The Lois V. and Samuel J. Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College (SSSW), formerly known as the Hunter College School of Social Work (HCSSW), is the oldest and largest public school of social work in metropolitan New York. Founded in 1956 and accredited since 1958, the School educates and trains outstanding social work professionals, who are lifelong learners engaged in knowledgeable, ethical practice with communities locally, nationally, and globally. Guided by this mission, the School is uniquely committed to social work excellence in the public interest. Its classroom curriculum, practicum experiences, and community-engaged partnerships are focused on supporting persons, families, organizations, and communities, while respecting the humanity of all individuals.
The School enrolls 1,300 students between its Master of Social Work (MSW) program and its newly-accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program, along with doctoral students through the CUNY Graduate Center. The teaching faculty comprises 43 full-time members and several dozen part-time/adjunct members. Students and faculty are supported by a strong network of academic advisors, field advisors, full-time and part-time staff within the School, and field instructors at students’ practicum agencies citywide.
The School offers master’s students a traditional full-time two-year MSW program as well as the nation’s oldest work-study MSW program, called the One-Year Residency (OYR) – a two-and-a-half-year program that combines Silberman coursework with a yearlong fieldwork “residency” based where the student already works. An accelerated program is available to both full-time and OYR students who qualify. Advanced standing is available to both full-time and OYR students who hold a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. Dual master’s degree programs are offered with the Bank Street College of Education, Union Theological Seminary, and the CUNY School of Public Health. The School launched its own BSW Program in Fall 2016 in collaboration with the Hunter College School of Arts and Sciences, which received full CSWE accreditation in Spring 2017. In line with the foundations of social work learning and practice, field education is the signature pedagogy of all master’s- and bachelor’s-level degree programs at the School. For practicing social workers, the Continuing Education Department and Strell Executive Leadership Fellows Program offer outstanding professional and leadership development opportunities.
Since its founding, the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College has been shaped by its position within Hunter College-City University of New York (CUNY), the flagship senior college in the country’s largest urban public university system. Advancing CUNY’s core values, the School offers the highest caliber of social work education to students who represent the extraordinary diversity of the communities they come from and serve – local, national, and global. Silberman students, faculty, staff, and alumni are committed to innovation in social practice, research, and policy that enriches the public good and centralizes social justice – especially for the most vulnerable in our society. The school receives significant grant funding from city, state, and federal agencies and private sources to lead projects in the public interest, totaling over $11 million. Silberman alumni proudly make up the core social work workforce in New York’s public agencies and not-for-profit organizations.