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Mission, Vision & History


The mission of the School of Social Work is to educate students for professional social work practice and leadership. The School integrates social work education, research, and service to promote social justice and empowerment of individuals, families, and communities through social work practice locally, nationally, and internationally.


The School’s mission reflects our vision of professional practice. Social work practice should be consistent with social work values, ethical, and culturally competent; it should be informed by theory and research; and it should have empowerment and social justice as its goals.

The School puts its mission into practice in its programs and curricula, the co-curricular activities emphasized, and the relationships it maintains with students, alumni, field instructors, and other stakeholders in the community.

The School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

History of the School of Social Work

The University of Cincinnati School of Social Work was established in 1978, but it traces its roots to 1923. At that time, UC and the Community Chest joined forces to offer a social work program based in the sociology department.This program ended in 1931, but other programs followed, including a public welfare administration program housed in the political science department from 1933-1938.

From 1959-1972, UC hosted The Ohio State University School of Social Work’s branch program for graduate social work education.

In 1969, an undergraduate social work program was established in the UC College of Community Services, and was accredited by the Council on Social Work Education in 1974. The next year a graduate social work program was begun, and in 1978 the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees established the School of Social Work, consolidating the BSW and MSW programs in this new academic unit.

The Council on Social Work Education accredited the graduate program in 1981, the same year that the School became an independent academic unit with the dissolution of the College of Community Services.

When the graduate program was established, it offered only the social welfare administration concentration. The direct practice concentration was added in 1983 in response to community demand.

In 1998, the graduate curriculum was modified to include specialized study opportunities in mental health, children and families, and health and aging for students in the direct practice concentration.

Beginning in 2006, the graduate program has been offered off-campus to three cohorts of part-time students in Dayton and Hamilton, Ohio.

Traditionally, the undergraduate program was an upper division program only, with students admitted into the program as juniors. In 2007, the School began accepting students directly from high school and as transfer students for the freshmen and sophomore years, allowing students to begin their social work studies immediately upon entering college.

In 2010, the School of Social Work merged with the College of Allied Health Sciences, and grew to include a new graduate program in Health Administration.

The School of Social Work has been continuously accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1981 and received reaffirmation of its accreditation most recently in 2012.

Social Work students give a presentation in class

Contact Us

School of Social Work
1515 French Hall
PO Box 210108
Cincinnati OH 45221-0108
Phone: 513-556-4615
Fax: 513-556-2077

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