School of Social Policy and Practice University of Pennsylvania

School of Social Policy and Practice University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
student ratio
total students
Tuition Cost Not Reported
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
Please see website
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
5 Departments and Programs
departments and programs


The University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy & Practice Prepares Students to be Leaders for Social Change

Penn Social Policy & Practice (SP2) prepares students to be leaders for social change in their chosen discipline (i.e., social work, social policy, non-profit leadership, or social welfare). The school's five degree programs encourage students to think and work across disciplines, cultures, and national boundaries in their pursuit of social justice. Located in the heart of the University of Pennsylvania's Ivy League campus, SP2 is known for its interdisciplinary focus as well as its emphasis on leadership for social change.

One Mission

The School of Social Policy & Practice contributes to the advancement of more effective, efficient and humane human services through education, research and civic engagement. The passionate pursuit of social innovation, impact, and justice is at the heart of the School's knowledge-building activities.

One School

For more than 100 years, SP2 has been a powerful force for good in the world, working towards social justice and social change through research and practice. Students are encouraged to embrace the interdisciplinary opportunities that SP2 and the University of Pennsylvania have to offer.

One World

Students come to SP2 from around the world to learn how to be powerful forces for good. After earning their degrees, alumni take their gifts, skills, and knowledge to all sectors of society, connecting the dots between issues that are local and international, intimate and institutional.

Students at Penn Social Policy & Practice Enjoy Philadelphia's Benefits and Engage Locally to Improve Social Conditions

The University of Pennsylvania is nestled in the historic and vibrant city of Philadelphia-- America's fifth largest city. Hailed as a "city of neighborhoods," Philadelphia offers much to explore, including a thriving arts and culture sector, delicious and diverse dining destinations, iconic historic sites, and one of the Nation's largest City Park systems. 

In addition to these numerous cultural opportunities, students have the opportunity to complete field placements/internships in a variety of social service and social policy settings and with nonprofit organizations that are only available in an urban environment such as Philadelphia. Penn has a strong partnership with many local communities to involve students in improving the surrounding areas. The University seeks to promote safe neighborhoods, attract and support area businesses, encourage homeownership, and improve public education.

The School is proud to offer five degree programs: Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership (MSNPL), Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP), Clinical Doctorate in Social Work (DSW), and PhD in Social Welfare.

Throughout its 108-year history, the Master of Social Work (MSW) program has emphasized the integration of field and classroom learning. It draws on 600 different human-service agencies for student field placements. MSW students are able to concentrate in clinical practice or macro practice. Fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the MSW prepares social workers to develop and provide services to individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations at local, national, and global levels.

The MSW program offers opportunities for full-time and part-time study. An Advanced Standing option as well as an Employed Practitioners Program is also offered. Eleven dual degree programs are offered. These degree programs include: Social Work/Juris Doctor (MSW/JD); Social Work and Bioethics (MSW/MBE); Social Work and Business Administration (MSW/MBA); Social Work and City Planning (MSW/MCP); Social Work and Criminology (MSW/MS); Social Work and Public Administration (MSW/MPA); Social Work and Public Health (MSW/MPH); Social Work and Education (MSW/MSEd); Social Work and Social Policy (MSW/MSSP); Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Social Work (BA/MSW); Social Work and Nonprofit Leadership (MSW/NPL), and MSW/PhD in Social Welfare. 

Additionally, the MSW program offers joint MSW/Certificate Programs and Specializations in:

Ann Nolan Reese Penn Aging Certificate (PAC)
Child Well-Being & Child Welfare Specialization (CW3)
Cohen Veterans Network MSW Scholars Program
Criminal Justice Specialization
Goldring Reentry Initiative (GRI)
Social Work in Health Care Specialization
Global Human Rights Certificate
MSW/Home-School Visitor Certificate Program
MSW/Certificate in Jewish Communal Service

The Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership (MSNPL) offers full-time, part-time, and hybrid online options for completing the program. This graduate program is designed for professionals who want to assume leadership positions in nonprofit or non-governmental organizations. Three dual degrees are offered, including: Nonprofit Leadership and Juris Doctor (NPL/JD), Nonprofit Leadership and Public Health (NPL/MPH), and Nonprofit Leadership and Social Work (NPL/MSW).

The Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP) offers both a full- and part-time option, as well as four dual degree programs. This program prepares students for leadership positions in policy leadership positions in government, philanthropic foundations, research institutes, and more. Students learn to use policy to increase equality, promote equity, and forge social change. The MSSP + Certificate in Data Analytics also provides students with core training and skills in the conceptual foundations of data analytics, programming of data structures, applications of machine learning and predictive analytics, spatial analytics, and the data processing techniques for web scraping and data visualization for a broader public audience.  

