Social Work and Juris Doctor Dual Degree (M.S.W./J.D.)

Social Work and Juris Doctor Dual Degree (M.S.W./J.D.)
Professor Melissa Wells and a MSW/JD student


Getting a dual J.D. and M.S.W. degree gives you the advanced specialized knowledge and perspective of both legal and social issues pertaining to individuals and communities, a distinct advantage in today’s complex society. As a social worker with legal skills, you’ll be prepared to advocate effectively for your clients involved in the legal system. As an attorney with clinical social work skills, you’ll be better able to understand the unique psychological and social concerns of your clients and pursue strategies to achieve clients’ goals that are responsive to these vital dimensions of clients’ needs. This dual degree program is especially beneficial in holistically and effectively addressing critical social justice issues, including immigration, gender bias and discrimination, and intimate partner violence. 


Take advantage of UNH’s combined academic strengths — the College of Health and Human Services’ Department of Social Work, fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, and UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law, accredited by the ABA. You can save time and money, finishing in four years, compared to pursuing both degrees separately. All students complete a foundation-year course of study, then elect a second-year concentration either in direct/clinical practice or community/administrative practice. Both concentrations require classroom work and two year-long field internships. 


  • Child welfare 
  • Community health 
  • Government agencies 
  • Juvenile/adult criminal justice 
  • Law 
  • Nonprofits 
  • Politics and public policy 
  • Public welfare 
  • Social work 
  • Substance abuse 

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Curriculum & Requirements

Social Work and UNH School of Law

The Department of Social Work and the School of Law at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) also offer a dual degree resulting in the JD/M.S.W. In four years, students will be able to complete two graduate degrees, a master in social work (M.S.W.) and a Juris Doctor to prepare them for a career in law and social work.

Contact Information

For additional information regarding the social work/law dual degree course requirements, contact coordinator Sheryl Thompson, or our admissions team at

Social Work and Law JD/MSW Courses

JD Course Requirements

Social Work Required Courses
SW 820Social Welfare Policy I3
SW 830Social Work Practice I3
SW 831Social Work Practice II: Practice in Small Groups and Community Organizations3
SW 840Implications of Race, Culture, and Oppression for Social Work Practice3
SW 850Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (HBSE I)3
SW 851Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (HBSE II)3
SW 860Research Methods in Social Work3
SW 880Field Internship I 13
SW 881Field Internship II 23
SW 926Social Welfare Policy II3
SW 930Advanced General Practice III: Clinical Assessment and Intervention3
SW 931Advanced Generalist Practice IV: Community and Administrative Practice3
SW 952Human Behavior and the Social Environment III3
SW 962Data Analysis and Statistics3
SW 965Program and Practice Evaluation3
SW 982Field Internship III 34
SW 983Field Internship IV 44

Seminar and concurrent two-day/week internship/academic year


Seminar and two-day/week internship continued from SW 880 Field Internship I


Seminar and concurrent three-day/week internship/academic year


Seminar and three-day/week internship continued from SW 982 Field Internship III In Field IV (SW 983 Field Internship IV), students will complete an assignment that will highlight their ability to demonstrate all 9 social work competencies.

  • Student demonstrates ethical and professional behavior.
  • Student engages diversity and difference in practice.
  • Student advances human rights and social, economic and environmental justice.
  • Engage in practice informed research and research-informed practice.
  • Engages in policy practice.
  • Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Intervenes with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Evaluates practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

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

  • Fall: April 15
  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: Waived for current J.D. students

Campus: J.D. offered in Concord and M.S.W. offered in 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.


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

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to 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.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

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. It is recommended that two of the letters be from UNH Law faculty.

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.


A current resume is required with your submitted application.

Additional Department Requirements

In addition to the three letters of recommendation a complete application will include a statement of support from UNH Law. Current UNH Law students must request a statement of support from Lauren Berger, the UNH Law Assistant Dean for Students. Ask to have the letter sent directly to you as you will need to provide it when you submit your application. For new law students you may provide a copy of your admit offer letter in lieu of a formal statement of support.

Important Notes

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

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.

Students planning to enroll in the MSW’s advanced standing track must consult with Professor Sharon Murphy to understand the timing unique to the program.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. 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

Prospective students should contact UNH Law's Admissions Department for more information: and the MSW Admissions Office:

Admission Requirements: Juris Doctorate

The Admissions Committee follows professional guidelines when reviewing applications. At a minimum, you must provide information demonstrating that you have the requisite intellectual skills to be successful in law school. While LSAT scores and undergraduate GPA are important considerations for admission, they are not the sole factors. We also look for maturity, initiative, public service and a fit with our educational philosophy and curricular strengths. In the application, you will need to give us clear evidence of your abilities through your essay, detailed descriptions of challenging work, and specific letters of recommendation. The Admissions Committee looks at each applicant as a whole person and spends a great deal of time reviewing every application, especially the essay portion.

Application Process     
Applicants interested in the JD/MSW dual degree program should apply to the JD program during the application cycle, October 1 - April 1, and to the MBA or MSW program by August 15, 2014. The LSAT will serve as the required standardized test for the JD, MBA, and MSW programs. Please indicate on your JD application your intention to apply to the dual degree program. Candidates must apply before the deadlines and be admitted to both programs, and a 1L cumulative grade point minimum must be maintained to qualify for the dual degree.

Application Fee
There is no fee to apply to the University of New Hampshire School of Law JD program.

How to apply

Online Status
When we receive your application, we will acknowledge its receipt via e-mail and assign you a password to Applicant Online Status, where you will be able to track your application's progress. It may take a few days or more to receive your Law School Report because it may contain letters of recommendation, LSAT scores, and transcripts, so please be patient. Make sure, however, that your LSDAS records are current and complete.

Admission Requirements: Master of Social Work

The department encourages applications from persons who

Courtney Gray

Courtney Gray, JD/MSW Student

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; 
  • Have attained an overall grade-point average of "B" or better in undergraduate coursework; 
  • Have completed courses in a broad range of liberal arts and science disciplines; 
  • Have acceptable recommendations from three individuals, one of whom must be a member of an academic faculty
  • Have completed satisfactorily a personal statement of interest in pursuing graduate education in the field. Though not required, significant volunteer and/or work experience in the field is strongly recommended.

Students who do not meet the liberal arts and science expectations may be asked to complete additional coursework prior to or during the first year of their enrollment in the program. Except for students applying to the dual degree program in social work and kinesiology, standardized graduate examinations are not required, but results of such tests may be submitted to supplement other admission materials.

Students applying for advanced standing must hold a degree from an accredited B.S. in S.W./B.S.W. program with a minimum grade-point average of 3.2 (4.0 point scale). This coursework must have been completed within five years of the date of M.S.W. matriculation. Advanced-standing applicants must also submit a reference from a B.S.W. faculty member and the undergraduate field supervisor or field coordinator.

Application Instructions, MSW:
Applications are to be made to the Graduate School, using the downloadable admissions application or by applying online. Interested applicants for the dual degree are required to be accepted for admission into both programs.

JD/MSW Brochure

Graduate School

apply online

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