GSE&IS Pupil Personnel Services

Pupil Personnel Services Credential

  • School Social Work
  • Child Welfare & Attendance


The Department of Social Welfare is the oldest and largest, both in terms of student enrollment and number of faculty, of the three departments housed in the Luskin School of Public Affairs. The interdisciplinary nature of social work, the forward-looking perspective of the new cadre of social welfare faculty, and the program’s historic community orientation make it a vital contributor to and beneficiary of both the school’s and unit’s mission and vision.

The Department of Social Welfare offers the Pupil Personnel Services credential with specializations in School Social Work with an added authorization in Child Welfare and Attendance. The credential program is part of the Masters in Social Welfare and incorporates foundation knowledge and skill for practice at all intervention levels.

Coursework in the Master’s in Social Work reflects the priority placed on education for agency-based  social services.  Foundation policy and methods classes, for example, are significantly focused on the organizational character and service needs of government and contract agencies.  The foundation practice methods courses are primarily directed to the nature of social work in public and non-profit agency settings.  Courses also emphasize diversity, social justice, values and ethics, and populations at risk; this focus is directly related to the unit’s mission and vision.  The importance of diversity content is evident not only in a series of distinct and focused courses but also throughout the curriculum.  Similarly, key social justice issues are infused throughout the foundation and advanced curricula.  

The M.S.W. degree requires a total of 99 academic units, generally taken over a two-year period of full-time study.  Most first year courses are required, whereas students have considerable discretion in selecting their second year courses and field placements. During the first year, students are in placements 16 hours per week. Their placement is chosen for them by the field education faculty and is designed to complement the foundation coursework as well as their previous work or volunteer experience. During the second year of study, students may choose courses leading to the Pupil Personnel Services Credential.  Students are in the field 20 hours per week and are placed in school districts throughout the greater Los Angeles area, and  beyond.  Students are placed with Field Supervisors who are district employees, or with agencies that contract with school districts.  Regardless, students work with two age groups, providing direct service to pupils and their families, consulting with teachers and school personnel, and providing Child Welfare and Attendance services.  MSW/PPSC students complete approximately 650 hours in their second year field placement, and take courses aligned with the services they provide, so they are fully engaged in becoming committed school social workers.



School Social Work Program Website



Pupil Personnel Services Credential Team