, and policy practice.
Students in the Strengthening Organizations and Communities ("SOC") specialization area are prepared for leadership in the public and nonprofit sectors as program managers, agency directors, policy analysts, program evaluators, and community organizers.
SOC students learn the techniques needed to create, maintain, and enhance client-serving institutions and to empower communities; and gain skills in community and program development; agency management; legislative and policy analysis; financial and information systems management; program evaluation; and service specialization. Specialized training provides state-of-the-art knowledge for effective multilevel practice with clients, organizations and communities.
- For course descriptions and degree requirements, please see the Berkeley Academic Guide to Social Welfare.
- To see the differences and similarities between the curriculum requirements for each specialization area, view or download the "Berkeley MSW Curriculum At-a-Glance" [pdf].
SOC students develop advanced practice and leadership skills through 1,100+ hours of hands-on experiential learning available at an extensive array of public, private and nonprofit agencies in the highly diverse San Francisco Bay Area.
Sample SOC Field Placements
Administrative Office of the Courts
Oakland Community Organizations
Special Program Options
Fellowship and Funding Opportunities
Cal-Child Welfare Leadership Training (Cal-CWLT) Program
The Cal-CWLT initiative prepares MSW students for leadership in child welfare practice post-graduation.
Integrated Behavioral Health MSW Stipend Program
Stipend-based training program for students in eligible field placements providing behavioral health services integrated with, co-located with, or closely coordinated with primary care.
Latinx Center of Excellence Stipend Program
Stipend-based training program for students to support field education in a Latinx-serving organization.
Departmental Graduate Fellowships
Bradner-Cornet Fellowship; Ralph M. Kramer Award; Milton and Florence Krenz Mack Graduate Fellowship; Harry Specht Memorial Graduate Fellowship
- For more information about fellowships and other financial support resources, please visit our Student Funding page.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),
"Employment of social and community service managers is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increases in the elderly population and increases in demand for substance abuse treatment and mental health and health-related services."
80% of Berkeley Social Welfare graduates find full-time employment within six months of graduation, and over 90% are currently working in social welfare or related careers. Challenging and rewarding leadership positions are available to SOC MSW graduates in a wide variety of public and nonprofit settings:
City & Regional Planning Agencies
Hospitals & Clinics
- Berkeley Social Welfare Career Guide [pdf]
- BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook: Social and Community Service Managers
- Career Center
- National Association of Social Workers: Administration/Supervision Practice