About us

A group of children look at a book while a man points at one of the pages

Founded in 1917, the School of Social Work stands as the first school of its kind in the South, as well as one of two programs in Virginia (and only 56 nationwide) to offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in the discipline. Ours is one of the largest accredited, comprehensive social work programs in the U.S.

For nearly 100 years our students and world-class faculty have engaged the city of Richmond, Virginia, and surrounding communities in a constant effort to inspire change and advocate social and economic justice and understanding. We’ve forged lasting connections with more than 500 human and social service organizations throughout Richmond and the state, allowing our students to engage in field experiences that match their passions and future ambitions.

Through an innovative curriculum, diverse field experiences and ambitious and proactive research priorities, the School of Social Work informs the leaders of today and prepares the leaders of tomorrow. And we know a thing or two about leadership; U.S. News & World Report ranks our graduate program 25th among the nation’s top social work programs.

Our mission

The mission of the VCU School of Social Work is to prepare professional social workers as practitioners, scholars and leaders; to generate research and scholarship for advancing knowledge and practice; and to contribute to the local, state, national, international and professional communities to improve quality of life.

Guided by the principle of promoting social and economic justice in a diverse and multicultural society, our programs focus on service to and empowerment of people who experience oppression or vulnerability due to inadequate or inequitable distribution of personal, social or institutional resources.