Our program has a strong focus on clinical social work, a systems or biopsychosocial approach that includes assessment of and intervention with individuals, families, or groups of people from a psychological, biological, environmental, and cultural perspective.
Unlike many other programs, our students do not have to choose a concentration or track. Our rigorous clinical training provides a strong foundation whether your interest is practice, policy, research, or administration. Through our expansive range of electives and field placement agencies, once you have completed your foundational courses you have the option to concentrate your education on specific aspects of social work or expand your knowledge related to a range of professional interests.
NYU Silver’s global learning opportunities are another distinctive feature of our school. Through our study abroad courses and MSW Program at Shanghai and New York, our students can develop cross-cultural competencies and perspective.
Students may also explore specialized areas of practice through our competitive fellowship programs in Palliative Care and Adaptive Leadership, and our Focused Learning Opportunities, which incorporate classroom learning, colloquia, and related field placements, in areas including substance abuse, evidence-based mental health practice, and youth and families.
Our faculty includes both top scholars, who are creating new knowledge for tomorrow’s social work practice, and experienced practitioners, who bring vivid examples of their clinical work to the classroom. All of our faculty are accessible to and work closely with students.
Finally, in addition to providing access to robust career development services through NYU’s Wasserman Center for Career Development, NYU Silver has its own Office of Career & Professional Development, which provides students social-work specific programming and support. As a result, our graduates have exceptional career outcomes.
The approach is a holistic or biopsychosocial one that stresses a multi-dimensional perspective of human development and behavior including psychological, biological, environmental, cultural, family, community, and societal factors. Theory and research-informed practice are well integrated with concurrent practice and field learning. Student learning experiences from field placements are examined in the classroom and theoretical knowledge from the classroom is put into action in the field placement.
Yes. You will acquire the basic foundation of social work practice in your first year. In your second year, you will take advanced classes in clinical social work. For students who are interested in practice with organizations and communities, the Micro/Macro Focused Learning Opportunity provides an emphasis in the field and the classroom on policy analysis or program development, management, and evaluation. The Silver School of Social Work is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and provides the credentials necessary for you to apply for a social work license after graduating from the program.
You must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum of 60 liberal arts credits; a strong academic record demonstrating an ability to handle intellectual graduate education; the capacity to conceptualize and make judgments; strong writing and verbal skills; knowledge of and a commitment to social work; emotional maturity, personal regard for others, respect for diversity, and a capacity for self-awareness and personal growth; and a commitment to the values that underscore the social work profession. Readiness for social work education includes related work or volunteer experience and undergraduate courses in social and behavioral sciences. When an applicant does not have these, the admission committee examines an applicant’s involvement in community activities or participation in organizations committed to humanistic values. Read more about the requirements for the MSW Program.
In general, your application should contain your statement of purpose, official transcripts from all undergraduate or graduate schools attended, three letters of reference, and a résumé. A practice statement is required if you are applying for the advanced standing or extended one-year residence programs. Field placement evaluation (or practicum evaluation) is required if you are applying as a transfer student. A practicum evaluation is required of all Advanced standing applicants. In addition to the general requirements, there are some program-specific application requirements. You can see them all on our Applications Requirements page.
Please click on the "Apply Now" button on this webpage to create an application. You do not need to complete the entire application at one time. Once you have started your application, you may log in as often as is necessary to complete/upload all the required components.
Americorps, City Year, Peace Corps, Teach for America, US military members, or US veterans are eligible for an application fee waiver. If you are employed at a social service agency where one of our MSW students has a field placement, you are eligible for an application fee waiver. And, if you are participant in an academic pipeline program such as a McNair Scholars, HEOP or EOP, you are eligible for an application fee waiver. Prior to submitting your application, email your request for an application fee waiver to email@example.com and include documentation of service, participation, or employment.
If you are experiencing significant financial hardship and would like to request an application fee waiver, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with details of why you require a fee waiver and include documentation of your financial situation. Examples of documentation could be a letter from your undergraduate financial aid office, a Student Aid Report (the confirmation of your processed FAFSA form), a letter from an unemployment office or office of family assistance. The admissions committee will consider each request.
