What is the difference between the 16-Month Program and the Two-Year Program?

There is no difference in the graduation requirements for the 16-Month and Two-Year Programs. The difference between the two programs lies in the time it takes to complete these requirements. As a 16-Month Student, you begin your program in January, continue with field and coursework throughout the summer, and then complete your second-year requirements in the subsequent Fall and Spring terms.

How do I register for classes?

All student register for courses during their designated registration time via Student Services Online (SSOL), the University’s Web-based registration system. NOTE: Our Office of Student Services will provide a detailed how-to guide as well as reminders of the self-registration process prior to the registration periods.

What classes will I take in my first year?

For the first term, all 16-Month Program students are registered for:

  • T660A Human Behavior and the Social Environment-A
  • T6501 Social Work Research
  • T6801 Social Welfare Policy
  • T7100 Foundations of Social Work Practice
  • T6010 Practicum Learning.

In the second term, you are required to register for:

  • T660B Human Behavior and the Social Environment-B
  • T7102 Direct Practice II
  • T7103 Advocacy in SW Practice
  • T6010 Practicum Learning.

Go to sample study plans for 16-Month Program students in the Student Handbook.

What will my schedule look like in the summer?

Summer term is essentially the same as the second term for a Two-Year Program student who began in the Fall. You will register for Field Education, T660B HBSE B, T7102 Direct Practice, and T7103 Advocacy in SW Practice. There are a limited number of electives offered in the summer in which you may enroll assuming that they fit your overall program plan. As in the Spring term, you will be in classes on Wednesday and Thursdays, and in field on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Summer term begins at the end of May and continues for 10 weeks, through the end of July.

I’ve already taken some social work courses. How do I receive transfer credit?

The School will allow you to transfer a maximum of nine credits, of which no more than six can be for elective courses. You can receive credits for prior courses if they were taken at another accredited school of social work within the past five years and you earned at least a B. You are required to submit a form listing those courses for review. For more details, Transfer Credit Policy Statement (PDF: 2 pages).

Where can I find detailed course descriptions and course requirements for my classes?

By the time orientation week begins, all of your courses—including their requirements, syllabi, grading policies, and online readings—should be posted on CourseWorks.

How do I change my classes?

During the first two weeks of classes each term, space permitting, there is an add/drop period when you can switch certain courses via the online registration system in Student Services Online. NOTE: Since your T7100 Foundations of SW Practice course is linked to your practicum placement and advisor assignment, this course can only be changed via a request to the Office of Advising (send an e-mail to

I would like to take classes at another Columbia graduate school. How do I do that?

You are able to enroll in classes at other Columbia University schools to count either as elective credits (related and pre-approved graduate-level courses only) or as “extra” courses that are covered under the School’s flat-rate billing program, which allows you to register for a maximum of 19.5 credits per term in the Fall and Spring. NOTE: Our flat-rate tuition plan does not cover classes taken at Teacher’s College, Jewish Theological Seminary, or Union Theological Seminary. If you choose to register for a course at one of those schools, you will be charged tuition in addition to your flat-rate cost.

As each Columbia graduate school has its own cross-registration policies and procedures, our Office of Student Services compiles a document every term with links to classes at other schools that are open to CSSW students along with detailed instructions for registration, with links to necessary forms. This information is e-mailed to all students during the registration period and can also be found online.

Are my instructors evaluated? If so, where can I find copies of their evaluations?

Instructor evaluations are available in a binder in the Social Work Library (2nd floor) and the Student Union Office (4th floor). We would also encourage you to reach out to your second-year colleagues for feedback about instructors’ teaching styles, classroom expectations, and areas of specialization.

How do I verify that I’m taking all the required courses and sufficient credits to obtain my degree at the end of this year?

Program requirements are listed in the Student Handbook, which can be used as a checklist for completing your degree requirements. We suggest that you also get in the habit of checking your Degree Audit Report on Student Services Online (SSOL). Additionally, you are welcome to reach out to the Offices of Student Services and Advising to verify that you’re on track. NOTE: The Office of Enrollment and Student Services monitors students’ enrollment and registration and, where possible, will alert you if any problems are identified, but it is your responsibility to complete your degree requirements.

Which classes count for the New York State LCSW?

I want to complete the required LCSW licensing coursework, even though I’m not a Clinical Method student. Is that possible?

If you are interested in completing the clinical licensing coursework requirements for New York State prior to graduating, it is possible to do so, even if you have not chosen to specialize in Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice. This is particularly easy for an Integrated Practice and Programming (AGPP) student, who can simply ensure that all nine credits of electives are approved clinical electives. Social Enterprise Administration (SEA) and Policy students, on the other hand, will need to take more than the 60 credits required to complete their degree requirements. NOTE: For clinical licensing requirements for states other than New York, go to the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)’s List of Member Statutes and Regulations.

What if I have additional questions about class listings, course registration, or related matters?

For help with additional questions about registration-related matters, please contact the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment at:
Telephone: 212-851-2436; 212-851-2367

  • By appointment: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday. (After 5:00 p.m., appointments available by request.) Go to online appointment system.
  • Walk-in: Wednesdays, 10 a.m – 6 p.m.