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.

Curriculum

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 current class schedules, course descriptions and complete degree requirements, please see the Berkeley Academic Guide to Social Welfare.

Sample Plans of Study in the SOC Specialization

Full-time MSW, SOC Specialization

Full-time MSW students typically complete their 54-unit degree plan in four semesters, over two academic years (fall-spring).

Students are typically in field placement two days per week in the first year (foundation field), and three days per week in the second year (advanced field).

First Semester - Fall (17 units)

  • SOC WEL 210i: Group, Organizational & Community Dynamics (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 200: Theories for Multilevel Practice (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 220: Introduction to Social Policy (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 240: Historical, Philosophical, and Intellectual Foundations of Social Work (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 241: Foundations of Multilevel Practice (3 units)
  • SOC WEL 290A: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 410A: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)

Second Semester - Spring (12-13 units)

  • Choose ONE of the following courses:
    1. SOC WEL 230: Social Policy: Children and Families (2 units)
    2. SOC WEL 238C: Health Policy: A Social Welfare Perspective (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 251: Program Development (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 282A: Seminar in Social Research (2 units)
  • Diversity and/or Elective Courses (3-4 units total)
  • SOC WEL 290B: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 410B: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)

Third Semester - Fall (14-15 units)

  • SOC WEL 252: Program Implementation (2 units)
  • Diversity and/or Elective Courses (3-4 units total)
  • SOC WEL 292A: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412A: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)

Fourth Semester - Spring (12-13 units)

  • SOC WEL 282B: Seminar in Social Research (2 units)
  • Diversity and/or Elective Courses (3-4 units total)
  • SOC WEL 292B: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412B: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)

Concurrent MSW/MPH: MSW SOC Specialization + MPH Health and Social Behavior (HSB)

First Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 142: Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health (4 units)1
  • PB HLTH 200J: Health Policy and Management Breadth Course (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 203A: Theories of Health and Social Behavior (3 units)
  • PB HLTH 250A: Epidemiologic Methods I (3 units)1
  • PB HLTH 292: Health & Social Behavior Seminar (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 220: Introduction to Social Welfare Policy
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Second Semester - Spring

  • PB HLTH 200K: Environmental Health Sciences Breadth Course (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 205: Program Planning and Needs Assessment (4 units)
  • MPH Research Methods Course - chosen from approved list (2+ units)2
  • MPH Health, Race, and Social Equity Course - chosen from approved list (2+units)2
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Intervening Summer Session

  • Public Health Field Placement

Third Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 297: Public Health Field Placement (3 units)
  • SOC WEL 200: Theories for Multilevel Practice (2 units)3
  • SOC WEL 210i: Group, Organizational and Community Dynamics (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 240: Historical, Philosophical, and Intellectual Foundations of Social Work (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 241: Foundations of Multilevel Practice (3 units)
  • SOC WEL 290A: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 410A: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Fourth Semester - Spring

  • Choose ONE of the following:
    1. SOC WEL 230: Social Policy - Children and Families (2 units)
    2. SOC WEL 238C: Health Policy - A Social Welfare Perspective (2 units)3
  • SOC WEL 251: Program Development (2 units)3
  • SOC WEL 290B: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 410B: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Fifth Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 218B: Evaluation of Health and Social Programs (4 units)
  • PB HLTH 292: Health & Social Behavior Seminar - Fall Capstone (2-3 units)
  • SOC WEL 252: Program Implementation (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 292A: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412A: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Sixth Semester - Spring

  • PB HLTH 292.2: MPH Capstone Seminar (units vary)
  • PB HLTH 299: Independent Study - with PH Capstone Adviser (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 275: Diversity-sensitive and Competent Social Work (or approved alternate)
  • SOCWEL 296: Independent Study - with SW Capstone Advisor (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 292B: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412B: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

1. PB HLTH 142 & PB HLTH 250A may be taken in the preceding summer. These requirements may also be fulfilled by passing an exemption exam or by completing an SPH-approved higher-level alternative course (see SPH Student Handbook for a complete list of approved alternatives.)

2. Students must choose at least one option from an approved list for each of these required MPH courses; multiple options may be offered in both fall and spring semesters. See the SPH Student Handbook for a complete list of approved options.

3. SOC WEL 200, SOC WEL 251, SOC WEL 238C may be waived with previously-taken course work; see "Approved Course Waivers and Substitutions" below.

