FlexMSW Extended

PLEASE NOTE: Berkeley Social Welfare will not be accepting applications for Fall 2023 admission to either FlexMSW Program track.

The FlexMSW Extended Program is a three-year MSW degree track option for otherwise qualified students who are not able to participate in our full-time MSW professional degree program due to employment, family care, or other significant obligations.

Extended MSW Program degree plans allow students to enroll on a part-time basis and complete the required foundational, specialized, and field education components over a longer period of time than the two-year, full-time MSW degree plan.

Admission to the FlexMSW Extended Program

Admission eligibility requirements for the FlexMSW Extended degree program are the same as for the full-time Berkeley MSW program.

Prospective students must apply and be admitted directly into the FlexMSW Extended Program degree track. Once admitted to any MSW degree track at Berkeley, students are not permitted to switch from full-time to the FlexMSW Extended option, or from the FlexMSW Extended option to the full-time MSW Program.

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The FlexMSW Extended Program requires the same program of study and minimum total of 54 units as the full-time Berkeley MSW Program plan, including 25 units earned in field education. The FlexMSW Extended degree track is designed to be completed in eight semesters over three calendar years (August to August), inclusive of two summer terms. Upon successful completion of all requirements, students are awarded the Master of Social Welfare (MSW) degree, typically conferred in August.

FlexMSW Extended Program Plan of Study

FlexMSW Extended Program students may complete their degree in any of the three MSW specialization areas.

  • FlexMSW students have priority enrollment access to all classes scheduled in the evenings and on Saturdays.
  • Some required classes for some specializations may only be offered during regular weekday hours (between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.)

Expand the tabs below to see a semester-by-semester curriculum plan for the FlexMSW Extended degree track.

FlexMSW Extended Program: Specialization in Strengthening Children, Youth and Families

First Semester - Fall (6 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 200 Theories for Multilevel Practice 2 2 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 220 Introduction to Social Welfare Policy 2 2 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 240 Historical, Philosophical & Intellectual Foundations of Social Work 2 2 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
Second Semester - Spring (6 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 230 Social Policy: Children & Families 2 2 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 275 Diversity-sensitive & Competent Social Work (or approved alternative) 2 2 hours/week for 15 weeks
Choose ONE of the following courses:
SOC WEL 210B Infant Development 2 2 hours/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 212 Child Development from Infancy to Adolescence in Its Social Context 2 2 hours/week for 15 weeks
Third Semester - Fall (9 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 241 Foundations of Multilevel Practice 3 3 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 290A Foundation Field Integration Seminar 2 TBD
SOC WEL 410A Foundation Field Practicum 4 16 hours per week, by arrangement
Fourth Semester - Spring (7 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 243 Direct Practice in Child & Family Settings 2 2 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 290B Foundation Field Integration Seminar 1 TBD
SOC WEL 410B Foundation Field Practicum 4 16 hours per week, by arrangement
Fifth Semester - Summer (4 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL TBD Elective (chosen from approved SOC WEL elective courses) 2 TBD Six-week Summer Session A or D
SOC WEL TBD Elective (chosen from approved SOC WEL elective courses) 2 TBD Six-week Summer Session A or D
Sixth Semester - Fall (9 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 282A Seminar in Social Research 2 TBD
SOC WEL 292A Advanced Field Integration Seminar 1 TBD
SOC WEL 412A Advanced Field Practicum 6 24 hours per week, by arrangement
Seventh Semester - Spring (9 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 282B Seminar in Social Research 4 TBD
SOC WEL 292B Advanced Field Integration Seminar 1 TBD
SOC WEL 412B Advanced Field Practicum 6 24 hours per week, by arrangement
Eighth Semester - Summer (2 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL TBD Additional Advanced Practice or Elective Course 2 TBD Six-week Summer Session A or D

FlexMSW Extended Program: Specialization in Advancing Health and Wellbeing across the Adult Lifespan

