3.3 MSW Degree Requirements

Requirements for the Berkeley graduate professional master’s degree in social welfare (MSW) are established by the faculty of the School of Social Welfare, and administered jointly between the Social Welfare MSW program and the Graduate Division.

To be eligible for conferral of the MSW degree from UC Berkeley, students must satisfy all of the following requirements:

Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement

Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA on the basis of all upper-division and graduate courses (100- and 200- series) taken in graduate standing.

Academic Residence Requirement

Social Welfare MSW students must complete two years, or equivalent, in graduate study in Social Welfare, including at least one year in residence at the University of California, Berkeley.

Students admitted to the School with Advanced Standing status must complete one year, or two semesters, in graduate study in the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley.

Required Units and Coursework

Social Welfare MSW students must complete a minimum of 54 units of required coursework and field education, including:

  • 11 units in required generalist practice and social research methods courses.
  • 11 units of generalist practice field practicum and field integration seminars.
  • 8-10 units (depending on your chosen specialization area) in required specialized practice and social research methods courses.
  • 14 units of specialized field practicum and field integration seminars.
  • 2 units (minimum) of coursework in diversity-sensitive social work.

At least half of the required 54 units must be from graduate level coursework numbered 200-299.

At Berkeley, one unit of graduate credit typically requires a minimum of three hours per week of effort on the part of the student, including time spent in class, in the field, and in reading and other preparation.

Berkeley Master’s Capstone Requirement

Social Welfare MSW students satisfy this requirement by successfully completing the advanced social research methods course, SOC WEL 282B. This course must be taken for a letter grade.