The Master of Social Work Program offered by the School of Behavioral Health emphasizes ecological systems, a perspective that focuses on the interaction of a person or system in relation to his/her environment. Reflecting this stance is Loma Linda University's philosophy, "To Make Man Whole," and its heritage as an international leader in the delivery of services in health care and related facilities. It is the combination of these influences that has guided the development of the foundation curriculum, professional concentrations, and selection of practicum sites for the Master of Social Work Program.
The mission of the Master of Social Work Program is to prepare competent, ethical, and compassionate social work professionals who will possess the knowledge, values, and skills to equip them for a dedicated life of advanced practice in health and mental health institutions and agencies.
Instill in graduates the knowledge, ethics, values and skills expected of professional social workers.
Prepare students for advanced practice with diverse populations and the advancement of social and economic justice in local, national, and international communities.
Equip students to integrate research and practice for advancing the profession of social work.
Prepare advanced social work practitioners for work in behavioral health institutions and agencies.
Transition students into professional roles with a commitment to life-long-learning.
The 78-unit curriculum of the MSW degree program provides the mix of academic, experiential, and research experiences essential for MSW degree students. Students must maintain a program grade point average of 3.0 (or a letter grade of B on a 4.0 scale) and meet the knowledge, skill, and professional performance competencies outlined by the program. The minimum acceptable grade for all courses is a B- (2.7).
Alternate program options have been designed to address the varying needs of students. As such, the program offers a full-time two-year option, a three-year part-time option, and a four-year part-time option.
Qualified students who have earned a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited program within the past five years have the opportunity of removing areas of redundancy in their education through consideration for Advanced Standing that provides them the opportunity to complete their MSW in 12 months. Students completing the Advanced Standing track MUST BEGIN THE MSW PROGRAM DURING THE SUMMER QUARTER, which requires individuals to submit all components of their application packet by January 15th of the enrollment year. Advanced Standing students accepted as part of the summer cohort receive a scholarship for up to 13 units not including living expenses.
MSW Degree Foundation Curriculum
The program begins with the professional foundation content (first-year courses) common to all graduate social work education. Courses during this first year of study provide content in human behavior in a cross-cultural environment, social welfare policy and services, practice theory and skills, social research, and practica. These content areas are strengthened by the integration of social work values and ethics as well as knowledge of special populations (i.e., issues of gender, race, class, disability, and oppression).
MSW Degree Advanced Curriculum
The advanced curriculum of the program begins with coursework that supports integration of the foundational first year with the program's advanced curriculum. As part of the advanced curriculum, students take core courses required of all students and then select one of two concentrations: clinical practice; or policy, planning, and administration.
Professional practica experiences (field practica) are regarded as an integral part of the MSW degree program because they offer students the opportunity to integrate and apply theoretical and research knowledge with social work practice and intervention skills in institutional or agency settings. Practica are designed (and selected) to provide maximum learning opportunities under the supervision of a qualified field instructor. Students complete 21 units of professional practica--which includes 1,080 hours of field work in a qualified setting and 120 hours of concurrent integrated seminar for a total of 1,200 hours.
The MSW degree program includes completion of coursework in applied research. An individually authored thesis option is available for students meeting program criteria. These study options aim to develop knowledge for the advancement of social work practice and provide guided experiences in the conduct of research applicable to a variety of professional and academic settings.
The Social Work Program (MSW degree) is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education to provide graduate-level social work education.
International Student Requirements:
International students whose native language is not English are requirement to pass an English proficiency exam. The following exams are accepted by Loma Linda University:
TOEFL: scores must be valid for two years from the test date. Minimum score is 80-internet based or 550-paper based
IELTS: scores must be valid for two years from the test date. Minimum score is 6.5
MELAB: Minimum score is 77
PTE Academic: minimum score is 60
iTEP: minimum score of 3.5