Academic Programs

The Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW), which is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, awards two degrees:

  1. Master of Science (M.S.) in Social Work
  2. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Social Work

M.S. Program

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in Social Work combines rigorous academic training with the application of social work concepts and skills in the real world. It is organized around in-depth study in one of four program concentrations, or methods: Advanced Clinical Practice, Advanced Generalist Practice and Programming, Policy Practice, and Social Enterprise Administration. Typically, students enroll full-time for two years of consecutive fall and spring semesters, earning 60 credits and 1,200 field instruction hours. The degree qualifies graduates for the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) and CA licensing examinations.

If you are thinking about applying to the program and have questions, please e-mail us at cussw-admit@columbia.edu or call 212-851-2400 (M-F, 9am-5pm EST). If you are an admitted/current student and have questions, we suggest that you go to the front desk of student support services on the 5th floor of the Social Work Building and/or visit the Student Resources area of this site.

Ph.D. Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in Social Work is offered by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and administered by the School of Social Work. It prepares candidates for careers as researchers, scholars and educators. Doctoral students choose from among three concentrations—advanced practice, social policy and policy analysis, or social policy and administration—and take advanced courses in social work as well as a wide range of courses in other Columbia professional schools. A Ph.D. candidate will take approximately two years of full-time coursework; master content in a social work method, a related behavioral or social science, and a substantive field of practice; and prepare and defend a dissertation.

The Doctoral Program Chair is Julien Teitler (jot8@columbia.edu; 212-851-2385).  If you have any questions about the program, please contact Associate Director Jessica Troiano at jt2235@columbia.edu or 212-851-2389. The Doctoral Office is located on the 9th floor of the School of Social Work, in rooms 919 and 917.