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So I have been accepted into all three programs. I am leaning toward UCLA (I did undergrad there) but have been offered a Title IV stipend through SFSU, and have an interview for the title IV program at SDSU Friday. It is still a possibility I will be offerred the Title IV stipend at UCLA, but not sure when I will know about it. It may be that I have to accept/reject SFSU and/or SDSU before I would hear about the stipend for UCLA.


Will going to UCLA open more doors for me after graduation, since it is a Master of Social Welfare vs a Master of Social Work at SFSU and SDSU?


I know that the SFSU program is highly selective, but it is still a state school. Does that really matter in the field?


Thank you for your help.

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Go to SFSU! I'm slightly biased because I was accepted into their Title IV-E program as well :) but honestly, it makes NO DIFFERENCE where your MSW is from. I'm from the central valley (Fresno) and interned with CPS. The Department of Social Service's director had a Masters from a state school. I firmly believe its your skills, personality, and knowing what the hell you're talking about that lands you the job you seek after graduation. Someone that goes to a UC or Ivy League college is no better skilled than someone that attends a state school. No offense, but its the name that you're paying for, when you can receive the same education at a great state school. SFSU has a great program compared to other state schools, and their Title IV-E professors are ALL Berkeley graduates, so we'll receive a pretty bad ass education, for half the price. The other plus side, after tutiton is paid for, there's a good 10 grand left over from the stipend, to help with any costs you may have, such as rent and such. And lastly, San Francisco is just a beautiful city in general. I think the only time it matters where you went to school, is where you decide to attend for your PHD.

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Consider cost of living (San Francisco is bananas), and fieldwork opportunities.

I also did my undergrad at UCLA and was accepted into their macro program, but headed north (...though now I will be returning to Los Angeles this summer--Bay Area just isn't for me). Although I did feel like I needed a break from L.A. and wanted to experience something different, the high concentration of MSW programs in the area and the impact that had on fieldwork opportunities was a big turnoff.

I also got the sense that UCLA and USC both framed first-year placements as intentionally throwing you into work very different from your interests or area of focus. I wanted to be more strategic in my field placements since I had a relatively new and burgeoning interest in youth homelessness when I began my MSW, and it was a trajectory I wanted to follow throughout my program. Find out how much input and control you have during the first-year placement process, if that is important to you.

Again, name doesn't really matter for clinical folks, though I would argue that there is a bit more to be gained for people interested in policy and other macro-level work.

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