Academic Policies

Residency Requirements


Students may officially graduate in September, January, or May.  Students must apply for graduation on Albert, and they must be enrolled for either course work, leave of absence, or maintenance of matriculation during their final semester.

To graduate in a specific semester, students must apply for graduation within the application deadline period indicated on the calendar available at the Office of the University Registrar's web page. It is recommended that students apply for graduation no later than the beginning of the semester in which they plan to complete all program requirements. Students who do not successfully complete all academic requirements by the end of that semester must reapply for graduation for the following cycle.


Grade Description
A (4.0) Excellence in integrating conceptual learning with practice situations. Consistently superior performance in dealing with conceptual material. Excellence in written expression and scholarship. Evidence of self-direction in learning with substantial reading activity in depth and breadth. Resourceful, intelligent participation in class discussion. Might include leadership in class projects.
A- (3.7) Attributes would be similar to the above, but to a lesser degree. There might be somewhat more unevenness than in the “A” performance.
B+ (3.3) Performance on attributes would be somewhat above “B” level, but less than “A-” level. One might find more unevenness and more gaps than in an “A-” student in an otherwise good level of functioning.
B (3.0) Expectations for graduate level work acceptable in terms of self-direction, reading activity dealing with conceptual material, integration of conceptual-practice dimensions of learning, class participation, oral and written expression. Stress would be on acceptable performance.
B- (2.7) Barely acceptable performance in attributes described in “A” and “B” categories. Some areas might be below expectations. The work has been done but there are a number of gaps and some superficiality in grasp of material.
C (2.0) There is minimal grasp of concepts and minimal integration of conceptual and practice learning. Students might repeat some content areas on a mechanical, rote basis, but the student's understanding is unclear or questionable. The grade is "passing," but the student is considered marginal in important areas of learning. The gaps in learning are more extensive than in the case of a “B-” grade. The grade of “C” should serve to alert the student that his/her/their work is borderline and should improve.
F (0.0) Work is unsatisfactory in most of the attributes considered and does not warrant receiving credit for the course. A student receiving an “F” grossly misunderstands course content and/or is deficient in its mastery. Failure to submit assignments or other required materials is clearly unacceptable. Non- matriculating students who receive an “F” grade are not eligible for future registration.

Policy on Repetition of Courses

Students must repeat a required course for which they receive a grade of “F” in order to receive credit for that course at their own expense.

Students can repeat any elective course for which they receive a grade of “F” in order to receive credit for that course at their own expense.

In all cases, an original “F” grade continues to be included in the computation of the grade point average even if the course is repeated and passed successfully.

Students are not allowed to repeat courses for which they receive a grade of “C” or better without consulting with their Academic Advisor and informing the Registrar.

Procedure for Appealing a Grade

MSW Program

Students have the right to dispute a grade they believe resulted from a violation of the grading policy or standards set forth by the instructor. To do so, students first must explain to the instructor why they believe the grade should be reconsidered and should clarify expectations and confusion to problem-solve with the instructor.

Students may appeal the instructor’s decision about reconsidering the grade within 5 working days after the grade has been posted by writing an appeal letter to the relevant Curriculum Area Chair (for Practicum, the Assistant Dean for the Department of Practicum Education and Community Partnerships) that explains the alleged violation of grading policy or standard. If the Chair (or Assistant Dean or Program Director) finds the alleged violation of grading policy or standard is plausible, they will meet with the instructor to discuss the situation. If the Curriculum Chair denies the appeal, the grade stands as is and no additional appeals will be considered.

The instructor makes the final decision about the grade.

DSW Program

If a student wishes to appeal the decision of the Dean, the student can submit a written appeal to the NYU Office of Student Affairs in order to invoke a Student Grievance Procedure.


Students can initiate a grade appeal if they believe a course grade was issued based on inequitable or prejudicial practices, the grade is in violation of the grading policy or standards set forth by the instructor, or by an administrative or clerical error.  No other reason can form the basis for a grade appeal.

The student should bring their concerns to the instructor no later than five (5) working days after notification of the grade to discuss why they believe the grade should be reconsidered with the goal of clarifying expectations, confusion, and to problem solve.

Standards of Conduct

It is critical that students understand their rights and responsibilities not only as individuals enrolled in the program, but also as community members. The undergraduate program is a community with a goal of educating people to become social workers and citizens who promote human rights and the creation of a more just society.

Every member of the Silver community - students, faculty and staff can create an environment and uphold these values by:

  • Engaging in honest and open dialogue.
  • Emphasizing the importance of caring human relationships
  • Respecting every person’s lived experience.
  • Honoring the dignity and rights of each other.
  • Considering the perspectives of others.

Members of the Silver community should feel:

  • a sense of belonging, valued
  • supported
  • trusted
  • connected
  • invested

Students have a responsibility to conduct themselves in accordance with the values of the undergraduate program community and the profession of social work. Students should take their rights and responsibilities as a valued member of the community seriously.

Essential Abilities and Attributes for Social Work Students

The complex process of becoming a competent professional social worker begins upon entrance into the NYU Silver School of Social Work BS program. In order to maintain matriculation in the BS program, and to meet their obligations as professionals, students are expected to meet all of the standards for social work education and practice listed below. These standards will be part of evaluations of students made by faculty during the course of study. An inability to meet these standards will have consequences for successful continuation in, and completion of, the program.

