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Program in Social Work School of Social Policy and Practice University of Pennsylvania

  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Private
  • Urban
  • 86%14%
    student ratio
  • 477
    total students
  • Not Reported
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • February 1
    fall application deadline
  • 40%
    acceptance rate
  • 14 Degrees
    degrees/awards offered


The University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy & Practice Prepares Students to be Leaders for Social Change

Penn Social Policy & Practice (SP2) prepares students to be leaders for social change in their chosen discipline (i.e., social work, social policy, non-profit leadership, or social welfare). The master's and doctoral programs encourage students to think and work across disciplines, cultures, and national boundaries in their pursuit of social justice.

The Penn Approach is a set of guiding principles that supports individuals who work to advance social justice by valuing diversity and working to create a world with a more equitable distribution of social, political, and economic resources by working toward the elimination of social oppression. For over a century, the school has been committed to exposing students to a variety of perspectives related to social work practice, social change, social policy, research, racism and oppression, and the nature of human behavior in the social environment. By combining a respect for the past with an analysis of current professional issues, students are encouraged to generate knowledge with an eye toward the future and a commitment to social change.

Penn Social Policy & Practice offers five degree programs: Master of Social Work (M.S.W.); M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership; M.S. in Social Policy; Doctorate in Clinical Social Work; and Ph.D. in Social Welfare. In addition, students in the M.S.W. program may pursue one of eleven dual-degree programs with other graduate and professional programs at the University of Pennsylvania.

Students at Penn Social Policy & Practice Enjoy Philadelphia's Benefits and Engage Locally to Improve Social Conditions

Penn's 280-acre campus is located in Philadelphia, in a neighborhood known as University City. Students enjoy the benefits of Philadelphia, a historic city and vibrant cultural center that infuses Penn with the energy of urban life. In and beyond the University City neighborhood, students enjoy museums, galleries, theater, dance, music, historical landmarks, the cuisine of renowned chefs, and the infamous Philly cheese steak.

In addition to these numerous cultural opportunities, students have the opportunity to complete field placements/internships in a variety of social service and social policy settings and with nonprofit organizations that are only available in an urban environment such as Philadelphia. Penn has a strong partnership with many local communities to involve students in improving the surrounding areas. The University seeks to promote safe neighborhoods, attract and support area businesses, encourage homeownership, and improve public education.

Penn believes strongly that knowledge should be put to use, and thus encourages not only students, but also faculty, staff, and alumni to contribute time to campus and city initiatives.

Penn Social Policy & Practice Students Obtain Degrees in Social Work, Nonprofit Leadership, Social Policy, and Social Welfare

Penn's Social Policy & Practice offers five degree programs. The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and prepares social work students for leadership roles in both the clinical and macro arenas. The four other degree programs are the Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership (M.S.); Master of Science in Social Policy (M.S.); Ph.D. in Social Welfare (Ph.D.); and Doctorate in Clinical Social Work (D.S.W.).

M.S.W. Students with Interdisciplinary Interests May Choose From Eleven Dual-Degree Programs

Penn's M.S.W. program promotes interdisciplinary collaboration by offering eleven dual-degree programs in partnership with other professional and graduate programs at the University of Pennsylvania. Dual-degree programs offered with the Master of Social Work degree include: the Bachelor of Arts (B.A./M.S.W.); Juris Doctor (M.S.W./J.D.); Master of Business Administration (M.S.W./M.B.A.); Master of Bioethics (M.S.W./M.B.E.); Master of City Planning (M.S.W./M.C.P.); Master of Public Administration (M.S.W./M.P.A.); Master of Public Health (M.S.W./M.P.H.); Master of Science in Criminology (M.S.W./M.S.); Master of Science in Education (M.S.W./M.Ed.); Master of Science in Social Policy (M.S.W./M.S.P.); and the Ph.D. in Social Welfare (M.S.W./Ph.D.).

The School also offers a MSW/Certificate in Jewish Communal Studies, a M.S.W./Certificate in Catholic, Christian, or Lutheran Social Ministry, and a MSW/Home-School Visitor Certificate. Additionally, the MSW program has the following certificate programs, concentrations and specializations: The Child Well-Being & Child Welfare Specialization (CW2); Goldring Reentry Initiative (GRI); Penn Aging Certificate Fellows Program (PAC); Program in Mental Health Education Assessment, Recovery, and Leadership for Social Workers (P.E.A.R.L.S.) Fellowship Program; and the Global Human Rights Certificate.

Students Interested in SP2 Graduate Programs May Apply For a Variety of Financial Aid Scholarships

Penn has over $3 million in financial aid available to students each year. A variety of scholarships are available for prospective graduate students, with a full list available the school or departmental website.

Location & Contact

Program in Social Work

School of Social Policy and Practice
University of Pennsylvania

3451 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Dr. John Jackson


Phone: 215-898-5541
Fax: 215-573-2099

Mary Mazzola

Associate Dean, Enrollment Management

Phone: 215-898-5550
Fax: 215-573-2099

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Social Work Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
      Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work (JD/MSW)
      Master of Not-for-Profit Leadership (MNPL)
      Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP)
      Master of Social Work (MSW)
      Master of Social Work/Certificate (MSW/Certificate)
      Master of Social Work/Doctor of Philosophy (MSW/PhD)
      Master of Social Work/Master of Bioethics (MSW/MBE)
      Master of Social Work/Master of Business Administration (MSW/MBA)
      Master of Social Work/Master of City Planning (MSW/MCP)
      Master of Social Work/Master of Government Administration (MSW/MGA)
      Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health (MSW/MPH)
      Master of Social Work/Master of Science in Criminology (MSW/MSC)
      Master of Social Work/Master of Science in Education (MSW/MS Ed)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 171
    • Doctoral Degrees 15
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


40% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 819
    • Accepted 331
    • Acceptance Rate 40
    • Enrolled 172
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $65
    • Application Fee - International $65
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline February 1st February 1st Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE, GMAT, or LSAT (for MSSP or MNPL)
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE, MSW or master's degree in related field
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 600 paper based, TOEFL iBT

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *Not Reported
    • Out-of-state tuition *Not Reported
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year feesNot Reported
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsFebruary 1
    • Types of financial support availableFederal Work-Study, Financial Support for Part-time Students, Scholarship and/or loans

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students477
    • Female Percentage86%
    • Male Percentage14%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students477
    • Part-time Percentage22%
    • Full-time Percentage78%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino4%
    • Black / African American17%
    • White / Caucasian62%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian8%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races6%
    • Unknown3%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty72
    • Full-time Percentage29%
    • Part-time Percentage71%
    • Female Percentage61%
    • Male Percentage39%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchHomelessness, juvenile justice, mental health/children's mental health, child welfare, domestic and family violence
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$3,458,940



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