Director's Welcome

Welcome to the School of Social Work

James Herbert Williams


I am pleased to welcome you to the School of Social Work at Arizona State University. Here in the Valley of the Sun, we have earned a strong recognition for our education of future and current social worker practitioners, conducting cutting-edge research on complex social issues, and our community partnerships both locally and globally.

We also continue to grow, expanding our degree offerings and campus locations. Our 2,300 students can now study in two locations in Phoenix, Tucson or may earn their MSW anywhere in our online program. During this time, we have managed to boost our national rankings. Out of 260 accredited programs in the United States, we are #25 overall and #8 among public institutions as measured by US News & World Report.  Among online MSW programs, we are ranked #6.

Among our other recent accomplishments:

  • Our world-class faculty continue to receive prestigious national and local awards and recognition for their research, scholarship, student mentoring, innovation and teaching.
  • The Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center has been designated as a Center of Excellence on Minority Health and Health Disparities with a $7 million National Institutes of Health grant.
  • This year, we launched the Global Center for Applied Health Research led by Flavio Marsiglia, Center for Human Capital and Youth Development led by Kristin Ferguson, and the Office of Gender-based Violence Prevention led by Jill Messing.
  • Our students are pushing forward real-world solutions, such as a pop-up shop to help refugees become entrepreneurs.
  • We partnered with the City of Phoenix in the nation’s first housing complex for survivors of sex trafficking.
  • This year, we are pleased to celebrate our 40th year of the program in Tucson and 30th year training child welfare workers in the state.
  • We are actively involved in the Grand Challenges for Social Work and will be hosting two events uniting scholars, practitioners, advocates and the community around two core areas: ending family violence and gender-based violence, and another on ending homelessness.

We have a rich history and are at an exciting point looking at the future. Whether it be through our degree programs, training, research collaboration or community partnerships, I hope you will join us on that journey to impact children and family well-being and to promote social, political and economic justice.

Best Wishes, 
James Herbert Williams
Arizona Centennial Professor and Director, School of Social Work
Interim Director, Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center