Office of the Dean
212 Social Work Building
210 Social Work Building
422 Social Work Building
110 D Social Work Building
College Web site
Ira C. Colby, D.S.W., University of Pennsylvania
Associate Dean for Administration and Information Technology:
Paul R. Raffoul, Ph.D., Washington University
About the College
The University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW), established by the Texas Legislature in 1967, provides master’s level education for the practice of professional social work. The social work profession has as its primary goal the enhancement of social functioning of all persons as individuals, family members, community participants, and members of society.
Social work practice is concerned with promoting the well-being of all persons, ameliorating the harmful effects of unhealthy social environments, and striving to achieve social and economic justice. The social worker needs maturity, knowledge, and skill to provide direct services or to develop programs that encourage maximum development of human potential. Thus, the purposes of graduate social work education are to encourage a broad based perspective and value system, to provide knowledge for understanding and positively influencing human behavior and social systems, and to develop advanced skills for professional practice.
The mission of the Graduate College of Social Work is to educate professionals for social work practice, research, and leadership. We advocate for innovative, collaborative, inclusive, and humane policies and solutions that promote social, economic, and political justice. Our College generates new knowledge through critical thinking that links rigorous scientific inquiry, ethical social work practice, and community engagement.
The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program of the Graduate College of Social Work is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
The M.S.W. Degree
The M.S.W. program at UH consists of 63 semester credit hours. UH is unique in that it offers a one semester foundation. This intensive first semester is organized around content on the foundation of professional social work, human behavior, policy, practice and research. A practice skills lab and a foundation field practicum (180 clock hours) are also required. The foundation semester totals 15 credit hours and each component is graded as satisfactory/unsatisfactory. Students must satisfactorily complete 15 credit hours before enrolling in any advanced courses.
Students have a choice of two tracks: Clinical Practice or MACRO Practice. Optional certificates are also available in Gerontological Social Work, Political Social Work, Health Disparities and Trabajo Social. The certificates do not require additional hours. Students can attend full-time or select from part-time models including flex option or weekend college that allows them to complete most of their courses on evenings and weekends.
The Ph.D. Degree
The GCSW also offers the Ph.D. in Social Work. Set in an urban, multicultural environment, the purpose of the GCSW doctoral program is to develop social work researchers, scholars, teachers, and leaders who can facilitate change through rigorous and contextualized analysis of social problems and social work interventions in a manner respectful of the experiences of all affected. Graduates will advance the knowledge base of the profession, promote a scientific basis for social work practice at all levels of intervention, and actively promote global social and economic justice.
Concurrent Degree Programs
Several collaborative degree programs are available that enrich the options and opportunities available to our students. Since admission to two programs is required, interested persons are encouraged to begin the application process early.
Applicants without a master’s degree in social work (or with a master’s degree in another field) may pursue a program of study that leads to both the M.S.W. and the Ph.D. degrees. Admission to the dual M.S.W.-Ph.D. is very limited. Applicants must submit separate applications and fees to both programs.
The Graduate College of Social Work and the C.T. Bauer College of Business offer a concurrent degree program that enables students to prepare for careers in which knowledge and skills in both social work and business administration are critical. Students in this dual degree program complete the degree requirements for the M.B.A. and the M.S.W. in the Graduate College of Social Work in a shorter time period than if the degrees were pursued separately.
Applicants must be admitted separately to each of the programs and admission to one has no official bearing upon admission to the other. Upon acceptance, enrollment in both the M.S.W. program in the Graduate College of Social Work and the M.B.A. program in the C.T. College of Business should occur within a period of one calendar year.
The Graduate College of Social Work and the University of Texas School of Public Health offer a concurrent degree program that enables students to prepare for careers in which knowledge and skills in both social work and public health are critical. This concurrent program provides students with the opportunity to complete degree requirements for the M.S.W. and the M.P.H. in a shorter time period than if the degrees were pursued separately.
Applicants must be admitted separately to each of the schools and admission to one has no official bearing upon admission to the other. Upon acceptance, enrollment in both the M.S.W. program in the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and the M.P.H. program in the University of Texas School of Public Health should occur within a period of one calendar year.
The Graduate College of Social Work and the Law Center at the University of Houston offer a concurrent degree program that prepares students for professional practice in arenas where law and social work intersect and complement each other. Examples include public services, health and mental health care systems, services to children and families, and the political arena. This program enables students to finish both degrees in a shorter time than if they were pursued separately.
Applicants must be admitted separately to each of the degree programs and admission to one has no official bearing on admission to the other. Applicants need to plan ahead so that their LSAT and GRE scores are submitted to meet application deadlines.
The GCSW Student Association seeks to promote unity among students of the Graduate College of Social Work. In addition to the SA, other student organizations offer opportunities for active involvement in the life of the school and the community. Student organizations include the National Association of Black Social Workers, the Hispanic Student Association, Social Welfare Action Alliance, Gay-Straight Alliance, TIKKUN OLAM (Jewish Student Organization), the Association of Asian American, Social Workers, the National Association of Christian Social Workers, AGES (Association of Gerontology Students), the Clinical Leadership Society, and the Women’s Forum.