At VCU, there is no typical student — we thrive because students come from all backgrounds and walks of life.

What brings students together in the School of Social Work is a shared passion for community causes and issues around equity and social justice, and a hunger to make a difference.

Ours is the South’s oldest social work program – founded in 1917 – and consistently ranked among the nation’s best over the past 20 years. With our 40+ faculty members and 500+ community partners, there are ample opportunities for students to learn how to effect the change they want to see by engaging with mentors, participating in field experiences and proactively researching the most important social issues of our time.


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Ranked No. 28 in Best Graduate Schools for Social Work by U.S. News and World Report *


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~ $3 million in research and evaluation projects **


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One of only 64 universities designated with both “Community Engagement” an "R1 Doctoral University – Highest Research Activity" status. ***

Explore our commitments

Our school is committed to positively impacting both our students and the communities we serve. Learn about our key focuses: stepping up for our communities and pursuing social and racial justice.

Why is VCU UNcommon?

Are you UNafraid to challenge the status quo? We're pursuing a future built by us. This is a place for everyone, where diversity and inclusion are part of our DNA. Learn more about VCU and some of our prestigious rankings, such as a Top 20 most innovative public university (U.S. News & World Report) and a Top 50 public research institution (National Science Foundation).

The School of Social Work is committed to the Richmond community [through] engaging in research, service projects and having hundreds of students involved in field placements throughout the region. As a student at the school, you will have the opportunity to be a part of a long-standing tradition of connecting with people and organizations dedicated to improving quality of life in our community.

Maurice Gattis (he/him), Ph.D., associate professor

Maurice Gattis

Our guiding principles

At VCU's School of Social Work, we commit to:

  • Being a national model for social work programs within a premier urban, public research university
  • Sustaining our national leadership in social work education with comprehensive programs that prepare influential scholars, practitioners and professional leaders in social work
  • Being an influential center within Richmond and Virginia in the development, translation and dissemination of research focused upon social and economic justice and human health
  • Serving as an active and powerful partner with the community, committed to impact through learning, innovation and discovery
  • Celebrating and maximizing the benefits of diversity to enhance student and alumni success and the value of our scholarship, teaching and service

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