Social Work, School of

The School of Social Work was founded in 1920 as a professional graduate school, offering master's and doctoral degrees and educating social workers for research and advanced practice. The school, known first as the School of Public Welfare, was created to train professionals for a newly formed state agency to oversee county-level welfare offices. The school's mission also included research on social problems, which led to the creation of the Institute for Social Sciences in 1924. It was the first program of its kind in the country. The school, led by sociologist Howard Odum, adopted a regional approach to its work, looking at the social and economic problems facing the American South, including poverty and race relations. The school has always stressed field research and works closely with public and nonprofit agencies.

The School of Social Work was the first on campus to have an African American faculty member when it hired Hortense McClinton in 1966. The Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building, completed in 1995, is the home of the School of Social Work.