Social Services Administration

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Social Services Administration Overview

Chatham’s social service administration program will give you a foundational understanding of social services and social policy. You will learn how non-profit institutions operate, as well as the impact of social policy on these institutions through classes like Managing Nonprofits, Sociology, and Social Welfare and Social Justice. Additionally, social services administration students have fine-tuned their understandings and professional goals through internships in a range of settings, including social service agencies, child welfare services, corrections, healthcare, and fundraising.
Degrees Offered
  • BA
Program School

Chatham’s social service administration major focuses on providing students with a solid foundation of knowledge, skills, and real-world experience that can translate across many different career paths within social services and its related fields.

— DEBORAH RUBIN, Ph.D., founding faculty

Explore the Social Services Administration Degree:

  • Receive academic and career guidance every step of the way from advisors who are faculty with real-world experience as practicing social workers. Choose to enhance your studies with a minor in criminology, psychology, social work, or other minors that are of interest to you. You may also want to consider one of our social work certificates in Forensic Social Work or Environmental Social Work.
  • Students are immersed in a caring, supportive learning environment that integrates global understanding, sustainability, gender and identity, and civic engagement into all majors.
  • All students complete a capstone seminar that channels the knowledge they’ve accumulated into a discipline-specific project under close faculty guidance. Chatham is one of the few universities across the country that offers such an independent and student-driven program.

Managing Nonprofit Organizations

Through the use of case studies, assignments, and class projects, this course familiarizes students with the distinctiveness of nonprofit organizations and their management. Specific topics include marketing and fundraising, budgeting, personnel management and supervision, strategic planning and implementation, environmental and program evaluation, and managing interorganizational networks.

Introduction to Social Work, Social Justice, and Social Issues

This course examines selected social issues as well as related social welfare policies and programs. It introduces the profession of social work, key aspects of the professional knowledge base, fields of practice, and populations served by social workers. This course is appropriate for students who are considering social work as a profession as well as for those with an interest in related fields such as psychology, counseling, and public policy.

Introduction to Criminal Justice

Criminology is the study of crime, its cause, and its effects. This course covers definitions and types of crime, research methods, theories and responses to crime. Crimes against people, property, and organizations will be examined, and biological, psychological, and sociological explanations will be discussed.

View Full Curriculum

Our Faculty

If one word could best sum up Chatham's faculty, it would be engaged. Professors bring experiences to relate the course lessons to real-world situations.

Full Faculty
Photo of Melissa Bell
Associate Professor, Social Work Program Director
Photo of Nichole Bayliss
Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for Psychology
Photo of Mark Haney
Program Director/Department Chair, Business & Entrepreneurship
Photo of smiling Chatham University students working at Eden Hall Farm in the field removing weeds.

Join the Club

As a complement to your social services education, you may consider joining Chatham’s University’s highly-active social work club, SWIRL (Social Work is Real Life), which provides opportunities for you to attend local and regional social work conferences.

Learn About SWIRL : Checkerboard 1 - Join the Club
Photo of a Chatham University student in a black blazer and name tag shaking the hand of an elderly man at a networking event.

Women's Leadership Certificates

The certificate in women's leadership offered by the Women's Institute at Chatham University is a multi-disciplinary program designed to equip students with the theory, skills, and practice of leadership. Students earning a certificate will be prepared to take on leadership roles in their chosen fields and beyond, from business, politics, science, and the arts to healthcare, education, non-profits, NGO’s, and more. 

Photo of four female Chatham University students smiling and posing together in purple Chatham t-shirts.

Intercollegiate Project Management Triathlon

"I thought this (Intercollegiate Project Management Triathlon) competition was out of my comfort zone because it was a business-focused event. After studying and competing, I realized how versatile and useful project management knowledge is in social services!  I am proud of this accomplishment and am excited to take the knowledge from this experience into my career!" 
- Anna Ecklund ‘19, second from the left, member of the team that received 1st Runner Up