Virginia Commonwealth University

Welcome from the dean

Dean’s message

Jim HinterlongOn behalf of our faculty, staff, students and more than 9,000 alumni, I welcome you to the VCU School of Social Work. Since 1917, we have helped to shape the profession and practice of social work through abiding commitments to social and economic justice, applied scholarship and productive community partnerships. Today the School exemplifies VCU’s vision of being a learning-centered research institution.

The VCU School of Social Work is among the top schools of social work in the country, as evidenced by the M.S.W. program’s ranking of 11th by U.S. News & World Report. We offer B.S.W., M.S.W. and Ph.D. degree programs, and recently launched a distance education program to make our M.S.W. degree more accessible to students throughout the commonwealth and the Mid-Atlantic region. The school's combined programs now enroll more than 800 students. We also provide a growing continuing education program serving more than 8,000 human and social service professionals statewide.

By fostering a vibrant learning community, our diverse faculty provides students with rich educational experiences that prepare them for the increasingly complex challenges they will face as practitioners, scholars and leaders. Our faculty members explore and assess strategies for addressing an array of social issues, including aging, domestic violence, health, mental illness and mental health, homelessness, substance abuse, at-risk families, veterans and employment. In each area, our research and scholarship illuminates how we can better understand and promote the well-being of people in their sociocultural and organizational contexts. We draw upon this work to provide leadership in social work education by authoring the textbooks used in programs throughout the country.

Our graduates advance the powerful mission of social work by serving and working to empower people and communities facing oppression and adversity. They develop new knowledge that leads to effective interventions, informs policy making, and places human dignity at the fore of community problem solving. Each day our alumni and community partners help to secure rights and opportunities for those who are disadvantaged locally, nationally, and around the globe. We are proud to support and recognize their efforts.

I invite you to explore our school, its history, and our vision for the future of VCU and the social work profession.

Jim Hinterlong
Dean and Professor