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Social Work


The School of Social Work embraces the mission of Eastern Washington University to expand opportunities for personal transformation through excellence in learning. We are committed to placing students first and engaging community partners in improving the lives of people in need while advancing the cause of social justice. The BASW and MSW Programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

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    In 2008, the EWU School of Social Work and the Spokane Fire Department established the Community Assistance RESponse (CARES) Team to address the needs of elders and other vulnerable individuals and families who experience health and safety crises and turn to 911 for help. Because these callers lacked the information and support needed to survive beyond the crisis, a bridge to more appropriate services was needed. The student CARES Team works with callers, family members, friends, neighbors and community agencies to help clients find alternatives to calling 911. CARES is supported by the Spokane Fire Department Foundation.

    The EWU School of Social Work offers the only publicly sponsored Master of Social Work (MSW) program in Eastern Washington. Organized in the 1950's the School offers the Bachelor of Social Work (BASW) at the EWU main campus in Cheney and at our off-campus program in Vancouver, WA. The MSW is offered at the EWU main campuses in Cheney and Spokane (Riverpoint campus) and at our off-campus programs in Vancouver, Yakima and Everett Washington. The BASW and the MSW programs are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

    Our undergraduate and foundation graduate courses emphasize student-centered learning of the values, knowledge and skills needed by professional social workers to engage, assess, intervene and evaluate with individuals, families, organizations or society.  At the graduate level students broaden their understanding of the individual, group, community, and societal context of social work practice, and select additional courses to deepen knowledge and skills in one or more of the following areas of practice: aging, palliative care, disabilities, public health, mental health, addiction, school social work, and child welfare.  

    Undergraduate and graduate social work students engage in practicum placements in social welfare agencies and organizations located throughout the state, working alongside professional social workers and learning the roles and activities associated with the requisite competencies of professional practice. Practicum and seminars conducted in the final year of study connect the knowledge, skills, and values learned in the classroom with the real world experienced in agencies.


    We offer many options for the study of social work. Please explore our options and contact us with any questions. Read our Winter 2014 Newsletter!


    Student learning outcomes for students who graduated with BASW June 2012.

    Student learning outcomes for students who graduated with MSW June 2012.



     The School of Social Work, through the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) and Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs, prepares social work professionals for competency-based practice in public and private settings to address the needs of oppressed and disadvantaged populations, in compliance with the Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) of the Council on Social Work Education. Students are expected to acquire the professional values, knowledge, and skills to practice within complex social environments. The School is committed to diversity including age, class color, culture, disability ethnicity, gender, gender identity and experience, immigration status, political ideology, race religion, sex, and sexual orientation. The School engages students in the acquisition of critically assessed knowledge and practice skills focused on working collaboratively and therapeutically with people representing diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Graduates are prepared to assume professional practice roles in human service agencies, community organizations, collaborative networks, and change focused coalitions.

     The School prepares students to engage in processes aimed at empowering individuals to improve their life situation and to create organizational, community, and societal conditions that support people in their efforts to realize and sustain a basic quality of life.

     Through the collaborative efforts of faculty, social agencies, and students, the School of Social Work:

    Degree Options

    What are the degree options?

    BASW Program

    At the undergraduate level, the educational program is designed to prepare graduates for entry-level social work practice. The focus is on a problem-solving generalist model which fits the needs of the region. The objectives of the program are to:

    1. Prepare graduates for entry-level professional positions in the field of social welfare.
    2. Provide a foundation for those who wish to pursue graduate education in social work.
    3. Assist students who want to use a social work major as preparation for other professions and services or as preparation for civic leadership and participation in community social services.

    To meet these objectives, the School offers a professional curriculum with courses in human behavior in the social environment, intervention methods, social welfare policy and services, research methods and field practicum. This professional curriculum is supported by a liberal arts foundation, with required courses in the behavioral/biological sciences. The undergraduate program emphasizes a task-centered, problem-solving approach to social work practice.

    Master of Social Work Program

    The Master of Social Work degree (MSW) is the graduate degree that provides advanced knowledge and skills for increased effectiveness as a professional social worker. The MSW is the most marketable, most transferable and most requested degree by employers in the social services arena!

    The School of Social Work offers a two-year, full-time MSW Program located in Cheney, WA and a three-year, part-time MSW Program in Everett, Spokane, Vancouver and Yakima, WA. The part-time program consists of evening classes and practicum during the day. The Spokane Day Part-time Program is a one day a week program. The full-time and part-time programs have identical admission requirements and curriculum.

    Both MSW programs offer an Advanced Standing Option which allows qualified individuals to obtain a MSW in 11 months for the full-time program and in 18 months for the part-time program. In addition to the full-time and part-time program admission requirements, there are other admission requirements for the Advanced Standing Option.

    What can I do with my degree?

    Professional social workers help people with some of life's most challenging problems: abuse, mental and physical  illness, loss, divorce, discrimination, unemployment, and poverty. They help individuals and families deal with crises as well as the everyday challenges of life. They help organizations work more effectively and efficiently to fulfill agency missions and meet goals. They promote societal change to improve the lives of all people. Social Workers work in a variety of settings including: hospitals and clinics, nursing homes, community mental health clinics, child welfare agencies, state and local governments, schools, colleges and universities, substance abuse clinics, corrections, and the military.

    For more information:

    Contact Information

    Diane Somerday, Coordinator of Student Services
    208 Senior Hall Office 123
    Cheney, WA 99004

    phone: 509.359.6482
    fax: 509-359-4568

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