The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA) prepares students to become leaders in the field of social work. SSA offers graduate work leading to both the A.M. and Ph.D. degrees.

Accreditation

The SSA master's program has been continuously accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and its predecessor organizations since 1919. The rigor and quality of an SSA education have earned us a spot among the top graduate schools of social work in the world. 

Programs

The Master's Program is a two-year program that prepares students to enter advanced professional practice. The curriculum includes the core curriculum, which offers all students a solid introduction to the fundamentals of direct practice with individuals, families, organizations, and communities and to the fundamentals of administration and policy during their first two quarters; an elective concentration in either clinical practice or social administration; and field placements to supplement both the core and the concentrations.

The Doctoral Program offers specialized study at a more advanced level. Each student's program is unique and features course work (including courses in related disciplines taught by other units of the University), independent study, and research leading to the dissertation.

SSA is currently ranked in the top three graduate schools of social work in the United States.

Financial Aid

Each year, SSA provides more than $4 million to students in scholarships. Approximately 95% of our master's students receive scholarship aid based on merit and need. 100% of our doctoral students receive full funding. 

Students by Degree

Full-time AM students: 342
Extended Evening Program students: 61
Part-time Day students: 12
Joint/Dual degree students: 22
PhD students: 63

Demographics

American Indian 1%
Arab 0.5%
Asian 7%
Black/African American 12%
Hispanic/Latino 10%
Multi-racial 4%
Not stated: 5%
Pacific Islander: 0.5%
White/Caucasian: 60% 

International Students
Master's Program: 6%
Doctoral Program: 2%

Gender

82% female, 18% male

Class Size

In the Master's program, classes may be as large as 30 students and as small as 6-10 students. Classes in the Master's Core Curriculum are capped at 30 students. 

Faculty

SSA has 34 distinguished faculty who were trained in fields such as political science, history, economics, psychology, and sociology, as well as social work and social welfare. Our faculty are the most racially diverse faculty cohort of the University of Chicago campus.

Demographics: 76% White, 11% African American, 8% Asian, 5% Latino

  • Professors: 11
  • Associate Professors: 12
  • Assistant Professors: 9
  • Senior Lecturers: 1
  • Lecturer: 1

Programs/Institutes/Centers/Networks

Historic Achievements

  • Proposed the philosophy that social work demands a firm intellectual base in the social sciences.
  • Pioneered an orientation toward public agencies as well as private charities.
  • Offered psychiatric course work as early as 1912.
  • Began publishing Social Service Review, the first scholarly journal in the field of social work, in 1927.
  • Laid the foundation for the child-related provisions of the nation's Social Security system through research on the status of mothers and children in the 1930s.
  • Developed the generic casework curriculum that became a model for social work education.
  • Professor Charlotte Towle published Common Human Needs, the classic manual for public assistance workers that linked psychiatric theories to social work practice (1945).
  • Developed the first social policy sequence in the country (1968).
  • Applied behavior modification to casework.
  • Under the supervision of Helen Harris Perlman, SSA developed the task-centered approach to practice. 
Shauna Taylor

Shauna Taylor, AM '15

“I see that policy is the way to make long-term, societal change … my passion for social justice has increased while I’ve been at SSA.”