The School of Social Welfare provides a learning environment for individuals who wish to deepen and extend their knowledge and experience in bringing about social change. The School provides a place for the development of committed, analytical, and knowledgeable students who wish to undertake the difficult task of improving service delivery systems by attention to institutional structures.

Our mission statement provides a focus and compass for curriculum and program planning. It is the challenge and struggle to make this mission statement come alive—albeit incomplete and imperfectly—that makes the school an exciting place.  It invigorates both faculty and students knowing that we are preserving and carrying forward the social reform philosophy upon which professional social work was founded, and which is vital to its future.  We seek to help students build upon their sense of personal and social responsibility, taking the perspective of others seriously, grounding their actions in ethical considerations, and encouraging their ability to contribute to society.

We understand that to achieve these goals, we must create academic initiatives that engage our students and foster their understanding of the inherently complex issues of structural reform. We therefore prepare social work students to intervene directly with individuals and families, as well as with larger systems. Practice is undertaken from a strengths perspective and model of empowerment, development, and enhancement, rather than from that of deficit models.

The graduate program prepares students for advanced social work practice and is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. 

It provides students with the needed theoretical and practice expertise to function with maximum competence at different administrative or policy levels in social welfare fields and/or in the provision of direct services to individuals, families, groups, and communities. The school provides opportunities for study and practice that utilize the wealth of interdisciplinary resources available in the Health Sciences Center, the University, and community agencies throughout the New York metropolitan area.