Choosing between Michigan and NYU MSW Programs

Hello everyone,

I was admitted to the 2-year MSW graduate program at NYU and the 16-month MSW graduate program at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. To me, they are both fantastic schools in completely different cities and with excellent faculty. However, I would love to hear people’s opinions and insights on both schools/cities. I am undecided about where to go.

Michigan, always Michigan. There’s no better college experience or town. :wink:


(And you get to say “Go Blue” for the rest of your life.)


Congrats on the acceptances.

Is there a meaningful cost differential between the two programs? If so, that should be a consideration. If not, think about the environment in which you want to spend the next couple of years.

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My son is finishing his 4th year in his Michigan PhD program. He loves Ann Arbor. There are many reasons that Ann Arbor is regularly ranked as the top college town in America. I went to Michigan State undergraduate and bleed green, but if my wife and I were to move to Michigan from Phoenix, I would pick Ann Arbor. (I got my MBA from Michigan and my dad did a year at Michigan medical school post residency.) Great restaurants and entertainment for such a relatively small town, but NYC would certainly have the edge.

But obviously very different environments.


I have an MSW from decades ago. The 16 month option from Michigan sounds very appealing and Michigan is very well regarded, top ranked. Is there a big difference in cost between the two programs? Congratulations and good luck with your decision.


Whichever is cheaper. (social work is not a high paying field, so minimizing education debt is critical)


IIRC, Michigan’s School of Social Work is ranked #1 in the US. Go Blue!

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If cost is no different - Michigan will give full university experience. NYU feels like living in middle of Manhattan and going to a job(another building to take classes). There is also fewer common areas unlike a university campus to socialize. You will have to make an extra effort to do that. I did Michigan and liked the experience. My daughter was accepted to NYU and UCI and other colleges this year. But after talking to a few people in NYU, we decided on UC.

With Michigan however, the weather can be a factor.

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If money is a factor, I would go to the less expensive school. I got my MSW at USC years ago and although I loved the program, I regretted having not gone to UCLA which would have been way cheaper. Those first years as a social worker, you don’t tend to make much and paying off those private school student loans was tough. No one actually cares where you go to social work school - it’s not like MBA School or Law School in that way. I would take into consideration where you want to live afterwards as social work schools do tend to have strong alumni networks and people often like to hire folks that went to their alma mater. So if you are planning on living in NY long term there are some real benefits of going to NYU Social Work school and same with Ann Arbor. If I were to do it again, I would go to the least expensive place.


My D who had a great 4 year undergrad experience on a traditional campus really enjoyed going to grad school in NYC. It is all about personal preference and affordability.

Besides Michigan being the top program I can’t imagine the living expenses will be less affordable in New York. Also lots of distractions in New York. The grad dorms are actually pretty nice if your going that route. Plus your more on a real campus with all the support structures you will need. I would save room for a football game or two.

Good Luck and Go Blue.


Thank you for all of your responses! Each of your insights significantly helped my decision making process. This was the first time that I used college confidential and it really paid off! I have decided to attend the University of Michigan! Thanks again for all of your help!


Congrats and best of luck to you!

Great choice! Congratulations!