Department of Community Development

Since the 70’s, the Department of Community Development has been offering undergraduate and graduate academic degrees that seek to educate, train and nurture competent development professionals who are committed to people’s empowerment and participation, sustainable development and gender equity.

From its nascent beginning as a service delivery mechanism of the government in the 1950’s, CD as an academic discipline has evolved alongside with the dynamic character of social development. The growing concern for popular participation and social equity has brought to fore the need for an integrated strategy of organizational capability building among grassroots organizations as well as concrete community-managed welfare and livelihood programs.

Our goal is to help create and build a society that provides equal access to men and women for social, economic, political and cultural opportunities through people’s collective actions.

We continue to make our programs truly responsive to emerging challenges in the lives of marginalized communities and the larger society in general such as those arising from climate change and disasters, globalization, conflict and violence, and migration.

Department of Social Work 

The Department of Social Work (DSW) is committed to the preparation of graduates who can competently take their place in the vast field of social welfare and social development. This competence addresses the area of human social functioning which is the result of the interaction between two aspects of living – how people cope with their life tasks and the demands of their situations. Social Work intervenes in order to match between the two, through remedial, preventive and developmental approaches.


Department of Women and Development Studies

The Department of Women and Development Studies, which is the only one in the Philippines and a pioneer in the Asia-Pacific region, aims to provide a historical and comprehensive perspective to the study of gender and development particularly in the context of the South and the Philippines.

Its objectives include:

  • To examine the conditions and positions of women and men in local, national, regional, and global setting;
  • To conduct and disseminate researches toward greater participation and empowerment of women in the context of more equitable gender relations;
  • To assess development frameworks and strategies as these affect women and men, and encourage the formulation and propagation of alternatives which aim to strengthen women’s movements and organizations vis-a-vis larger formations of women and men;
  • To critique existing theories and at the same time engage in theory building which can better capture the realities and perspectives of women and men in the Philippines and other countries in the South;
  • To provide theoretical knowledge and advanced competencies in gender-related teaching, research, project and program planning and management, gender mainstreaming, organizing, and training through direct field experiences; and
  • To facilitate advocacy of women’s rights and empowerment.


Doctor of Social Development Program

Social Development is an area of study that provides an analytical understanding of development issues linked to social forces which influence the lives of multitudes of people. It is concerned with addressing social problems that influence economic progress, human security and well-being, and innovates and analyzes strategies for the enhancement of a people-centered development.

The Doctor of Social Development program puts emphasis on the development of knowledge from the ground, and theorizing from below, as bases for the enrichment of teaching, scholarship, research, and practice in social development.

It transcends disciplinal boundaries by taking the individual, the family, the community, organizations, and the larger society as the focal points for the analysis of development issues and as the fulcrum for programs and interventions aimed at the attainment of total human development.

The program is concerned with the analysis, reflection, formulation, and implementation of participatory processes in development strategies and responses, to promote human rights and attain social justice, gender equality, and people’s empowerment.

It aims to develop advanced competency among professionals, practitioners, and academics in Social Development. Its objectives are:

1. To equip field Social Development practitioners with the conceptual and methodological tools to synthesize their experiences, thus enabling them to theorize from below and contribute to the body of knowledge in social development.
2. To prepare Social Development graduates with competencies in conceptualizing, formulating, and evaluating social policies and programs, thus contributing to more relevant, effective, and efficient services for the poor and the marginalized sectors.
3.To produce top caliber Social Development educators in both formal and non-formal setting in the fields of social work, community development, women and development, and other related fields, thus enhancing the development of the disciplines and becoming partners in the promotion of academic excellence in the field of social development.
4. To enable Social Development researchers, particularly in applied, participatory, action-oriented and feminist research, to venture into the unexplored, to critique and identify potential sources of new ideas, at the same time working for changes in the lives of the people and communities.
5. To train other Social Development professionals in identifying and integrating social factors, community-based approaches, gender and human rights dimensions in development initiatives, thus ensuring the social soundness of the programs and projects and the protection of people and communities from the adverse consequences of development.