The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) Program at Lehman College prepares social workers to assume positions of leadership in urban public and voluntary sector social service agencies and organizations. All students in the program complete an Advanced Generalist curriculum and gain the knowledge, values and skills of the competencies of the social work profession required for Advanced Generalist Practice with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations, as well as for supervision, administration, research, and policy practice.


View All Course and Pre-requisites Information 

Student Handbook and Field Education Manual


Important Info

Candidates must:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, including 45 liberal arts credits;
  • Have attained a minimum undergraduate grade average of 3.0;
  • Submit an application to the program, including a personal statement related to the student's career goals and preparation for this program and three letters of recommendation addressing applicant's suitability for the social work profession and preparedness to enter a rigorous academic program, at least two of which should be from college faculty or professionals in fields related tosocial work;
  • Interview with a member of the graduate faculty may be required.

Admission Requirements for Applicants to Track C, Advanced Standing Program

In addition to the above, candidates must:

  • Have completed a bachelor's degree with a social work major from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education;
  • Have attained a minimum 3.2 cumulative index in the major;
  • Include, among the three references, one reference from the advisor in the baccalaureate social work program, or from the program director.

Applicants for Advanced Standing must provide course descriptions for courses in the undergraduate social work major; the graduate advisor will determine exemption from courses in the year one curriculum.

Selection Process

The Admissions Committee, consisting of the social work graduate advisor, program director, and at least two full-time faculty members, will review completed applications. Applications will be evaluated on:

  • Academic history;
  • Quality of personal statement, including degree of self-awareness, conceptual ability, understanding of the social work profession, and ability to communicate in writing;
  • References.

Grade Requirements: Probation and Continuation Criteria

Cumulative Grade Point Average

In order to be awarded a master's degree, a graduate student must finish his/her program with a cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.0 (B) or better.

Academic Probation

Graduate students whose GPA falls between 2.7 and 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation must raise their GPA to 3.0 within the next semester in order to continue in the M.S.W. program. Graduate students whose GPA remains below 3.0 at the end of the probationary semester will be allowed to continue in the M.S.W. program only upon successful appeal to the Graduate Studies Committee.


Graduate students whose GPA falls below 2.7 will not be eligible for probation and will not be permitted to continue in the M.S.W. program. These students may only continue in the M.S.W. program upon successful appeal to the Graduate Studies Committee. Students who receive less than a C in Fieldwork and Seminar (SWK 671, 672, 773, 774) may only continue in the M.S.W. program upon successful appeal to the Graduate Studies Committee. Students who receive a failing grade in a course may not continue in any course for which the failed course is a pre-requisite. They may enroll in the class for which they received the failing grade in the semester in which it is offered if their GPA meets the criteria for probation and continuation.

Training for Identification and Reporting of Child Abuse and Maltreatment

As part of the registration of the Lehman College M.S.W. Program with the Office of the Professions of the New York State Education Department, prior to graduation, all M.S.W. students must complete the state-mandated two-hour training in identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment. A Certificate of Completion for this training is also required for application to the New York State Department of Education for the LMSW license. This training is available online at www.nysmandatedreporter.org Registration instrucions and course details are available on that website.  There is no charge for the training. A certificate of completion will be issued upon completion. Lehman College will receive a copy of this certicate which will be added to the students' transcript upon completion of the training.

As an alternative, students can take the training elsewhere or online. However that will be at the student's own expense. The Certificate of Completion must be given to the MSW Program Director in Carman Hall, Room B-18 no later than May 1st prior to graduation. Since it may take several weeks to receive the Certificate of Completion, students who take the training online or elsewhere should arrange to do it early enough so that graduation is not delayed.

Students who already have a valid Certificate of Completion are not required to repeat the training, but must provide a copy of their Certificate to the M.S.W. Program Director in Carman Hall, Room B-18 no later than May 1. Students may choose to repeat the training.

Licensing Information


Students who earn their M.S.W. degree will have completed the educational requirements and be eligible to take the New York State licensing exam for the Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW).


Students who complete the two-year curriculum and earn their M.S.W. degree will have met the educational requirements for the New York State licensing exam for the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Advanced Standing Students, Track C, will need to take one additional elective class designated as having clinical content. This can be accomplished by taking an additional electvie in the Lehman College MSW program or it can be completed at a later time. The New York State Education Department has established additional clinical supervision requirements to be eligible to take the LCSW exam. These requirements must be met after graduation.

