Welcome to the School of Social Work and Criminal Justice at the University of Washington Tacoma. I am proud of our innovative and unique multidisciplinary school that is committed to pillars of academic excellence through research, instruction, and community engagement. Paramount is student success. Whether you are interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice or Social Welfare or a Master of Social Work degree, you will find a community of diverse scholars and leaders who are deeply committed to your personal, intellectual, and professional growth.
The School of Social Work and Criminal Justice affirms social, racial, political, and economic justice and promotes equity and inclusion values. Through our three degree programs, we prepare students to empower individuals and communities to dismantle oppressive system policies and practices and address critical social problems to create a more just and equitable society.
The campus and online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice (BACJ) degree prepares students to engage with systems through a theoretical understanding using ecological systems and evaluative approaches to crime and justice. Our unique multidisciplinary Criminal Justice curriculum adopts a social justice lens that prioritizes diversity in populations and thought, progressive approaches to crime and justice, and differential impacts of crime on individuals and communities across social identities and locations. The Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare (BASW) degree prepares students to acquire competence in ethical, culturally responsive social work practice. Our BASW degree centers equity and a commitment to effective advocacy and empowerment of historically marginalized, economically disadvantaged, and underserved populations. Students in our BASW program are placed in generalist-focused agencies for real-world learning opportunities. The Master in Social Work (MSW) degree recognizes the importance of synergy between knowledge acquisition and action to develop student competencies in preparation for advanced practice. Our MSW curriculum provides generative and tailored learning for students to develop deep expertise in their interests and passions. Students assume advocacy and leadership opportunities in an array of cross-disciplinary public and private sectors and may choose specialized learning in pursuit of school social work, behavioral health, and child welfare careers.
Our society remains at a critical juncture that requires a steadfast commitment to social change and justice. We strongly believe our mission, integration of criminal justice and social work critical thought and values, and collective potential will foster a meaningful and sustained impact on our communities. We look forward to you joining us and advancing our mission, priorities, and values.
education of effective social work leaders, practitioners and educators who will challenge injustice and promote a more humane society, and whose actions will be guided by vision, compassion, knowledge and disciplined discovery, and deep respect for cultural diversity and human strengths;
research that engenders understanding of complex social problems, illuminates human capacities for problem-solving, and promotes effective and timely social intervention; and
public service that enhances the health, well-being and empowerment of disadvantaged communities and populations at local, national and international levels.
We embrace our position of leadership in the field of social work and join in partnership with others in society committed to solving human problems in the twenty-first century.
Additionally, the School of Social Work and Criminal Justice shares the mission of the University of Washington Tacoma.
The University of Washington Tacoma educates diverse learners and transforms communities by expanding the boundaries of knowledge and discovery.
Finally, the Social Work programs commit themselves to providing access to social work education to residents of the south Puget Sound region. (Program goals emanating from UW Tacoma's defining characteristics and guiding principles.)
Committed to Our Community
The School of Social Work and Criminal Justice has strong ties to the South Puget Sound community: our graduate and undergraduate students complete local internships and practicum placements; our faculty conducts collaborative research with partners in our community; and our alumni are actively involved in service and helping professions largely in the South Puget Sound region.
Thanks to all who participated in our University of Washington Academic Program Review and took the time to meet with the External Review Committee in late January of 2016. The Review Committee’s final report, with recommendations, is available at the link below. The Review Committee was very positive about our faculty, staff, program, and, above all, students. Congratulations!