Dean’s Message

Welcome to the Boston University School of Social Work!

We are an urban school with an urban mission. I invite you to explore our MSW and PhD programs, where our goal is to educate outstanding social work practitioners in an intellectually rigorous environment to study and apply clinical and macro practice methods in urban settings and diverse communities.

The breadth of social work makes it an ideal profession for women and men who wish to work with people and who seek variety in what they do. This is a field where you can work with all ages—from infants to elders—and in many different settings: hospitals, schools, shelters, mental health agencies, public housing, and private practice as a psychotherapist or human services consultant and trainer, among many other career paths. You can choose to work with children who have suffered serious trauma, refugees and immigrants trying to make their way in a new culture, families struggling with substance abuse problems, or community organizations striving to make a difference. It is hard to find a profession with more opportunities and more rewards.

At Boston University, we have exceptional faculty who are very much in the forefront of social work practice, research, and training. We are ranked 16th among 206 social work graduate programs nationwide, according to the 2012 U.S. News and World Report edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools, and according to a 2007 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, we rank 8th nationally in faculty productivity among schools of social work with doctoral programs. You’ll find our faculty possess a wide range of interests and strong skills in clinical practice and in working with communities and organizations. To give only a few examples, our faculty have special knowledge and skills in trauma and mental health; substance abuse and HIV; children and families; adolescent mentoring; public health; gerontology and caregiving; natural support networks; and grass roots organizing.

What makes our location so special? We sit in the heart of Boston, an exciting city with a rich history and a strong international flavor. Boston has more institutions of higher learning than any other U.S. city—education is our biggest industry. Boston University has a long history of welcoming into higher education men and women from diverse backgrounds. The many languages spoken in the halls across campus attest to the University’s international flavor; our own master’s and doctoral students hail from New England, across the country, and around the world.

Since its inception over ninety years ago, BU’s School of Social Work (BUSSW) has valued differences among people as enriching the quality of life for all. Here at BUSSW, we are certain you will enjoy the opportunity to appreciate your clients’ resilience and strengths while you learn to provide a broad array of culturally relevant and state-of-the-art interventions. People are simply amazing, and it is an honor to serve as a social worker.

We invite you to continue to browse our website to learn more about BUSSW and the opportunities we offer in a graduate social work education. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you as you explore a social work career at Boston University.

Gail Steketee, PhD
Dean and Professor