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Ellen Whiteside McDonnell School of Social Work

Highlighted Programs

Browse all our programs
  • Social Work

    Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

    The Bachelor in Social Work Program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to utilize what they learn in the classroom setting and apply it to generalist social work practice in diverse settings, such as community mental health centers, hospitals, schools, or child welfare agencies.

  • Social Work

    Master of Social Work (MSW)

    A Master of Social Work is designed to develop and advance students' clinical knowledge and skills, preparing them for highly skilled, challenging and diverse career choices in the social work profession with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

  • Social Work

    Doctorate in Social Work (DSW)

    The Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) degree is designed for MSW practitioners seeking a doctoral-level practice-focused degree in clinical practice.

  • Social Work

    PhD in Social Work

    The PhD in Social Work is designed for those seeking careers primarily in applied social work research and teaching (in institutions of higher learning).

General Information About the School

The School of Social Work at Barry University is committed to advancing and protecting the human rights of all individuals, with an emphasis on those most marginalized, through teaching, research, advocacy, and practice rooted in social justice.

The mission of the Barry University School of Social Work is framed by the core values, ethics, and commitments of the social work profession and the Barry University mission. Within a culturally diverse framework, the School is committed to educating social workers for professional social work practice that is informed by context and characterized by competence, skills of leadership, quality, the quest for social and economic justice in local and global communities, and dedication to continuous professional growth and development.

In response to a demand for professionally trained social workers in 1966, Barry University established the first graduate program in South Florida. The Master of Social Work degree program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, and the curriculum of the School is planned in accordance with the standards set by the council. A PhD in Social Work was introduced in 1983 to prepare advanced practitioner/scholars for leadership roles within the profession. In 2001, the School initiated a Bachelor of Social Work degree program and was accredited by the Council on Social Work Education in 2003. In 1984, the School was named the Ellen Whiteside McDonnell to honor a woman who made significant contribution to the reform and development of social welfare programs in the State of Florida.

Social work is a profession that dares us to walk the road less traveled and to soar where others are afraid to go. As you move toward becoming a professional social worker, we strive to ensure that you have a transformative experience. We are dedicated to helping you achieve advanced levels of scholarship, leadership, and self-discovery to maximize your success.

College Highlights


    Small class sizes

    Program Flexibility

    Program Flexibility

    Experiential Learning

    Hands-on Experience

    Books School

    Academic Support

  • Classes

    Small class sizes

  • Program Flexibility

    Program Flexibility

  • Experiential Learning

    Hands-on Experience

  • Books School

    Academic Support

Core Commitments

  • Knowledge And Truth

    Knowledge and Truth

    Barry promotes and supports the intellectual life, emphasizing life-long learning, growth and development. The University pursues scholarly and critical analysis of fundamental questions of the human experience. In the pursuit of truth, the University advances development of solutions that promote the common good and a more humane and just society.

  • Inclusive

    Inclusive Community

    Barry is a global, inclusive community characterized by interdependence, dignity and equality, compassion and respect for self and others. Embracing a global world view, the University nurtures and values cultural, social and intellectual diversity, and welcomes faculty, staff, and students of all faith traditions.

  • Collaborative Service

    Collaborative Service

    Barry is committed to serving local and global communities through collaborative and mutually productive partnerships. The University accepts responsibility to engage with communities to pursue systemic, self-sustaining solutions to human, social, economic and environmental problems.

  • Social Justice

    Social Justice

    Barry expects all members of our community to accept social responsibility to foster peace and nonviolence, to strive for equality, to recognize the sacredness of Earth, and to engage in meaningful efforts toward social change. The University promotes social justice through teaching, research and service.

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Academics Program Offerings

There are about as many paths through life as there are people, so if you're uncertain about your major, that's understandable. It's also okay to change your mind; a degree is a major commitment (no pun intended). Along the way, you'll find subjects that really intrigue you.

Uncovering your passions, and figuring out how to turn them into a rewarding career is what college is all about. We'll help you figure out how to capitalize on your interests and to select the most appropriate degree - after all, we have over a hundred to choose from.

Locations Miami is not the only location!

Main Campus


11300 NE 2nd Ave Miami Shores, FL 33161

Palm Beach


9123 N. Military Trail, Suite 206, West Palm Beach, FL 33410


Top Stories

  • Social Work

    The Center for Human Rights and Social Justice: Annual Report 2020 August 04, 2021

    The Center for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ), as part of the School of Social Work, has released its Annual Report for 2020.

  • Social Work

    With Her New Children's Book, 2016 Grad Ashley Finley Blends Creativity And Social-Work Smarts July 15, 2021

    When she was a kid, Ashley Finley thought she hated reading. “I was interested in very few books that were available to me,” she recently told the online magazine Fem Founder.