Note that the application fee is non-refundable, so please be sure to contact the Admissions and Enrollment Services Office at email@example.com prior to paying your application fee.
You can begin the following pathways in the spring semester (starting in late January): Extended One-Year Residence; Extended; 16-Month Accelerated (full-time); Non-Matriculated.
Our admissions committee is made up of faculty and they recommend all admission decisions. After we receive a complete application, our committee needs between four and eight weeks to evaluate it.
Your letters of reference are intended to help the admissions committee assess your potential for graduate study in the field of social work. Most helpful are recommendations from undergraduate or graduate professors or advisers who can attest to your preparedness for an advanced degree program. Because social work is a helping profession, it is equally important to seek references from people who may have supervised you in work, internships, or volunteer experiences related to the field of social work. If you do not have access to such references, then you may use an employer, supervisor, or someone who can evaluate your personal, professional, and academic potential for graduate social work education. We strongly recommend against letters of reference from therapists, friends, or family members.
You can submit recommendations from professionals. These letters are intended to indicate your potential for social work and your level of professionalism and specific skills that may be applicable to this field. Your professional recommendations may also comment on skills that are relevant to your academic abilities, i.e., writing skills, research and analytical skills, and problem-solving skills. You should submit personal recommendations only when you have exhausted your professional contacts.
The GRE is NOT required for our MSW program. You may send us your GRE scores, but they do not factor heavily in our admission decision for the MSW program.
Yes. We look at the quality of the entire application in addition to your GPA. If your GPA is weak, we encourage you to write about your undergraduate academic circumstances in your statement of purpose. Also, there may be other parts of your application that compensate for a weak GPA. Lastly, you might consider taking courses as a non-matriculated (non-degree) student to display readiness for graduate work.
You may be considered for admission without social work experience; however, we strongly suggest that you begin a volunteer experience before or during the application process. Since this is a professional school and degree, we want all of our students to be cognizant of the field.
No. The Advanced Standing pathway is for students who have earned a bachelor's degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program within the last five years. You might be eligible for our Extended One-Year Residence (OYR) pathway. Read more about this program in the answer below.
We have three pathways that are a combination of part-time and full-time study: Extended, Extended One-Year Residence (OYR), and 32-Month for Working Professionals. For people changing careers, or people without experience in social services, the Extended and 32-Month pathways are the best options. The Extended OYR pathway is for people who work in social services and want to do their field placements at their current jobs.
While both pathways feature the same course and degree requirements, the MSW Program at Shanghai and New York places greater emphasis on global and multi-cultural content. Students have the opportunity to complete field placements in two different cities and in some cases, two different languages. The Shanghai program also emphasizes a cohort model, with small class sizes, close mentorship by full-time faculty based in Shanghai, and access to the vast resources and support services at both campuses.
We offer courses on Saturdays at the Washington Square and Westchester County campuses. Additionally, the 32-Month for Working Professionals pathway can include weekend field placements. We also have evening classes at all of our campuses.
Our student body is very diverse on many levels. Our students have a great mix of backgrounds and life experience, which enriches both the classroom experience and the student community here at the Silver School of Social Work. Our rich learning opportunities, coupled with the stimulating and eclectic learning environment of our campuses in New York City, Rockland, Westchester and Shanghai, helps us attract and enroll a diverse student body. We actively recruit students from all over the United States, and the reputation of our faculty, School, and University helps attract a growing international student population.
We accept transfer students who have completed their first year at a CSWE-accredited graduate social work program. We also accept students who have taken up to 12 credits (four courses) at a CSWE-accredited graduate social work program within the last five years. Practice social work courses will not transfer. Students must have earned a grade of B or better and the content of the course must be equivalent to ours. Courses will not transfer if they were credited toward a previous degree or if they were taken more than five years ago.
No, materials should be uploaded in our online application. Official transcripts can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org from your college or digital credential service, or they can be mailed to:
New York University
Silver School of Social Work
Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services
1 Washington Square North
New York, NY 10003-6654
No, letters of reference must be uploaded in our online application.
Yes, we have an online application. Please click on the "Apply Now" button on this webpage to find the application.
