Welcome to the Department of Social Work

The Social Work program here at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is proud to deliver quality undergraduate (BSW) and graduate (MSW) education. As Department Chair, let me take a few moments to introduce you to the very real reasons that we are extremely optimistic for the future of Social Work here at UAB.


Undergraduate BSW program

Group of social work students holding up awards.

A major reason for my optimism is exciting developments in our BSW program. Students now have the opportunity to participate in our Social Work Honors Program. Led by Professor Stacy Moak, our best students have the opportunity to be mentored one-to-one with our faculty, and to have research and practice evaluation experiences tailored to take advantage of their unique talents. We also have our new opportunities for students to study abroad. This Spring, we offered our first international class. Students from our BSW and MSW program went to Kenya—and we are planning to offer the opportunity again this upcoming year. Learn more about the Kenya study abroad program.

Graduate MSW program

Our newest program began accepting students in the fall of 2017, and we anticipate our first graduation in December of 2018. With our specific focus on Health and Behavioral Health, we aim to prepare Social Workers with evidence-based skills who are ready to practice immediately on graduation. Currently, our program is in second year candidacy status for accreditation, and we are on track to be fully accredited in the Spring of 2019. We are proud of the unique advantages of our MSW, including small face-to-face classes, personalized and in-depth practicum experiences, and cutting-edge education. I like to compare our MSW program experience to those of students in small liberal-arts programs. If you are coming to our program this fall, I will personally be your instructor in our introductory practice class! Learn more about the Graduate MSW program.

Faculty and Instructors

I encourage you to go explore the interests and work of our outstanding full-time faculty. You can meet them in our classrooms (all of our faculty, myself included, teach every year) or read about their accomplishments. Keep an eye on our newsfeed, so you can find out about their exciting accomplishments!

I know there has been a lot of discussion about the role of adjunct faculty in education, with debate about the value of being taught by part-time instructors. In our department, we view our adjunct instructors as a primary strength! Our adjunct instructors are almost entirely community practitioners with years of valuable experience. They bring a unique and practical knowledge of the field, and an enthusiasm about the work that complements our full-time faculty. Think about it—don’t you want to learn from teachers who actually do what they are teaching? And did I mention that many of them are alumni from our program?

Chat with the Chair

To me, the essence of any educational experience is community. The core of any community is the interchange among all members — potential and current students, faculty, and alumni. I invite you to come visit us. Every second and fourth Monday from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., my door will be open to anyone wanting to discuss our program. Or, if that doesn’t work, make an appointment by calling (205) 975-4938 or send us an email. Or attend any of our numerous events— our faculty and students will be there. Or simply check back frequently on our webpage to keep abreast of all the events and changes.

We welcome you to be part of our future!

David Pollio.
Dr. David E. Pollio
Distinguished Professor and Department Chair