Columbia School of Social Work Acceptance Rate: Average GPA & Admission Requirements

We know the Columbia School of Social Work for being highly selective. It is absolutely necessary to have a solid understanding of the acceptance rate, GPA criteria, admission requirements, and SAT/ACT requirements for the CSSW in order to pass the first round of filters and show that you are prepared academically.

If you cannot meet their requirements, your chances of being accepted are extremely little to none. Officials in charge of doling out admissions at the Columbia School of Social Work have stated that a minimum GPA is required.

If going to the Columbia School of Social Work has long been your most important goal, then you should read this post. It will help you achieve that goal.

In the following paragraphs, we will give you all the information necessary to make an informed decision regarding the Columbia School of Social Work. We are going to go through the acceptance rate, the normal GPA, and any other pertinent facts.

Before we go into that, let’s learn a brief history of the Columbia School of Social Work.

Brief History of Columbia School of Social Work

The Columbia School of Social Work (aka CSSW) is a school of social work in Columbia, New York, USA. It is an affiliated college and serves as the Columbia University Faculty of Social Sciences. It is a top-ranking college as well as the first social work school in the U.S.

Since its inception in 1898, the Columbia School of Social Work has grown to become one of the biggest impactors in the US social and political fields. It initially began as the Summer School of Philanthropic Work.

However, it later saw a change of its name to the New York School of Philanthropy. Subsequently, in 1940, the school saw a merger between itself and Columbia University. That was when it got its new name, Columbia School of Social Work.

This school has continuously led the advancement and development of social work through scholarships as well. It is also one of the oldest social work schools in the entire U.S.

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Programs and Degrees at the Columbia School of Social Work

The CSSW offers a CSWE Masters of Social Work as well as a PhD in social work degree. These are credible degrees required of social work professionals, especially in the state of Columbia.

The school also offers opportunities for social workers to earn credits so as to continue their education. 

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MSW Program

MSW stands for Masters of Social Work. This is one of the available degrees students can pursue at the Columbia School of Social Work.

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The MSW program aims to enrich students with rich and diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

The school inculcates a common aspiration as well as standard, that promotes human rights, social justice, and respect for human diversity. The students receive grooming on how to improve lives and strengthen communities as part of their duties as social workers. They receive training in roles as clinicians, advocates, planners, policy analysts, researchers, and managers.

Graduates of the Columbia School of Social Work can assume leadership roles in social work practice and events. The program is open to any previous social worker as well as intending workers.

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Application Process

Before intending workers can begin to make applications, they must satisfy some conditions first. Most of these conditions/criteria are mostly student-related, such as the preferred platform of study, area of specialization, etc. Below is a summary of the requirements for students before they can begin to make applications.

General Requirements: This is a list of selections and preferences of the student. This includes the student’s preferred platform, specialization, as well as program type.

After that, the student must complete and submit an online application form. This application form is available on the school’s website. Visit their website to find it. Thereafter, the applying student must prepare his/her resume and submit it, along with an application fee (of $75). 

Essay questions, three letters of reference as well as relevant transcripts are lastly required.

In addition to the previous requirements, some programs require additional application materials from students. Such which include:

  • International Applicants,
  • Advanced Standing Applicants,
  • Reduced Residency Applicants,
  • Transfer Applicants, as well as
  • Non-Degree Applicants.

This means that such students will require extra application materials for them to be valid for screening. For instance, international applicants will have to provide an IELTS score, whereas a local student would not have to. 

Visit their website at to find out and more about the requirements for the MSW degree. 

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PhD program

The CSSW also offers PhD programs and courses for social work graduates. 

Since its inception in 1950, the CSSW PhD program has become one of the world’s most influential programs in social work and social welfare.

The program is available under Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). However, it is undergone at the School of Social Work.

This Ph.D. program prepares students for career roles as researchers, scholars as well as educators.

Aspiring students can choose from one of three concentrations for study. These areas are namely;

  • Advanced Practice
  • Social Policy and Policy Analysis
  • Social Policy and Administration.
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Candidates who show interest can also take advanced social work courses. This provides them with a wider range of courses available in other Columbia professional schools.

