As the demand for skilled professionals in social work continues to grow, prospective students in New York are presented with a multitude of opportunities to pursue advanced degrees in the discipline. Master of Social Work (MSW) programs across the state offer a comprehensive blend of academic rigor and practical training, preparing individuals for impactful careers in various social service settings.

From bustling urban centers to serene rural communities, New York’s MSW programs cater to diverse interests and career goals. They provide students with the tools and knowledge necessary to navigate the complexities of human behavior, social systems, and community advocacy. In this article, we explore the landscape of MSW programs in New York, highlighting key features, program offerings, and the unique advantages of pursuing an MSW degree in the Empire State.

2024 - Best MSW Programs in New York

Explore's rankings of the top MSW programs in New York, meticulously curated to showcase the most exceptional programs. Our methodology evaluates completion rates, cost of living, institutional competitiveness, program diversity, and faculty expertise, ensuring a thorough assessment. Dive deeper into our ranking process on our methodology page for a comprehensive understanding.


Adelphi University

Garden City, NY

Discover Adelphi University's Master of Social Work (MSW) program, offering online and on-campus options. With specializations in trauma, substance abuse, and mental health, students receive specialized training. Engage in fieldwork experiences and benefit from small class sizes. Prepare for impactful careers in social work with Adelphi's comprehensive curriculum.


Binghamton University

Vestal, NY

Explore Binghamton University's MSW programs, offering both traditional and advanced standing tracks. With specializations in clinical practice and integrated healthcare, students receive comprehensive training. Engage in field placements and research opportunities. Prepare for impactful careers with Binghamton's flexible online options and renowned faculty expertise.


SUNY Brockport

Brockport, NY

Discover SUNY Brockport's MSW program, featuring both traditional and advanced standing options. With specializations in clinical practice and social change, students engage in experiential learning opportunities. Benefit from flexible scheduling and small class sizes. Prepare for impactful careers with SUNY Brockport's comprehensive curriculum and supportive faculty.


SUNY at Albany

Albany, NY

Explore the University at Albany's School of Social Welfare's Master of Social Work (MSW) program, featuring specialized tracks in Clinical Practice and Macro Practice. With a strong emphasis on research and field education, students engage in hands-on learning opportunities. Prepare for impactful careers in social work with UAlbany's comprehensive curriculum.


Touro University

Explore Touro University' Graduate School of Social Work's Master of Social Work (MSW) program, designed for aspiring social work professionals. With a focus on evidence-based practice and cultural competence, students engage in experiential learning and field placements. Prepare for impactful careers in social work with Touro's comprehensive curriculum and supportive faculty.

MSW Degree Program Requirements/Eligibility in New York

New York Traditional MSW Admissions Requirements

To become a social worker, you’ll need to enter into an MSW program – most likely a traditional one. These programs are geared toward students who don’t have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). You’ll need to commit two years and complete 60 credits (give or take). Here is a typical list of admissions requirements that are typical of MSW programs:

  • Bachelor’s degree, typically in psychology or a related area, from a regionally accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA requirement (typically around 3.0)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement or essay
  • Resume or CV outlining relevant experience
  • Completion of prerequisite courses (such as psychology, sociology, or human services)
  • GRE scores (some programs may waive this requirement)
  • Interview (some programs may require an interview as part of the application process)
  • Background check and/or fingerprinting

New York Advanced-Standing MSW Admissions Requirements

If you happen to have a BSW and a 3.5 (or higher) GPA, you’ll be eligible to apply to advance-standing MSW programs, a fast-tracked option that allows you to complete your MSW in as little as one year. To apply, you’ll need the admissions requirements above. Take a look at some of these well-known New York advanced-standing MSW programs:

RELATED: Learn more about Social Work Salaries

New York MSW Program Tuition and Costs

Because of its mix of urban and rural areas, the State of New York’s MSW tuition costs range widely. For New York residents attending state colleges, you can expect to pay a total of $29,260 for your graduate program. If you’re looking to attend an Ivy League school such as Columbia University, you’ll pay much more. Check out the full range of MSW tuition in New York below:

SchoolTuition (per credit hour)Total CreditsTotal Tuition
New York University$450 (Resident)
$1,000 (Non-resident)
65$29,260 (Resident)
$65,000 (Non-resident)
Columbia University$1,855 (Campus)
$1,735.73 (Online)
60$111,288 (Campus)
$104,144 (Online)
Central University of New York$620 (Resident)
$1,112 (Non-resident)
62$32,440 (Resident)
$68,944 (Non-resident)

Are Online MSW Programs in New York as Good as Campus-Based?

