The founding of the School of Social Work in 1971 and the offering of a regular program of studies in 1972-73 was preceded by more than a decade of concern and planning within the university and the social work community.

Based on a generalist perspective of social work practice and an adult education model, the School allows the flexibility and diversity required to educate professional social workers to meet community needs posed by a relatively young province faced with urban stresses, rural and isolated needs and First Nations issues.

The importance of research was recognized with the development of the Social Administration Research Unit in 1972 (now called the Social Policy Research Centre) which works closely with government and non-government organizations and community groups to undertake research relevant to issues in Saskatchewan and Canada.

In 1974 the School of Social Work and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians jointly developed the Indigenous Social Work Programme which is taught through the School of Indigenous Social Work, First Nations University of Canada at its Saskatoon Campus.

The Master of Social Work programme was added in 1985 to meet the Province's need for on-going professional social work education.