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.

To that end, the School aims to:

  • Prepare graduate students for advanced social work practice and professional leadership within a diverse learning environment
  • Advance knowledge for effective social work practice and education
  • Enhance the well-being of the people and communities of New York City, the nation, and around the world
  • Further the goals of the University and the social work profession though collaboration, consultation, and public service

More specifically, the School’s educational and research programs draw on social work values and a multi-disciplinary body of knowledge and skills in seeking to:

  • Reaffirm the importance of respectful, meaningful, collaborative relationships as a core element of social work practice
  • Strengthen practices, programs, and policies that support and enhance the opportunities, resources, and capacities of people to achieve their full potential
  • Prevent and alleviate personal, interpersonal, and societal problems
  • Redress conditions that limit human development and quality of life
  • Promote human rights, social justice, and respect for human diversity.