Jeanette Takamura

The impact of our faculty, students, and graduates on the wider world over the past five to ten years has been remarkable. Members of our faculty are doing ground-breaking intervention research on multiple dimensions of poverty-related issues that bear significant implications for the nation and the world. And our strength and breadth in clinical social work, along with policy, social enterprise administration, and advanced generalist practice and programming, are a noteworthy source of pride.

We have tenured 11 next-generation scholars and are preparing students who have incomparable opportunities to customize their studies. Many of our Ph.D. graduates hold positions in top-ranked universities. A large number of our alumni have started their own NGOs/NPOs. Many have risen to leadership positions in recognized institutions.

We are making waves, moving mountains, and changing lives—and we have our faculty, alumni, students, and staff to acknowledge for their passion, creativity, intelligence, and resolve.”

Jeanette C. Takamura, Dean and Professor, Columbia School of Social Work


The mission of the Columbia School of Social Work is to develop leaders in social work practice and research whose work advances professional values, knowledge, and skills through programs and policies that enhance well-being and promote human rights and social justice at the local, national, and global level. We derive this mission from Columbia University’s goal to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to use that knowledge for human betterment and societal advancement.  Recognizing the importance of New York as a global city, the School seeks academic relationships with many countries and regions. Go to full mission statement.


Did You Know?

Frances Perkins, a 1910 graduate of the Columbia School of Social Work (known then as the New York School of Philanthropy), went on to become America’s first female cabinet member. She served as secretary of labor from 1933 until 1945, longer than any other secretary. Perkins was a committed advocate for working people, establishing the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Labor Standards Bureau. She also strengthened labor-law enforcement and was the primary architect of Social Security. Go to historical timeline.