Jim Baumohl

Professor Emeritus of Social Work and Social Research
Jim Baumohl headshot



  • M.S.W., University of California, Berkeley
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley


Jim Baumohl is an interdisciplinary scholar with a background in social welfare, sociology, and history; he was also a NIH pre-doctoral fellow in public health.  He holds undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.  Before turning to full-time academic employment, Baumohl organized tenants in single-room occupancy hotels; ran a shelter; supervised street outreach workers; and directed a multi-service agency.  He has written extensively about homelessness since 1973 and is the editor of Homelessness in America, a 1996 volume to benefit the National Coalition for the Homeless that was nominated for the Robert F. Kennedy Award for publications in social justice.  He is a co-editor of a 2003 volume reporting the results of a longitudinal study of disabled substance users disqualified from Supplemental Security Income.  He was for 20 years an associate editor of the interdisciplinary, international journal, Contemporary Drug Problems and serves on the editorial review board of Social Service Review. Baumohl came to Bryn Mawr in 1990 after teaching for several years at McGill University in Montreal.  He will retire from full-time teaching in June 2018.

Research and Scholarly Interests: Baumohl's current research concerns the federal campaign against opiate and opioid maintenance treatment between 1915 and 1965.

Substantive Specialization: The history of drug and alcohol control policy and treatment practices; social welfare policy history; homelessness.