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California State University, Long Beach
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CSULB School of Social Work


Frequently Asked Questions

Costs and Benefits of Obtaining Your MSW


Q1: Will obtaining my MSW make that much of a difference in terms of my salary?

A1: California’s average salary for Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs) with 2+ years of experience is $63,775 annually.
The national average salary for MSWs ranges from $48,461 to $57,508 annually.
The national average salary for BASWs/BSWs ranges from $38,707 to $47,235 annually.
Thus, the difference ranges from $9,754 to $10,273 annually.
You can expect to recoup your tuition (see Q3 below) in less than 2 years.

Q2: Will obtaining my MSW have any intangible benefits?

A1: You will gain skills in practice, administration, research, and many other areas.
A2: You will have a sense of personal achievement.
A3: You will develop life-long friends in your Distance Education cohort.
A4: Your new friends will constitute an important professional network in years to come.

Q3: Can I afford the costs involved in obtaining my MSW degree through the Distance Education Program at California State University, Long Beach?

A1: Tuition for each 3-unit course is currently $870.  Therefore, the total tuition for the 3-year program would be approximately $17,400.

Q4: Is funding available?

A1: Students currently working in public child welfare are eligible for a stipend from the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) for tuition, books, and transportation from home to campus and from home to field placement.
A2: Other students are eligible for a variety of state and federal loans.