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Penn vs Columbia vs NYU MSW????


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I got into all three programs. With my scholarships, they all will cost the same so I'm stuck choosing which has the best program??? Any experience or insight?? What is even the difference between the three?

 

I am interested in Clinical SW (not macro) but all three schools have some kind of clinical concentration. I also like having a "campus-vibe" which makes me think NYU isn't for me? But I've heard great things about their clinical program and field internships. 

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On 1/13/2021 at 6:17 AM, CollegeConfidential123 said:

I got into all three programs. With my scholarships, they all will cost the same so I'm stuck choosing which has the best program??? Any experience or insight?? What is even the difference between the three?

 

I am interested in Clinical SW (not macro) but all three schools have some kind of clinical concentration. I also like having a "campus-vibe" which makes me think NYU isn't for me? But I've heard great things about their clinical program and field internships. 

Congrats on getting accepted into the schools! I am also interested in clinical social work, Columbia and NYU are two of my top choices. If you don't mind me asking, when did you apply to those two schools? I haven't heard back yet and the wait is killing me!

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A therapist at my job got her Clinical SW from Columbia (I also applied, hey!)

She is the best therapist I've ever met. Said she loved the experience, the opportunities and would do it again 100%. She also had to decide between NYU and Columbia, and feels happy with her choice of Columbia. 

I haven't heard back from either person above, and the wait is killing me! 

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The field placements for NYU and CU are practically identical. We’re all competing for the same spots no matter which school because it’s the same location.

I visited all schools in March on one trip and here are my takeaways:

NYU is LOVELY. They aren’t pretentious, they have clear lines of communication and is in such a fun part of the city. But it is a city campus. And it doesn’t have the Ivy League prestige, but it does have pretty good name recognition. The programs are great though for both macro and micro, and has a ton of opportunity built into the programs. It honestly was my top choice in the end, but ultimately I ended up swayed by the wow factor of Columbia, hoping it would increase my hire-ability. 

Columbia is a little stuffy, I won’t lie. But on warm days, everyone sits out on the lawn and hangs out and it feels like something out of a movie. Beyond that, the SW building isn’t situated directly inside campus. It’s a tall building about a block outside of campus, so you still know you’re in the city. Columbia is best for macro focus, but offers really immersive training for micro SW and their programs feel highly customizable. Honestly, just being their feels ~fancy~. 

Penn is also fancy feeling but in a historic kind of way. Big old buildings. Everything is actually a campus. It feels like it isn’t even in a city. And it has so much greenery, which is nice. The program itself didn’t do much for me. They don’t do research at all for MSWs. Less custom opportunities. But they do have an extra day of field work- which is nice. And they do feel really clinically focused if your end goal is clinical MSW and therapy. 

Regardless, they’re all good programs and you’ll be doing field work so much of the time that you really won’t even be on campus that often. It isn’t like undergrad. 

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I received my MSW from NYU in 2016 and am right now enrolled in the DSW program at Penn. I agree with the comment about similiar field placements. I know graduates from all 3 and all are well trained. I have heard Columbia can be more macro focused than NYU. I participated in a role play last week with PENN MSW students and were highly impressed. The structure of this role play by the faculty was impressive.....over 100 students broken in to groups of 4 and paired with an experienced LCSW/LSW.

You can't go wrong.

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On 1/19/2021 at 11:47 AM, madisonc7 said:

The field placements for NYU and CU are practically identical. We’re all competing for the same spots no matter which school because it’s the same location.

I visited all schools in March on one trip and here are my takeaways:

NYU is LOVELY. They aren’t pretentious, they have clear lines of communication and is in such a fun part of the city. But it is a city campus. And it doesn’t have the Ivy League prestige, but it does have pretty good name recognition. The programs are great though for both macro and micro, and has a ton of opportunity built into the programs. It honestly was my top choice in the end, but ultimately I ended up swayed by the wow factor of Columbia, hoping it would increase my hire-ability. 

Columbia is a little stuffy, I won’t lie. But on warm days, everyone sits out on the lawn and hangs out and it feels like something out of a movie. Beyond that, the SW building isn’t situated directly inside campus. It’s a tall building about a block outside of campus, so you still know you’re in the city. Columbia is best for macro focus, but offers really immersive training for micro SW and their programs feel highly customizable. Honestly, just being their feels ~fancy~. 

Penn is also fancy feeling but in a historic kind of way. Big old buildings. Everything is actually a campus. It feels like it isn’t even in a city. And it has so much greenery, which is nice. The program itself didn’t do much for me. They don’t do research at all for MSWs. Less custom opportunities. But they do have an extra day of field work- which is nice. And they do feel really clinically focused if your end goal is clinical MSW and therapy. 

Regardless, they’re all good programs and you’ll be doing field work so much of the time that you really won’t even be on campus that often. It isn’t like undergrad. 

How was your interview process for Columbia? Anything stand out that I should know? Thanks girl! :)

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On 1/19/2021 at 3:24 PM, cmay said:

Did anyone go through the UPenn interview process? Would love to hear how that played out!

I did! I interviewed with Mary Mazzola and it was very laid-back. My honest impression is that it was just so-so but afterwards she told me I did well and that she'd give me her full recommendation. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/28/2021 at 9:29 AM, CollegeConfidential123 said:

I did! I interviewed with Mary Mazzola and it was very laid-back. My honest impression is that it was just so-so but afterwards she told me I did well and that she'd give me her full recommendation. 

Hello! Glad to hear your interview went well!!! Do you have any advice for how I should prepare? I actually have mine with Mary Mazzola too

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I don't know Penn's MSW program but also totally agree on the NYU/Columbia field placements being effectively the same. I have friends and family in numerous MSW programs right now, the NYU student is looking at placements that are reserved for just NYU and CU students, and the others are (at least in pandemic-land) having to work to find something in the city. I had the same experience with my masters at NYU and my Aunt had a similar one at CU... just a long time ago. 

On 1/19/2021 at 12:53 PM, ebjc87 said:

I received my MSW from NYU in 2016 and am right now enrolled in the DSW program at Penn. I agree with the comment about similiar field placements. I know graduates from all 3 and all are well trained. I have heard Columbia can be more macro focused than NYU. I participated in a role play last week with PENN MSW students and were highly impressed. The structure of this role play by the faculty was impressive.....over 100 students broken in to groups of 4 and paired with an experienced LCSW/LSW.

You can't go wrong.

@ebjc87, how's UPenn??? It was an option for me but I went the way of USC in the end. I've heard that UPenn is highly clinical with an analytic (is it Freudian?) lens and prepare you for a career in academics. I was really excited by it but my heart wanted to keep my macro focus going. Also, how big is your cohort? 

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