First Semester - Fall (6 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 200 Theories for Multilevel Practice 2 2 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 220 Introduction to Social Welfare Policy 2 2 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 240 Historical, Philosophical & Intellectual Foundations of Social Work 2 2 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
Second Semester - Spring (6 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 238C Health Policy: A Social Welfare Perspective 2 2 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 275 Diversity-sensitive & Competent Social Work (or approved alternative) 2 2 hours/week for 15 weeks
Choose ONE of the following:
SOC WEL 205 Psychosocial Problems and Psychopathology 2 2 hours/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 210C Aging Processes 2 2 hours/week for 15 weeks
Third Semester - Fall (9 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 241 Foundations of Multilevel Practice 3 3 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 290A Foundation Field Integration Seminar 2 TBD
SOC WEL 410A Foundation Field Practicum 4 16 hours per week, by arrangement
Fourth Semester - Spring (7 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 290B Foundation Field Integration Seminar 1 TBD
SOC WEL 410B Foundation Field Practicum 4 16 hours per week, by arrangement
Choose ONE of the following courses:
SOC WEL 244 Direct Practice in Community Behavioral Health & Recovery Services across the Adult Life Span  2 2 hours/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 245 Direct Practice in Health Settings across the Adult Life Span 2 2 hours/week for 15 weeks
Fifth Semester - Summer (4 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL TBD Elective (chosen from approved SOC WEL elective courses) 2 TBD Six-week Summer Session A or D
SOC WEL TBD Elective (chosen from approved SOC WEL elective courses) 2 TBD Six-week Summer Session A or D
Sixth Semester - Fall (9 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 282A Seminar in Social Research 2 TBD
SOC WEL 292A Advanced Field Integration Seminar 1 TBD
SOC WEL 412A Advanced Field Practicum 6 24 hours per week, by arrangement
Seventh Semester - Spring (9 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 282B Seminar in Social Research 4 TBD
SOC WEL 292B Advanced Field Integration Seminar 1 TBD
SOC WEL 412B Advanced Field Practicum 6 24 hours per week, by arrangement
Eighth Semester - Summer (4 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL TBD Additional Advanced Practice or Elective Course 2 TBD Six-week Summer Session A or D

FlexMSW Extended Program: Specialization in Strengthening Organizations and Communities

First Semester - Fall (8 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 200 Theories for Multilevel Practice 2 2 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 210i Group, Organizational & Community Dynamics 2 2 hours/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 220 Introduction to Social Welfare Policy 2 2 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 240 Historical, Philosophical & Intellectual Foundations of Social Work 2 2 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
Second Semester - Spring (6 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 251 Program Development 2 2 hours/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 254 Advocacy Skills for Social Change: Social Welfare Policy Practice 2 2 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL TBD Elective (chosen from approved SOC WEL elective courses) 2 2 hours/week for 15 weeks
Third Semester - Fall (9 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 241 Foundations of Multilevel Practice 3 3 hours one evening/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 290A Foundation Field Integration Seminar 2 TBD
SOC WEL 410A Foundation Field Practicum 4 16 hours per week, by arrangement
Fourth Semester - Spring (7 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 275 Diversity-sensitive & Competent Social Work (or approved alternative) 2 2 hours/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 290B Foundation Field Integration Seminar 1 TBD
SOC WEL 410B Foundation Field Practicum 4 16 hours per week, by arrangement
Fifth Semester - Summer (2 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL TBD Elective (chosen from approved SOC WEL elective courses) 2 TBD Six-week Summer Session A or D
Sixth Semester - Fall (11 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 252 Program Implementation 2 2 hours/week for 15 weeks
SOC WEL 282A Seminar in Social Research 2 TBD
SOC WEL 292A Advanced Field Integration Seminar 1 TBD
SOC WEL 412A Advanced Field Practicum 6 24 hours per week, by arrangement
Seventh Semester - Spring (9 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL 282B Seminar in Social Research 4 TBD
SOC WEL 292B Advanced Field Integration Seminar 1 TBD
SOC WEL 412B Advanced Field Practicum 6 24 hours per week, by arrangement
Eighth Semester - Summer (2 units)
CourseTitleUnitsSchedule
SOC WEL TBD Elective (chosen from approved SOC WEL elective courses) 2 TBD Six-week Summer Session A or D

For current class schedules and course descriptions, please see the Berkeley Academic Guide Online Class Schedule.

FlexMSW Extended Program Standing Field Education

FlexMSW Extended Program students must complete 25 units of Field Education, consisting of:

  • 8 units earned in one foundation field placement (minimum of 400 clock hours), completed over the fall and spring semesters in Year 2 of the program (4 units of SOC WEL 410A in fall and 4 units of SOC WEL 410B in spring).
  • 3 units earned in concurrent foundation field seminars in Year 2 of the program (2 units of SOC WEL 290A in fall and 1 unit of SOC WEL 290B in spring).
  • 12 units earned in one advanced field practicum (minimum of 720 clock hours), completed over the fall and spring semesters in Year 3 of the program (6 units of SOC WEL 412A in fall and 6 units of SOC WEL 412B in spring).
  • 2 units earned in concurrent advanced field integration seminars in Year 3 of the program (1 unit of SOC WEL 292A in fall and 1 unit of SOC WEL 29B in spring).

