Social Work

Undergraduate Program

Social Work

PSU Social Work Undergraduate Man holding sheet music for boy playing trumpet

Social Work Bachelor's Degree Overview

Social work is an academic discipline and practice profession that envisions an economically, socially, and racially just world in which resources and opportunities are more equitably distributed. Social workers engage in critical analyses of power relations, the dismantling of inequitable social structures, and solidarity with groups that experience poverty, oppression, and exploitation. Social workers assist individuals, families, groups, and communities in achieving their goals, while also working toward macro-level, policy, and institutional change.

Social Work is a great major for those of you who have always wanted to serve your community, work to help society’s most marginalized, and contribute to social change. A bachelor’s degree in Social Work at PSU is the gateway to a meaningful career in social work, human services, and other health and education fields.

We Offer:

  • A transformative experience that unlocks student potential by building self-confidence and honoring students’ identities, experiences, life stages, and backgrounds.
  • A field placement in a community agency that builds practical, hands-on skills for real world impact.
  • Classes that challenge students to learn new perspectives and to become effective agents of social change.
  • A cohort model that promotes peer learning and mutual support.
  • Post-baccalaureate paths to MSW Advanced Standing programs.
  • Our BSW grads are creating social change and serving clients in direct practice in a wide variety of federal, state, local and non-profit organizations and agencies. They are also accepted to top social work and social science graduate programs nationally and internationally

Degree Details

Location Definitions:

On campus:
100% on campus
100% online
Combination of online and on campus
  • BA
    Bachelor of Arts
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term
  • BS
    Bachelor of Science
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Social Work Bachelor's Degree: Why PSU?

Accreditation: Our program is the only publicly funded Bachelors of Social Work program in the state that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, social work’s governing body.
Access: PSU is an access institution. Programs like ‘Transfers Finish Free’ allow first generation college students to achieve their dream of a college education, a great career, and a promising future. We have strong relationships with Oregon’s community colleges, and our advisors can help answer your questions about preparing for the major.
Flexibility: The BSW Hybrid option offers you the opportunity to stay in your community and get your degree by taking 80% of your courses online and 20% face to face in Eugene, Oregon. Visit our Hybrid option page for more details.
Hands-On Training: We offer a wide range of hands-on opportunities for you to learn from social workers who are active in the field. Our field team works to place BSW students in community agencies and organizations for their senior year field placement.
Prestige: You’ll graduate from one of the nation’s top social work schools as ranked by US News & World Report and be taught by world class faculty with deep community engagement and expertise in all major social work and social service fields.
Racial Equity and Social Justice: Our program explicitly centers racial equity and social justice. We aim to decolonize, decenter, and critique dominant perspectives. Our program draws resilient and engaged students who are willing to challenge and stretch themselves.
Support: We are committed to your success! We offer scholarships at all degree levels, and our majors are supported by a Student Inclusion Coordinator, a unique role that connects our majors with a range of financial, housing, legal, and emotional supports, both community and campus based.

What can I do with a bachelor's degree in Social Work?

Our program provides you the foundation to build a career path aligned with your passion.

Bachelor degree in Social Work can lead to work the following areas:

  • Advocacy/Policy
  • Addictions/Treatment
  • Aging
  • Child welfare
  • Community based organizing
  • Corrections
  • Disability
  • Domestic violence
  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Mental Health
  • Research
  • Schools
  • Self-Sufficiency
  • Youth work/non-profit

A BSW makes you eligible to apply to advanced standing programs across the country. In an advanced standing program you can obtain a MSW in as little as 15 months. Recent graduates from our program have been accepted into graduate or continuing education programs at Portland State University and other universities.

Featured Courses

  • SW 301U Introduction to Social Work
  • SW 339 Introduction to Oppression and Privilege
  • SW 350 Human Behavior Through the Lifespan
  • SW 340 Advocacy for Policy Change
  • SW 341 Social Justice Practice
  • SW 351/430/431 Social Work Practice I, II, III
  • SW 450/451 Social Research and Evaluation I, II
  • SW 407 Seminar

Featured Electives

  • SW 384U Addictions and Recovery: Impact on Families and Communities
  • SW 320U Introduction to Child Welfare
  • SW 416 Motivational Interviewing


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) since 2011.