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Case Western Reserve University is one of the country’s leading research institutions. Located in Cleveland, Case Western Reserve offers a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work.


About the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Consistently ranked as one of the top schools of social work in the country, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences offers an innovative combination of extensive field education with the enduring traditions and prestige of a major university. Currently ranked No. 9 among the best graduate schools of social work nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

Mandel counts among its alumni many prominent educators, government officials, accomplished practitioners, researchers, and chief executives of national and regional agencies. Faculty achievements in professional organizations, research, and agency consultation further extend the school’s reputation as an active participant in the advancement of social work practice.

Case Western Reserve University has been educating leaders in the field since 1915, when our Master of Science in Social Administration became the nation’s first professional degree program in social work at a university. Choose from two programs that let you tailor your educational experience to your interests:

Community Practice for Social Change
Lasting social change requires innovative and strategic action in organizations, communities and systems. While some social workers focus on working directly with individuals and families, students on the Community Practice for Social Change track focus on longer-term change at a broader scale. Working towards the degree, students can develop real-world skills and social work values needed to lead comprehensive social change on a broad scale. This involves addressing a range of issues including globalization, poverty, inequality and oppression, culture diversity, women’s issues, human rights and more.

Direct Practice

Students enrolled in the Direct Practice concentration learn to engage individuals, families, and groups, assess client needs and strengths, provide or help arrange needed services and support, weigh intervention alternatives, implement change strategies, and evaluate results. Select one of two specializations:

  • Children, Youth and Families (CYF)
  • Mental Health/Adult (MHA)

“I work in a multi-disciplinary environment with dedicated professionals committed to providing affordable housing to low-income, disadvantaged clients. From my vantage I can truthfully say that social work is the only field that addresses the entire spectrum of social issues confronting recovering communities.”
– Joseph L. Jones
MSSA, Class of 2008

“Social work allows me to act upon values I already have - social justice and a commitment to continuous learning. As a social worker, I work to build bridges and use my role to create positive change. Social work gives me the opportunity to use my experience to be an agent of change.”
– LaToya Gates
MSSA, Class of 2009

“I started my work life as a Spanish teacher. As a teacher, I would hear about the problems the children I taught faced at home and wanted to make an impact at that level, too. One of my friends was an alumnus who spoke highly of the program and encouraged me to apply.”
– Karen Vrtunski
MSSA, Class of 1985