Interim Dean's Message

 Dean Ira Colby

I want to thank you for considering the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW) for your social work graduate studies. You will find a great deal of information about the GCSW, our various programs and activities, as well as admissions materials on our website. (  

The UH GCSW is one of thirteen colleges at the University of Houston and the only graduate college of social work in the 4th largest city in America. This year is the 46th year of our MSW program and we celebrated the 20th anniversary of our doctoral program last year. We are housed in our own technologically advanced building in the center of the main campus. The GCSW is an exciting, ethnically diverse destination college that embodies both ‘local’ and ‘global’ perspectives. For example, students in our fall 2014 class speak 16 languages, come from 20 different native countries, and 21 are from states outside of Texas. We strongly encourage global learning through study abroad travel courses to China, Turkey, Bolivia, Central America, and international field placements.

The University of Houston offers a unique MSW curriculum that reflects the current and future practice needs while we focus our education on developing knowledge and skills for advanced social work practice. Our environment embraces intellectual curiosity, and cherishes debate, while we promote and work to create a just society for all people. The GCSW offers a range of academic courses, a diversity of field practice education sites, numerous community projects, and a cutting edge research center. Our advanced concentrations in Clinical Practice and MACRO Practice and our Political Social Work, Social Work with Latinos, Health and Behavioral Health and Individualized Specializations are nationally recognized for their excellence and preparation for practice. We offer hybrid courses (online and face-to-face) and are planning to begin an online master’s program within the next year.

The GCSW’s faculty includes a marvelous, ethnically diverse group of scholars whose work is recognized worldwide. Their practice experiences and research expertise reinforces the GCSW’s long-standing commitment to peace and social justice. The GCSW is further distinguished as being the only college of social work in the world to have a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams and the social work researcher and author Dr. Brené Brown, on our faculty.

On behalf of the entire faculty, staff, students and alumni of the GCSW, I want to thank you for visiting our web site and considering the GCSW as a possible home for your professional education. Feel free to browse through our website for further information about our programs, faculty and activities. I urge you to give serious thought to the GCSW if you are seeking an exciting education for change that will strengthen our community for all people.


Paul R. Raffoul, Ph.D.
Interim Dean and Professor Emeritus