The Mandel School awards an MSSA degree – a Master of Science in Social Administration – which is equivalent to an MSW and is recognized as such by employers, state licensing boards, other universities, and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Our social work master’s degree program is designed to be comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and academically rigorous – combining practice, policy, advocacy, research, theory, and experiential learning. We believe – and our 7,800 alumni confirm – that an MSSA translates into social workers who have received top-ranked academic training, who are better prepared for leadership, and who have more options in their future careers.

When our school was first chartered by Western Reserve University back in 1915, social work was not considered to be a profession. Consequently, the MSW was not considered to be a professional degree program at that time. Our founders created the Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA), which was designated as the first professional degree program in social work at a university in the United States in 1915 and was accredited in 1919 (the first year social work accreditation was given).

For the past 100 years, the Mandel School and our MSSA have been at the forefront in professional social work education and training, and we continue that legacy today.