Help Others Thrive with an MSW Degree

Everywhere you look you see broken, hurting people—men, women, children, couples, and families struggling with some of life’s most difficult challenges, such as poverty, addiction, discrimination, physical and mental illness, and abuse. Azusa Pacific’s Master of Social Work program (MSW) will prepare you for a career dedicated to improving the lives of others in a variety of professional settings, including advanced-level practitioners, clinicians, supervisors, and managers, as well as leadership roles in community and program development. Program courses and internships provide the tools you’ll need to make a difference.

Choose from two specializations to further focus your degree:

  • Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families
  • Community Leadership and Program Administration

For those interested in pursuing an MSW and seeking careers in this important service-based profession, several scholarship, grant, and traineeship opportunities are available. Learn more about these financial aid opportunities and how they can support your education and career goals.

Program Highlights

APU’s MSW program offers students:

  • A wide range of internship opportunities in the Greater Los Angeles area.
  • Diverse faculty with extensive experience in a variety of social work settings.
  • Strong clinical training with interdisciplinary knowledge base.
  • Full- and part-time program options.
  • Advanced Standing option (for graduates of CSWE-accredited BSW programs only).
  • Coursework that meets the California Board of Behavioral Sciences prelicensure requirements.
  • Professional leadership skills and development.
  • Faith integration relevant to social work practice.
  • Small classes to enable you to get to know peers and professors.
  • International study opportunities.

To find out more about APU’s Master of Social Work, download the Master of Social Work Brochure (PDF).

View MSW coursework and program learning outcomes and competencies in the academic catalog.


Azusa Pacific University receives accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). In addition, the MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Mission Statement

The Master of Social Work program in the Department of Social Work at Azusa Pacific University seeks to develop competent advanced social work practitioners who can integrate the knowledge, values, and skills of social work to advance social justice and provide services to assist individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Grounded in the profession’s Code of Ethics and sensitivity to diversity, the MSW program is committed to excellence in our teaching and scholarship, the integration of faith and learning, the development of professional leadership, and the strengthening of communities in local, national, and international contexts.

Program Goals

The following outcome goals are derived from the mission statement and purposes of social work education congruent with accreditation standards:

  1. Graduates will exhibit competence in generalist and advanced social work practice with diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, including appropriate uses of supervision, consultation, and discernment, to seek necessary organizational change.
  2. Graduates will demonstrate knowledge, built on a liberal arts foundation, of the history of the social work profession and empirically supported theoretical frameworks that provide understanding of individual development and behavior across the lifespan and interactions among and between individuals and families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  3. Graduates will demonstrate critical thinking skills, skills related to the effective integration of research in practice, and adequate preparation for leadership, advanced study, and lifelong learning.
  4. Graduates will demonstrate knowledge and skills to partner with communities to advocate for the development of policies and programs that seek to advance human rights and well-being, promote social and economic justice, empower clients, and respect diversity.
  5. Graduates will practice according to the values and ethics of the profession and understand the ethical integration of Christian faith in practice, including nondiscrimination in the areas of age, class, culture, color, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, and sexual orientation.
  6. Faculty will engage in ongoing scholarship reflecting the goals and needs of professional social work practice.

University Reputation

Azusa Pacific University secured a place in the most prestigious category of U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2017 rankings, placing at No. 183 in Tier One of the National Universities category. In addition, The Princeton Review named APU as 1 of 124 institutions in the 2017 Best Colleges in the West, Forbes ranked APU among the best schools in the nation for 2017, and G.I. Jobs named APU a Military Friendly School for 2017, placing APU among the top 15 percent of schools in the country helping military students reach their education dreams.

Note: This information is current for the 2017-18 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.