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Mission & History


The mission of the Master of Social Work Program at the Tulane University School of Social Work is to educate future social workers to engage in competent, ethical, clinical-community practice that is relationship-centered, evidence-informed, and empowerment-focused, incorporating a global/local perspective.

Our Past

The Southern School of Social Sciences and Public Services was the first training program for social workers in the deep South. Under the sponsorship of the Kingsley Settlement House, a group of Tulane social science faculty offered the first classes in social welfare in 1914. Sponsored by grants from the American Red Cross, a formal one-year program was implemented in 1921.

By 1927, with funding from a Rockefeller grant, the school became a separate program with a two-year curriculum qualifying students for the Master of Arts. In 1935, the University established the degree of Master of Social Work. The School has awarded the Master of Social Work degree to more than 6,000 students from all 50 of the United States and more than 30 other countries.

Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)Since 1927, the first year of national accreditation for social work education, the School of Social Work has maintained full accreditation status. It is a charter member of the Council on Social Work Education, which is the standard-setting and accreditation body in the field of social work education. Tulane School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). TSSW was recently awarded accreditation of the Master of Social Work Degree program for the full eight-year cycle with no contingencies.

MSW Program Goals

The Tulane University School of Social Work Master of Social Work Program:

  1. Prepares students to engage in relationship-centered, clinical-community practice to enhance the biopsychosocial capacity and resilience of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities;
  2. Teaches students to value human diversity and work to promote social and economic justice;
  3. Prepares students to create and exchange responsive, community-based knowledge and research for relevant, effective, and innovative social work practice; and
  4. Promotes integrative learning by drawing from and contributing to the diverse, culturally rich, inspiring, and challenging environment of New Orleans and through opportunities for intercultural experience.