Message from the Dean

Sarah Bachman, Dean of School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania

Welcome to the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) website. Here you will find information about how SP2 is training maximally effective social work, social policy, and nonprofit leaders while advancing our values of impact, innovation, equity, and inclusion. I encourage you to browse and learn more about the ways SP2 continues to pursue our 111-year-long commitment to promoting social justice and reform.

Our website provides information about our five rigorous degree programs: Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP), Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership (NPL), Doctorate in Clinical Social Work (DSW), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Social Welfare. Our Masters programs can be earned as dual degrees within SP2 as well as through our collaborations with Penn’s Schools of Medicine, Law, Education, Arts & Sciences, Design, and Wharton. Students can also pursue specialized certificate programs within SP2, in collaboration with other Penn Schools, as well as through partnerships with local and globally based institutions. You will find information about our international programs and engagement opportunities, such as global faculty-led courses overseas, visiting professorships, and globally-based independent studies. We also offer online certificates and continuing education programs to lifelong learners through our new OpenSP2 initiative.

While at SP2, students spend a combined 250,000 hours each year in hands-on opportunities to foster positive, lasting change and to advocate for marginalized and vulnerable communities through field placements, internships, and practicum experiences. As well, we require all members of the SP2 community to think critically about, and actively address, pressing issues surrounding institutional racism via task forces, School-wide initiatives, readings, and open dialogue within safe spaces. Our commitment to social justice must include a commitment to racial equity.

Our faculty are renowned practitioners, inspirational instructors, and world-class scholars. As groundbreaking researchers and experts in their fields, they offer a transformative educational approach, providing leadership and mentorship for the next generation of social change agents.

Our premier research centers and special projects help us expand the knowledge base for more effective, efficient, and humane human services through interdisciplinary education, inquiry, and civic engagement.

Finally, our School’s staff and administration are here to fully support you, whether you are a prospective or current student, one of our amazing alumni, or a member of our greater community looking to forge new partnerships. We are here to help!

My hope is that you will be challenged and inspired during your tenure at SP2. We are committed to ensuring you have the skills needed to tackle the many complex social policy and practice issues around us and to ensure that you thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions that you may have about our School. I encourage you to visit the campus in person to experience our wonderful community. We look forward to meeting you.

Sara S. Bachman, PhD
Dean

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