About & People

For more than 100 years, the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA) has defined the fields of social work and social welfare. Today, SSA is one of the top three graduate schools of social work in the world. Our remarkably diverse students arrive with energy, empathy, intelligence, and a keen desire to serve. We give them the firm theoretical foundation, the clinical and policy perspective, and the hands-on experience to make a meaningful impact in the lives of the most vulnerable people in our society.

10 Reasons to Attend SSA

Mission & Approach

At SSA, we define problems and shape solutions. Our mission is to continue to produce the best, most forwarding-thinking research in social work and social welfare policy, and to prepare the best social workers to use those ideas to serve individuals, families, and communities in creating a better quality of life.

SSA Students

Careers in Social Work

SSA Careers

Thanks to SSA’s uniquely integrated curriculum and student-focused Career Office, our graduates quickly advance to leadership positions in clinical practice, public and private social welfare agencies, community development organizations, policy research institutes, charitable foundations, and academia.


Social work attracts idealists: people with an acute awareness of human suffering and injustice, and people with a strong commitment to reduce that suffering and injustice. At SSA, you’ll be surrounded by impassioned, ambitious, and intelligent classmates, and you’ll be mentored by some of the top minds in the field. This is your community.

SSA Faculty

Global Reach

SSA Global Focus

SSA offers a wide range of opportunities for students to learn about social welfare policy and practice internationally: through global-focused courses on refugees, adoption, and immigration; experiential learning opportunities in places like India and China; and the new Global Social Development Practice certificate program.

Community & Field Impact

SSA has relationships with over 600 agencies in the Chicago area. Field sites are located in almost all of Chicago’s neighborhoods and in many of its suburbs. While living and learning in one of the world’s great cities, you’ll be able to create new networks at two field placements—hands-on, real-world apprenticeships that will set you up for a career in social change.

SSA Field Placement


SSA Founding Mothers, The Abbott Sisters

SSA was one of the first schools of social work in the United States, opening our doors in 1908 as the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy. Our “Founding Mothers” were among the first to use social research and community data to inform the care and counseling of the most vulnerable members of our society, and this integrated academic approach —using research to inform practice and policy—continues to distinguish us today.

Visit Us


School of Social Service Administration 969 E. 60th St. Chicago, IL 60637

CTA Bus Routes

#2 Hyde Park Express; #6 Jackson Park Express, transfer to #170 U of C Midway; #4 Cottage Grove.

Metra Electric Trains

Chicago to University Park Metra train from Downtown Chicago to 57th Street.


Parking on campus is limited. Please visit our Campus Safety and Security pages for up-to-date information about visitor parking.

Map & Directions

SSA is located at the southwest corner of Ellis Avenue and 60th Street and is accessible via public transportation. For more detailed maps, directions, and information, visit the University of Chicago website here.