Academic Programs


Columbia University’s School of Social Work awards two degrees:

  1. Master of Science degree program in social work (MSW)
  2. Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work (PhD)

We also offer continuing education workshops for social workers and other health professionals, along with for-credit courses for CSSW alumni.

MSW Program, Residential and Online

The Master of Science degree program in social work (MSW) combines rigorous academic training with the application of social work concepts and skills in the real world. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the program is organized around in-depth study in one of four areas: 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.

Columbia School of Social works currently offers a choice of platforms for studying for the MSW degree: residential, online, or hybrid. For information on our Online MSW, go to our Online Campus page.

Thinking about applying to the program? We recommend the following steps:

Questions? Please e-mail us at or call 212-851-2400 or 1-855-532-5200 (M-F, 9am – 5pm EST).

Book volumes in a library

Ph.D. Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in Social Work has produced many of the world’s most influential leaders in social work and social welfare scholarship since its inception in 1950. Doctoral students enjoy opportunities to learn from and conduct research side-by-side with nationally and internationally recognized scholars in their fields—and not only within the School of Social Work, but beyond in the other social and behavioral sciences departments at Columbia as well.

The doctoral program is offered by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and administered by the School of Social Work.

Successful completion of the Doctoral Program requires approximately two full-time years of course work (typically, four courses per semester), plus time for tutorials, research projects, examinations, and dissertation work. Required course work is taken both within the School of Social Work and in other social and behavioral science departments at Columbia University.

Thinking of applying to our PhD program? We recommend you visit our PhD program page and read the PhD Resource Guide.

Questions? Please contact Acting Director of Administration Nicole Schroeder at or 212-851-2389.

Columbia School of Social Work Alma Mater statue

Continuing Education

The Columbia School of Social Work’s Office of Professional Excellence offers continuing education workshops on a variety of mental health care topics, designed to meet the interests of practicing professionals. These programs provide practicing social workers in New York State and New Jersey with the opportunity to earn contact hours for maintaining their professional licenses. Go to current workshop offerings.

In addition, two of our faculty members, Dr. M. Katherine Shear and Dr. Andre Ivanoff, sponsor intensive training workshops for mental health care providers. Dr. M. Katherine Shear offers a series of workshops on Complicated Grief Treatment. Dr. Ivanoff has established a partnership with Behavioral Tech, which offers a ten-day workshop in Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

NOTE TO ALUMNI: If you’re an alum of the Columbia School of Social Work, you are eligible to enroll in a number of LCSW-approved for-credit courses every semester (Spring, Summer and Fall), which at the same time will earn you 22.5– 45 contact hours for the New York State continuing education requirements. Go to current course offerings.