Administrative Unit: Social Work
College/School: College of Letters & Science
Admitting Plans: MSW, Ph.D.
Degrees Offered: MSW in Social Work; Ph.D. in Social Welfare
Minors and Certificates: Doctoral Minor in Social Welfare
Named Options: Part Time MSW, Eau Claire (MSW); Part Time MSW, Madison (MSW)

The School of Social Work at UW–Madison is consistently ranked among the best schools of social work in the country. Faculty prepare social work professionals at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Through the preparation of social work practitioners, scholars and educators, faculty and students explore and seek to understand the nature of social problems, their impact on vulnerable populations, and ways to critically analyze and promote the achievement of a just, equitable, healthy, and productive society.

Social work faculty are noted for their scholarly work in developing a conceptual understanding of social work practice and policy, and in producing research in important social problem areas. For example, faculty took a leadership role in the development of the generalist model of practice now used by most social work programs. Faculty members have made valuable research contributions in the fields of aging, child welfare, developmental disabilities, and family and intergenerational caregiving, as well as in educational attainment and life-course decision-making, end-of-life care for older adults and palliative care, health disparities, homelessness, poverty, social policy, welfare reform, and child support. Drawing on strong faculty, excellent students, and the resources of a world-renowned university in a community rich with social and human service programs, there is much to offer prospective students: individualized, faculty-taught field education for master's students, nationally renowned faculty with a strong interdisciplinary focus, and hands-on research training in a highly individualized program of study for doctoral students.

The school offers unique opportunities for students to receive state-of-the-art professional training through its field education program. Student practice opportunities range from experiences in institutional and community-based settings to working with families and other significant care-givers, with individuals and groups, and in policy and service delivery issues.

Mission. The mission of the School of Social Work is to enhance human well-being and promote social and economic justice for people who are disadvantaged to achieve an equitable, healthy, and productive society. The school aims to:

  • Create, advance, strengthen, and integrate interdisciplinary knowledge for students and the profession through research, scholarship, and practice.
  • Educate students to become highly skilled, culturally competent and ethical practitioners who will provide leadership for the profession of social work within the state of Wisconsin and nationally.
  • Promote change at levels ranging from the individual client to national, including empowering communities and populations that are disadvantaged and developing humane service delivery systems.
  • Create and disseminate knowledge regarding the prevention and amelioration of social problems.

The School of Social Work is one of five professional schools in the College of Letters and Science. As part of the college, the school maintains relationships with the other social studies and professional schools within the university system through interchange of faculty and students and through joint research and publication endeavors.

Faculty: Professors Robert (director), Berger, Brower, Cancian, Greenberg, Kramer, Magnuson, Mailick, Meyer, Shook Slack; Associate Professors Curtis, Haley-Lock, Moses, Schroepfer; Assistant Professors Bishop-Fitzpatrick (2017), Glass, Ros Pilarz, Walsh, Xiong. A complete list of all faculty and staff in the school is available here.