What is the difference between the Part-time to Full-time (Extended) Program and the Two-Year Program?

The Part-time to Full-time (Extended) Program and the Two-Year Program are the same in terms of degree requirements.The unique feature of our Extended Program is that you are able to extend the time it takes you to complete your degree requirements as you are permitted to take a reduced course-load during your first year. In your second and third years, when you are in practicum placement and registered for concurrent required practice courses, you will be enrolled at the School full time. The biggest practical difference between the Part-time to Full-time (Extended) and Two-Year programs is how students are billed for tuition. As an Part-time to Full-time (Extended) Program student, you will be billed per credit each term until you complete your degree requirements. Two-Year Program students, by contrast, are charged a flat-rate tuition.

Am I able to complete the program part-time?

The Part-time to Full-time (Extended) Program is not a part-time program. This program allows you to begin, and possibly end, your studies at CSSW with a reduced course load. Once you begin your practicum placement requirements, you will be registered as a full-time student. Full-time status means you are registered for at least 10.5 credits, which usually equates to Practicum Learning and two classes (the required concurrent practice courses). NOTE: In order to qualify for scholarships and/or work-study funding, you must be enrolled full time and in practicum.

What classes do I take during my first year?

In your first year, you should plan to take:

  • T660A Human Behavior and the Social Environment-A
  • T660B Human Behavior and the Social Environment-B
  • T6501 Social Work Research
  • T6801 Social Welfare Policy.

These are background courses that should be completed prior to beginning Practicum Learning.

Can I take summer classes?

Yes. The School offers one summer session, which begins the week after commencement in May and ends either the last week of June (classes that meet twice a week) or the last week of July (classes that meet once a week). If your first term of enrollment is in January, then you should automatically plan to take summer classes. As a first step, please consult with your advisor and the Office of Student Affairs (send an e-mail to to confirm whether the summer classes you have in mind will be offered and you are eligible to sign up.

NOTE: You must enroll for at least six credits in order to be eligible for federal loans.

Can I complete a minor?

Yes, but with some restrictions. If you are selected to pursue the Law Minor, please be mindful that Columbia Law School will not allow you to enroll in classes unless you are already registered as a full-time student. All other minors do not require full-time status. For more details, go to minor requirements in the Student Handbook

When do I declare my method area?

At the mandatory practicum Placement Fair held in February, you will have opportunities to meet with agency representatives and listen to panel discussions from instructors who teach in the four method areas and seven fields of practice. Thereafter, you may schedule one-on-one meetings with practicum Department staff to discuss your interest areas and possible placements in those areas. You will also have access, online and in hard copy, to a Placement Planning book, which provides instructions regarding placement selection, an overview of the various methods and fields of practice, and an annotated list of placement sites. Approximately one month following the fair, you will be asked to submit a form listing your top six placement choices. Most students receive one of their choices. (In rare cases, practicum Department staff may develop a new placement they think would be a great fit for a particular student, but they will approach the student first before moving forward.) NOTE: One of the best sources of information about your second-year placement are students who are now completing their second year. Opportunities will be provided for you to reach out to them as well during the selection process.

What happens when I start practicum? How many classes do I take then?

Once you start practicum, you are required to take the following classes concurrently:

  • First term: T7100 Foundations of SW Practice
  • Second term: T7102 Direct Practice II and T7103 Advocacy in SW Practice
  • Third term: Method area practice course (T7113, 7133, T7143, or T7122) and a field of practice course (T69XX)
  • Fourth term: Second practice course (T7114, T7134, T7144 or T7124 and T7126).

In addition to these courses, which must be taken in the listed sequence, you will be required to take an advanced research course along with electives or other required courses. For more details, go to program requirements for your selected method area in the Student Handbook.

When do I absolutely have to complete all of my requirements?

All degree requirements must be completed within five years of matriculation at the School.

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

For help with additional registration-related questions, 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.