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Program Values, Mission & Goals

MSW Program Overview | Program Values, Mission & Goals | FAQs | Forms & Resources


We are committed to addressing power and oppression in society in order to promote social justice by using evidence informed practice and advocacy tools and the celebration of diversity (PrOSEAD). In short, our values include a commitment to:


  • Addressing: Power and Oppression;
  • Promoting: Social justice;
  • Using: Evidence-informed practice and Advocacy, and
  • Celebrating: Diversity


Certain sections of populations are more privileged than others in accessing resources due to historical or contemporary factors related to class, race, gender, etc. Our curriculum will prepare students to: (i) identify and acknowledge privilege issues both in society as well as at the practitioner/client level; (ii) use this understanding to inform their practice in order to competently serve clients who experience disenfranchisement and marginalization.


Social work practice across the micro-macro spectrum should work to negate the effects of oppression or acts of oppression locally, nationally and globally. Our curriculum will prepare students to more effectively empower oppressed groups and prevent further oppression among various populations within the contexts of social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental frameworks.

Social Justice

Social workers understand that human rights and social justice, as well as social welfare and services, are mediated by policy and its implementation at the federal, state, and local levels. Our curriculum will prepare students to engage in policy practice at the local, state, federal, or international levels in order to impact social justice, well-being, service delivery, and access to social services of our clients, communities and organizations.

Evidence Informed Practice

Social workers understand that the clients’ clinical state is affected not only by individual-level factors but also by social, economic, and political factors. We are also cognizant that research shows varied levels of evidence for practice approaches with various clients or populations. Our curriculum will prepare students to engage in evidence-informed practice. This includes finding and employing the best available evidence to select practice interventions for every client or group of clients, while also incorporating client preferences and actions, clinical state, and circumstances.


Every person regardless of position in society has fundamental human rights to freedom, safety, privacy, an adequate standard of living, health care and education. Our curriculum will prepare students to apply their understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice and their knowledge of effective advocacy and systems change skills to advocate for human rights at the individual and system levels.


Social workers need to understand how diversity and difference characterize and shape the human experience and are critical to the formation of identity. Our curriculum will produce students who are able to engage, embrace, and cherish diversity and difference across all levels of practice.

Program Mission

[Accreditation Standard 1.0.1; 1.0.2]

The Master of Social Work (MSW) Program of the University of Georgia’s School of Social Work prepares graduate students for advanced practice. Through our three concentrations, Micro practice (MIP), macro practice (MAP), and integrated/combined practice, we strive to develop future leaders in the profession of social work who are able to meet the ever changing challenges facing people of Georgia, the nation, and the world. Our aim is that our graduates are culturally competent; dedicated to social and economic justice; and committed to upholding and disseminating the core values and ethical standards of both the School and the profession.

This mission is consistent with that of the University of Georgia, the state’s oldest, most comprehensive and most diversified institution of higher education. Its motto, “to teach, to serve, and to inquire into the nature of things,” reflects the University’s integral and unique role in the conservation and enhancement of the state’s and nation’s intellectual, cultural, and environmental heritage. In addition, the MSW program mission is consistent with the school’s mission to provide local, state, national, and international leadership to promote social and economic justice, to alleviate oppressive social conditions and problems, and to enhance human well-being.

Similarly, the mission of the MSW program is interlinked with that of the BSW program, whose mission is to prepare students for entry-level social work practice; the PhD program, whose mission is to prepare social work professionals for careers in academic research settings and for practice in program evaluation and other forms of scientific research in the public and private sectors; and the MA NML program, which prepares students for careers in the nonprofit sector.

Program Vision

We envision a world where social workers are at the forefront of advocating on behalf of individuals, communities and service agencies in empowering the oppressed, promoting social justice, using the best science to resolve grand challenges, and celebrating the many aspects of diversity.

Program Goals

[Accreditation Standard 1.0.3]

Graduates of the UGA School of Social Work will demonstrate knowledge, skills, and leadership in the following five program outcomes that are derived from our mission. Associated with each of these outcomes are the competencies specified by our accrediting body, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

  1. Engage in advanced social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities to enable inclusion in the context of cultural diversity and persons in the immediate and global environments; [EPAS Competencies 2, 6, & 7]

  2. Uphold the principles, values, and ethics of the social work profession through reflection, awareness, and with consideration of the broader contexts of the world in which we live; [EPAS Competencies 1, 2, & 3]
  3. Utilize knowledge and theories of biological, psychological, social, spiritual, and cultural dimensions of human development to inform practice; [EPAS Competencies 1, 2, 4, & 8]

  4. Engage as critical consumers and producers of research and evaluation applied to practice at the clinical, community, policy, and administrative levels; [EPAS Competencies 4, 8, & 9]

  5. Influence social policies consistent with the goals of the profession to address poverty and advocate for vulnerable, oppressed populations, and challenge power imbalances that affect resource distribution; [EPAS Competencies 3 & 6]