Departments and Program


The Department of Community Development (DCD) offers undergraduate, diploma and graduate programs that seek to educate, train, and nurture competent development professionals who are committed to people’s empowerment and participation, sustainable development, and gender equity. The goal is to help create and build a society that provides equal access for men and women to social, economic, political and cultural opportunities through people’s collective actions.

From its nascent beginning as a service delivery mechanism of the government in the 1950s, community development evolved as an academic discipline alongside the dynamic character of social development. The growing concern for popular participation and social equity 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.

To this day, the Department of Community Development continues to enrich its programs to be 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.

The Community Development (CD) curriculum is designed to provide students with a praxis-oriented education that allows complementation between theoretical knowledge and practice. The Field Instruction Program (FIP) serves as an effective program for both learning and service, through which our faculty and students mutually apply, validate and critique CD concepts, theories, approaches, strategies and methods to help communities address real-life issues and problems.


The Department of Social Work (DSW) offers undergraduate and graduate programs that aim to educate current and future social workers on integrative social work practice anchored on critical and culturally relevant theoretical perspectives. Through its people-centered and praxis-oriented curricula in both the undergraduate and graduate levels, it ensures that social work practice is responsive and relevant to the realization of people’s empowerment and social transformation.

At the forefront of social work education in the Philippines, It is the first to offer graduate education in distance mode, in partnership with the UP Open University, paving the way for more accessible post baccalaureate programs. It also takes an active role in the development of national standards for social work education. Its strategic goal is to be the center of excellence in social work education in Southeast Asia.

The tradition of excellence and commitment to progressive social work education started in the 1950s when Social Work became an academic subunit of the Department of Sociology and Social Welfare of the College of Liberal Arts, and later in 1961 as a separate Department of College of Arts and Sciences. It was one of the two departments that comprised the Institute of Social Work and Community Development formally established in 1967. In 1987, the Institute became the College of Social Work and Community Development (CSWCD).

The Department’s roster of graduates includes social workers who have distinguished themselves in various fields of practice, locally and internationally. Among them are those who have served as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and other leadership positions in government and non-government organizations, as chair and members of the Board of Examiners for Social Work, consultants, leaders, and staff of international social welfare and development agencies, as well as social work educators and administrators. Our graduates have not only maintained a 100 percent passing rate in the Social Work board examination but have consistently been in the Top 10.


The Department of Women and Development Studies (DWDS) aims to provide a historical and comprehensive perspective to the study of gender and development in the context of the South and the Philippines. It aims to provide theoretical and practical knowledge, frameworks and strategies in the advancement of gender and development.

The main feature of the DWDS programs is the division of the curricula into clusters, each is designed to attain specific objectives. The first and last modules, namely; core courses and fieldwork, are common to diploma and master’s programs, while the electives and cognates are selected by master’s students depending on their needs and interests:

Required General Courses provide a firm foundation in terms of basic theories, approaches and strategies essential to development work with a gender perspective and towards gender equality and women’s empowerment.
WD Elective Courses are focused on the development of specific knowledge and/or competencies in the areas of feminist pedagogy, counseling, policy advocacy, and gender-related national and international development work.
Cognates provide in-depth analyses of problems and issues related to gender and development from the perspective of related or allied disciplines (e.g. social work, community development, sociology, anthropology, psychology, etc.)
Field Work Courses serve as opportunities for direct field experience and practice to test and enrich their classroom-gained knowledge.

DWDS was formally established upon the approval of the UP Board of Regents on March 29, 2000. It originally began in 1987 as the Women and Development Program. It is the pioneering program in women and gender studies in the Asia-Pacific region at that time.


The Doctor of Social Development (DSD) emphasizes praxis-oriented learning and theorizing from the ground 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 the fulcrum for programs and interventions aimed at the attainment of total human development. It seeks to integrate trans-disciplinary perspectives, methods, and approaches from the various physical, biological and social sciences, management sciences, the arts, and the humanities, to better comprehend the holistic yet diverse nature of the development phenomena.

The DSD covers three major areas of study: social development direct practice; social development planning and administration; and social development studies. 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 will address, identify, create, and replicate approaches and methods that enhance the capacities of vulnerable sectors to be active agents in development that including poor women, children and the youth, the elderly and the disabled, indigenous people and gender minorities, and other disadvantaged or marginalized groups.