About the School

 Background Information

Official Name: School of Social Work


The undergraduate program of Social Work Education was first commenced in 2007 at Jimma University in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities under the Department of Sociology and Social work. Social Work has been given in Jimma University as a composite degree with sociology for 9 years (2007-2014). However, it accepted 40 students as the 1st batch in undergraduate program of Social Work in 2014 academic year being under the Sociology and Social Work department.

Later by 2014, the need to produce students with an eclectic knowledge base and skills of various interventions to address problems of individuals, groups, organizations, diverse communities and societies at national and international level and the need to provide quality and professional service to the needy and disadvantaged; and shortage of qualified social work professionals led to the need for the split of School of Social Work as an independent academic unit within the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Further, it has been believed that having an independent school of social work was become more important to utilize the most out of professionals of social work, equip graduates with strong societal knowledge, skills, theories, perspectives and scientific intervention skills; fill the gap of professional social workers and provide new and comprehensive views to the human and social problems.  Then by 2015, The School of Social Work became an autonomous academic unit at Jimma University under umbrella of College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Jimma University.

Currently, the school is teaching social work education in BSW regular and distance program and Masters of Social Work both in regular and extension programs. The first BSW regular program students were graduated in 2016, whereas first batch students in Masters of Social Work Program were graduated in 2018 academic year. The School is also extensively working on expanding its programmes to PhD program as well as other extension programmes by the near future.


The School of Social Work at Jimma University aspires to be the leading School in the country, one of the best in Africa and well known at international level by excelling in Social Work Education, Research and Community services.


The school aims to produce dedicated high calibre social work professionals that can respond to both local and global demands through rigorous academic undertakings; combining research, training and community services at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It also exists to contribute to equity and social justice in Ethiopia by undertaking quality research, promoting excellence in teaching, contributing to policy and practice thereby empowering people and communities via producing capable social workers equipped with professional knowledge, skills and values. The school as well is committed to forge close partnerships with local, regional and international partners that share its vision.


  • Enhancing quality of teaching and learning process

To create and maintain conducive educational environment that support and promote academic excellence, quality and relevance of teaching and learning, providing students with opportunity to become knowledgeable and productive graduates through self-learning, creativity and innovation.

  • Promoting quality and culture of research, scholarship and innovation

To develop institutional capacity, system and environment that support and promote culture of research and scholarship among staff and students of the school; to undertake high quality research that meaningfully contribute to social, economic, environmental and cultural development of the country and humankind in general through creation, expansion and dissemination of knowledge and information.

  • Developing effective school governance, leadership and management

To develop outstanding school governance, leadership and management system that creates conducive working environment for effective execution of training, research and community service activities of the school in particular, the College of Social Sciences and Humanities and the University in general.

  • Acquiring capacity for attraction, development and retention of qualified staff

To transform the school to become the work place of preference for qualified academic and administrative staff and create an enabling environment where they can fulfill their potential and contribute their utmost to the realization of the school`s vision, mission and goals.

  • Developing adequate facilities for field education programme

To integrate classroom learning with field practice, to help social work students exposed to the real world of work environment and contribute to community development through field practice.

  • Boosting up resources generation and management capacity

To create and sustain sufficient and diverse bases of resources and to establish effective management of these resources to achieve high quality teaching, research and community services that will enhance the reputation and competitiveness of the school.

  • Serving the society through effective collaboration with different partners

To forge effective collaboration and partnerships with different stakeholders that will enable us to promote sustainable economic, social, cultural and environmental development of the community through our teaching, research and service activities.

Core Values

The teachings, researches and community services of the School of Social Work uphold the following core values:

  • Service
  • Social justice
  • Equality
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Collaboration
  • Excellence
  •  Respecting diversity
  • Tolerance
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Empowerment and community participation
  •  Inclusiveness
  • Equity and access
  • Industriousness

Guiding Principles

In the process of teaching, research and community engagement, the school will be guided by the following basic principles

  1. Pursue excellence in researches, teachings and community services
  2. Respect diversity, tolerance and inclusiveness of religious, ethnic and socially marginalized groups
  3. Ensure teaching, research and community services accessible to all students in an equitable manner regardless of gender, ethnic, religious and other differences
  4. Promote participation and accountability in decision making
  5. Ensure community involvement and empowerment
  6. Transform lives through knowledge, collaboration and partnership
  7. Working in solidarity
  8. Encourage creativity and perseverance to enhance positive competitiveness and improvement in teaching, research and service delivery
  9. Advocate objectivity, visionary and outstanding leadership in achieving the mandate and mission of the school

Admission Criteria

Students who have completed their two years preparatory lessons of grade 11 and 12 will be admitted after passing college entrance examination successfully up to the national admission standard. The ministry of education determines the university entrance standard. Students who have attended other related TVT and diploma programs and passed COC exams as well as those who have graduated from other related fields with first degree can be admitted.