BSW program vision, mission, philosophy, goals


The Binghamton University Department of Social Work is a renowned leader in educating and empowering generalist social work practitioners to promote social, economic and environmental justice and support for individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.


Social work is built upon a strong foundation of social justice advocacy, activism and a commitment to the worth and dignity of all. The mission of the Binghamton University Baccalaureate of Social Work program is to proudly contribute to the profession as leaders in our work for equity, justice and inclusion.


Working to ensure that all people have healthy and satisfying lives is central to our philosophy. We understand health as encompassing full physical, mental and social well-being and know that empowerment and a high quality of life can be accomplished even in the context of disability, illness or trauma.

Social workers impact many aspects of society, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and the policies that guide and influence them. Strengths and power exist within all communities. Harnessing these strengths to promote health, well-being, resiliency, organizational inclusion and policies for equity and justice is fundamental to helping people overcome obstacles and build the future they want for themselves.

Generalist social work practice

Our generalist practice focus prepares Binghamton University BSW graduates to understand social work values, ethics and professional behavior. Students will:

  • understand historical oppression, structural inequality and work towards navigating complex systems; and
  •  increase their awareness of social injustices and the impact social injustice has on access to education, resources and services.

Alumni of the Binghamton University BSW program will become:

  • advocates and will learn how to draw out individual, family and community strengths and then utilize their strengths to empower change; and
  • change agents who advocate for human rights, address institutional bias and barriers and invest in social justice.

The BSW program prepares students to work in a variety of human service and policy-related settings, including: physical and mental healthcare, child welfare and social services, community services, education and civic engagement settings.

Our team

Our team is made up of scholars and experienced social work practitioners who model interprofessional collaboration to address the core structural issues that confound social justice initiatives. We:

  • put our research into action by informing policy, programming and client interventions; and  
  • bring expertise in social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities into the classroom, by teaching skills and encouraging critical thinking.


Our teaching, advising, and student engagement focus is designed to ensure that all graduates of the BSW program have:

  • the groundwork to becoming effective and competent generalist practitioners who are critically conscious, reflective, and autonomous thinkers; and,  
  • enter the social work profession equipped with the skills to respond to the intersectionality of social justice related privileges and oppressions to educate, advocate for, and promote social equity and well-being.

And are professionals who:  

  • integrate research and respect for the wisdom of clients and consumers to inform their practice;  
  • base their practice on a foundation of paradigms that include, but are not limited to: social constructionism, critical consciousness, anti-oppression, intersectionality and strengths-and empowerment-based theories and perspectives of macro, mezzo and micro systems; and
  • develop social work practice and intervention skills informed by ecological systems, developmental, trauma recovery, cognitive, behavioral and relational theories.