Social Work (M.S.W.)

Social Work (M.S.W.)

Students in master of social work class

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.

Why get a master’s degree in social work?

Professional social workers make a difference in people’s lives, communities, and society. An M.S.W. is a professional degree that prepares graduates to work in fields such as healthcare, education, substance abuse, child welfare, employee assistance programs, policy and advocacy, and other human services and social welfare related areas. Additionally, an M.S.W. is the first step toward becoming a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).

Why choose UNH’s Master of Social Work program?

At UNH, you’ll earn a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited M.S.W. from a top-tier research university. You’ll learn from full-time faculty who are passionate about social justice and are experts in their fields of practice. With full-time, part-time hybrid and online options you can earn your degree in the format best suited to you, and you’ll have the opportunity 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 a local field internship.  

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 
  • Public policy research assistant 
  • School social worker 
  • Substance use disorder counselor

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 University of New Hampshire's M.S.W. program provides a quality educational experience that prepares graduates for Advanced Generalist practice consistent with the purposes of the social work profession.  It concentrates on strengths and empowerment models that encourage individuals and families, and communities and organizations to realize their full potential. 

Fields of Practice

MSW students will be able to select three electives in one or more of the following:

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

Program Options

The Durham Campus Program is our traditional model with classes held on campus.  It takes two years to complete the full time program, with part time course of study of three and four years.  Required first year courses are scheduled Monday-Wednesday leaving Thursdays and Fridays open for first year field internships.  Second year courses are scheduled Wednesdays and Thursdays leaving Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for internships.  The Durham program admits once a year in the fall.

The UNH Manchester Program has academic classes delivered in a hybrid model.  Academic classes are primarily held in-person on Saturdays on the Manchester campus; in addition, students engage in an online class equivalent activity during the week.  Admission to this program is every other year in fall.  Students complete the Manchester program in three years.  Field internships occur in the second and third year of the program.

The M.S.W Online Program allows students to earn their Master of Social Work degree online in 28 months.  M.S.W online students are required to complete two field internships at a program or agency in their local community and work with Social Work Department field office to identify acceptable field sites. The online program admits three times a year (fall, spring, summer).  No campus visits are required at any time.

Advanced Standing is an option for eligible students who have graduated from an accredited B.S.W. program within five years.  This option is available in Durham or online.  Admission to this program is every summer for Durham and every fall for online.

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
Electives
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: Facilitation 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

Deadlines

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: February 1
  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

At least one letter must attest to observed skills in a volunteer or employment setting that would be indicative of success in the social service field.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Applicants must provide a well-constructed double-spaced essay of 4-5 pages. Please respond to the questions below:

  1. How did you become interested in social work?
  2. What personal, academic, organizational, volunteer and/or paid work experiences have influenced your choice of social work as a profession?
  3. Briefly discuss a current social issue of great concern or interest to you.
  4. Describe some intellectual and personal attributes that you believe make you particularly suited for the profession of social work.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Resume

A current resume is required with your submitted application.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

Additional Department Requirements

Significant volunteer and/or work experience in the field is strongly recommended. Graduation from an accredited undergraduate institution with a broad liberal arts background is required.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are strongly encouraged to complete our international pre-application process and are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. Please note that English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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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