About SP2

old and new caster building collage

The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), formerly Penn Social Work, is noted for its commitment to social justice and to educating students who will take an active role in the struggle against oppression. The School has articulated a social philosophy that shapes the educational programs it offers, the research it undertakes and the leadership it provides to the profession. This statement of social philosophy – Penn Approach – is first and foremost an evolving philosophy. It reflects the faculty’s commitment to introduce students to a variety of perspectives related to social work practice, nonprofit leadership, social policy, research, racism and oppression, and the nature of human behavior in the social environment.


SP2 is one of the oldest and most storied schools of its kind in the country, and contributes to the advancement of more effective, efficient and humane human services through education, research and civic engagement. In pursuit of this mission, its theory-based master’s and doctoral programs in social work, social welfare, nonprofit leadership and social policy encourage students to think and work across disciplinary lines and cultures as well as across national and international boundaries.