  • Social Work

    Dr. Maria Teahan Named Interim Dean Of The Ellen Whiteside McDonnell School Of Social Work At Barry University June 30, 2021

    Dr. Maria Teahan, a creative and passionate educator with a depth of clinical experience, will lead the Ellen Whiteside McDonnell School of Social Work at Barry University as Interim Dean, effective July 1, 2021.

  • Social Work

    How Dr. Mitch Rosenwald Is Using His Social Work Skills To Impact Local Policy June 22, 2021

    As a clinical social worker and veteran professor in Barry’s School of Social Work, Dr. Mitch Rosenwald has long championed the benefits of bringing social work perspectives to government policy.

  • Social Work

    With New Research Social Work Students And Professor Advocate For Gender-Affirming Care March 15, 2021

    A new paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity is giving voice to members of the trans community who suffer from gender dysphoria.

Social Work Programs Accreditation

Barry University is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

CSWE's Commission on Accreditation (COA) is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards. 

In accordance with the requirements of CSWE's recognition body, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the CSWE Office of Social Work Accreditation administers a multistep accreditation process that involves program self-studies, site visits, and COA reviews.

Student Learning Outcomes About CSWE Accreditation

The Bachelor of Social Work Program (BSW) and the Master of Social Work Program (MSW) are accredited from 2017 – 2024.

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School of Social Work Events

Attend one of our upcoming events

Continuing Education Licensure and Continuing Professional Development

The Barry University School of Social Work continues to dedicate itself to the transformation of individuals through the delivery of a trauma-informed, resiliency framework for both its BSW, MSW, and Ph.D. programs. One of our growing initiatives is to strengthen relationships and services to our alumni, community partners, and university constitutes. Barry University's School of Social Work remains committed to your personal and professional growth. As we all know, transformation and growth do not end at graduation. 

Learning is a lifelong endeavor, and Barry University School of Social Work is striving to keep pace with your future.

To that end, we have developed this website to keep you updated on pertinent issues, training programs, and licensure information that may impact and enhance your professional career. This website features licensure information, continuing education opportunities, and upcoming conferences.

Licensure Documentation Request

About the Center Center for Human Rights and Social Justice

Welcome to the Center for Human Rights and Social Justice! The CHRSJ has a primary mission of advancing crucial human rights and social justice initiatives in our local and global communities through targeted education, research, service, and leadership. The CHRSJ values collaboration and partnerships with community members, organizations, and university faculty, staff and students. We approach our human rights and social justice work through an anti-oppressive lens which acknowledges the influence of privilege and oppression on the existence and maintenance of human rights violations. The CHRSJ values equally the voices of all community members and commits to work in authentic partnership with the communities being served.

Our Initiatives born out of the School of Social Work’s strong collaborations represent some of the most pressing needs of our community, and are inclusive of some of the most underserved and marginalized populations locally and globally. Specifically, our Center is committed to the following five initiatives (1) Combating Human Trafficking (2) Preventing Sexual Victimization (3) Creating Inclusive Communities sexual and gender diverse Individuals (4) Advancing Trauma Informed Research, Education and Practice, and (5) Promoting Wellness in Marginalized Communities.

The Center is proud to host affiliated faculty and community partners with decades of experience who are fiercely committed to advancing human rights and social justice across countless critical issues impacting our communities. The Center’s affiliates possess unparalleled practice and advocacy skills necessary to mobilize positive change. Moreover, our faculty are engaged in research and scholarship which impact practice and policy across multiple pressing human rights issues in contemporary society.

Through the power of collective action and collaborative social justice work, the Center for Human Rights and Social Justice in the Barry University School of Social Work aims to a create safe, stable, and inclusive society for all individuals. Welcome to our Center and please spend time exploring our website further to learn more about our faculty, community partners, resources, upcoming events, and the ways to get involved in our work. We hope you will contact us with ideas for collaboration that can advance the human rights and social justice initiatives of the Center.

Learn More

Funded by the Ware Foundation

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School of Social Work Faculty and Staff

The odds are definitely in your favor at Barry University. Our student-faculty ratio is only 15:1. That means you get personal attention and guidance, and nobody gets lost in the shuffle. Even more impressive, over 80 percent of our faculty hold a PhD or the highest degree available in their field of expertise.

We seek out professors who are not only great teachers, but who love what they do. Their passion, enthusiasm, and inspiration are contagious, and there's no better way to keep young minds excited about learning and discovering. Beyond each teacher's area of expertise, our faculty is committed to promoting equality, social justice, altruism, diversity, and humility. Through education, everyone can have a voice.

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