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SSA Research Centers

Center for Health Administration Studies

The Center for Health Administration Studies (CHAS) at SSA has been a leader for over 75 years in research and education in health policy and services. CHAS engages an interdisciplinary and international group of health policy and services researchers on topics of health policy innovation and reform, health and social service integration, health access, cost and quality, behavioral health, global health, and preventive intervention. CHAS is well-known for expertise in health policy and service effectiveness for the disadvantaged.

An intentionally interdisciplinary center located in a graduate school of social work is a unique institutional form that both exploits and enriches the values and orientation of the University of Chicago. CHAS has explored new questions, identified knowledge gaps, sought to enhance the translation of research-to-practice, and identified opportunities for collaborations within and outside the University. Programs support faculty research, research dissemination and translation, student learning, and engage researchers, scholars, policy-makers, and practitioners.

The Center also supports an innovative health policy and research training program for graduate professional students at the University of Chicago, the Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy (GPHAP). GPHAP is unique among health administration programs in the United States. GPHAP allows students to earn either a Certificate in Health Administration and Policyor a Certificate in Health Administration and Policy with a Concentration in Global Health, while earning a degree in one of the participating graduate schools on campus: the Booth School of Business, the Harris School of Public Policy, the Law School, the Pritzker School of Medicine, and the School of Social Service Administration.

The Center is located within the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA). CHAS was established at the University of Chicago in 1962, and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013.

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

SSA partners with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, an independent entity. Chapin Hall has, since its inception in 1985 as a research and policy center, focused on a mission of improving the well-being of children and youth, families, and their communities. This mission is achieved through policy research—by developing and testing new ideas, generating and analyzing information, and examining policies, programs, and practices across a wide range of service systems and organizations. Chapin Hall's researchers meet regularly with policy-makers, agency directors, philanthropic organizations, and community groups to assure that important findings are placed directly in the hands of those who can best use them.

A number of faculty members from the School of Social Service Administration are partners with Chapin Hall and direct research under its auspices. SSA doctoral and master’s-level students form an integral part of many Chapin Hall research teams and are active participants in seminars and discussions. Please refer to the Chapin Hall website for more information about the organization’s research, publications, and conferences:

Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention

The Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP) brings together researchers, community representatives, practitioners, and policy-makers committed to understanding and reducing youth violence in high burden communities in Chicago—communities with some of the highest rates of youth violence in the country. The core work of the Center is focused on studying the causes and consequences of youth violence and using those data to inform the development and testing of prevention interventions to support children, youth, families, and the communities in which they live.

The Center’s primary aims are: 1) to build a coalition of community, policy, and academic partners to address the issues of youth and other forms of violence within Chicago neighborhoods; 2) to evaluate the process and impact of implementing a community-level prevention system in a high-risk urban community and to identify unique challenges and adaptations necessary for implementation in urban neighborhoods; 3) to evaluate and inform current policy strategies aimed at reducing youth and other forms of violence; 4) to provide training and technical assistance to build capacity for schools and community agencies to select and implement evidence-based interventions; 5) to evaluate the most promising existing interventions within the community; and 5) to use these data to inform policy and practice. 

Crime Lab

The University of Chicago Crime Lab seeks to improve our understanding of how to reduce crime and violence by helping government agencies and non-profit organizations develop innovative new approaches to reducing violence, and testing these new innovations using randomized controlled trials (RCTs). In 2011, the Crime Lab launched the Urban Education Lab to support RCTs specifically in the area of improving education outcomes, which, particularly in disadvantaged urban areas, are deeply connected to risk of violence involvement. In 2014, the Crime Lab announced the launch of the University of Chicago Crime Lab New York. Leading researchers will provide New York policy makers with rigorous and objective scientific evidence to help reduce crime, violence, and the costs of criminal justice in a new partnership with the City of New York. The Crime Lab began in April 2008 in partnership with the City of Chicago, and its work has been made possible by generous seed funding from the Joyce Foundation, the University of Chicago Office of the Provost, and SSA through the Center for Health Administration Studies (CHAS) and the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP).

Interdisciplinary Scholar Networks

SSA launched the Interdisciplinary Scholar Network initiative to bring together scholars across disciplinary and professional lines and to generate innovative and more comprehensive knowledge aimed at addressing some of society’s most intractable social problems. Two networks have been established:

  • The Employment Instability, Family Well-being and Social Policy Network (EINet): This research network enhances the capacity of the field to study employment instability at the lower end of the labor market and develops and evaluates interventions aimed at reducing employment instability and its effects on children and families.
  • The STI and HIV Intervention Network (SHINE): This network conducts research on the biological, behavioral, and structural factors that heighten vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections and HIV among vulnerable populations in the United States. SHINE develops and evaluates interventions to alleviate existing STI/HIV disparities.

Information and Application

For further information and application materials, contact the Office of Admissions, The School of Social Service Administration, 969 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637; telephone: (773) 702-1250 or by visiting the SSA website at