Portland-State-University 2022-2023 Bulletin

Social Work B.A./B.S.

The Baccalaureate Social Work (BSW) Program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  The BSW Program prepares students to become entry-level professional generalist social workers who will work in a variety of settings and communities.

The BSW Program Mission statement states: The BSW Program at Portland State University combines theory with practical, hands-on experience which prepares undergraduate students for careers in social work and related fields and for future graduate studies. Students in our BSW Program gain knowledge, values, and skills to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Our program is committed to centering critical self-reflection, racial equity, and social and economic justice, and we encourage our students to  be active citizens and practitioners who embody these values.

Students enter the BSW Program as a “cohort” of learners. The cohort model provides a place for peer support, sharing of ideas, and resources.  Students also have BSW advisors to support their academic and other educational needs. The curriculum prepares students with the social work knowledge, values, and skills to provide effective services to individuals, families, groups, and communities in diverse settings. The curriculum is based on a liberal arts foundation. In accordance with CSWE requirements, the BSW Program does not give credit for prior work experience and/or life experience. It is designed to promote mastery of competencies and practice behaviors mandated by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The BSW major courses are taken within a two-year timeframe over six terms. The courses include social work history, social welfare policy, social work practice, research, human behavior and the social environment, social justice theory and practice, and diversity electives. Students complete three terms of field education supervised by a qualified social worker. Students complete a 500 hour field practicum in conjunction with their practice courses and field seminar. The field practicum provides students with the direct application of their knowledge, values, and skills in a variety of community agencies and settings. Students who graduate from the BSW Program are prepared to become active social justice change agents ready to provide professional generalist social work practice in the community.



In addition to meeting the general University requirements for a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, majors must complete the following program components:

Field Placement (12 credits)

Students are required to take SW 400 Field Placement and Seminar I-III over three academic terms for a total of 12 credits.

Required Upper Division Social Work Courses (39 credits)

SW 301UIntroduction to Social Work


SW 339Introduction to Oppression and Privilege


SW 340Advocacy for Policy Change


SW 341Social Justice Practice


SW 350Human Behavior Through the Lifespan


SW 351Social Work Practice I


SW 430Social Work Practice II


SW 431Social Work Practice III


SW 432Social Work Practice IV


SW 450Social Work Research and Evaluation I


SW 451Social Work Research and Evaluation II


Equity and Inclusion Electives (12 credits)

Students must choose three courses from the School of Gender, Race, and Nations. Subjects include: Black Studies; Indigenous Nations Studies; Chicano/Latino Studies; and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. Prospective students may consult a complete list of approved courses at the School’s Web site, www.pdx.edu/ssw/, where undergraduate program requirements are included in an on-line B.S.W. Student Map.

Upper Division Program Electives (12 credits)

Choose from a list; see advisor.

Total Credit Hours: 75