Jun 20, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2022-2023 
Academic Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work and Public Health

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Social Work

The Social Work Program at Pacific University provides students with the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for culturally sensitive generalist social work practice. The BSW curriculum is designed to prepare students to provide services that advance the well-being of people; promote social and economic justice; and enhance the social functioning of individuals, families, groups organizations, and communities. It is our desire to provide students with both academic and field based experiences that allow the student to integrate theoretical and applied knowledge in order to engage in the planned change process at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice. These experiences take place in the context of a broad liberal arts foundation. The small class sizes at Pacific allow for individual attention from professors, and our geographic location provides opportunities to explore social work in both rural and urban settings.


  • To prepare students for beginning generalist baccalaureate level social work practice with client systems of all sizes
  • Lay a foundation that prepares students for graduate level social work education or beginning practice with a commitment to life-long learning and ongoing professional development.
  • To promote social and economic justice
  • Develop new social work knowledge and provide service and leadership to the community.

Public Health

The mission of the public health program is to develop emerging public health leaders through an interdisciplinary education rooted in the liberal arts and connected with contemporary public health practice. The curriculum challenges students to understand the intellectual meaning and practical implications of the broad array of influences on population health, emphasizing the social foundations of health.

The study of public health is dedicated to understanding and improving the health and well-being of all people. The public health major is designed to develop students’ abilities to understand, analyze, problem-solve and communicate effectively in a complicated, international and rapidly changing world. Pacific’s public health program integrates health science, social science and humanistic approaches to addressing global health challenges.

Public health students study core courses within public health, such as introductory public health, epidemiology, social foundations of population health, environmental health, and global health. But we know that public health workers need a broad set of skills and abilities to be effective in promoting health and well-being, so our students complete their public health majors with courses in statistics and biology, plus a choice of courses from anthropology, biology, chemistry, economics, environmental sciences, ethics, history, media arts, politics, psychology, sociology, social work and the humanities.

Students studying public health are often interested in pursuing careers in the public sector, working with health departments, policymakers or organizations such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Others are interested in working with nonprofit organizations or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that promote better health both domestically and abroad. Still other public health graduates will pursue private-sector employment within the insurance or healthcare industries. Public health graduates are prepared for careers in health departments, hospitals, nonprofit organizations, universities, family violence prevention organizations, disaster relief organizations, and state and federal agencies. Many students choose to combine undergraduate public health education with graduate school in public health or the health professions.

Students may earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, or minor in Public Health. Only a grade of C- or above may be used to satisfy major and minor requirements. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average in the major or minor.

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