California, the most populous state in the country, is home to more than 660 public and private colleges and universities, including those associated with the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges. The University of California system includes University of California – Berkley, University of California – Los Angeles, and University of California – Davis, three schools ranked in the top 40 of national universities by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015 Best Colleges rankings.
The University of Southern California, another top-ranked private research university in Los Angeles, has two main campuses: the University Park campus and the Health Sciences campus. The school offers more than 160 undergraduate majors, features 17 professional schools, and offers nearly 180 graduate and professional programs. Among these highly-esteemed graduate programs is the Master of Social Work program offered through the University of Southern California School of Social Work. The USC School of Social Work not only provides a top-ranked MSW program for students who are passionate about helping others and furthering social justice, but also caters to working adults and military students through a convenient online format. The MSW@USC combines online learning with hands-on field education. The online curriculum is identical to that of USC’s campus-based program, and online students still have the freedom to pursue one of five concentrations, including military social work, families and children, and more.
All together, the state’s institutions of higher education serve more than 2.6 million students throughout the state, according to the California Postsecondary Education Commission. The California Postsecondary Education Commission is responsible for developing an ongoing statewide plan for the operation of an innovative and educationally sound educational system that is economically viable. It also identifies and recommends policies to meet the educational needs of students and it advises the Governor and Legislature on policy and budget priorities. Along with collecting and providing student enrollment and educational outcome data, the commission conducts grant competitions that reward the improvement of curriculum knowledge and competence of the educational workforce.