Guided by an overarching framework of social and economic justice, our mission is to promote the well-being of individuals, families, groups and communities. Our programs assist students in developing competencies for ethically and culturally competent social work practice within the distinct Appalachian culture of the region and across national and international contexts. Students in both programs complete field placements (internship opportunities) in the region in order to integrate their coursework with experiences in social service and human service agencies.

According to the National Association of Social Workers (n.d.), social workers are "people who care about people, who want to make things better, who want to relieve suffering, who want their work to make a difference" (para. 1). Social work is a growing and dynamic field, and the U.S. Department of Labor projects continued employment growth through 2022. With a degree in social work, you will be prepared for practice in hospitals and nursing homes, health departments, mental health centers, child and family service agencies, substance abuse programs, group homes and residential education programs, schools, correctional facilities, departments of social services, housing programs and shelters, domestic violence programs, advocacy agencies, legislative offices, community development and community planning organizations, non-governmental/community-based organizations, non-profit/grassroots organizations, international programs and international development, and other public and private human service agencies and programs.

We invite you to contact us to learn more about the profession of social work and our undergraduate (BSW) and graduate (MSW) programs.


The mission of the Department of Social Work is to educate professional social workers who actively work towards a sustainable and just society, focusing on the well-being and empowerment of the vulnerable and oppressed. We partner with Appalachian and global communities to advance social, economic, and environmental justice for all people.

Learn more about the program-specific mission and goals of our undergraduate and graduate programs.

Inclusive Excellence

The Department of Social Work is committed to promoting a more inclusive and equitable society, beginning with respectfully engaging diversity and difference within our learning environments. Our goal is to prepare social workers who are intentional and reflective in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in their work.

This effort is grounded in our Department's mission to educate professional social workers who will promote the well-being of the vulnerable and oppressed, and will advance social, economic, and environmental justice for all people. Social workers aim to reduce marginalization based on, but not limited to, age, (dis)ability, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, nationality, and religion.

Our Department's efforts are also grounded in the National Association of Social Workers' values of social justice and dignity and worth of the person, and its cultural awareness and social diversity standard. Finally, we see our work in this area as an embodiment of ASU's Inclusive Excellence Initiative, and the Beaver College of Health Sciences' core values of diversity, equity, and community.

Our work is ongoing and we are all learners. We encourage an ongoing dialogue among students, faculty, and staff about this commitment. Your participation and feedback in the process is valued.

To learn more about diversity initiatives at App State visit the Diversity and Inclusion at Appalachian website.