Director's Welcome

Welcome to the School of Social Work


I am pleased to welcome you to the School of Social Work at Arizona State University where we are celebrating 60 years of education, research and training. Embracing the ASU charter to take fundamental responsibility for the social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves, we are proud to train practitioners dedicated to social work practice with populations of the Southwest. 

While the mission of our School has changed little in 60 years, our School has. Notably, we have expanded our education programs to reach more students, particularly here in Arizona where over 2,000 students can now study in locations in Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma 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 #28 overall as measured by U.S. News & World Report.  Among online MSW programs, we are ranked #6.

The School is proud to be part of the Watts College of Public Service, the nation’s premier academic institution for students committed to social change. We believe social work plays an important and integral role in designing just and effective solutions with the community and alongside our interdisciplinary colleagues.

While our anniversary year has given us many opportunities to reflect on our historic legacy, we also embrace the challenges of today. Below are a few highlights from just the past year:

  • Our faculty and students also became volunteer COVID case investigators, interviewing over 17,000 people in Maricopa County diagnosed with the virus to provide public health guidance and share resources available to help people in isolation. 
  • We welcomed the Family Violence Center to expand our School’s already strong emphasis on prevention and interventions designed to eradicate violence and strengthen families.

We invite you to learn more about our School community on our website. Whether you are interested in starting your educational journey with us, advancing your practice or partnering with us to create social change through research or training, you have a home at ASU.

Best Wishes, 

Elizabeth Lightfoot

Foundation Professor and Director, School of Social Work