Established in 1995, Social work at VSU has a strong tradition of providing quality education through Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation. VSU’s Master of Social Work program was the first social work program in the state to offer a web-hybrid program in 2003. Today, the hybrid program is thriving and the program offers a blend of online and in-person instruction to meet the needs of today's Social Worker.


The Valdosta State University MSW program is the result of the collective efforts of area social workers, concerned citizens, social work faculty and numerous others from the University and the region. It is in many ways a good example of locality development in action.

In the mid-70s, many of the social work positions in South Georgia became human service positions because of the scarcity of social workers in the South Georgia region. Thanks to the efforts of a group of dedicated social workers and other professionals in the region, the Board of Regents gave approval for a program in 1994. During the next year the first cohort of students was admitted in the fall of 1995. Three years later, the Division of Social Work achieved initial accreditation through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and the Social Work Program has maintained CSWE accreditation. 

Today, Social Work is a program in the Department of Human Services and has continued to invest in South Georgia by providing qualified graduates to work in our communities. The program offers a unique hybrid curriculum of online and in-person classes to meet the needs of today's students. To date, over 1,000 students have graduated from the MSW Program, with many obtaining licensure and employment in the South Georgia region.

Vision Statement

An innovative and thoughtful approach for offering practical, solution-oriented perspectives for education, practice, and research.


The mission of the Program of Social Work is to promote a diverse and accepting learning community and professional culture which includes students, faculty, staff, and community stakeholders at local, regional, state, national and international levels. Through social work's "signature pedagogy," scholarship, service, advocacy and leadership we strive to: improve individual well-being and social welfare with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of populations that are oppressed, vulnerable, and living in poverty; advance social and environmental justice; advocate for human rights; and promote respect for human differences. Further, through field and other educational experiences, we prepare advanced generalist practitioners who engage in ethical and culturally sensitive practice that is informed by theory, research, and practice wisdom. Through supervision, consultation, and professional collaboration these practitioners critically evaluate, shape, and are shaped by the social work practice environment.


These goals reflect the increasing sense of clarity regarding our mission and goals as well as the growth of the social work profession in this region and beyond. The seven goals of the Program of Social Work are as follows:

  1. To prepare students to engage in informed, systematic, and self-directed advanced generalist practice at multiple levels.
  2. To create a unique learning environment in which students are able to identify with the profession and learn to assume professional leadership roles in which they can begin to shape their professional environment.
  3. To prepare students for practice at increasing levels of complexity, using specialized theories and practice methods that enable students to maintain attention to balanced practice.
  4. To prepare students to practice with respect and with the knowledge, values, and skills that are appropriate for the range of human differences in order to implement effective intervention strategies.
  5. To develop and strengthen ongoing collaboration with helping systems in the community and region to facilitate the advancement of social work knowledge, skills, and values, and the promotion of policies and services that match the ideals of social justice.
  6. To provide support and professional development to human service practitioners within the region as well as to contribute to the advancement of the profession through the generation of social work knowledge through scholarship, service, teaching, professional affiliations, and opportunities for life-long learning.
  7. To seek an increasingly diverse group of applicants who wish to pursue the field of social work and to create a creative, diverse learning environment in which students learn to value human differences and learn to practice within the values and ethics of the profession.