Social Work M.S.W.
The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program at Portland State
University is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
MSW Program Mission
The mission of the Portland State University MSW program
is to educate students for advanced leadership and practice that recognizes and dismantles systems of oppression; builds racial equity and social, political, and economic justice; and advances the well-being of diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and tribal nations. We endeavor to deliver a social work education that is critically informed, theoretically driven, empirically supported, reflexive, ethical, vigilant and resistive to colonial, heteropatriarchal, classist, and white supremacist agendas.
MSW Program Goals:
The MSW Program mission is
realized by providing a statewide program that prepares social workers
for practice and leadership with diverse individuals, families, groups, communities
The goal is to prepare MSW social
Provide advanced practice and leadership in
healthcare and aging, clinical mental health, services to children, youth
and families, communities, and/or organizations
Practice effectively with individuals, groups,
families and communities to improve their well being
Demonstrate a professional use of self and a
commitment to practice within social work values and ethics
Engage in critically informed,
non-discriminatory, collaborative practice that addresses/challenges oppression
and reflects respect, knowledge, and skills related to race, color, ethnicity,
culture, social and economic class, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation,
marital status, family structure, language, national origin, age, disability,
Use knowledge of systemic oppression and
privilege, community and organizational change processes, and practice
skills to advance social and economic justice
Analyze, formulate, and influence policies to
improve practice and advance social and economic justice
Use practice experience, empirical evidence, and
theory to guide practice
Develop a plan and motivation for continued professional development, learning, and growth to enhance their social work skills and to contribute to the social work profession's efforts to advance social justice after graduation.
The master's program offers students five courses of
study: (1) a traditional full-time two-year course option; (2) a part-time
three- or four-year option in Portland; (3) an advanced standing one-year option in Portland; (4) a
part-time three-year distance options in Salem, Souothern Oregon, Eugene, Central Oregon; and (5) a part-time three-year online
The curriculum combines concurrent on-campus coursework
and field work in a range of human service organizations. Typical practice
settings are mental health programs, public welfare and human service agencies,
schools, hospitals and health care centers, courts, family service agencies,
correctional services, community planning agencies, legislative offices, child
and youth service agencies, neighborhood centers, multicultural service
centers, and programs for older adults.
To ensure a common base for social work practice, the faculty has identified a required generalist foundation curriculum to be completed by all students in the MSW Program, except those admitted to advanced standing. This coursework focuses on the knowledge, values, skills and behaviors related to work with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. Three terms of concurrent generalist field internship are an integral part of this foundation.
The advanced curriculum includes advanced concentrations,
advanced field internship and electives. Students in the Portland option have the choice of four
concentration areas: Health Across the Lifespan; Children, Youth, and Families;
Clinical Social Work Practice; and Practice and Leadership with Communities and
Organizations. The electives provide opportunities for students to have a
deeper learning experience with a specific population, problem or intervention.
The M.S.W. Distance Option (DO) program offers an advanced concentration in Clinical Social Work. In fall 2018, a new cohort of students will begin in Salem and Southern Oregon. The Central Oregon and Salem sites will each have a cohort in their final year. The Eugene cohort will begin their second year.. While the first year of
distance learning is course work only, second year and third year students have
16 hour per week field internships in or near their home communities. The Southern Oregon and Central Oregon programs offer all classes on site. First year classes for
Eugene and Salem are held on the PSU campus in Portland, and second and third
year classes occur on site. The Salem and Southern Oregon sites will recruit new students for
The M.S.W. Online program offers two advanced concentrations: Practice and Leadership with Communities and Organizations and Health Across the Lifespan.
Course instruction is exclusively online using asynchronous and synchronous
delivery methods, though students will be expected to come to campus for a
two-day orientation at the beginning of each academic year. Required courses
are offered during the academic year and electives are offered in the summer.
The first year of the program is course work only, while the second year and
third year students have 16 hour per week field internships in or near their
home communities, in addition to taking their courses.
Students admitted to the Advanced Standing option have a BSW from a CSWE accredited school of social work, and complete the advanced year of the curriculum over the course of four-five terms.
Students in the MSW program have the ability to pursue a
dual degree or certificate in specialized areas of practice.
Students may combine the M.S.W. with a Masters in Public
Health (M.P.H.) by applying to both programs.
Students may obtain the M.S.W. with a certificate in
gerontology through the Institute on Aging by completing specialized courses
and field placement.
Students may also pursue licensure as a school social
worker by completing a specialized set of courses and field placement.
Information about these dual degree and certificate
programs is available on our website http://www.pdx.edu/ssw/.
The M.S.W. is a 78 credit program comprised of foundation and advanced coursework.
The foundation coursework can be satisfied in one of two ways:
- Completion of a B.S.W. degree accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, plus 7 credits of bridge courses taken during the summer at PSU
|SW 513||Research Methods for Social Work Advanced Standing Students||
|SW 589||Advanced Standing Seminar||
2. Completion of a 39 credit graduate foundation course sequence at PSU, which includes the following courses
|SW 511||Field Seminar and Field Placement||
|SW 515||Skills for the Helping Process - Groups||
|SW 520||Social Welfare History and Policy||
|SW 530||Skills for the Helping Process – Individuals and Families||
|SW 532||Advocacy and Empowerment||
|SW 539||Social Justice in Social Work||
|SW 540||Human Development Through the Lifespan||
|SW 541||Societal, Community and Organizational Structures and Processes||
|SW 550||Research and Evaluaton I||
|SW 551||Research and Evaluation II||
The advanced coursework involves an additional 39 credits of advanced graduate courses.
- 9 credits (3 credits per term) in one of the advanced concentrations
- Clinical Social Work Practice (SW 533, SW 534, and SW 535)
- Practice and Leadership with Communities and Organizations (SW 593, SW 594, and SW 595)
- Social Work with Children, Youth, and Families (SW 586, SW 587, and SW 588)
- Health Across the Lifespan (SW 517, SW 518, and SW 519)
- 12 credits SW 512 Advanced field placement (4 credits each of three terms)
- 18 credits of advanced electives in their area of interest
Students may not receive credit for life experience, previous work experience, nor have any field experience or professional foundation courses waived on this basis.
Total Credit Hours: 78