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Strengthening Organizations and Communities

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.

Field Placements

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
Alameda County Probation Department
Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
Brothers on the Rise
Family Service Agency of San Francisco
Fred Finch Youth Center Administration
Glide Foundation
La Clinica de la Raza
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Marin County Department of Health and Human Services

Oakland Community Organizations
Rainbow Community Center
Richmond Area Multi Services, Inc.
San Francisco Department of Public Health
San Francisco Foundation
San Francisco General Hospital
San Francisco Human Services Agency
Seneca Family of Agencies
W.O.R.L.D. - Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases

Special Program Options

Concurrent Degree in Public Health (MSW+MPH)
Concurrent Degree in Public Policy (MSW+MPP)
School Social Work Credential ("PPSC") Program
Social Work with Latinos Certificate (SWLC)

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.

SOC Careers

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
Community-based Organizations
Community Grantmaking Foundations
Community Organizing Agencies
County Social Services Agencies
Family Services Agencies
Health Care Systems
Higher Education Administration

Hospitals & Clinics
Legislative Bodies
Nonprofit organizations
Private for-profit social service companies
Residential Treatment Programs
Schools
State & Local Governments

SOC Connections

Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA)
Mack Center on Nonprofit and Public Sector Management in the Human Services
The National Network for Social Work Management

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