Our students have lots of reasons why they chose SSA; here’s our top ten:
1. TOP RANKED.
SSA is one of the top ranked schools of social work and social welfare in the world and our peers have always considered us to be one of the best.
2. WE ARE THE HISTORY OF SOCIAL WORK AND THE FUTURE.
When you read the history of SSA, you’re reading the history of social work. The founders of our School were founders of the discipline, and the professors you’ll learn from today continue to shape theory and practice through their interdisciplinary research. Many of the standard texts for the field were written by SSA professors.
SSA is leading the emerging field of violence prevention and has the largest group of child welfare experts of any school of social work in the nation. Many of our faculty are examining and testing solutions in the areas of home visitation, youth empowerment and development, health disparities, school reform, community violence prevention, and advocacy.
3. OUR FLEXIBLE CURRICULUM.
You don’t have to declare a concentration at the time of application to the Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration (SW) program—you’ll choose a Clinical Practice or Social Administration concentration during the Winter quarter of your first year. Either way, the SW curriculum ensures that all SSA students receive a firm grounding in both areas while taking electives from SSA and across the University. Applying to the Social Sector Leadership and Nonprofit Management (SSL) program? You'll gain a deep understanding of the organizational and policy environments shaping social sector action with the most up-to-date skills in organizational management, governance, and analysis.
More than 95 percent of our master’s students receive merit- and need-based aid. Each year, SSA awards full and partial tuition scholarships. Last year, 99 percent of scholarships/gifts were renewed for second-year students. SSA makes every effort to help students by offering exceptional scholarship assistance as well as facilitating other forms of financial assistance.
5. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SSA AND A PUBLIC POLICY SCHOOL? IN A WORD, DEPTH.
We start by focusing on the individual (micro), examine top level systems (macro), and everything in between (mezzo). Every student in the Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration (SW) program, regardless of concentration, receives a thorough grounding in administration and clinical practice. Every student in our Social Sector Leadership and Nonprofit Management (SSL) program will gain knowledge about how mission-driven organizations and their programs operate in their communities as well as deep conceptual thinking about how these organizations can respond to complex social problems. Our mantra is ‘how does it work in theory AND practice?’
6. FIELD WORK IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO, A CITY OF NEIGHBORHOODS.
SSA has relationships with over 600 agencies—and all of the most influential ones in the Chicago area. Field sites are located in almost all of Chicago’s neighborhoods and in many of its suburbs. While living and learning in one of the world’s great cities, students in the Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration (SW) program will be able to create new networks at two field placements—hands-on, real-world apprenticeships that will set you up for a career in social change. You’ll be mentored by professionals who will guide you in developing a social work identity and in preparing for a successful career. Students in our Social Sector Leadership and Nonprofit Management (SSL) program will complete a Practicum, identifying a real-world, executive-level management challenge, design a plan to address it, and present the plan to executive staff in a chosen organization.
7. UCHICAGO: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH.
You’ll be able to access everything the University has to offer, including classes offered by SSA professors who represent over a dozen different disciplines. Our faculty also represent the largest number of women and minority educators at UChicago, providing a diverse set of voices. And the comprehensive and interdisciplinary nature of our degrees will give you greater flexibility and choice in your future career.
8. DO RESEARCH. GET PUBLISHED.
Opportunities are available to work with some of the nation’s leading scholars on cutting-edge research projects. SSA is also one of the few schools of social work that has a student journal for master’s level students. Get published in our Advocates’ Forum.
9. YOUR CAREER.
SSA’s Career Office specializes in serving the career interests of SSA students, providing access to an impressive and engaged alumni network, job postings, personal counseling, and networking events where you will meet leaders in the profession.