MSW program vision, mission, philosophy and goals


We envision the Binghamton University Department of Social Work as a renowned leader in educating and empowering advanced 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 Master of Social Work program is to contribute proudly 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 the philosophy of the Department of Social Work. 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.


Binghamton University social work students:

  • will become reflective, autonomous, and critical thinkers and practitioners;
  • understand, appraise, and apply social science knowledge grounded in a variety of research paradigms;
  • appreciate the complexity of the social world, and understand how context shapes the lives of clients at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels; 
  • learn about social inequality and oppression from a variety of perspectives–including but not limited to liberal equality, critical, and anti-racist– in order to promote client wellbeing and social justice in practice; and
  • integrate research into practice while respecting the wisdom, culture, and perspectives of clients; 
  • develop social work practice and intervention skills informed by ecological systems, developmental, strengths, empowerment, trauma recovery, cognitive, behavioral and relational theories and perspectives