Welcome from Dean Gary L. Bowen
Welcome to the UNC School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a student in our School, you will find an academic home that will challenge you, support you and enrich your professional commitments within the field of social work.
We have much to offer you! As one of the nation’s top-ranked schools of social work, the UNC School of Social Work has numerous strengths:
- Our diverse student population is one of the most engaged on campus. We encourage students to bring their own experiences into dialogues about the social issues our community faces locally, nationally and globally. (For a behind-the-scenes look at student life, be sure to read the blog posts of our Student Ambassadors.) Our selective admissions attract bright, talented students.
- Our award-winning faculty are among the nation’s leading researchers and professional practitioners. Our faculty members focus on real-world problems and work directly with individuals, families, communities, organizations and systems to translate research into innovative approaches to address society’s most pressing needs. Their work helps shape policies, programs and direct service interventions that bring about positive change within a framework of social justice.
- Our academic and research efforts have a profound impact and make a real difference on the lives and well-being of individuals, families and communities in North Carolina and beyond. We enjoy strategic partnerships with local, state, federal, national and global organizations. Our academic programs include MSW and Ph.D. degrees, as well as dual-degree and multiple certificate programs. At the MSW level, our curriculum focuses on evidence-informed practice and extensive field experiences to connect theory and practice to real-life settings. Our doctoral program produces graduates capable of making a significant impact on pressing social or health problems through scholarship that advances social intervention with vulnerable populations.
- We are also proud of our history. Since the School’s founding in 1920, we have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to service, scholarship and leadership — a commitment that you’ll see in every program we offer. Through research, teaching and engagement, our School advances our core purpose to discover, to educate and to serve across all 100 counties in North Carolina and beyond.
- As a bonus, our environment is extraordinary. Home to the Tar Heels, UNC-Chapel Hill is the oldest public state university in the United States, and it’s situated in the heart of a beautiful small town with a warm, accepting culture and many lifestyle amenities.
The foundation for all we do at the UNC School of Social Work is also our greatest strength: our people.
When I think of my friend, the late John B. Turner (our School’s dean from 1981 to 1992 and the first African American dean of any professional school at UNC-Chapel Hill), I always remember one of his favorite sayings: “Why would you ever want to go it alone?” That’s my attitude, too. I believe in collaborations and partnerships. I believe in teamwork, a value shared by our School’s faculty, staff and students. Together, we can achieve so much.
I hope that you’ll join us as we continue to accomplish great things!