About the Master of Social Work Program

What does Pacific University’s Master of Social Work Program have to offer its students?

It takes more than a good heart and a desire to help. To make a positive, lasting impact, a social worker must possess knowledge, values, skills and competencies.

At Pacific University, we provide our students with the tools they will need to become professional social workers. Together, we will work towards creating a better world.

Concentration Areas

Pacific University’s MSW program is a full-time, two-year program. All Pacific MSW students will follow the same course schedule during their first year of social work education at Pacific. The program offers students a choice between two concentrations during the second year of the MSW program.

During the second year, students may pursue a generalist Health and Wellness concentration, designed to prepare social workers to meet the urgent need among individuals and families to gain access to affordable, high quality health and wellness services. Students will gain competence in diagnoses and advanced therapeutic approaches the foster wellness and independence.

Alternately, second-year students may pursue a Latino Families & Culture concentration designed to prepare students to work with the largest and fastest growing group in the United States. The Latino Families & Culture concentration includes an immersion experience in Latin America, during which students will live with a host family, absorbing language and culture 24/7. Back at our Eugene Campus, Latino Families & Culture students will enroll in a class titled “Promoting Wellness with Latino Clients.”

Field Experience

Field Education (or “Practicum” or “Field Work”) is the heart of our MSW program at Pacific University. After students are accepted into the MSW program, placements in social service organizations (e.g., governmental; nonprofit; for-profit) are established and then monitored by the MSW field director. During both the foundation and concentration years of the program, students perform social work in agencies under the supervision of an MSW field instructor and the administration of the MSW field director. In addition to the time dedicated to agency placements, students attend a seminar class. Seminar affords an interactive setting where students can process, integrate classroom knowledge with practice, and address professional issues and development.

A field education placement form will be made available to all students admitted to the MSW program immediately after notification of admission. Students are responsible for completing and returning the form to the MSW field director by mail, fax, or email within two weeks. Each student is required to read and be familiar with the contents of the field instruction portion of Pacific University’s MSW Student Handbook.

Pathways to Pacific University’s Master of Social Work

The master of social work degree is available to any students who have completed a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited university. For some students, pursuing a master of social work degree represents a change in pathway from their undergraduate studies. Other students are continuing a bachelor level education in social work.

Pacific’s MSW program offers two pathways to admission, regular and advanced standing.

Regular Admission

Any applicant with a four-year (undergraduate) degree from an accredited institution is eligible to apply for admission to Pacific’s MSW program. The degree need not be in the social sciences, but should contain courses that address the liberal arts requirement stated below. Regular admission will take two years of full-time study to complete (64 semester credits). The first regular admission cohort will begin the MSW program in August 2014.

Advanced Standing

Any applicant who has completed a bachelor of social work degree (BSW) from a CSWE accredited program, no more than five years prior to beginning the MSW program, is eligible to apply for advanced standing. 

Applicants who have completed a BSW degree more than five years ago are not eligible for advanced standing admission, but may apply for regular admission. The advanced standing MSW program requires one year (32 semester credits) of full-time study plus a one-credit “tune-up” course just before the program begins.

Please note that having a BSW degree does not guarantee admission to Pacific's MSW program or guarantee that a student will be able to enroll via an advanced-standing pathway.

Learn more on how to apply for specific information on admission to Pacific’s Master of Social Work program.