Social Work has been taught at Tulane since 1914, with the school formally established in 1927, offering the M.A. degree. The first Master of Social Work degrees were offered in 1935, and the doctoral program was established in 1959. The School also currently offers a joint masters degree with the Tulane of School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, a joint degree with the Tulane Law School, a Certificate in Gerontology, as well as various continuing education and professional development courses. The stated mission of the School is to educate social work professionals to enhance the caring capacity of society by drawing upon its very strengths and resources.
The Curriculum offered in the School is divided into the Foundation Curriculum, which focuses on generalist practice, the Advanced Curriculum, which focuses clinical practice, and Elective courses. Topics covered in the course offerings include: social work policy; social work practice; research and research methods; work with families, groups and communities; work in organizational environments; cross-cultural issues; human development; case analysis; crisis intervention; clinical practice with children, adolescents, adults and the elderly; conflict resolution and mediation; death and dying; domestic violence; human sexuality; chemical dependence; HIV disease; gerontological social work; disability; mental illness treatment and prevention.
Faculty Research interests not included in the above list of course topics includes: social work education; health services provision; family caregiving of the disabled; services to minority populations; international social work education; information technology in social work education and practice; international migration and work with refugee populations; social support for the chronically and terminally ill; ethical issues involved in the relationship between families and public social service agencies; connections between social work research and resulting policies/practice; social work history; religion and American culture; parent-infant relationships; infant mental health; impact of violence on children; family and couples therapy; child abuse and incest; gay and lesbian issues; aging and homelessness; disaster social services; volunteerism; geographical analysis of social service systems; cross-cultural/international social work; elderly caregivers; women's health and mental health; domestic violence; social justice and populations at risk; racism; relationships between African-American women and their daughters; parenting syles.
In addition, the School operates the following Centers and Institutes: Center for Research and Training in HIV/AIDS Social Work; Porter-Cason Institute (focusing on therapeutic and preventive social work practice with families); Disaster and Volunteerism Research Center; Visualization Center (focusing on mediation training); Center for Lifelong Learning (focusing on professional development and continuing education for practicing social workers); Campus Affiliates Program Child and Family Development Project (a joint program with Xavier University).
The Tulane School of Social Work Online Program is accredited by the Council on Socia Work Education's Commission on Accrediation.
The School has 18 full-time faculty positions, and regularly draws from a pool of approximately 60-75 adjunct faculty members for coursework and practicum supervision. The student body in the School consists of approximately 275 MSW students and 20-25 doctoral students. The students come from diverse social, racial, and educational backgrounds, and many are non-traditional students, beginning second careers later in life. In addition, approximately 400-500 professionals a year participate in the Schoolï¿½s continuing education and lifelong learning courses and conferences.