University of Pennsylvania - School of Social Policy & Practice

    Dean, Sara S. Bachman, PhD
    Dr. Mary Mazzola, Associate Dean, Enrollment Management & Global Outreach

    The School of Social Policy & Practice contributes to the advancement of more effective, efficient, and humane human services through education, research, and civic engagement. In pursuit of this mission, our theory-based masters and doctoral programs in social work, social welfare, nonprofit leadership, and social policy encourage students to think and work across disciplinary lines and cultures as well as across national and international boundaries. The pursuit of social justice is at the heart of the School’s knowledge-building activities. Our innovative educational and research programs reinforce our vision of active student engagement in their own learning as well as that of social agencies and larger social collectivities organized at the local, national, and international levels.

    The School is proud to offer five degree programs: Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership (MSNPL), Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP), Clinical Doctorate in Social Work (DSW), and PhD in Social Welfare:

    • Over its 112 year history, the Master of Social Work (MSW) program has emphasized the integration of field and classroom learning. Fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the MSW prepares social workers to develop and provide services to individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations at local, national, and global levels. MSW students are able to concentrate in clinical practice or macro practice.

      The MSW program offers opportunities for full-time and part-time study. An Advanced Standing option as well as an Employed Practitioners Program is also offered. Thirteen dual degree programs are offered. Additionally, the MSW program offers joint MSW/Certificate Programs and Specializations in:

        • Ann Nolan Reese Penn Aging Certificate (PAC)
        • Child Well-Being & Child Welfare Specialization (CW3)
        • Cohen Veterans Network MSW Scholars Program
        • Criminal Justice Specialization
        • Goldring Reentry Initiative (GRI)
        • Social Work in Health Care Specialization
        • Global Human Rights Certificate
        • MSW/Home-School Visitor Certificate Program
        • Certificate in Law
        • LGBTQ Certificate 
        • Graduate Certificate in Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS)
    • The Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership (MSNPL) offers full-time, part-time, and online options for completing the program. This graduate program is designed for professionals who want to assume leadership positions in nonprofit or non-governmental organizations. Seven dual degrees are offered, as well as three certificate options.
    • The Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP) offers both a full- and part-time option, as well as six dual degree programs, in addition to two certificate options: the Certificate in Law and the Global Human Rights Certificate. This program prepares students for leadership positions in policy leadership positions in government, philanthropic foundations, research institutes, and more. Students learn to use policy to increase equality, promote equity, and forge social change.

      The MSSP + Certificate in Data Analytics also provides students with core training and skills in the conceptual foundations of data analytics, programming of data structures, applications of machine learning and predictive analytics, spatial analytics, and the data processing techniques for web scraping and data visualization for a broader public audience.

    • The Clinical Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) is intended for clinicians with at least three years post-MSW experience who want to remain clinicians or teach clinical social work practice. Penn's DSW is an intensive online program that enables students to complete the course work and dissertation in three years, without career disruption.
    • The PhD in Social Welfare is an interdisciplinary program that prepares students to be scholars, researchers, and leaders in the field of social welfare.


    Learn More About Our Programs Here

    Apply and Learn More About Our Admissions Requirements Here!

    Applicants Interested in SP2 Graduate Programs May Apply For Financial Aid Scholarships

    M.S.W., M.S.S.P., M.S.N.P.L., D.S.W., Ph.D. DEGREES

    The DSW program is a hybrid distance program and offers all the advantages of a world class learning community in a highly interactive, relational, accessible and convenient format.

    The NPL program offers online options for completing the program. This graduate program is designed for professionals who want to assume leadership positions in nonprofit or non-governmental organizations. 

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