Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Front view of the Mandel School building

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences offers curricula leading to the Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO) and to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Social Welfare.

Case Western Reserve University and the Ohio Department of Higher Education have authorized the Mandel School to offer the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree to all students who matriculate in August 2021 and thereafter. The school has great respect for the MSSA degree name and its legacy. In making the transition to the new MSW degree name, the Mandel School affirms its mission of providing an innovative curriculum for every student. 

Mission and Vision

Our Mission

Advancing leadership in social work and nonprofit education, scholarship, and service to build a more just and inclusive world.

Our Vision

Students are central to all we do, and they actively participate and contribute to a dynamic learning community that develops change leaders in direct practice, community practice and nonprofit management.

The Mandel School was founded by and for the Greater Cleveland community in the belief that a university-based school of social work would transform the work of people and organizations to achieve their full potential. The Mandel School celebrates more than a century of education accelerating change leaders, broadening the national and international reach of our education, and service to promote more inclusive and just societies. 

Brief History

Consistently ranked among the nation’s top ten graduate schools of social work by U.S. News and World Report, and number one in Ohio, the Mandel School has committed itself to learning from and fostering the best in social work practice and to building social work’s knowledge base. Since its founding in 1915 and being among the nation’s first university-affiliated professional graduate school of social work, the Mandel School has been an innovator and leader in professional education. Educators, researchers and practitioners work side-by-side to investigate, study and disseminate knowledge to address social inequality in society.

The Mandel School provides students with a solid foundation designed to build core competencies with its innovative Ability-Based Learning Environment, which allows graduates a great degree of flexibility and portability. Social Work students choose concentrations in either Community Practice for Social Change or Direct Practice, which offers specializations in Aging; Children, Youth and Families; Health; Mental Health; and Substance Use Disorders and Recovery. Certificate programs include data science for social impact and school social work; gerontology, global health, nonprofit management, trauma-informed practice. Dual-degree programs enable Mandel School students to obtain their social work degree concurrently with a master’s degree in bioethics, business, law, nonprofit management, public health as well as a dual degree in nonprofit management and law.

The MNO program has been at the forefront of training future nonprofit leaders and was founded 30 years ago as one of the first nonprofit management programs in the nation. It provides the essential tools needed to lead a nonprofit, carry out its mission ethically and effectively and contribute to society's betterment. 

In a broad spectrum of local and regional organizations, students develop skills in direct practice, policy analysis and development, research, management and community development, and in leading nonprofit organizations. The Mandel School counts among its alumni many prominent educators, government officials, accomplished practitioners, researchers, advocates, public policy-makers, and chief executives of national and regional agencies. Faculty achievements in professional organizations, research, and agency consultation further extend the school’s reputation as a prominent leader in the advancement of social work practice, policy and implementation both nationally and internationally. The Mandel School ranked seventh in faculty productivity among social work schools by Academic Analytics.

Accreditation and Licensure

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

The Master of Social Work (MSW), the social work master's degree program at the Mandel School is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, a nationally recognized professional accrediting association for social work graduate and undergraduate programs.

The Mandel School in collaboration with Baldwin Wallace University meets all of the State of Ohio Department of Education requirements for licensing in School Social Work.

The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree fulfills part of the requirements of social work licensure in fifty (50) states in the United States.  For further information about various licensing requirements by state, visit the website of the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).

The Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO) degree is accredited by Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC).