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About the Worden School

Founded in 1942, Our Lady of the Lake University's Worden School of Social Service (WSSS) has enjoyed a long history of leadership in preparing professionally trained social workers. The Worden School was the first school of social work in Texas. In 1974, the Worden School established the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program. The PhD in Social Work program launched in 2019. 

The BSW and MSW programs have been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

In 2009, WSSS won the coveted Council on Social Work Education Presidential Award for Excellence in Social Work Education. 

In April 2015, WSSS won the Outstanding Commitment to Excellence and Innovation in Distance Learning by a 4-Year Higher Education Organization presented by Texas Distance Learning Association.


  • Continuous accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education
  • Nationally recognized and diverse faculty with a solid commitment to educational excellence for students
  • A student-to-faculty ratio that supports a student-centered approach to education
  • Partnerships with an extensive network of public and private social service agencies that provide a range of opportunities for student internships
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) practicum settings available for completion of student internships
  • A broad WSSS alumni network
  • The 4+1 social work degree option, with a required GPA of 3.0, allows students to earn a bachelor's and master's degree in five years
  • A 57-credit hour MSW program offered in a two-year and accelerated (16-month) formats
  • Opportunities for part-time study in both the regular and advanced standing MSW programs
  • A mission committed to social change, social and economic justice, and social betterment
  • Graduate assistantships that provide unique opportunities to work directly with faculty. Other financial assistance is also available.
  • Opportunities for professional development through continuing education courses
  • Opportunities for student leadership in the Worden Social Work Organization (WSWO); Phi Alpha, the social work honor society; the Worden School Association of Black Social Work Students; League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) as well as other university-wide student organizations
  • Located in San Antonio, a dynamic and multicultural urban setting
  • Prepares students for leadership roles in social work
  • Offers traditional and nontraditional career path opportunities