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Located in Upper Manhattan in the heart of New York City, Columbia University opened its doors in the 1750s and counts itself among the nation’s oldest and most prestigious universities. This Ivy League school specializes in numerous disciplines, including law, public health, and social work. The Columbia University School of Social Work currently offers a highly regarded master’s program.

Columbia University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The Columbia social work department’s programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Featured Programs in Social Work

Columbia University Department of Social Work

The Columbia School of Social Work offers an MSW program that traces its roots back to social philanthropy courses offered by the New York City Charity Organization in the 1880s. The school leverages this deep tradition, though also prides itself on its modernity. In fact, the MSW program includes 28 concentrations and nine dual degree options that reflect the broad, modern state of the field. The school develops leaders in the field, and prepares graduates to improve lives and advance social justice.

Online Social Work Programs

Columbia University offers an MSW and a Ph.D. program in social work. Students can complete the MSW program online, choosing from 28 specializations. Credit requirements vary, but students can complete the program in a year, 16 months, or two years. The online program eliminates on-campus requirements, letting students complete fieldwork at placement sites in their own communities. Admissions requirements for the online program do not differ from those of the on-campus program.

On-Campus Social Work Programs

Students can also complete the MSW program at Columbia entirely on campus, though many students opt for a hybrid option. This allows learners to take some courses online while completing some requirements on campus in New York City. Students can also complete a Ph.D. program in social work on campus at Columbia, as the university does not currently offer an online option for that degree.

Columbia University Online Social Work Degree Programs

Online Master’s in Social Work

Program Overview

  • Department: School of Social Work
  • Program Name: Master of Social Work
  • Concentrations: 28 options


  • Format: Online or hybrid
  • Instruction Style: Synchronous

Program Requirements

  • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree
  • Credit Requirements: 60 credits
  • Field Education Requirements: 1,200 hours

Program Length

  • Program Options: Full-time or part-time
  • Program Length: 1 year, 16 months, or 2 years
  • Program Start Dates: Fall or spring

Admission Requirements

  • Application Deadline: December 1 (priority) or February 15 (fall); October 15 (spring)
Read more information about Social Work Degrees and Careers in New York