Majors & Programs

Social Work

Degrees Offered: BA MSW

At Cal Poly Humboldt, you’ll take what you learn in the classroom and put it to work in the real world—applying your new skills in diverse settings, ranging from small non-profit agencies, tribal social services, large public organizations, and international programs. Our students form lasting partnerships with faculty and our professors are committed to student development. We recognize that people who join us are much more than university students and that all of us are members of a community. The relational quality between students and faculty reflects a mutual learning and educational process. The faculty is dedicated to the well being of students based on caring and compassion.

Social Work at Humboldt is a professional preparation program rooted in the liberal arts. It prepares its graduates for practice as social work generalists. This means students are provided the knowledge, values, and skills to work with people from diverse cultural, ethnic, and personal backgrounds in individual, family, organizational, community-based, and policy contexts. The undergraduate and graduate social work programs at Cal Poly are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

We value an educational approach that emphasizes critical reflection, ethical behavior, the development of human potential, and peaceful resolution of conflicts. The department supports progressive practice that is based on peace, justice, experimentation, risk taking, inclusiveness, partnership, non-expert paradigms of relationships, and a belief in the uniqueness of each student’s own professional goals and vision.

The mission of the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program is to prepare students for beginning generalist social work practice responsive to the challenges and resources present in rural areas in particular and in more populated areas in general.

The mission of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program is to prepare students for advanced generalist social work practice responsive to the challenges and resources present in rural areas in general and indigenous communities in particular, and to present local historical and contemporary social issues within a global perspective.

Social work students have the opportunity to work with agencies and communities through a highly individualized field experience program. Students find this helpful in building skills and obtaining jobs following graduation. Emphasis is on the utilization of community resources and provision of service intervention in small town and rural areas.