Columbia or NYU?

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Terri M 11 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

61 months ago

I have applied to both Columbia and NYU's MSW programs (2 year) and was recently accepted to Columbia's. I'm still waiting to hear back from NYU. Needless to say, I'm over the moon to have been accepted to such a fantastic university.

I'm still not sure if I prefer clinical social work or policy, but I'm leaning more toward research and ultimately staying within academia.

Are there any Columbia or NYU grads out there? How much did the school offer in financial assistance? Was it worth the price? What positive and negative things do you have to say about the curriculum, the support systems, etc.? Any information or impressions are much appreciated!

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Marnie in Brooklyn, New York

61 months ago

Terri M 11 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: I have applied to both Columbia and NYU's MSW programs (2 year) and was recently accepted to Columbia's. I'm still waiting to hear back from NYU. Needless to say, I'm over the moon to have been accepted to such a fantastic university.

I'm still not sure if I prefer clinical social work or policy, but I'm leaning more toward research and ultimately staying within academia.

Are there any Columbia or NYU grads out there? How much did the school offer in financial assistance? Was it worth the price? What positive and negative things do you have to say about the curriculum, the support systems, etc.? Any information or impressions are much appreciated!

NYU is strictly clinical. If you are looking at policy and want to go into research, then go to CUSSW. Between the two I'm glad I picked CUSSW, though I have a number of issues and regrets pertaining to the school, the administration, and allot of wasted time on BS requirements.

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Terri M 11 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

61 months ago

Marnie in Brooklyn, New York said: NYU is strictly clinical. If you are looking at policy and want to go into research, then go to CUSSW. Between the two I'm glad I picked CUSSW, though I have a number of issues and regrets pertaining to the school, the administration, and allot of wasted time on BS requirements.

NYU's website says they have a limited number of students who can pursue policy, but Columbia definitely has a stronger focus and presence in the policy arena. Do you mind my asking what practice method and field of practice options you went for? I'm considering social enterprise administration with a possible law or international minor. What kind of regrets do you have? I'd like to be as well informed as possible before making such a big decision! Thanks for responding :)

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HLF in Orlando, Florida

30 months ago

I know this thread is old but I'm posting because I was in a similar situation and couldn't find nearly enough information about it. I was completely torn between NYU and Columbia. NYU had been my dream school since I was younger but when I got acceptance to Columbia...it changed the game. The decision caused many sleepless night. I live in FL but couldn't make a decision based on what I had read. I decided to make the trip to visit the schools. I know not every one can do that...which is why I'm writing. Visiting the schools made the decision EASY. I went to NYU first because I was leaning towards attending there and I prefer the location immensely. I went there and once I found the social work building, I tried to talk to an advisor and financial aid. They are both in one room basically...they were SO rude to me. The guy at the front asked me to stand outside while he checked to see if they had time to talk to me (From FL who didn't make an appt- I didn't know I needed)! ! When I talked to the guy in financial aid- he told me I might have been part of a group who had an issue on their file- a NYU mistake not NY mistake. He pulled my file and yup- they had made a mistake. This is why after a month I had heard nothing though I had called AND emailed numerous times. He take 30 seconds- on my file and fixes it. WHY HADN'T THEY ALREADY DONE THAT, if it was that easy. Anyway, I didn't like how I was treated at all. I left feeling defeated.
I went straight to Columbia after that. It was night and day! Columbia was AWESOME. The girl up front was willing to let me speak to whoever I wanted to but I didn't need to because she easily answered every question I had. Another woman came up while I was talking with her and joined the convo. She realized I had reservations about taking statistics and went in her office and came back with a post it with a book name on it for me...to make the class easier. She then asked if I'd had a tour. I said no and she giggled and said

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HLF in Orlando, Florida

30 months ago

"let's go!" She took me everywhere...library, break room, classrooms. It was amazing. They were so friendly and helpful. It hands down made my decision. Nicole is amazing- she gave me her card when I left the building and told me to contact her with anything I needed. I have emailed her so many times and she always quickly responds and helps out with any ifo she can give! I start school in a month and am so excited and happy about my choice. Not to mention...IT'S COLUMBIA...no brainer :)

Hope this helps someone in the future! Good Luck!!!!

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verse in Jersey City, New Jersey

30 months ago

I would advise everyone considering Columbia or NYU to really question if the programs are worth the price. I went to CUSSW for my MSSW, focused on policy, and regretted it. The requirements of core classes and field placement make it so that you really do not get a chance to take heavy quantitative courses or specialty courses, which you need in order to differentiate yourself from the MPP or MPA students out there. Many people in the policy field do not even know how a social work degree translates, and, yes, it's your job to show them that it does (and the faculty would like you to believe that your MSSW somehow makes you more compassionate than those at SIPAA), but why not get a MPP instead? Even if you are not interested in policy, the cost of the degree at these schools compared to the pay-off in the field should be seriously considered. I got ~$6,000 in scholarship, but had to take out GradPlus loans for living in NY(!!!) and the tuition balance. Remember, subsidized loans are no longer available to graduate students, so really think about whether or not the name makes a difference in the field. I, personally, do not think it does. What sort of an edge do you get? It's certainly not in the availability of field placements. Very few people I know who have gone to NYU and CUSSW were content with their 2nd year field placements. There's a lot of politics and randomness involved in who gets the coveted few spots. Go to CUNY, Hunter, or Rutgers, save money!!! The only way that I think that a degree from a brand name school can be justified is if you are interested in setting up your private clinical practice in the Central Park West and you need the name to market yourself. Also note that there's dysfunction in the faculty at CUSSW. A few years ago, the faculty gave the Dean a vote of no confidence over racial diversity - although, as a woman of color, I found the school to be pretty diverse.

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