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Bachelors in Social Work

Undergraduate Social Work

Social work has been defined as one of the best suited careers for the future to meet the needs of our complex society and ever changing social and economic circumstances. Students in our BSW Program will gain knowledge, values, and skills to become a professional entry-level generalist social worker for the 21st century.

The School of Social Work offers a both a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree with a major in Social Work. The BSW Program began in the Fall 2008 and is currently the only public institution of higher education in Oregon that offers this degree. We were accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in June, 2011. Our Program prepares undergraduates to become professional entry-level generalist social workers to work in a wide variety of community based, human services organizations in both the public and private sectors. Graduates will be able to work in a variety of settings and areas including but not limited to the following: mental health, homeless shelters, child welfare programs, health care, schools, substance abuse, corrections, juvenile justice, assistance to the poor, aging, immigration, and family violence, etc. 

Learn more about BSW admissions and program requirements.


The BSW Program Mission

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 able to work with a diversity of 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 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
Jennifer Robe, SSW Undergraduate Advising (503) 725-8961
Sam Gioia, Instructor of Social Work and BSW Advisor (503) 725-8470
Melissa Penners, CFS/BSW Program Assistant (503) 725-8241