College of Behavioral & Social Sciences

BA in Social Work


The practice of social work actively seeks out and develops people's capacities by reaching for strengths in individuals, families, organizations, communities, and society as a whole. Social work rests on the firm belief that all people are of equal value and that every person possesses the capacity to face challenges and to grow and change. People experience problems in living when life presents them with challenges of an historical, institutional, interpersonal, or intrapersonal nature. The social work profession has always been in the forefront of promoting positive social change in the broader societal context, empowering our most vulnerable citizens. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, there is a rich mix of students from various backgrounds, lifestyles and traditions which results in a diverse context for gaining the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for social work practice and working for social change.


The mission of the School of Social Work is to provide accessible, high quality education for generalist practice at the baccalaureate level and advanced generalist practice at the graduate level. We educate students to be ethical, knowledgeable, and versatile practitioners and leaders who value collaboration, social and economic justice, and lifelong Learning.

Goals & Objectives

  • Prepare social workers with the knowledge, values and skills for generalist professional practice with multi-level systems.
  • Prepare social workers for culturally competent practice in diverse settings with an emphasis on the Northern California region.
  • Prepare social workers in advocacy and social and political action to promote human rights, social and economic justice.
  • Prepare social workers to engage in continuing professional education and life-long learning to enhance their social work knowledge and skills.
  • Participate in the University’s General Education program through course offerings.
  • Partner with community service agencies to produce competent social workers.
  • Prepare social workers to think critically and effectively utilize various sources of information to build on strengths and address complex problems. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
  • Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
  • Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
  • Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  • Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
  • Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
  • Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
  • Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
  • Respond to contexts that shape practice.
  • Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.