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Columbia School of Social Work logo

Columbia School of Social Work

Columbia University
New York, NY


Details at a Glance

  • School Type

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  • Application Fee

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  • Financial Aid Available

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Our Program

Columbia School of Social Work — leading social work education and research since 1898.

Offering the first program of its kind in the United States, the Columbia School of Social Work has been at the forefront of the field for more than 100 years. Today, our students are actively engaged in making a meaningful difference in lives and communities through intensive academic study, groundbreaking research, and unparalleled field experiences.

The MSW program at Columbia University prepares students for entry into advanced social work practice. Our curriculum emphasizes:

promoting social and economic justice,

particularly for populations at risk;

practicing with diverse populations; and evaluating practice outcomes.

As a first year student, you will take foundational courses on generalist social work practice. As a second-year student, you can choose from four concentration areas and seven fields of practice. You can learn more about our MSW Pathways on our website.


Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice*

Develop skills and expert knowledge in state-of-the-art approaches to promote the resilience and well-being of individuals and families.

Advanced Generalist Practice and Programming**

Develop skills that span social work practice at individual and community levels, including program planning, advocacy, and evidence-based interventions.

Policy Practice*

Develop the skills for conducting policy analysis, policy advocacy, and research on behalf of a just society.

Social Enterprise Administration*

Develop the skills for organizational management in governmental and non-governmental agencies, as well as for the creation of new ventures that address compelling social problems.

Fields of Practice


Contemporary Social Issues

Family, Youth, and Children's Services*

Health, Mental Health and Disabilities*

International Social Welfare and Services to Immigrants and Refugees

School-Based and School-Linked Services

World of Work

*available to students enrolled in our online campus

**available to students enrolled in our online campus starting fall 2020

Columbia students benefit from our long-standing and vast network of partnerships with social service organizations, including hospitals, courts, substance abuse clinics, prisons, international governmental organizations and community health clinics. We are proud to offer well over 900 field placements in the city of New York and hundreds more throughout the United States.

Online Campus

Columbia School of Social Work’s online campus is available nationwide. Online MSW students take classes with leading Columbia faculty and are placed at a field agency in their nearest metropolitan area. You can find more details about this 21st-century education path on our online MSW page.

Connect with Us!

Please contact the Office of Admissions at 212-851-2400 or to learn more.

Visit our website here for the latest information session and webinar schedule. You may also meet one of our admissions representatives when they are in a city near you this fall.


  • Application Fee

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    Personal Statement
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    3 Letters of Recommendation

Application Deadline

For spring term (January) admission:

October 15 of the preceding year

Available program options: 16-month Program (on-campus only); Extended and Reduced Residency Programs (on-campus & online).

For fall term (September) admission:



Student Body

  • Total Students

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    950 Students


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    Dedicated Diversity Office

Clubs & Associations

25+ student groups providing opportunities to cultivate relationships with peers while advocating for social causes.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Additional Information

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    Work-study Programs Available
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    Financial Aid Available
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    Application Fee Waivers Available
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    90 percent of students who filed a FAFSA for the 2018-2019 academic year received financial aid