Mission and History
At the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, our mission is reflected by our history. We opened our doors at Yeshiva University in 1957 as America's only graduate social work school under Jewish auspices in a university setting.
Throughout our history and with the full support of the University, we have reached out to an ever-widening constituency. Though we began as a school of social work for group workers, reflecting the need of Jewish communal agencies for staff well-prepared in this discipline, we moved rapidly to offer the full casework sequence.
In 1974, with the help of a demonstration grant from the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, we launched the community social work sequence. This became an integral part of Wurzweiler's regular offerings, with courses in administration and research specifically designed for our students.
In 1984, the curriculum was reorganized to meet emerging needs in the field and to enable our students to become more familiar with computers in social service agencies, while additional changes reflected evolving accreditation standards.
We initiated doctoral studies in social welfare in 1966, granting the degree DSW, Doctor of Social Welfare. In April 2000, after an intensive self-study and external review, the New York State Department of Education approved changing the degree designation to PhD, Doctor of Philosophy in Social Welfare.
We celebrated our golden anniversary with a major academic conference in New York City in 2007, and our accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education was recently reaffirmed through June 2025.
We hope this gives you an idea of where we came from and, perhaps more important, what you can achieve if you decide to join us.
See excerpts below from Wurzweiler's 50th Anniversary video.