Master of Social Work and Adventure Therapy, M.S.
The Master of Social Work & Master of Science Program in Adventure Therapy
The Department of Social Work and Outdoor Education Program at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) are excited to offer the first integrated dual degree program in the United States. In two and a half years students will be able to complete two graduate degrees, a Master in Social Work (M.S.W.) and a Master in Science (M.S.) in Kinesiology with a concentration in Outdoor Education to prepare them for a career in adventure therapy. Students simultaneously take classes in both social work and kinesiology and are required to also complete an advanced research project which is supervised by Faculty in the Social Work and Outdoor Education Program in Kinesiology (See Curriculum). Students will have access to the Browne Center for Innovative Learning for “hands on” training. In addition, students complete two internships at social service agencies, one during their first year of study and a second specialized internship during the summer after their second year. This specialized second internship concentrates on the utilization and application of adventure therapy in an agency setting with placement opportunities across the United States. Most students should expect to leave New England for their summer block second placement.
The UNH program also houses two critical elements in the adventure therapy field. First is the NATSAP Research Database, the largest collection of data on youth in wilderness therapy programs, therapeutic boarding schools, and residential treatment centers in North America. Second is the the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Center , which focuses on the promotion of research, accreditation and risk management in Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare and adventure therapy programs. Students are provided with opportunities to become involved in these exciting and leading-edge initiatives.
Check out the CHHS video on this Dual Degree program, click here.
Preparing Students for Careers in
Wilderness Therapy Programs. There are currently over 100 wilderness therapy programs operating in the United States.
Therapeutic Boarding Schools which provide integrated educational milieus with the appropriate level of structure and supervision for the whole child (physical, emotional, behavioral, familial, social, intellectual, and academic development).
Residential Treatment Centers that treat adolescents with serious psychological and behavior issues.
Public and Private Schools that offer adventure programming to both at-risk and mainstream students.
Transitional Independent Living/ Young Adult Programs designed for people over 18 needing a safe, supportive environment and life skills training for transition into adulthood.
Adult Treatment Programs designed for adults with specific treatment needs (substance abuse, eating disorders, PTSD) in mental health settings.
Community Mental Health Centers that provide individual, family and group therapy for a variety of clients.
Dual degree applicants in Social Work and Kinesiology: Outdoor Education must meet the requirements for both Social Work and Kinesiology: Outdoor Education. Please note, Dual Degree applicants only need to apply to Social Work, not both programs. Dual degree applications are due by February 1st. Also please note: applicants may be accepted to one or the other program, or both.
Admission Requirements: Kinesiology/Outdoor Education
Evaluation of applications is based on the student's undergraduate preparation, academic record, Graduate Record Examination general test scores, and letters of recommendation. Each applicant's undergraduate record will be examined for course deficiencies and such courses will have to be made up without graduate credit.
In addition to meeting the general admission requirements of the UNH Graduate School, successful candidates must show adequate preparation in basic operational knowledge of outdoor education programs and a strong background in outdoor adventure skills. A minimum of 2 years post undergraduate experience in the field of outdoor education is necessary, with evidence of considerable leadership time with groups in outdoor education settings. Familiarity with the philosophic and historical underpinnings of the field is also necessary.
Admission Requirements: Social Work
The Department encourages applications from persons who (1) hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; (2) have attained an overall grade-point average of “B” or better in undergraduate coursework; (3) have completed courses in a broad range of liberal arts and science disciplines; (4) have acceptable recommendations from three individuals, one of whom must be a member of an academic faculty; and (5) 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.
Applications are to be made to the Graduate School by using the by applying online. Interested applicants need only apply to the social work program; the Graduate School will forward all information to kinesiology as part of the process.
- When selecting a major choice, under the "Planned Major" section of the online application,“Social Work: MSW-MS Kinesiology Dual Degree" from the pull-down menu of majors . Then under the options question indicate this is for the Dual Degree Program in Social Work and Kinesiology: Outdoor Education.
- At the top of the personal essay write "Dual Degree Program in Social Work and Kinesiology: Outdoor Education.” Only one personal essay is required, see #3 for details.
- In a well-constructed essay of 4-5 pages all applicants should respond to the following three questions. Your essay must be typewritten and double-spaced.
1. How did you become interested in social work? What personal, academic, organizational, volunteer and/or paid work experiences have influenced your choice of social work as a profession? 2. Briefly discuss a current social issue of great concern or interest to you. 3. Describe some intellectual and personal attributes that you believe make you particularly suited for the profession of social work. 4. In addition, as a Dual Degree student you should integrate into your personal essay why you are interested in both fields and your long term professional goals based on receiving this dual degree. This should supplement your responses to the three questions all applicants are required to address in their personal essays for social work.
- On the letter of reference form, under the "Degree sought in ..." field indicate this letter is for an application to the Dual Degree Program in Social Work and Kinesiology: Outdoor Education.