Social Work Programs

October 3, 2011

Portland State University School Of Social Work

portland state social  work school Portland State University (PSU) is host to the only graduate social work program in Oregon, and is known for its extensive undergraduate and graduate opportunities for students interested in a combination of clinical practice, research, and involvement in the community.

The program offers a Bachelor of Social Work degree, a Master of Social Work degree, doctoral studies programs, and a degree in Child and Family Studies. Students enrolled in the undergraduate program at PSU School of Social Work can earn a B.A.S.W. to prepare graduates for entry-level social work positions or for graduate school. The generalist social work curriculum requires students to engage in academic coursework as well as work in the social work field through internship and volunteer opportunities. The Child and Family Studies undergraduate program provided by the PSU School of Social Work provides students with a foundational understanding of the family system and its interaction with children.


Students may choose from a variety of specializations, including but not limited to Early Childhood Education, Child Welfare, and Family Life Educator. Students in this program attend academic courses as well as have practicum experiences in the community.

PSU also offers a Master of Social Work to graduate students in both full-time and part-time capacities. Both programs consist of 78 credit hours, with full-time students completing the program in two years and part-time students completing it in three years. The advanced standing option is available for students who have a BSW degree and are willing to study for four consecutive terms, or one calendar year. Students can also earn dual degrees along with the MSW degree, including a Certificate in Gerontology and a Master of Public Heath degree. MSW students must also complete 1,000 hours of field education over two academic years.

Students may choose from a wide variety of settings, including shelters, social services, schools, hospitals, aging services centers, and many other programs. Students also have the opportunity to consider combining their MSW studies with the PhD program, which most students complete in four to five years. The PhD program in Social Work and Social Research is a separate program from the MSW program, and students in the PhD program are expected to conduct advanced research and defend a dissertation.

PSU is an organization that offers many additional opportunities to its students, faculty, and the community. The Regional Research Institute for Human Services (RRI) engages in projects conducted by social workers in a wide variety of areas, such as Child Mental Health, Disability, Substance Abuse, and Crime and Violence. The Child Welfare Partnership is a collaborative effort between PSU School of Social Work and the Oregon Department of Human Services that offers students the chance to receive specialized training as well as financial assistance in exchange for serving in the child welfare field following graduation. This is a wonderful opportunity and very nice collaboration.

Oregon is a beautiful place to live and the peaceful quality is beneficial on many levels.

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