The School is committed to building knowledge and educating professionals for leadership to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Established in 1953, social work education at NYU has had a distinguished history of service, research, and scholarship addressing the most pressing problems of a complex urban environment, and the needs of our most vulnerable citizens. The Schools priorities reflect the primary obligations of the social work profession - to advance the cause of social justice and promote the ideals of a humane society.
Drawing strength and inspiration from the breadth and depth of intellectual energy at NYU and New York City, and from the commitment and diversity of its faculty and staff, students, and community partners, the School is a dynamic learning community. Our core values of mutual respect, reflective teaching and learning, principled critical inquiry, participatory decision-making, and advocacy for the oppressed and underserved, combine to create a strong sense of community and shared purpose. Students and faculty are drawn to the School because we are devoted to student learning and engaged in highly influential interdisciplinary scholarship that has a direct impact on practice and policy. A commitment to diversity is reflected in every aspect of the educational experience here. Our commitment to supporting social work services that respect the full range of human differences is matched by our ability to infuse the School with the spirit of such diversity.
The School provides a rich environment for the education of professional social workers, offering accredited programs at the undergraduate, master's, and doctoral level. The School also serves as a major postgraduate training center through which hundreds of area social workers deepen their professional knowledge and skills each year.
The School has developed unique educational partnerships with over 500 public and nonprofit agencies throughout the tri-state area. Our students provide more than one half million hours of service each year through their field placements and volunteer work. They benefit in turn from the hands-on education that is the heart of social work education. Faculty members work intensively with government and community-based agencies—providing training, evaluating service programs, and collaborating on research that shapes services.
The School's alumni network - more than 10,000 working professionals - constitutes a major social work resource in the metropolitan area and across the country, providing services, leadership and education. Most of our alumni work directly with individuals, groups and families in need, or providing the leadership that makes such professional work possible and effective. They operate in a variety of settings - connecting clients with resources, managing complex service needs, or providing mental health interventions.
On the main NYU Washington Square campus, faculty and administrative offices are centrally housed in three historic town houses bordering the famous Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. Renovation of the interior architecture mindfully preserved many details of the original 19th-century homes, creating office and classroom space that is warm and inviting-a place for faculty and students of the School to call home.
The School has also established MSW programs at three metropolitan area campuses. Each NYU social work program location—at the College of Staten Island, St. Thomas Aquinas College in Rockland County, and at Sarah Lawrence College in Westchester—offers a distinct and intimate setting and the same core sense of community. Classes on all campuses are small, typically ranging from 18 to 25 students.