Fellowship program for master's degree in social work prepares next generation of clinical leaders for evidence-based practice

The Leadership Fellows Program at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences (school of social work) at Case Western Reserve University is designed for exceptionally qualified candidates with high aspirations to make a positive influence in the world. The program is for individuals seeking a master's degree in social work and a career in clinical leadership with an emphasis upon implementing evidence-based practices in human service organizations. Qualified candidates with a bachelor's degree in any discipline will be considered. Each fellow will earn a Master of Social Science Administration (MSSA) by studying full time for two years in one of the specializations in the Mandel School's direct-practice course of study:

  • Aging
  • Alcohol and other Drugs
  • Children, Youth, and Families
  • Health
  • Mental Health


Fellows receive full-tuition scholarships for their two-year, full-time program of study. They also work in field placements in human service organizations as part of their course of study and receive a monthly stipend for the work. In addition, fellows receive $500 per year for participation in professional-development activities, such as attending and presenting at conferences.


Candidates with a bachelor's degree in any discipline will be considered if they demonstrate the following:

  • Superior undergraduate educational performance, 3.2 gradepoint average or higher (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Previous work experience or volunteer service in social work or related human services
  • Evidence of leadership capabilities as demonstrated by previous positions of leadership, letters of reference, and a personal statement in the program application
  • Interest and capability to pursue a rigorous academic program, including additional program requirements
  • Completion of admission requirements for the Mandel School's master's program


Residents of our communities deserve the best services available to meet their needs. This is especially true for individuals and families who are the most vulnerable due to poverty, physical illness, mental illness, or addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Evidence-based practices are scientifically tested and empirically supported. They are models (or approaches to service) that research has shown improves the quality of life and other outcomes for individuals and families.

There are an increasing number of evidence-based practices available in a variety of professional fields, but these practices have not been widely implemented yet. As a student in the Mandel School's Leadership Fellows Program, you will learn how to address barriers to the use of these practices. All fellows will study with nationally-recognized faculty and be placed in fieldwork with leading human service agencies that are committed to implementing best practices for people in need.


Service organizations need good clinical leaders to help shape the direction of their future. They need leaders who are trained to understand the relationship among service-systems change, organizational change, and clinical change, and they need leaders who are trained to work with the facilitators and barriers to implementation of evidence-based practice. Students in the Leadership Fellows Program will learn the skills to make a direct and profound impact upon the quality of service delivery for the most vulnerable populations in their communities. Graduates of the program will become the next generation of leaders in the social work profession who are highly capable of implementing and sustaining evidence-based clinical practice.


Alumni of the Mandel School are employed in all 50 states and in 31 countries. Our master's program has consistently attracted students of the highest caliber from around the world. Among our graduates are accomplished clinical leaders and administrators in a variety of leading human service agencies and organizations.



David E. Biegel, Ph.D., Henry L. Zucker Professor of Social Work Practice ((NOTE: HE HAS RETIRED))

For specific questions about the Leadership Fellows Program, contact its Director:
David E. Biegel, Ph.D., Henry L. Zucker Professor of Social Work Practice, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University


For questions about applications to and admissions criteria for the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, contact the following:

  • Office of Student Services
  • Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • 10900 Euclid Avenue
  • Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7164
  • 800-863-6772 (toll free)
  • 216-368-2280 (phone)
  • 216-368-5065 (fax)
  • msassadmit@case.edu
  • case.edu/socialwork