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 critically conscious, reflective and autonomous thinkers and practitioners;
  • are equipped with skills to respond to the interconnected matrix of social justice related privileges and oppressions to educate, advocate for, and promote social equity and well-being;
  • integrate research and respect for the wisdom of clients and consumers to inform their social work practice;
  • base their social work practice on a foundation of paradigms that include social constructionism, critical consciousness, anti-oppression, and strengths- and empowerment-based theories and models of macro, mezzo and microsystems; and,
  • develop social work practice and intervention skills informed by ecological systems, developmental, trauma recovery, cognitive, behavioral and relational theories.