School of Social Work Celebrates 50 Years of Educational Leadership, Academic Excellence and Service


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.