FlexMSW Extended Program Field Education Scheduling

The typical field practicum placement configuration for FlexMSW Extended Program students is:

  • Two days per week from September until May for the foundation placement in Year 2 of the program.
  • Three days per week from September until May for the advanced placement in Year 3 of the program.

A block placement (i.e., 4-5 days per week over a 4-5 month period) may be approved for certain kinds of students and placements (particularly placements that provide brief, intensive vs. longer-term intervention).

  • The vast majority of social work internships occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday when experienced supervisory staff are available. We are not able to accommodate requests for weekend or evening-only field placements.
  • FlexMSW students are highly encouraged to explore employment-based internships (see below for more information). If an employment-based internship cannot be arranged, students are expected to be available during the regular business week to complete their field education requirement(s).

The required field integration seminars are likely to assume a hybrid format with the early portions occurring live to facilitate cohort cohesion and later portions online. Whenever possible, live sections will be scheduled in close proximity to other required courses such as the practice methods course. Students may also be asked to attend online discussion sections and to complete reflective writing in the evening during the week.

How FlexMSW Extended Program Students are Placed in Field

Foundation Field Placement

FlexMSW Extended Program students complete their foundation field placement in Year 2 of their degree program. The field placement process for the foundation placement begins in May at the end of the first year in the Extended Program. Students complete a pre-placement questionnaire, and then schedule a one-on-one, pre-placement meeting with a dedicated FlexMSW field faculty member. Following the interactive, pre-placement advising appointment, students are guided to interview at a foundation field placement that is a suitable match for their educational goals, interests, and needs.

Advanced Field Placement

FlexMSW Extended Program students complete their advanced field placement in Year 3 of their degree program. Extended Program students are highly encouraged to explore the possibility of completing their advanced field placement at their current place of employment (see below for more information).

In the spring of the second year in the Extended Program, students are re-assessed, provided with additional advising with their dedicated field faculty member, and search an online database of field placement sites appropriate for an advanced placement in their specialization area. With guidance from their assigned Field Consultant, FlexMSW students typically identify two to four suitable agencies to apply to for an interview. Upon completion of interviews, students are then allowed to receive offers of placement directly from agencies where they interviewed.

Employer-based Field Placements

The FlexMSW degree tracks are designed specifically for students who are already working in the field of social work, and need to maintain full-time employment while seeking their graduate degree. For this reason, all FlexMSW students are highly encouraged to consider approaching their employers about an employment-based field internship. Such arrangements can also provide important financial support by allowing students to continue receiving income while completing field education and MSW degree requirements.

FlexMSW students can request approval for an employment-based field internship when completing the required pre-placement questionnaire. The student’s assigned field faculty member will provide guidance in determining the ultimate feasibility of completing a required MSW field internship in the student’s place of employment. To be considered for approval, the proposed employer-based social work field placement must meet all of the following conditions:

  1. The proposed field placement site agency must be willing to apply for approval from Berkeley Social Welfare Field Education if no relationship currently exists (see below for more information).
  2. The proposed field placement must provide learning opportunities appropriate for MSW-level field education and must meet all of the school’s minimum standards
  3. Field education learning opportunities and accompanying assigned duties must be provided in a program or area of the agency that is different from where the student is currently employed.
  4. The field placement learning opportunities must be overseen by a qualified field instructor other than the student’s current employment supervisor.

What if my current employer doesn’t have an existing affiliate relationship with Berkeley Social Welfare?

FlexMSW students seeking approval for an employment-based field internship should first confirm with their employer if the agency or program is already approved as a field education placement site. If the agency is not currently an approved field placement site, agency staff should initiate the field agency recruitment and selection process as quickly as feasible in order to establish a new agency affiliation agreement. For eligibility criteria, approval timeline and instructions, please see Become a Field Agency Instructor.

Disclaimer: The School of Social Welfare reserves the right to (1) add or delete courses; (2) change instructor, time, day or location of courses; (3) cancel any course for insufficient registration or academic/administrative decision without notice; (4) unregister students from courses for which they have mis-enrolled or have not received permission to enroll; or (5) move students into a different section of a multi-section course. Students will be notified of any changes.