Social Work M.S.W.

Students in master of social work class
Social Work M.S.W.

The master of social work (MSW) program at UNH develops professional knowledge and skill for those interested in pursuing careers in the field of social work. Offering three distinct program options provides the opportunity for students to earn their MSW in the format best suited to them.

Program Overview

What is social work?

Social work is a field dedicated to helping others and empowering people, families and groups to effect positive change in their lives and communities. Our master’s in social work program offers flexible options tailored toward your needs. You’ll develop your professional knowledge and skills to work in fields such as healthcare, education, substance abuse, child welfare, employee assistance programs, the military and other human services disciplines.

Why study social work at UNH?

Studying social work at UNH, you’ll earn a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited MSW from an outstanding New England University. You’ll learn from full-time faculty who are passionate about social justice and experts in their field of practice. Our advanced generalist curriculum offers a wide range of elective courses, and you’ll be able to specialize in areas including disabilities; health and mental health; addictions and substance abuse; and children, youth and families. You’ll also gain hands-on experience while making a difference in your community through two local field internships.  

Potential careers

  • Child welfare case worker
  • Community health worker
  • Community outreach organizer
  • Juvenile/adult criminal justice social worker
  • Medical social worker
  • Mental health social worker
  • Public health administrator
  • Public policy analyst
  • Research assistant
  • School social worker
  • Substance abuse counselor


Department of Social Work
Pettee Hall, 55 College Road
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-1799

Curriculum & Requirements

The M.S.W. program features an advanced generalist concentration, which is the most common concentration in social work. It is very well suited for practice in rural, suburban, and urban settings and is viable for career positions where a CSWE-accredited degree is required. Completion of the M.S.W. program provides the foundation for license eligibility. 

MSW students will be able to select three electives in one or more fields of practice:

  1. Health and mental health;
  2. Addictions and substance abuse;
  3. Children, youth, and families,
  4. Disabilities; or a self-designed field of practice.

M.S.W. Degree Requirements

An M.S.W. candidate must complete 62 credit hours of 800- or 900-level courses including two, two-semester field internships, comprising a total of 1,240 hours in the field. Grades below the B­ level in a graded course or a "fail" in a credit/fail course are considered failing grades for the purposes of determining academic standing. Repeating a course does not remove the original failing grade from the record. Graduate students receiving failing grades in 9 or more credits, received either in three courses or in any combination of courses taken twice, will be dismissed from the M.S.W. program.

Although a significant portion of the curriculum is required, students will be able to complete three elective courses. At least one of these must be taken from among Department of Social Work course offerings.

Core MSW Program Advanced Generalist Courses

Core courses
SW 820Social Welfare Policy I3
SW 830Social Work Practice I3
SW 840Implications of Race, Culture, and Oppression for Social Work Practice3
SW 850Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (HBSE I)3
SW 880Field Internship I 13
SW 860Research Methods in Social Work3
SW 831Social Work Practice II: Practice in Small Groups and Community Organizations3
SW 851Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (HBSE II)3
SW 926Social Welfare Policy II3
SW 881Field Internship II 23
SW 930Advanced General Practice III: Clinical Assessment and Intervention3
SW 952Human Behavior and the Social Environment III3
SW 962Data Analysis and Statistics3
SW 982Field Internship III 34
SW 931Advanced Generalist Practice IV: Community and Administrative Practice3
SW 965Program and Practice Evaluation3
SW 983Field Internship IV 44
Select three 3-credit elective courses of social work (other graduate programs with permission):9
SW 801
Women and Aging
SW 805
Child and Adolescent Risks and Resiliency: Program, Policy and Practice
SW 806
Social Action in the Dominican Republic
SW 812
Understanding Developmental Disabilities
SW 813
School Social Work
SW 814
Introduction to Addiction: Assessment and Intervention
SW 815
Practice with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People
SW 816
Addiction: Myth, Science and Policy
SW 819
Addiction Recovery
SW 865
Adventure Therapy: Facillitation and Processing of the Experience
SW 870
Intimate Partner Violence
SW 897
Special Topics in Social Work and Social Welfare
SW 957
Fund Development and Grantwriting
SW #973
Interventions with Groups
SW 974
Social Work Supervision
SW 975
Theory and Practice of Family Therapy
SW 979
Social Work and the Law
Total Credits62

Explore Program Details

MSW Field Education

Welcome to UNH MSW Field Education.  Your field education, internship, is about applying and doing, the opportunity for you to connect the theoretical and conceptual contribution of the classroom with the practical world of the practice setting.  Classroom and field each contribute to the development of a students’ competencies of professional practice.  Graduate school is a rare opportunity to have so many people; your field supervisor, faculty and other students, supporting your professional development. 

How Field Education Works:                     

Field instruction is concurrent with classroom work. During the first field placement students are required to spend two days per week in the field.  In the second field placement students spend three days each week in the field.  Students may not “bank” their hours and end their placements prematurely.

In the Durham program, first year placements are typically arranged on Thursdays and Fridays and students are expected to work 16 hours per week at their placement. Similarly, Durham second year placements are typically arranged on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and students are expected to work 24 hours per week at their placement.  This schedule may be adjusted by mutual agreement of the student and field supervisor, if needed, with collaboration with field coordinator. Students are expected to work a full day unless special arrangements are made. Reliable and punctual attendance is required.

For Manchester students, first internship year placement schedules are arranged by mutual agreement between the student and the field supervisor. During this internship year students are expected to work at their placement for 16 hours/week. Similarly, second year internship placements are arranged by mutual agreement and students are expected to work 24 hours per week at their placement. Any requests for variations on the schedule must be made in the form of a written proposal and addressed to the appropriate Field Coordinator.

Frequently Asked Questions for Field

MSW Field Manual

UNH Social Work alums have been helping the residents of New Hampshire for the last 40 years. Hear from alums on how their education prepared them for their positions at Krempels Center in Portsmouth, The International Institute of NH in Manchester, and Keystone Hall in Nashua.

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