Engage in classroom learning and fieldwork and develop the skills to effect change for individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

The practice of baccalaureate social work is as exciting as it is wide-ranging. Social workers can be found working in schools, hospitals, state and county health services, child welfare service, sexual assault resource center, or any number of local non-profit organizations addressing issues related to mental health, substance use, and/or homelessness. Practice activities/tasks could include: 

  • Assessment: finding out what people need help with. Housing, food, counseling services?
  • Intervention: working directly with individuals, families and or groups in any number of settings, sometimes in their home.
  • Case management: arrange and coordinate multiple services to meet the specific person's complex needs.
  • Advocacy: advocating for systemic change in our communities.
  • Administration: developing and carrying out policies, programs or activities.

Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, Pacific's bachelor of social work program provides students with the opportunity to study generalist social work practice with a focus on diversity, cultural competence and social justice.

The mission of the Social Work Program at Pacific University is to provide students with the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for culturally sensitive generalist social work practice. The BSW curriculum is designed to prepare students to provide services that promote social and economic justice and advance the well-being of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Furthermore, the curriculum prepares students from a person-in-environment perspective, focusing on human rights (and the conditions that limit human rights), the elimination of poverty, and enhancing the quality of life for all persons, locally and globally. The values of the BSW program include service, the dignity and worth of all persons, the importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence The BSW program takes place in the context of the broad liberal arts foundation at Pacific University where critical thinking and scientific inquiry are valued and emphasized. Graduates will be prepared to critically examine and address social problems that impact vulnerable and diverse populations facing significant social and economic barriers. The small class sizes at Pacific allow for individualized instruction and mentoring from professors, and our geographic location provides opportunities to explore social work practice in both rural and urban settings. 

When you major in social work, you can customize field experiences around your passions and learn in a secular, welcoming and tolerant atmosphere. Benefit from our partnerships with top-notch practicum sites in the Portland region and join the Social Work Club, a forum for developing and strengthening friendships among students and faculty members.

Pacific's BSW program is part of the Claire Argow Social Work Program, along with the Master of Social Work program

BSW Program Results of CSWE Competencies Assessments


Isaiah Pitre and Rob Wood

Balancing the workloads of a varsity sport and graduate school can be tough. Rob Wood '22 MBA '23 and Isaiah Pitre '22 MSW '24 took on graduate programs to continue their dream of playing football for the Boxers.

Grant Awarded Placeholder Graphic

The university's Master of Social Work and Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology programs will split a two-year, $1.8 million grant from the Oregon Health Authority aimed to increase the capacity and diversity in the state's mental health workforce.

Lalit Khandare

Dr. Lalit Khandare, director of the Master of Social Work program and co-chair of the Claire Argow Social Work Program at Pacific University, has been awarded indefinite tenure.