School of Social Work

Black Lives Matter

The School of Social Work at Portland State University stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.  As agents of change, researchers, educators, social workers, and people working with children, youth,  and families, we stand in solidarity and uplift the calls to action shared by Black Lives Matter and other  movements for racial justice, radical healing, and structural change. The systemic violence, police  brutality, and, specifically, the murders of Black men, women, trans, and non-binary community  members has been happening continuously and across generations through multiple forms of oppression. The violence that we have collectively witnessed over the last several years has pushed many of us to our breaking points. At this moment, many of us are questioning how and why and what we can do to disrupt and resist these systems of terror and harm. We believe that all of us have a role to  play in dismantling the systems of racialized violence and intersectional oppression whether through redistributing funds, protesting, mutual aid, spiritual work, engaging hard conversations with loved ones, and holding space for self-care, healing, rage, and grief.

Advance Your Career

At Portland State University’s School of Social Work, you will find passionate and forward-thinking colleagues and collaborative, inclusive faculty committed to building a socially just and equitable future for all. Our nationally recognized teaching and research faculty will help unlock your potential and prepare you to work with individuals, families, communities, and organizations. Study in the heart of downtown Portland, or enroll in one of our many program options around the state or online.   

We offer:

  • Bachelor’s and master’s degrees with program options online or in locations around the state.
  • A PhD degree in our innovative and progressive social work program.
  • Internships in social work and child, youth, and family studies.
  • Undergraduate and graduate research opportunities with our nationally recognized and funded Regional Research Institute for Human Services, Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services or Center for Interdisciplinary Mentoring Research.

We have extensive community partnerships with top employers including all of the major medical systems, the Oregon Department of Human Services, and local public school systems, giving you opportunities for hands-on learning that are unmatched in Oregon.

At PSU, you will graduate with the skills, experience and connections you need to further your career. You will graduate equipped to change lives and change communities.

Research, Partnerships, and Centers

The School of Social Work hosts a broad range of research activities, from large-scale grant-supported projects to smaller faculty-directed and student-directed studies. Most (but not all) grant-supported projects are managed within one of the affiliated research units.  The School of Social Work has a robust research engine that comprises 20% of the overall external research dollars at Portland State University.

Students in juvenile capstone project

Regional Research Institute

Our faculty, students, and staff at the School of Social Work’s Regional Research Institute work at the intersection of research, program evaluation, and training in direct partnerships with local, state, regional, national, and international agencies to address numerous critical and social issues.

Kids running through park

Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services

CCF's research, training, and consultation are designed to improve equity and effectiveness in services for children, youth, and families. Founded at the School of Social Work in 1993, we work across Oregon and beyond in child welfare, early childhood, family support, and cross-systems integration.

Multidisciplinary Partnerships

School of Social Work faculty play leadership roles in high impact partnerships shared with multiple departments on campus and/or with other universities.

Learn more about our multidisciplinary partnerships »

BSW/MSW Field Education

The BSW and MSW Programs at the School of Social Work endorse the principle that Field Education is the "Signature Pedagogy" of BSW and MSW social work education. Field Education requires that all students have training experiences in professionally supervised, educationally-based field placements. Field education provides students with an opportunity to increase competence in social work skills and professional values in actual service settings.