The Catholic University of America

Why Choose the School of Social Service

Our distinguished faculty wrote the book. Comprised of renowned leaders in the field, our faculty has published primary texts and established benchmark professional practices that have raised the bar throughout the field of social work and beyond.

And unlike larger schools where many classes are taught by teaching assistants, social work classes are taught by full time faculty or by experienced social work practitioners.
Qualified social workers are in demand, with their profession counted among those expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2022.

A degree from the School of Social Service can provide access to the best jobs. Our graduates are mentored in their job search by faculty and alumni alike. Our BSW and MSW grads emerge from our programs uniquely qualified, and are eagerly awaited by a wide range of human service agencies. Our PhD grads are employed by prestigious universities and research institutes across the nation.

Our DC location offers a distinct advantage in its array of internship and permanent employment opportunities in social service agencies, and internationally recognized organizations, such as the National Institutes of Health, Catholic Charities, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Veterans Administration National Medical Center, Whitman Walker Clinics, to name just a few.
We understand the financial strains being felt by so many in this economic downturn. And we also know that during such times, many individuals will opt to use this opportunity to pursue a degree in social work to qualify themselves for future career advancement—or even for career changes. 
Our admissions staff is uniquely pro-active. They can work with you to finance your tuition in whole or in part—either through a scholarship alone or in combination with grants, scholarships, and government-sponsored loan programs—to accommodate your unique situation.

What our BSW students say about us:

  •  Teaching the students all of the behavior theories and techniques on choosing the best one that applies to a client's situation.
  •  I think there are great professors and the fact that field placement is required junior and senior year to get a feel about the field as a social worker. Not many programs offer that.
  •  I think NCSSS has a strong advantage in understanding and respect for the importance of religion and spirituality in the lives of our future clients!
  •  The spiritual component ...
  •  The closeness of the fellow students with each other and with the staff.

What our PhD students say about us:

  • The progressive thinking and perspectives of NCSSS, while situated within CUA's "conservative" larger school of thought. NCSSS has somehow managed to integrate its philosophy and mission with CUA's - I found this very unique.
  • Teaching ethics and also incorporating ethical theories into social policy.
  • ... the flexibility of the program is unique. In some programs, you have to go full time. Also, students have the opportunity to participate in major program meetings.
  • Overall there is support for students to finish the program and obtain their degree. Other doctoral programs are not as supportive in this regard and not many students graduate. There is also financial aid which is a big plus
  • I have appreciated the manner in which professors care about the students, the preparation even early on for dissertation work, and the diversity of my class.

What our MSW students say about us:

  • ... the focus on self-care and ethics is fairly unique. I am always surprised to hear from my friends in other programs that they never talk about how important it is to take care of yourself in this kind of work.
  • ... the interest in feedback, and the immediate changes that are implemented is what makes this program most unique. There is a genuine desire to ensure that CUA students receive the most comprehensive social work education possible.
  •  ... the inclusion of the spiritual dimension of human development in the theoretical foundation.
  • Academic excellence coupled with flexibility toward working students.
  • The option to select a Combined (clinical/macro) concentration, the rigorous course work.
  •  ... small class size ... focus on the strengths perspective ... closely linked with Washington, D.C.
  • Sense of camaraderie/community among students and professors; warmth and accessibility of faculty.
  • MSW students (showing financial need) can receive federal funding for their internships.
  • Professors who are committed to the profession as well as to academic pursuits.
  • International opportunities during the summer.
  • Courses are well integrated. The small classes are perfect for my way of learning.
  • Broad-minded approach to theories and perspectives.
  • Location in D.C. means we have excellent field placements that you would not be able to get in other cities. Also a small program that can provide a lot of individual attention.