School of Social Work

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Dean-SteketeeA MESSAGE FROM DEAN STEKETEE

I’m deeply proud of all that we’ve accomplished at the School in the past year. Our thinking has expanded, our focus has sharpened, and our students continue to be excited by new challenges and goals. But three realities remain: our drive toward diversity, the caliber of our students, and our continuing need for scholarships to support them. Read more.

The BU School of Social Work (SSW) is committed to educating professionals who can promote social and economic justice in the urban environment. The School’s aim is to prepare social workers who will become leaders in a complex, diverse, and multicultural society, and possess the knowledge and skills necessary to address the needs and potential of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. 

The School offers an integrated program of study, including clinical and macro social work methods that emphasize personal and community strengths as fundamental to the understanding, treatment, and prevention of individual and social problems. And the strength of this program is already getting noticed: the School of Social Work is currently rated 16th by the US News & World Report, a strong indicator of SSW’s increasingly impressive profile.

Campaign priorities

Increasing scholarships and fieldwork stipends

We need to increase scholarship aid for full, half, and partial tuition relief for all of our students. Many attend school while supporting families, and many will also graduate into professional positions with modest salaries. Fieldwork stipends assist those who must take cuts in pay or employment to complete their fieldwork requirements.

Enhancing and growing the faculty

A strong faculty allows SSW to be more competitive, attract top-tier graduate students, and further improve its national ranking, currently in the top ten social work schools with PhD programs. Through endowed professorships, we can attract the best faculty and graduate scholars.

Enhancing and growing the PhD program

Our doctoral students are tomorrow’s university, government, and agency leaders in social services. They are the future of social work education. We are working to strengthen our faculty, who rely on strong doctoral colleagues, and to attract the nation’s best PhD candidates, for whom there is considerable competition. We can do this by offering new teaching and research assistantships.

Strengthening the MSW/MPH dual degree program

As a superb example of the collaboration between two strong graduate schools (BU’s School of Social Work and its School of Public Health), the dual degree program is the oldest and largest in the country and is in high demand. Keeping it strong through additional resources and expanding it to admit additional candidates, are high priorities for SSW.

Strengthening the BRIDGE program

Our BRIDGE program (Building Refugee and Immigrant Degrees for Graduate Education) serves degree candidates who represent immigrant and refugee populations and who will themselves return to serve those populations as trained social workers. Thus far, BRIDGE graduates are proving to be valuable advocates for their communities. It is essential that we provide scholarship aid to these students and grow this program in an increasingly diverse world.