No, we recommend that you apply now and include an unofficial transcript from your university or college, which we will use to render a conditional admission decision. Please send us a second official transcript that indicates your final grades and your conferred degree as soon as it becomes available.
No, you can complete the FAFSA after your application has been submitted.
We encourage you to discuss your schedule and the possibility of changing programs with your academic adviser. If you both agree that part-time study is appropriate, you should email the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services stating that you wish to change your academic program.
At NYU’s many international locations and through associations with partner institutions, a full range of globally oriented programming occurs around the world. Students and faculty take advantage of all kinds of opportunities—from study abroad programs to School-sponsored research experiences, and curriculum-driven degree programming to global community service projects. Students are attracted to our School for its wide variety of global learning options. Whether it is spending your first year in Shanghai, China or studying over the summer or during winter break, students can learn and engage in different cultures as part of their MSW education.
In Shanghai, non-Chinese nationals will require a student visa and NYU Shanghai staff are available to provide support during the visa application process. If pursuing the Extended Pathway in Shanghai, because NYU is unable to sponsor a visa for part-time study, non-Chinese nationals must already have a Chinese visa or residence permit appropriate for part-time study. In New York City, non-U.S. citizens will require a student visa and staff in the NYU Office of Global Services are available to provide support.
Our required courses and practice classes consist of 15–25 students. Some elective classes might be larger due to student demand.
An MSW prepares you for a wide range of job opportunities, including but not limited to mental health settings, school, hospitals, substance abuse programs, Employee Assistant Programs (EAPs), family and children’s services, and geriatrics. Learn more about the vast career possibilities on our Degrees Without Limits page.
The Micro/Macro Practice Focused Learning Opportunity provides courses and field options that prepare you to work with organizations and communities, as well as with individuals, families, and groups. Another option is to apply to one of our dual-degree programs in social work and public health, social work and law, or social work and public administration. Learn more about these dual-degree options.
Full-time students spend three days (21 hours) per week at their field placement and two days in the classroom (four classes). Some full-time students choose to take all four classes in one day. Part-time students generally have 21 hours per week at their field placements; however, some do fewer hours each week (15 hours per week), extending their placements through summer. This arrangement depends upon the needs and agreement of the field site. There are a limited number of field placements where weekend or night hours are available. Part-time students take classes in one or two evenings per week or on Saturdays. The advanced concentration year of the program requires 21 hours of field learning during the week.
As a non-degree student in our non-matriculated exploratory option, you can complete up to 12 credits, or four courses, from the following classes: Human Behavior I; Social Welfare Programs and Policies I; Human Behavior II; Diversity, Racism, Oppression, and Privilege; and Research I.
As a non-degree student in our ONRAMP online exploratory option, you can complete up to 6 credits, or two courses: Human Behavior I and Human Behavior II.
Learn more about our exploratory options
Graduate housing is available to students at the Washington Square campus on a very limited basis. Most students live off campus. You may wish to consult NYU’s guide to off campus living.
NYU Shanghai's undergraduate dormitory has limited space available for graduate students; vacancies are rare and thus cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, graduate students typically live in off-campus apartments in Shanghai. Like any large cosmopolitan city, Shanghai features an abundance of off-campus options to suit various lifestyles and budgets. Students may also find helpful a resource guide prepared and made available by the NYU Shanghai Office of Graduate and Advanced Education. Admitted students are encouraged to contact each other about shared housing arrangements.
One major difference between psychology and social work is that the two-year master’s degree in social work is a terminal professional degree. The MSW allows you to enter the professional job market right after graduation and enables you to apply for licensure. A master’s degree in psychology doesn’t qualify you to be licensed in most states or for most positions as a psychologist. Normally you are required to earn a PhD or PsyD in psychology to be a psychologist. It is important for you to examine your interests, goals, and timeframe in order to answer these questions. Although there are some overlaps in the curricula, the philosophy of the education differs. Social work is unique in that it integrates learning through concurrent academic study and field experiences, whereas PhD programs in psychology begin with several years of academic study before moving students into clinical internship. Additionally, social work places a greater emphasis on the environmental systems that impact clients and on issues of social justice. Psychology programs teach you how to administer tests and focus on research more than social work programs.