Welcome to the University of Iowa School of Social Work, where we provide the state's highest-ranked programs in Social Work education. We've been serving the state of Iowa with multiple learning centers for more than 50 years. We have a historic commitment to:

  • Social and economic justice
  • Service
  • Dignity and worth of the person
  • The importance of human relationships
  • Culturally competent practice at all levels

Faculty and staff in our BA, MSW, and PhD programs across four campuses (as well as online) embrace these values in their scholarship, teaching, and professional service activities. Students have the opportunity to work with faculty who are national experts in the areas of:

  • Child welfare
  • Gerontology and end-of-life care
  • Cultural competency
  • Neighborhood and community development
  • Mental health and health care
  • Social policy and poverty
  • Individual and community trauma
  • Micro and macro practice 

The School of Social Work offers an academically challenging environment for students who share our commitment to the service of others. We focus on culturally competent practice, and we weave content on cultural competency throughout our curriculum. As part of this focus, all students participate in NCBI (National Coalition Building Institute), an international leadership training program in diversity, equity, and inclusion. When the pandemic allows travel, we will again offer students the opportunity to participate in immersion activities, including the statewide Latinx conference or immersion trips to India, Mexico, Haiti, or the Dominican Republic—or in domestic communities (Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR) where issues of racial, economic, and social oppression are explored in depth. We offer a certificate in Critical Cultural Competence, as well as certificates in Aging and Longevity Studies, and Resilience and Trauma-Informed Perspectives. 

We are home to the National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice, which specializes in family-centered, community-based, culturally competent practice within organizations and across systems through research and evaluation, training and technical assistance, and information dissemination, as well as the Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and Evaluation.   

The school is also home to Wild Bill’s, a social-justice-focused learning lab and community space in Iowa City where students have the opportunity to learn hands-on social worker skills; build community, advocacy skills, and leadership; and create multimedia projects to advance understanding of social justice issues. 

Social workers play a pivotal role in strengthening the system, empowering individuals, and increasing equity and access—for the benefit of all. We like to call that constant process of examination, reflection, and action "Making Social Justice Work."

We are proud to have alumni living internationally and in all 50 states, working in leadership roles to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. I invite you to consider the School of Social Work at the University of Iowa. I am proud to have made this school my home.

Mercedes Bern-Klug, PhD, MSW, Professor
Director, School of Social Work