The Clinical Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) is intended for clinicians with at least two years post-MSW experience who want to remain clinicians or teach clinical social work practice. Penn's DSW is an intensive online program that enables students to complete the course work and dissertation in three years, without career disruption.

The PhD in Social Welfare is an interdisciplinary program that prepares students to be scholars, researchers, and leaders in the field of social welfare.

Students Interested in SP2 Graduate Programs May Apply For Financial Aid Scholarships.

The School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) is proud to offer limited scholarships to prospective Master's and DSW students. SP2 scholarships and fellowships are awarded by the SP2 Financial Aid office; they are not awards for which a student must apply.

Location & Contact

School of Social Policy and Practice

University of Pennsylvania

3701 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Dr. John Jackson, Jr.


Phone: 215-898-5541
Fax: 215-573-2099

Mary Mazzola, MSW, EdD

Associate Dean, Enrollment Management & Global Outreach

Phone: 215-898-5550
Fax: 215-573-2099

Request More Info

Departments & Programs

  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Science in Social Policy
  • Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership
  • PhD in Social Welfare
  • Doctorate in Clinical Social Work

    Degrees & Awards

    • Degrees Offered
      • Major Degree Levels Offered
      • Master of Social Work (MSW)
        Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP)
        Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership (MSNPL)
        Doctorate in Clinical Social Work (DSW)
        PhD in Social Welfare (PhD)
        Master of Social Work/Juris Doctor (MSW/JD)
        Master of Social Work/Master of Business Administration (MSW/MBA)
        Master of Social Work/Master of Bioethics (MSW/MBE)
        Master of Social Work/Master of City Planning (MSW/MCP)
        Master of Social Work/Master of Public Administration (MSW/MPA)
        Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health (MSW/MPH)
        Master of Social Work/Master of Science in Criminology (MSW/MS)
        Master of Social Work/Master of Science in Education (MSW/MSEd)
        Master of Social Work/Master of Science in Social Policy (MSW/MSSP)
        Master of Social Work/PhD in Social Welfare (MSW/PhD)
        Master of Science in Social Policy/Juris Doctor (MSSP/JD)
        Master of Science in Social Policy/Master of Science of Public Administration (MSSP/MPA)
        Master of Science in Social Policy/Master of Public Health (MSSP/MPH)
        Bachelor of Arts/Master of Social Work (BA/MSW)
        Bachelor of Arts/Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership (BA/NPL)
    • Degrees Awarded
      • Master's Degrees 196
      • Doctoral Degrees 24
      • First Professional Degrees Not reported
      • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
      • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
    • Earning Your Degree
      • Part-time study available? Yes
      • Evening/weekend programs available? No
      • Distance learning programs available? No
      • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
    • Degree Requirements
      • Master's Degrees
      • Doctoral Degrees
      • First Professional Degrees Not reported
      • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


    63% of applicants are admitted.
    • Acceptance Rate
      • Applied 740
      • Accepted 465
      • Acceptance Rate 63
      • Enrolled 231
    • Applying
      • Application Fee - Domestic $65
      • Application Fee - International $65
      • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
      • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
    • Application Deadlines
      • Type Domestic International Priority Date
      • Fall deadline Please see website Please see website Please see website
      • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
      • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Entrance Requirements
      • Master's DegreesGRE, GMAT, or LSAT (for MSSP and MNPL)
      • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test, MSW or master's degree in related field (for PhD); 2 years of post-MSW work experience (for DSW)
      • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
      • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
      • International DegreesTOEFL required, iBT 100

    Tuition & Fees

    • Tuition & Fees
    • Fees
    • Financial Support
      • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
      • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
      • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Tuition Waivers, Career or Field-Related Internships, Federal Work-Study, Financial Support for Part-time Students, Institutionally-sponsored Loans, Scholarship and/or loans, Graduate Assistantships

    Student Body

    • Gender
      • Total Graduate Students441
      • Female Percentage84%
      • Male Percentage16%
    • Participation
      • Total Graduate Students441
      • Part-time Percentage21%
      • Full-time Percentage79%
    • Ethnicity
      • Hispanic / Latino4%
      • Black / African American11%
      • White / Caucasian64%
      • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
      • Asian15%
      • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
      • Two or more races3%
      • Unknown4%


    • Faculty Breakdown
      • Total Faculty78
      • Full-time Percentage35%
      • Part-time Percentage65%
      • Female Percentage68%
      • Male Percentage32%


    • Existing Research
      • Focus of faculty researchHomelessness among veterans, criminal justice, mental health, child wellbeing and welfare, domestic and family violence, social policy, poverty
      • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$2,930,218



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