Attendance and Punctuality: Social work students are expected to attend all scheduled classes and fulfill all required practicum placement hours. They are expected to complete assignments on time, and to be punctual and dependable.

Professional Behavior: Social work students are expected to behave in a professional manner in all classes, in their practicum placements, and in all interactions with faculty, staff, and other students. They are expected to communicate effectively and respectfully with other students, faculty, staff, clients and other professionals both orally and in writing.

Academic Integrity: Social work students are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity and adhere to NYU and Silver School of Social Work standards of academic conduct.

Professional Commitment: Social work students must possess a commitment to the core values and ethical standards of professional social work. They are expected to be knowledgeable about and adhere to the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics.

Self-awareness: Social work students must be open to examining how their values, attitudes, and beliefs affect their thinking, behavior and interpersonal interactions. Students must be willing to examine and change their attitudes and behavior when they interfere with their work with clients and with other professionals

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Social work students must possess a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and they are expected to demonstrate this commitment in their practicum placements, classes, and in the larger School community.

Judgment: Social work students are expected to apply sound professional and personal judgment and effectively attend to professional roles and boundaries.

Self-care: Social work students are expected to manage the demands of the BS program in a manner that enables them to remain consistently engaged, attentive to duties, and professional in conduct and attitude. They must be able to recognize the signs of stress, develop appropriate means of self-care, and seek supportive resources if necessary.

Ethical Use of Social Media in Practice

In order to ensure the most appropriate and effective use of social media and to avoid unique challenges that social media usage may create, students should use ethical principles as outlined in the NASW Code of Ethics as a guide to practice. Specific guidelines on social media content and presence may differ at different agencies and institutions. Students are responsible for gaining clarity on these guidelines before sharing information and experiences, whether for professional, educational, or personal purposes, on social media outlets. In general, students should keep in mind the following:

  • Social work students should avoid conflicts of interest that interfere with the exercise of professional discretion and impartial judgment, and should avoid dual or multiple relationships with clients.
  • Student should respect a client’s right to privacy, and should not solicit private information unless it is immediately relevant.
  • Students should not discuss confidential information in any setting unless privacy can be ensured.

Students should not permit their private conduct to interfere with their professional work, and should make clear distinctions between statements and actions made as a private individual and as a social work professional.

Professional Misconduct and Discipline

Policy on Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

A professional social work degree should represent genuine learning and readiness to undertake responsibilities that include adhering to the social work Code of Ethics. The degree's integrity must be carefully safeguarded. Faculty is responsible for helping students learn to understand and value other people's ideas, to use resources and conscientiously acknowledge them, and to develop and clarify their own thinking. In addition, all the usual academic norms addressing honesty in academic performance, such as following all of the rules involving examinations of any kind, must be scrupulously followed. Failure to do so can result in dismissal from the program.

All students are expected to pursue the highest standards of academic excellence and integrity. Students must adhere to the norms of a serious professional community. A student's responsibilities include the following:

  • A duty to respect the efforts of others by submitting his or her own academic work and case recordings.
  • A duty to acknowledge properly the efforts of others.
  • A duty to safeguard and respect the property and rights of others.

The link to the University Policy on Academic Integrity for Students can be found here.

Definition of Plagiarism

In order to make the rules with regard to what does and does not constitute a breach of academic ethics as clear as possible, the faculty has formally clarified the definition of plagiarism for NYU School of Social Work as follows:

  • Plagiarism constitutes both academic misconduct and a breach of professional trust.
  • Plagiarism is presenting someone else's work, either academic or practicum related, as though it were your own.
  • More specifically, plagiarism is to present as your own a sequence of words quoted without quotation marks from another writer; a paraphrased passage from another writer's work; facts or ideas gathered, organized, and reported by someone else, orally and/or in writing, without attribution.
  • Since plagiarism is a matter of fact, not of the student's intention, it is crucial that acknowledgment of sources be accurate and complete.
  • Even where there is no conscious intention to deceive, the failure to make appropriate acknowledgment constitutes plagiarism.

Ways to Avoid Plagiarism

  • Familiarize yourself with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
  • When taking notes from any written material (published or not) summarize, do not paraphrase. If you are not sure about this, check with your instructor. Even summaries should be acknowledged in your presentation since the idea and often the manner in which the material is organized is the work of someone else.
  • When someone else has said something so well that you want to include it in your work, be sure to copy it exactly, follow APA quotation guidelines and cite the copied portion(s) appropriately.
  • Students are fully responsible for any work they submit. If the work is typed by a typist, students must read the finished work to be sure that no references or quotation marks have been omitted.
  • If you allow another student(s) to copy your work (including computer programs and research data) and submit it as their own, or if you submit a copy of someone else's work and claim it as your own, you have plagiarized.
  • Understand that your reader will want to know the sources you used in your research/writing and may be concerned about phrasing that is not like your usual writing style. Online material must be clearly referenced as well.
  • It is recommended that you cite electronic sources in the same manner you would non- electronic sources. Additionally, you must include all the electronic retrieval information needed for others to locate the sources you cited (i.e. web URLs or DOIs).

Anti-Bias Policy

Any student that has experienced bias, discrimination, or harassing behavior within the classroom, practicum placement, or community is advised to report the incident through the New YorkUniversity Bias Response Line, which is designed to help ensure that our University community is equitable and inclusive. In order to report an incident, students can call (212) 998-2277, email, or complete a Bias Response Online Form.