The UA School of Social Work was established in 1965 by an act of the Alabama Legislature to address Alabama’s critical shortage of and pressing need for professionally trained social workers.
Prior to this time there were fewer than 100 trained social workers in the state, accounting for about 19% of the persons employed in the state’s social welfare positions. Forty-eight of the state’s sixty-seven counties had no professional social workers.
The school was first accredited in 1969, and the first class received master’s degrees the same year. The MSW program is accredited until 2019. UA is the only university in the state that offers degrees in all three levels of social work education: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), Master of Social Work (MSW), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).