Preparation for LMSW Licensing Exam

In order to help students prepare for the LMSW licensing exam, Lehman College provides training for its own second year M.S.W. students. There is no charge to students for this training. While it is not required, most people find it useful and participation is strongly recommended. Alumni of the Lehman M.S.W. program are invited to participate in the training. Interested graduates of the Lehman MSW Program should contact: Mark Miller, Coordinator of the MSW Academic Support Center, for additional information.

Alumni, of the Lehman College MSW program, who are interested in preparing for the LCSW should contact: Mark Miller, Coordinator of the MSW Academic Support Center, for information about available LCSW study opportunites available for Lehman College MSW Alumni.

HRSA Training Grant Program for MSW Students 2017-2021


The purpose of this grant-funded project is to increase the number and improve the educational preparation of a diverse group of MSW-level social workers to provide behavioral health services in medically under-served communities and/or with medically under-served populations.  The focus is on mental health and substance abuse care across the lifespan in integrated and inter-disciplinary settings.  Student trainees will be better prepared to work individually and on the community level to improve services, access, and outcomes.  This project has created several different educational enhancements, which focus on culturally- and linguistically-sensitive interventions in integrated primary care settings with the target population.


The grant-supported enhancements include an annual workshop series; an annual day-long conference for the professional and educational communities, including all trainees; and trainees’ production of a community action project to be carried out in connection with students’ fieldwork placements and presented at the annual conference.  In addition, Spanish-English bi-lingual trainees may participate in the dual-language section of the Advanced Social Work Practice course.

Interdisciplinary Workshop Series

All trainees attend four workshops per year.  In addition, our efforts extended to addressing the behavioral health care of medically underserved communities and populations with the Fieldwork Instructors, Educational Coordinators, and staff in area agencies plus college faculty, staff, and students. Licensed social workers earn Continuing Education Credits for attendance at the workshops.  To date, workshops have addressed working with formerly incarcerated adults, parents who identify as LGBTQ, and older adults, among others.  For the 2018-2019 academic year, the theme of the workshops is trauma-informed care with topics such as working with veterans, children, and the LGBTQ community.

Fall 2018 workshop dates:

  • Thursday, September 27th 2:30-4:30 Carman Hall, room B39
  • Thursday, October 25th 2:30-4:30 Carman Hall, room B39
  • Thursday, November 29th 2:30-4:30 Carman Hall, room B39

Annual Interdisciplinary Conferences

In the spring of each grant year, the Social Work Department and grant staff host an inter-disciplinary conference attended by all trainees plus professionals serving the target population.  The first conference in spring 2018 addressed homelessness and housing insecurity with presentations from formerly homeless individuals, social workers, and others.  Topics included people without homes who are children, veterans, older adults, LGBTQ young adults, have physical disabilities, are street homelessness, and others. The spring 2019 conference (to be held on Friday, March 29th, 2019) will focus on creative therapies and approaches to working with trauma, including art therapy, pet therapy, and other creative treatment modalities that may be unfamiliar to many social workers.

Community Action Projects

All trainees complete a community action project related to needs at their field placement during the year and exhibit this at the annual conference.  These projects are designed and carried out with the support of one of the Lehman social work faculty mentors who meets with the trainees in groups and individually.  The projects are designed to create a sustainable improvement to the agencies, communities, and/or target population to meet behavior health care needs.  During the first year of the grant, students designed better systems for intakes and discharge processes, developed curricula for therapeutic groups, improved vocational preparation, developed community resources referrals, and designed psychoeducational outreach initiatives.  These projects will continue to help the target population even after the students have left their fieldwork sites.

Dual-Language Section of Advanced Practice

Students who are bi-lingual in Spanish and English have the opportunity to participate in a dual-language section of the Advanced Social Work Practice course.  Delivering effective services in Spanish is a critical need, but not all bi-lingual social workers are actually prepared to do so.  This course addresses the practice issues that commonly arise but, importantly, moves beyond translation to more complex issues, such as how language, culture, and other factors affect the professional helping relationship.

Together, these enhancements are designed to improve the trainees’ knowledge and skills to provide culturally- and linguistically- sensitive services to medically under-served communities and populations in a behavioral health capacity as well as improving the competencies of other professionals serving the target population.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for Professionals and Paraprofessionals. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.

Any questions can be directed to the PIs, Amanda Sisselman-Borgia (Amanda.sisselman@lehman.cuny.edu) and Jessica Kahn (Jessica.kahn@lehman.cuny.edu) in the Social Work Department.