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Little Hall, home of the UA School of Social Work


Dean’s Message

UA School of Social Work Dean Schnavia Hatcher

Welcome to the School of Social Work at The University of Alabama! This is the place to learn more about the programs we offer to educate social workers for challenging careers in the decades ahead.

Our BSW program leads to direct employment and social work licensure in a wide variety of social work careers — in helping children, in work with older adults, in mental health, and in hospital and healthcare settings, among many others. Our MSW program is offered as a traditional on-campus MSW program, and a primarily online MSW program. Our doctoral programs prepare students for leadership roles and careers in social work research and education. Students develop expertise working with highly respected social work researchers.

We hope you enjoy exploring our academic programs and the innovative work of our students and faculty!

— Dr. Schnavia Hatcher, Dean and Professor

Our Vision

Leading the country in community-engaged research in health, behavioral health, and social and economic justice solutions for Alabama and the nation.

Our Mission

The University of Alabama’s School of Social Work prepares scholar-practitioners and researchers committed to ending adverse social conditions and promoting societal well-being through teaching, research and service.

  • Teaching

    We provide students with a high-quality educational experience to prepare them to become tomorrow’s global leaders in the social work field. Our innovative degree programs are designed to produce social workers for today’s workforce.

  • Research

    Our students and highly distinguished faculty researchers use innovation in the classroom and interdisciplinary, research-based knowledge to address social problems, transform lives and develop solutions that change our world for the better.

  • Service

    We provide resources and leadership by partnering with individuals, families, groups, community agencies and organizations at all levels. Our goal is to improve the delivery of social services, with an emphasis on public social services.

School of Social Work Strategic Plan

The School of Social Work is pleased to share our Strategic Plan for 2022-2027. This plan outlines our goals and objectives, which parallel those of the University strategic plan, and reflect the mission and vision of our school.

About the School

The School of Social Work was established in 1965 by an act of the Alabama Legislature to address the state’s critical shortage of and pressing need for professionally trained social workers. 

Since our founding, we have been proud to lead the charge in training students for tomorrow’s workforce. Prior to 1965 there were fewer than 100 trained social workers in the state, accounting for about 19 percent of the persons employed in the state’s social welfare positions. Forty-eight of the state’s 67 counties had no professional social workers. Today, our program is the only one of its kind in the state that offers BSW, MSW, DSW and PhD degrees in social work. To learn more about the evolution of the social work profession in Alabama, watch the video “Ready to Help: A History of Social Work in Alabama,” featuring UA social work faculty and alumni.

Ranked 28th in the U.S.
Best grad school and 18th for top public graduate schools according to U.S. News & World Report

How We Rank

UA’s School of Social Work is dedicated to the success of our students and to pursuing excellence in social work education. Here are a few reasons why our students, faculty and staff take pride in our school and our reputation for ensuring our graduates are well prepared to excel in the field. View complete rankings, facts, and figures here.


Our BSW and MSW programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Upon graduation students can pursue their license, and BSW students can receive advanced standing when they attend graduate school. Our PhD Program is affiliated with the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE) in Social Work.

Little Hall

interior of Little Hall entry, showing Social Work Hall of Fame
Inside Little Hall

We continue to invest in our future as part of our commitment to academic excellence.

For more than 50 years, Little Hall has served as home of the School of Social Work. In 2017, the University of Alabama School of Social Work completed a $9.6 million renovation to Little Hall, which transformed our 102-year-old building into a modern, state-of-the-art facility.

The renovation touched every corner of the building and yielded new classroom space and faculty offices, as well as new student collaboration rooms outfitted with modern audio-visual equipment. The result is the perfect hub for student life, teaching and research, as well as a gathering spot for social work alumni. Learn more about Little Hall.