Bachelor's in Social Work

Undergraduate Social Work

Social work is at the forefront of 21st century employment and education trends because it combines social theory with practical, hands-on experience. Students in our BSW Program gain knowledge and skills that will enable them to work with individuals, families, and larger communities, accessing services, providing support, and promoting social, racial, and economic justice. 

The School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). We are the only accredited BSW program in a public higher education institution in Oregon. 

The program offers either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree with a major in Social Work. We have a campus in Portland and beginning in Fall 2018, we will admit students to our BSW Hybrid program. Students will take their junior year classes online and attend face-to-face classes in their senior year in Eugene, Oregon. 

The BSW Program at Portland State University prepares undergraduates to become entry-level professionals who will work in a wide variety of community based, human services organizations, both public and private. Graduates work in a number areas of practice, including policy and advocacy, direct practice, research, and education. Social workers also work across a diverse array of settings, programs, and initiatives, including child welfare, mental health, healthcare, aging, substance use, immigration, corrections, juvenile justice, anti-racism, anti-violence, and anti-poverty. 

Learn more about BSW admissions and program requirements.


The BSW Program Mission

The BSW Program emphasizes commitment to well-being, self-determination, and social and economic justice. The educational experience prepares professional entry-level generalist social workers to provide competent, value/ethics based, and effective services with diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
(Revised and accepted by the BSW Program Committee on 11/18/2011).

This mission builds on the tradition and history of Portland State University as an urban public institution within the School of Social Work.


Program Goals

  • To provide a statewide program with the goal of preparing generalist social workers who are informed and effective leaders in challenging injustice and promoting social and economic change.
  • To prepare social workers to practice with at-risk individuals and families through strengthening the capacities of family and community systems.  
  • To prepare social workers to assume the role of change agent regarding issues, policies, and community needs that affect individuals and their families and to contribute to the knowledge of the profession. 
  • To prepare generalist social workers to work with diverse populations, integrating empirically informed practice and consumer voice within an established ethical framework.
  • To provide a foundation for advanced graduate study in social work and to prepare social workers to be life-long learners.


Visit the Events Calendar for upcoming BSW Info Session dates and times. Please RSVP for the session you which to attend.


>>BSW Contacts

Kate Constable, SSW Undergraduate Advising (503) 725-5925
Sam Gioia, Instructor of Social Work and BSW Advisor (503) 725-8470
Melissa Penners, CYFS/BSW Program Assistant (503) 725-8241
Kim Utschig, SSW Academic Advisor (503) 725-8961
Mollie Janssen, BSW Hybrid Coordinator and Advisor (503) 725-5016