With the start of the fall semester, the Columbia School of Social Work welcomed a new class of 447 Master of Social Work students. The students, most of whom will graduate in 2020, come from different walks of life and 16 different countries. To give you a sense of their diversity, we offer some quick statistics.

As usual, the majority of students (around 74%) have enrolled in our two-year full-time program. Other students are spread across our Advanced Standing, Extended, Reduced Residency, and Transfer programs.

The average age of Two-Year and Advanced Standing Program students is 25; of Extended, Reduced Residency, and Transfer Program students, 33. The majority of students in the new class (87%) are female. Sixty percent of the new class is African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, or of multiple races/ethnicities.

Forty-five percent of the new students are from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. After the tristate area, California, Texas, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania have significant representations, but across all programs, 39 states are represented.

We also have students from outside the United States. Around 13% of the incoming class comprises students on international visas, with the largest contingent coming from China.

For the third year running, students who reside in the United States had the option of joining our online campus. Online students make up around 18% of Fall 2018’s entering class. Online students tend to be slightly older than on-campus students but like them are a diverse mix of ages, ethnicities, and geographic regions.

We are excited for the incoming class to start their journey at CSSW. To help the incoming class get off on the right foot, our Communications Office has created a short film that offers advice about campus life—from students we spoke to just before they graduated.

You’ll hear recent graduates urge you to make the most of your time at CSSW—to speak up in class, to ask questions, to use the Writing Center, to attend programs and events, and to take classes at Columbia’s other schools.

But most of all, they say, form strong relationships with fellow students, professors, administrators, advisors, and field supervisors. As one graduate put it, “You can do the hardest work as long as you have a supportive team around you.”

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