Since its founding in 1934, the School of Social Work has been deeply connected to the historical events of our time. During the Great Depression, we educated a generation of social work leaders to serve in relief and recovery programs that grew out of the New Deal.

During World War II, we focused on medical social work, helping returning soldiers to heal and re-enter society. We kept pace with rapid social change in the 1960s by creating student and community outreach programs. In the 1970s, the School's academic direction shifted dramatically to focus on evidence-based research, triggering two decades of social work scholarship to help vulnerable individuals, families and communities. In the 1990s, the School  concentrated on diversifying its faculty, student body and curriculum, while growing its research capacity.

In the past decade, we have built collaborative relationships, launching an award-winning public-private partnership for child welfare and a statewide alliance to strengthen the professional expertise of social workers. Today, the School is a top-ranked institution with a national reputation for classroom innovation, advanced research and public engagement. 

View the School of Social Work history brochure here. For School of Social Work archival materials, contact University Archivist John Bolcer.