Welcome from the Chair

Emily Ihara, PhD, MSW, FGSA  - Chair, Department of Social Work

Welcome to George Mason University’s Department of Social Work, where we have prepared students for more than 40 years to become social work leaders, scholars, and clinicians. We are located in the national capital region, which we believe provides an ideal setting to improve lives directly–not just on local, regional, and state levels, but also nationally. Our students gain hands-on experiences with diverse populations and communities through our more than 200 active national, government, and community field sites.

Accomplished faculty members prepare students in a competency-, skills-, and strengths-based learning environment that encourages a commitment to social justice. Our curriculum emphasizes generalist knowledge, application of this knowledge, and the problem-solving skills social workers need to succeed whether they practice at the clinical, organizational, or community level.

Graduates acquire a perspective and skill set that emphasizes empowerment, inclusion, and systems transformation. Our students bring their diverse perspectives together to learn how community practice, organizational leadership, and policy facilitate social change. We provide opportunities for students and others to collaborate with faculty on research in behavioral health, immigration, human trafficking, and more, and to collaborate with both undergraduate and graduate social work students in our Social Work Integration Research Lab (SWiRL).

Whether you are a prospective student, alumnus, or community member, we encourage you to browse our website to learn more about our programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. As you advance your career, see how the Department of Social Work will affect your professional growth and advancement. We look forward to seeing you on campus at one of our information sessions.

Emily Ihara, PhD, MSW, FGSA
Chair, Department of Social Work
Associate Professor