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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Work to improve lives and communities as a social worker.

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Master of Social Work Overview

Social workers in an advanced clinical practice rely on skills in emotional intelligence, communication, organization and problem-solving, all combined with a desire to help individuals, groups, and communities. They implement outreach programs to create social change that is inclusive and empowering for all. In the master's degree program in social work (MSW) at the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP), you'll gain the knowledge and develop the skills to enter this rewarding and meaningful social service career.

If you have the desire for higher education, you can enter the master's in social work program with a bachelor's degree in any subject as long as it's from an accredited institution.

To learn more about this social work online program and other offerings, visit our CSPP-dedicated microsite. You’ll find videos featuring our university president, dean of CSPP, and faculty, along with numerous interactive features!




Program Highlights

Online Course Instruction

The master’s program courses are ideal for working adults and career changers with fully online course instruction.

Professional Practice

Provides advanced, practice-based training in the social work profession to prepare you for direct practice with individuals, families, and groups, and macro practice at the community and organization levels.

Cultural Competence

The program is designed for the human service, social welfare, and social work profession where you apply principles of cultural competency, cultural humility, and inclusive awareness to help reduce inequities and disparities among systems.

Field Education Opportunities

Field placement or internship is an integral part of your program. Practicum opportunities in organizations that CSPP has established relationships will help you gain field experience with real-world relevance to your studies and future employment.Learn More



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Degree Information

The MSW degree curriculum is designed to train you for professional practice as a licensed social worker, using practice-based training. Your graduate certificate in MA social work online qualifies you to participate in any community practice. The broad curriculum of the MSW degree online incorporates both direct practice with individuals, families, and groups, and macro practice at the community and organizational levels. Social Justice, Human Behavior, and the Social Environment are among the courses you will learn in this continuing education program.

The online MSW program:

  • Contributes to knowledge that advances professional social work practice using innovative deliveries and technologies
  • Teaches MSW students to apply principles of cultural competency, cultural humility, and inclusive awareness to help reduce inequities and disparities
  • Trains MSW students to engage community members and partners to identify community needs, develop interventions and strategies for change, and promote community health and wellness

As with many other CSPP programs, the graduate school masters in social work online is structured to be clinically focused with exam prep built into the courses. The online MSW program is geared toward students who want to do clinical work as they prepare for licensure and a career in advanced social work practice. It integrates online classroom learning with real-world experiences in practicum settings to prepare graduates for the social welfare tasks and responsibilities of a professional clinical social worker.

Program Learning Outcomes and Goals

  1. Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior
  2. Engage diversity and difference in practice
  3. Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice
  4. Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice
  5. Engage in policy practice
  6. Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  7. Assess, intervene with, and evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Post-Graduation Licensure

Students of the advanced standing masters in social work in California who successfully complete the degree requirements for the MSW program are eligible to apply for licensure through the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). ASWB is a nonprofit organization composed of the social work regulatory boards and colleges of all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and all 10 Canadian provinces. They are the only nonprofit organization dedicated to social work regulation to keep the highest standards in social service practice. Licensure requirements vary from state to state. Students should contact the licensing board in the state they wish to apply for licensure.


The Alliant International University MSW program adheres to the social work standards and competencies established by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The program is currently in its first year of Candidacy as defined by CSWE. Students who enter programs that attain Candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains Initial Accreditation. Candidacy is typically a three-year process and attaining Candidacy does not guarantee that a program will eventually attain Initial Accreditation. Candidacy applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

For more information about social work accreditation, you may contact the CSWE Accreditation Team.


Links and Downloads

School Performance Fact Sheet


Program Outcomes

Completing an MSW degree online can help equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to explore various clinical social work positions, including:

  • Social workers who specialize in children, families, and schools.
  • Social workers in the healthcare sectors
  • Social workers for mental health, substance abuse, and social justice

Completing an MSW qualifies you to work in different clinical social work settings:

  • General and surgical hospital facilities
  • Private services
  • Insurance agencies
  • Appointed posts of other healthcare professionals

Every career path may need additional experience, training, credentials or other factors other than earning a master's degree. 


Frequently Asked Questions


Is an MSW degree online worth it?

By earning an online master in social work, you can gain comprehensive skills to tackle the struggles encountered by your clients. This will equip you with both theoretical knowledge and practical experience to implement effective solutions. As part of the social work online program, you'll participate in a field education internship to gain practical insights and enhance your abilities. 


What scholarship and financial aid options are available?

Private and public scholarships can help you meet the cost of your education, and Alliant offers institutional scholarships for many of our students. Learn more about these scholarship opportunities here. Additional financial aid is available for those who qualify in the form of loans, grants, federal work study, and military aid. Learn more in our Financial Options Guide.


Does this program lead to licensure?

Students successfully completing the degree requirements for this MSW program will be eligible to apply for licensure through the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). Please note that licensure requirements vary from state to state, so students should contact the licensing board in the state they wish to apply for licensure.


When does the Master of Social Work degree program start?

The program is offered in 15-week semesters with a 10-week summer session, and is open for enrollment during each of those enrollment periods. You can find a copy of our academic calendar here.


How long does it take to complete the Master of Social Work degree program?

The MSW degree program is a 60-credit program and takes a minimum of two years to complete, across six semesters.


Why Alliant

At Alliant, our mission is to prepare students for professional careers of service and leadership and to promote the discovery and application of knowledge to improve lives. We offer an education that is accredited, focused on practical knowledge and skills, connected with diverse faculty and alumni, and aimed at the student experience.

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Founded in 1969, CSPP was one of the nation’s first independent schools of professional psychology. Today, CSPP continues its commitment to preparing the next generation of mental health professionals through graduate-level degree programs in clinical psychology, marriage and family therapy, clinical counseling, organizational psychology, psychopharmacology, and more.


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