We found 25+ MSW programs in New York (over 20 CSWE Accredited MSW Programs). There are multiple Online MSW Programs in New York that are currently accepting applicants to their CSWE MSW program. There are also a number of MSW programs in New York that are currently in candidacy for CSWE accreditation (these are noted in our listings). Licensure for Social Workers in New York is administered by the NY State Education Department, and the National Social Workers is run by the NASW New York Chapter.

MSW Programs in New York

New York MSW Programs

Number of Accredited MSW Programs in New York Schools with MSW Programs
27 MSW programs in New York
New York Social Work Licensure Social Work Licensure
LCSW, LMSW and LSW licensure in New York is overseen by the NY State Education Department.
New York Social Work Organizations Social Work Careers
The National Association of Social Workers chapter in New York is the NASW New York Chapter.

If you’re based in New York state and considering a Master in Social Work (MSW) program, it can be daunting to find tenable options that will fit into your life. Thanks to online education options, it’s easier than ever to make an MSW work for you, and the state of New York has plentiful high-quality options to choose from.

In New York, there are 25 colleges with Master of Social Work programs. There are 17 MSW programs that are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education with campuses within the state of New York.

New York City, the most populous city in the country, is the hub of NY MSW programs. Its Burroughs and surrounding neighborhoods make up the majority of the rest of where universities reside, but there are also a few programs at colleges located in Upstate New York.

If you are looking for reputable MSW programs in New York, you may be surprised to find that there is a wealth of opportunity around every corner.

MSW programs typically last anywhere from 2-3 years and involve coursework that consists of Sociology, Psychology, Law and Ethics, and Policy Development.

In a state that is as elaborate and well-known as New York, social work degree programs are growing in popularity. The high population and dense communities make social work a necessity for most boroughs within this state, encouraging more professionals to lean towards this field for future endeavors.

Online MSW Programs in New York

Online degree programs are quickly becoming the new norm for college students. The convenience of these programs can allow students to continue working and raising their families while indulging in degree programs. In the state of New York, students are given the opportunity to engage in online MSW programs at Columbia University, the University of New York at Buffalo, and Fordham University.

Online programs integrate virtual classrooms into the learning process, making independent learning and virtual teamwork a huge part of the degree acquisition process.

If you are not sure that online degree programs are right for you, there are plenty of traditionally formatted programs available throughout the state of New York for you to enroll in.

If You Do Not Yet Have a Bachelors: View BSW programs in New York(includes online).

MSW Social Work Degrees in New York

New York is an excellent place to excel in a career in social work. This state currently offers students the option of pursuing a Master's in Social Work online, which is a great way for upcoming professionals to get involved in a meaningful degree program without the added hassle of traditional on-campus degree programs. Universities such as the College of Staten Island and Adelphi University provide high quality programs that can assist students with transitioning into this important role in society. In all, the state of New York has 3 online and CSWE-accredited degree programs to choose from.

A few of the top cities

Whether you reside in Rochester, New York City or even the Bronx, there are programs available within your general location. Even though these 3 cities host some of the most preferred programs, students from all over the state can benefit from taking part in these reputable online degree programs. Some colleges offering this degree program may provide students with the option of pursuing standard or advanced-standing programs, which can greatly affect the amount of time it takes to complete this program.

Finding a Specialized MSW Track or Concentration

The generalized online MSW program is not your only option when pursuing your degree online. The state of New York may be on the hunt for professionals that have specialized knowledge of certain sub-fields of social work, such as medical social work, social work education or even psychiatric social work.

Depending on the university you choose, these specializations may be offered as part of the degree acquisition process. Since social workers may be required to obtain licensure prior to working in the field, upcoming students are encouraged to explore specific requirements set forth by the State of New York Office of the Professions prior to enrolling a degree program.

What to Consider When Choosing Your Social Work Focus Area

Are you eager to pursue your MSW but unsure which specialization is right for you? If so, don’t worry: many students start their MSW programs without knowing their focus areas in advance, and your introduction to social work will give you much more insight into the field.

As you consider your options, ask yourself the following questions:

    • Do I want to work with individuals, or am I more interested in working on larger structural causes?
    • Is there an issue I especially care about, or a population I’d especially like to work with?
    • What other skills or areas of knowledge do I already bring to the table?
    • What is a role I can imagine finding fulfilling in the long term?

Everyone will have their own answers to these questions. What’s important is that you determine the path that will allow you to dig deep into your work so that you can build a rewarding and impactful career.

New York Social Worker Careers with an MSW Degree

If you live in New York and are considering a MSW degree program, you could soon qualify for positions in child welfare, education, and even social work leadership. Each career field offers unique salary opportunities and daily responsibilities for those involved.