Concurrent MSW/MPH: MSW SOC Specialization + MPH Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health (MCAH)

First Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 142: Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health (4 units)1
  • PB HLTH 200J: Health Policy and Management Breadth Course (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 200L: Health and Social Behavior Breadth (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 210: Foundations of Maternal and Child Health Policy, Practice and Science (3 units)
  • PB HLTH 210J: Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Journal Club (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 250A: Epidemiologic Methods I (3 units)1
  • SOC WEL 220: Introduction to Social Welfare Policy (2 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Second Semester - Spring

  • PB HLTH 200K: Environmental Health Sciences Breadth Course (2 units)
  • PB HLTH 210K: Foundations of MCAH Leadership Seminar (2 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed to meet minimum unit enrollment requirements

Intervening Summer Session

  • Public Health Field Placement

Third Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 297: Public Health Field Placement (3 units)
  • SOC WEL 200: Theories for Multilevel Practice (2 units)2
  • SOC WEL 210i: Group, Organization and and Community Dynamics (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 240: Historical, Philosophical, and Intellectual Foundations of Social Work (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 241: Foundations of Multilevel Practice (3 units)
  • SOC WEL 290A: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 410A: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Fourth Semester - Spring

  • Choose ONE of the following:
    1. SOC WEL 230: Social Policy - Children and Families (2 units)
    2. SOC WEL 238C: Health Policy - A Social Welfare Perspective (2 units)2
  • SOC WEL 251: Program Development (2 units)2
  • SOC WEL 290B: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 410B: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Fifth Semester - Fall

  • PB HLTH 210E: Practicum in MCH Data Analysis I (3 units)
  • Choose ONE of the following:
    1. MPH Methods of Measurement and Analysis Course - chosen from approve list3 (at least 2 units)
    2. MPH Applied Programmatic Skills Course - chosen from approved list3 (at least 2 units)
  • SOC WEL 252: Program Implementation (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 292A: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412A: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

Sixth Semester - Spring

  • PBHLTH 210F: Practicum in MCH Data Analysis II (3 units)
  • Choose ONE of the following:
    1. MPH Methods of Measurement and Analysis Course - chosen from approve list3 (at least 2 units)
    2. MPH Applied Programmatic Skills Course - chosen from approved list3(at least 2 units)
  • PB HLTH 299: Independent Study - with Capstone Adviser (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 275: Diversity-sensitive and Competent Social Work (or approved alternate)
  • SOCWEL 296: Independent Study - with SW Capstone Advisor (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 292B: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412B: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)
  • Elective course(s) as needed

1. PB HLTH 142 & PB HLTH 250A may be taken in the preceding summer. These requirements may also be fulfilled by passing an exemption exam or by completing an SPH-approved higher-level alternative course (see SPH Student Handbook for a complete list of approved alternatives.)

2. SOC WEL 200, SOC WEL 251, SOC WEL 238C may be waived with previously-taken course work; see "Approved Course Waivers and Substitutions" below.

3. Students must choose at least one option from an approved list for each of these required MPH courses; multiple options may be offered in both fall and spring semesters. See the SPH Student Handbook for a complete list of approved options.

Concurrent MSW/MPP: MSW SOC Specialization

First Semester - Fall

  • PUB POL 210A: The Economics of Public Policy Analysis (4 units)
  • PUB POL 250: The Politics of Public Policy (4 units)
  • PUB POL 240A: Decision Analysis, Modeling and Quantitative Methods (4 units)
  • PUB POL 200A: Foundations of Policy Analysis (3 units)

Second Semester - Spring

  • PUB POL 210B: The Economics of Public Policy Analysis (4 units)
  • PUB POL 240B: Decision Analysis, Modeling and Quantitative Methods (4 units)
  • Elective (4 units)
  • PUB POL 200B: Foundations of Policy Analysis (3 units)

Third Semester - Fall

  • SOC WEL 210i: Group, Organizational & Community Dynamics (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 200: Theories for Multilevel Practice (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 220: Introduction to Social Policy (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 240: Historical, Philosophical, and Intellectual Foundations of Social Work (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 241: Foundations of Multilevel Practice (3 units)
  • SOC WEL 290A: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 410A: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)

Fourth Semester - Spring

  • Choose ONE of the following courses:
    1. SOC WEL 230: Social Policy: Children and Families (2 units)
    2. SOC WEL 238C: Health Policy: A Social Welfare Perspective (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 251: Program Development (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 275:  Diversity-Sensitive and Competent Social Work - or approved alternate course (at least 2 units)
  • SOC WEL 290B: Foundation Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 410B: Foundation Field Practicum (4 units)
  • Elective course (2 units)

Fifth Semester - Fall

  • PUB POL Core Elective (4 units)
  • SOC WEL 252: Program Implementation (2 units)
  • SOC WEL 292A: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412A: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)

Sixth Semester - Spring

  • PUB POL 205: Advanced Policy Analysis - Thesis Seminar (6 units)
  • PUB POL 299: Advanced Policy Analysis - Thesis Independent Study (3 units)
  • SOCWEL 296: Independent Study (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 292B: Advanced Field Integration Seminar (1 unit)
  • SOC WEL 412B: Advanced Field Practicum (6 units)

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

Careers

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. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018)

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.

Sample SOC Careers

Sample Career Possibilities

  • Advocate
  • Agency Director
  • Budget Manager
  • Community Educator
  • Community Organizer
  • Employment Development Specialist
  • Grantwriter
  • Human Services Specialist
  • Policy Advocate/Analyst
  • Planner
  • Program Evaluator
  • Program Manager
  • Public Health Administrator
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Researcher/Research Analyst or Assistant
  • Trainer

Sample Job 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

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