While the face-to-face interaction of in-person programs is still a big draw for many, the flexibility and convenience of online MSW programs are a significant advantage. Rest assured that online programs offer the same comprehensive curriculum as traditional, on-campus programs. Compare the pros and cons below to find out which program delivery method is ideal for you.

Traditional MSW vs. Online MSW Programs in New York

Traditional MSW ProgramsOnline MSW Programs
FormatIn-person classesOnline classes with some in-person requirements
FlexibilityLimited scheduling optionsMore flexibility in scheduling, often part-time options
LocationGeographically limitedAccessible from anywhere with internet connectivity
Learning EnvironmentClassroom-basedVirtual classroom, discussion boards, and online resources
NetworkingLocal networking opportunitiesNetworking with students and professionals from diverse locations
CostTuition, commuting, and relocation expensesGenerally lower tuition and flexibility to continue working
Hands-on ExperienceField placements and internshipsVirtual or field placements and internships arranged in the student's local area

To become licensed, you’ll need to make sure your MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), regardless of whether it’s an online program or not.

Learn more about Social Work Degree options:

Getting Your New York Social Work License

Getting licensed as a social worker is one of the main benefits of graduating from an MSW program. New York, like other states, has its own criteria for licensure. Learn the steps to get licensed in New York in our Guide to Social Work Licensure.

Popular Social Work Careers

Discover the specializations available to you within social work. These social work careers can help you work with diverse populations in a variety of environments.

Social worker talking to clients in their home.

School Social Worker

School social workers provide counseling, support, and advocacy for students facing social, emotional, or behavioral challenges. They collaborate with teachers, parents, and other professionals to develop student success strategies, provide crisis intervention, and facilitate support groups.

Healthcare Social Worker

Healthcare social workers assess patients' social, emotional, and practical needs. They provide counseling and support, coordinate care with healthcare providers, advocate for patients' rights, and connect patients and their families with community resources to ensure holistic and comprehensive care.

Court Social Worker

Court social workers assess the needs of individuals involved in court cases. They develop intervention plans, provide counseling and support, monitor progress in court-ordered programs, collaborate with legal professionals, and advocate for clients' best interests in legal proceedings.

List of MSW Degree Programs in New York

Albany, NY

Master's Programs
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
(518) 442-3300

Brockport, NY

Master's Programs
350 New Campus Dr
Brockport, NY 14420-2919
(585) 395-2361

Bronx, NY

Master's Programs
250 Bedford Park Blvd West
Bronx, NY 10468
(718) 960-8000

Master's Programs
441 E Fordham Rd
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 817-1000

Garden City, NY

South Ave
Garden City, NY 11530-0701
(516) 877-3000

Jamaica, NY

Master's Programs
94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd
Jamaica, NY 11451
(718) 262-2000

New York, NY

Master's Programs
524 W 59th St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 237-8000

Master's Programs
West 116 St and Broadway
New York, NY 10027
(212) 854-1754

Master's Programs
70 Washington Sq South
New York, NY 10012-1091
(212) 998-1212

Master's Programs
50 West 47th Street
New York, NY 10036
(646) 565-6000

Master's Programs
500 W 185th St
New York, NY 10033-3299
(212) 960-5400

Staten Island, NY

Master's Programs
2800 Victory Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10314
(718) 982-2000

Vestal, NY

4400 Vestal Parkway East
Vestal, NY 13850-6000
(607) 777-2000

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

Joel Gill
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