  • Child, Family, and School Social Work Programs and Careers: $68,600 median salary per year. As a Social Worker in this area, you may work with children and families in the home, court, and in school. The goal of your work in this area is often to help families connect and complete services that intend on improving their overall quality of life and relationships. In schools and households throughout the state of New York, social workers focusing on children, families, and education work hard to ensure that people receive the right treatment and services for their needs. There are currently 22,630 professional social workers serving the residents of this state, making this a profound field to find a career.
  • Healthcare Social Work: $61,680 median salary per year. Healthcare Social Workers can be assigned to clients that need assistance with generalized or complex medical care. This can include ensuring patients receive fair and adequate medical care, advocacy for patient rights, and helping families comprehend the complex language of medical care providers. There are plenty of people in the state of New York that require extra attention when looking for the right healthcare services. Healthcare social workers can help patients sort out their medical services while working with insurance companies to get their patients the right care. There are 12,540 healthcare social workers employed in New York currently.
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Work: $75,700 median salary per year. Social Workers in these areas can provide services to their clients through assessments, evaluations, and resource integration. Follow-up care for these services can include monitoring the effectiveness of services and ensuring that clients have access to the supportive resources that they need to succeed. People that are suffering from mental illness or substance abuse issues seek out the expertise of social workers to help get them in contact with organizations and services that can offer them vital assistance. In New York, there are currently 11,040 social workers that are employed for this very reason. Choosing this specialty as an area of interest is an excellent choice for upcoming students in social work degree programs.
  • Social Work, All Other: $73,710 median salary per year. Social Workers in New York can also take on unique positions for the court systems, which can include being assigned to clients that are in need of guidance through the legal system. Some areas may also employ court-appointed case managers to ensure the quality child services teams. In other disciplines and social-related areas, social workers can be the leading source of support for New Yorkers that need guidance. In various fields, social workers can take on the responsibility of helping people lead healthier and more productive lives through their extensive training. Professionals in this area total around 8,150 throughout the entire state.

Social Worker Salaries in New York

  • Albany: $54,160 median salary per year
  • Binghampton: $51,440 median salary per year
  • Buffalo: $57,730 median salary per year
  • New York City: $71,370 median salary per year

2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for Child, Family, and School Social Workers; Healthcare Social Workers; Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers; Social Workers, All other, reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed March 2023. 

New York Social Work Licensure

The New York Office of Professions allow social work professionals to pursue the Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) option through their state with a CSWE-accredited master's degree program that includes a field practicum.

After completion of the degree program, applicants must register for and pass the ASWB master's examination prior to being approved for licensing. Limited licensing may be available to LMSW candidates that have not yet passed the licensing examination.

New York Licensing Requirements for a LCSW

The state of New York has strict licensing requirements set forth for prospective LCSWs. The state asks that all applicants have a good moral character, which can be confirmed through background checks and personal references. All people applying to becoming licensed as a LCSW must provide proof of graduation from a CSWE-accredited program that includes 12 credit hours of clinical social work at a minimum.

After completion of an accredited degree program, graduates must also engage in 3 years of supervised work experience beneath a licensed clinical social worker. Once this requirement has been completed, all LCSW prospects are required to successfully pass a state board examination and take part in state-provided child abuse training.

New York Social Work Colleges

In the capital, New York City, one of the most well-known Ivy League schools offers a competitive MSW program that is available both on-campus and online. Columbia University’s MSW program has evolved over the years into a reliable degree program that is suitable for undergraduates from all walks of life. This program recommends that applicants provide proof of their dedication to the field of social work by engaging in internships or volunteer opportunities prior to enrolling.

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Another university that offers MSW programs is Fordham University, which has a MSW program that is ranked within the top 10% in quality through collegiate ranking agencies. While New York City is a popular city for upcoming social work professionals, other cities such as Buffalo and Rochester are great places to get started on an education and career.

Recapping, Online MSW Programs in New York

  • Columbia University: Columbia University currently offers different paths for students with varying needs. The advancing standing track at this university can assist students in completing their degree in 1-year, but requires some extensive experience in the field prior to applying. Generalized online MSW programs can also be chosen, which can be completed in 2-3 years for most students.
  • The University of Buffalo: The University of Buffalo can provide students with the option of pursuing their MSW completely online. This program contains common aspects of social work, as well as the historical foundations of this incredible field. Advanced standing programs can be completed in 1-2 years for current social work professionals. This program can provide students with a broad and all-inclusive outlook of social work from a professional standpoint.
  • Fordham University: Fordham University has options for students with and without social work experience. Those that have completed 1-2 years of social work experience can take advantage of an expedited degree program to suit their needs. Advanced standing educational programs typically allow students to complete a significant amount of work experience to complete their degree program in a shorter time period, since they have previous experience applying these concepts in the public domain. This online MSW program may also require students to engage in field work as part of the graduation requirements, so students should be prepared to exercise their skills in a real-world environment.


What are some of the benefits of online degree programs?

The biggest advantage of an online degree program is its convenience. Students who might not otherwise be able to attend class in person have much more control over their schedule and are spared the expense and difficulty of relocating to be in close proximity to their school. Especially for students who are holding jobs while they pursue their degrees, this flexibility can be game-changing.

How long does an MSW degree program take?

A full-time MSW program typically takes two years, with some lasting three. Many online and in-person programs offer part-time options as well.

Do I need a BSW in order to apply for an MSW?

No. One can apply for an MSW with a bachelor’s degree in any subject. If you hold a BSW, you are qualified for a one-year Advanced Standing MSW, which eliminates the foundational coursework of a traditional MSW program as your undergraduate program already covered it.

Will my MSW degree make me eligible to become a licensed clinician?

You will not be eligible to become an LCSW with just an MSW, though that is a significant first step toward earning licensure as a clinician. The next step is performing three years of supervised work experience, learning on the ground and developing your skills before you receive full licensure.