Also, visit their website to find out all you need to know about the programs and courses available at the school. 

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Columbia School of Social Work Admission Requirements

The admission requirements at the Columbia School of Social Work vary extensively by program type. However, some of the general admission eligibility requirements include,

Eligibility Requirements

You have to satisfy the following to be eligible:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Impressive academic record which shows the ability to excel at graduate level study.
  • Commitment to the profession of social work.
  • Capacity to meet the demands of professional training, internships, and life experiences.

Please note that for non-native English-speaking applicants, proof of English speaking ability is very important.

The school requires a TOEFL score of 100 or higher or an IELTS band score of 7.0 or higher. Duolingo English Test score(of 120 or higher) can also be used.

Those interested in applying to Columbia SSW should do so at For admissions in January and September of the following year, the application portal starts in August.

Additionally, a $75 non-refundable application fee must be paid through the portal by all applicants.

You can find guidelines for submitting an application on the university’s website.

Columbia School of Social Work Acceptance Rate

There has been a recent increase in the rate of social work studies globally, but particularly in the US. Recent statistics have shown that more individuals now see social work as a career path than before. 

Consequently, the number of applicants each school of social work receives has seen an increase.

Regardless, the acceptance rate of the Columbia School of Social Work is about 60% of its annual applicants. Subsequently, the high acceptance rate also signifies that admission into the school of Social Work is highly competitive.

Therefore, the chances of gaining admission at the CSSW depend heavily on the student’s eligibility score. 

Columbia School of Social Work Tuition and Student Body

As of 2022, the Columbia School Of Social Work had over 1100 students undergoing its programs. 85% of the student body is made up of female students.

Also, about 18% of its students are from other countries apart from the US. Subsequently, over 33% of the Columbia School of Social Work comprises students of color. These include Africans, African-Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. 

International students who are new to the U.S. social welfare system get registered into the Five-Term International Students Program. The program features an immersion seminar that covers U.S. social services as well as English language enhancement courses.

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Columbia School of Social Work Tuition

Tuition at the Columbia School of Social Work differs by program type and study method. For instance, the cost of online study is a lot cheaper than physical learning.

Tuition also depends on the citizenship of the student, the societies to which the student belongs, etc. For instance, US military veterans as well as volunteer services members receive an application fee waiver.

This serves as an appreciation for their precious commitment and effort. The total cost of tuition for a two years residential program at the CSSW is about $52,600. They spread this fee over two years.

However, the actual total cost 9f study may rise to as much as $82,500 for both sessions. While the tuition for physical learning maybe this much, the cost of tuition for a reduced online program is about $21,000.

Perhaps the Columbia School of Social Work has been on your radar, then this post should be all you need. Now that you must have gone through the topic, we believe that all left for you to do is begin your application.

So visit their website at to begin your application today.


To sum up, the CSSW is a renowned educational art social work institution. It is a difficult institution to get into because of its stringent entrance criteria, but if you decide to go, they reward the risk.

However, we think this article provides the information you were looking for on the CSSW acceptance rates and admission standards.

FAQs of CSSW Acceptance Rate

Is Columbia School of Social Work good?

There is a top-ranked School of Social Work at Columbia University, which was established as the nation’s first social work school. Since Columbia’s founding in 1898, its professors and graduates have made significant contributions to social work research and practice.

Is Columbia MSW worth it?

There is no better place to acquire a master’s degree in social work than the CSSW. Students can choose from a variety of specializations, including clinical, generalist practice and programming, policy, and social enterprise administration, when earning their degree.

How do you get to Columbia MSW?

Candidates must, at the very least, meet the following requirements:
a bachelor’s degree from an approved college or university that contains at least 60 semester hours or credits in the liberal arts, with at least nine of those credits in the social or biological sciences.
Evidence of at least a B-level intellectual capacity to pursue post-graduate study.
Internships and life experiences that reflect a strong commitment to social work and the ability to meet the rigors of professional training.
Visit MSW Application Requirements for further information (PDF: 9 pages).

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