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College of Social Work

The Ohio State University College of Social Work consists of students and faculty who build stronger communities, celebrate difference, and promote social and economic justice.


The college readily collaborates with the social work community to improve and resolve an extensive array of contemporary social problems — making it an integral and valuable resource to the state of Ohio and the nation. Through its Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW), Master of Social Work (MSW), and PhD programs, the college enables students to experience and explore the knowledge, values and skills required for professional social work practice and research.


The College of Social Work, through excellence in teaching, research, and service, prepares leaders who enhance individual and community well-being, celebrate difference, and promote social and economic justice for vulnerable populations. The college fosters social change through collaboration with individuals, families, communities and other change agents to build strengths and resolve complex individual and social problems. As an internationally recognized college, we build and apply knowledge that positively impacts Ohio, the nation, and the world.

Our Background

Social work has a long and rich tradition at The Ohio State University, starting with our very first social work course offered in 1875. We conveyed our first Bachelor of Social Service in 1916, our first Master’s degree in 1923, and our first doctorate in 1934. First accredited in 1919, the College of Social Work is the oldest continuously accredited public social work program in the country. We received our latest re-accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education in 2018.

Following the 1927 establishment of the School of Social Administration, our name changed to the School of Social Work in 1960. Eight years later we joined the College of Administrative Science, and in 1976, we were granted independent college status. Today we are located in Stillman Hall, a building constructed as a Works Progress Administration project and dedicated in 1937 as the School of Social Administration. In that same year, Harry L. Hopkins, then administrator of the Federal Works Progress Administration under President Roosevelt, made the presentation of the building to Ohio State Trustees.

Stillman Hall also remains home to a WPA Federal Arts Project in which 10 life-sized murals depict scenes from the history and development of social welfare. Ohio-native artist Emerson C. Burkhart completed the murals in 1939.