Gain Advanced Preparation to Impact Lives with an MSW Degree

Azusa Pacific University’s Master of Social Work program is designed to prepare you for a wide range of social work opportunities, and to gain the foundational skills necessary for effective social work practice upon graduation. The MSW degree program includes full- and part-time options and focuses on developing skills through innovative classroom teaching and applied learning in a dynamic, community-based field internship.

All students receive the same foundation coursework, with internships providing direct practice experience. Specialization-specific coursework and internships are done in the second half of the program, together with electives designed to meet student interests.

  • Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families:
    Receive advanced training to meet the physical and behavioral health needs of individuals and families across a range of settings, emphasizing preparation for culturally responsive care and intervention, application of evidenced-informed interventions, and engagement with interprofessional teams.
  • Community Leadership and Program Administration:
    Focus on developing the skills needed for effective leadership in nonprofit and governmental agencies; community advocacy, including program development and evaluation; organizational management; and human rights and sustainable development.

Why Should You Pursue a Master’s Degree?

There are many benefits to earning a master’s degree in social work. Learn more about how an MSW can help advance your career.

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Elective Options and Global Learning Experience

Flexible elective options allow you to further customize your learning experience. Options include courses in marital therapy, aging, practice with military populations, social work in correctional settings, grant writing and fiscal development, international social work, social work in healthcare settings, school-based settings, and clinical Spanish practice (watch video) to prepare bilingual students for effective cross-cultural clinical practice. Students may also take core courses from the other specialization as electives. Refer to the academic catalog for a complete list of courses.

International learning opportunities are also available (watch video) as we seek to prepare leaders to impact the world.

Azusa Pacific’s MSW program was ranked among the nation’s “Best Social Work Programs” in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report.

Scholarships, Grants, and Internships to Support Your Education

For those interested in pursuing an MSW and seeking careers in this important service-based profession, several scholarship, grant, and internship 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 field internship opportunities in the Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties.
  • Diverse faculty with extensive professional and scholarship experience in a variety of social work settings.
  • Strong clinical training with interprofessional 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.
  • Cohort model that enables 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 2019 rankings, and also ranked No. 22 for First-Year Experience, No. 23 in Service Learning, and No. 31 in Campus Ethnic Diversity. In addition, Forbes and The Princeton Review included Azusa Pacific in their America’s Top Colleges 2019 and 2020 Best Western Colleges rankings, respectively. Azusa Pacific is also a military-friendly Yellow Ribbon University, serving more than 500 military-connected students and families, and is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as an R2 Doctoral Research University.

Note: This information is current for the 2019-20 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.