Social Work Major (B.S.)

Social Work Major (B.S.)

SW students at NH NAMI Walk

What is social work?

Social work is about helping individuals, families and community members with problems in their daily lives and advocating for those who need a voice. As a student in this program, you’ll learn about the history, values and ethics of the social work profession and social welfare policy. You’ll gain a solid foundation in the liberal arts while also studying human behavior and social work practices. As a graduate of the program, you’ll be prepared for generalist social work practice or continued education in social work or a related field.

Why study social work at UNH?

As a student in the social work program at UNH you’ll gain valuable, hands-on experience through volunteer hours at social service agencies and programs, a 450-hour internship experience and opportunities to participate in faculty research projects. We maintain one of the top social work programs in the country, meeting the rigorous academic standards required for accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education. Our graduates have a 95 percent placement rate, meaning they gain employment in the field or enroll in additional education courses soon after completing their degree. 

Potential careers 

  • Case manager 
  • Family social worker 
  • Housing specialist 
  • Juvenile court liaison 
  • Life skills coach 
  • Peer support worker 
  • Rehabilitation specialist 
  • Social services administrator 
  • Veterans’ affairs field officer 
  • Vocational specialist

Contact

Department of Social Work
Pettee Hall, 55 College Road
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-1799
Email: unh.socialwork@unh.edu

Curriculum & Requirements

The Department of Social Work's undergraduate program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and must meet rigorous academic standards to retain this accreditation. 

The Department of Social Work's undergraduate program offers both a major and a minor in social work. It is a specialized degree that prepares graduates for generalist social work practice with a solid foundation in the liberal arts and in the knowledge, skills, and value base of social work. Through the mastery of core competencies, social work graduates apply their education working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. In addition, the program prepares qualified students to pursue graduate education in schools of social work and related fields.

To connect the theoretical and conceptual content of the classroom with the practice world, students must complete:

  • 40 hours of volunteer service in an approved agency/program setting by the end of the semester prior to applying to the field. Twenty of the forty hours must be in the same agency/program. The remaining hours may be across multiple sites/programs. This experience may be paid or volunteer and must be pre-approved by the student's faculty adviser. The service hours must be completed post high school and by the end of the semester prior to field application.
  • Students complete a 450-hour internship over two semesters during the senior year. This is the senior capstone experience. The field placement in the final year of the baccalaureate program is arranged between the student and the field education coordinator. Students are required to pay a liability insurance fee for their off-campus field education experience. In compliance with CSWE accreditation standards, the B.S. in social work program does not grant social work course credit for life or work experience.

Social work majors earn a B.S. degree in social work. Graduates are eligible for practice in a variety of social work settings throughout the United States. In addition, qualified graduates are eligible to apply for advanced standing in M.S.W. programs that offer advanced standing. Depending upon the program, this can mean earning the M.S.W. in one calendar year versus two academic years.

Academic Program

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of the social work major. Social work majors are required to take:

Required Courses
SW 424Introduction to Social Work4
SW 525Social Welfare Policy: History of Social and Economic Justice4
SW 550Human Behavior and Social Environment I4
SW 551Human Behavior and Social Environment II4
SW 601Research Methods in Social Work4
SW 622Social Work Practice: Interventions with Individuals and Families4
SW 623Social Work Practice: Interventions with Groups, Organizations and Communities4
SW 625Social Welfare Policy in a Global Context4
Category I: Anthropology & Sociology
Select one course from the following:4
ANTH 411
Global Perspectives on the Human Condition: An Introduction to Anthropology
ANTH 500
Peoples and Cultures of the World
ANTH #515
Anthropology and Contemporary Issues
SOC 400
Introductory Sociology
SOC 515
Introductory Criminology
SOC 520
Family
SOC 525
Juvenile Crime and Delinquency
SOC 535
Homicide
Category II: Human Biology Requirement
Select one course from the folowing:4
ZOOL 401
Human Biology
BMS 507
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
BMS 508
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
Category III: Diversity Requirement
Select two courses from the following:8
ANTH 450
Introduction to Race, Culture, and Power
ANTH 625
Sexuality in Cross-Cultural Perspectives
CMN 567
Gender, Race, and Class in the Media
ENGL 549
In the Groove: African American Music as Literature
ENGL 550
Introduction to the Literature and Culture of Race
GERO 500
I'm Old, So What! An introduction to aging in the United States
HIST 425
Foreign Cultures
HIST 505
African American History
HIST 506
African American History
HIST 532
Modern Latin America
NURS #595
Women's Health
PHIL 510
Philosophy and Feminism
SOC 630
Sociology of Gender
SOC 645
Class, Status and Power
SOC 745
Race, Ethnicity, and Inequality
SW 650
Exploring Social Justice and Cultural Competency Using an Experiential Learning Approach
SW 660
Exploring Issues in Housing and Homelessness
SW 697
Special Topics in Social Welfare
SW #701
Women and Aging
SW 715
Practice with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People
WS 401
Introduction to Women's Studies
WS 405
Gender, Power and Privilege
WS 444A
Race Matters
WS #444B
Score!: Gender and Diversity in Sports
WS 444C
On the Roads to Equality
WS 632
Feminist Thought
Senior Capstone Course Sequence
SW 640Social Work Field Experience I5
SW 640ASocial Work Field Experience I: Seminar3
SW 641Social Work Field Experience II5
SW 641ASocial Work Field Experience II: Seminar3
Total Credits64

Students must maintain a 2.0 and earn a C or better in the 12 social work major courses. In addition, students are expected to successfully complete four additional courses as part of a liberal arts foundation for the major. Students choose one course from an approved list of courses in two different categories: anthropology/sociology and zoology and then must choose two additional courses from an approved list of diversity courses. These four courses may also satisfy University Discovery requirements.  Lastly, students are required to complete 40 hours of advisor approved volunteer community service hours by junior year.

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