Advanced Standing Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Advanced Standing Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Social Work Student with group

UNH's online Advanced Standing Master of Social Work program is for exceptional students with undergraduate degrees from accredited baccalaureate social work programs. This program educates social work professionals to work effectively with diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities to optimize human potential for productive participation in society. Our Advanced Generalist Curriculum prepares students for effective advanced intervention with client systems of various sizes and to work in any setting where social workers are employed.

Credit Hours: 35   |    Program Length: 16 months

Why get an advanced standing master’s degree in social work?

If you have graduated within the last five years with a Bachelor of Social Work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited program with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better, you are eligible to apply for the advanced standing M.S.W. degree at UNH. Professional social workers make a difference in people’s lives, communities and society. An M.S.W. is a professional degree that will prepare you for 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 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.  The advanced standing option will allow you to finish your degree in a much shorter timeframe than a traditional M.S.W. program – as few as 12 months in Durham or 16 months online. 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 or outreach organizer
  • Juvenile/adult criminal justice social worker
  • Medical or mental health social worker
  • Public health administrator
  • Public policy analyst or research assistant
  • School social worker
  • Substance use disorder counselor

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Curriculum & Requirements

Advanced Standing Program

The M.S.W. program considers advanced standing for exceptional students with undergraduate degrees from accredited baccalaureate social work programs. This program option is offered in Durham and online.  Applicants must have graduated from the B.S.W. program within five years of matriculation into the M.S.W. program with a GPA of 3.2 or higher. Advanced standing students complete a minimum of 35 credits for graduation. This includes a 10-week summer practicum and seminar, which students must take prior to their advanced practice and field placement.

MSW Program Advanced Standing (post B.S.W./B.S.S.W.) Courses

SW 900Advanced Standing Practice and Field Seminar3
SW 840Implications of Race, Culture, and Oppression for Social Work Practice3
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 (seminar and concurrent internship)4
SW 926Social Welfare Policy II (unless completed in B.S.W./B.S.S.W., then an elective)3
SW 931Advanced Generalist Practice IV: Community and Administrative Practice3
SW 965Program and Practice Evaluation3
SW 983Field Internship IV (Seminar & Concurrent Internship)4
One Elective Course3
Total Credits35
  • 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.


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

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

Historically, cohorts fill up prior to the above application deadlines. If you are looking to apply for a specific term, please submit your application as early as possible for review.

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters: Yes (for more details see the accelerated masters information page)

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.

Distance Education Licensing Requirements

NC-SARA does not cover professional licensing board approval for programs leading to state licensure or certification. If the online program that you are considering is designed to lead to professional licensure or certification in your state, please read the professional licensure page at the UNH Online website for more information.


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 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 are required for any school you earned a degree from, attended for at least one year, or attended for 2 or more semesters. Exceptions to this rule may be approved at the discretion of the program you are applying to and the UNH Graduate School Admission’s office.

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 an employment setting that would be indicative of success in the social work and outdoor education 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. Being in an online program requires you to be able to use a variety of technologies. Can you describe (in one paragraph) your experience with the use of technology and your comfort and ability to learn new technologies and software?
  4. Briefly discuss a current social issue of great concern or interest to you.
  5. 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

Applicants must have graduated with their Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) with a minimum of a 3.2 GPA from a CSWE accredited institution within the past 5 years.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

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.


For program-specific application questions, please contact the UNH Online Student Success Coaches: or 855.250.6699

Explore Program Details

Your field education internship is about applying and doing, and is 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 education each contribute to the development of your 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:                     

Students are required to complete two field internships at a program or agency in their local community and work with the social work department field office to identify acceptable field sites. The most important objective of the field internship is to prepare students for competent social work practice. Internships enhance learning by providing students with opportunities to integrate and apply theories, research, values, methods and practice skills acquired throughout the curriculum to the reality of work with individuals, families, groups and communities. Both the internships and concomitant seminars stress the importance of learning to recognize and respect the dignity and worth of diverse client systems regardless of race, color, gender, age, creed, ethnic or national origin, ability, political, or sexual orientation. Below is some important information about the field experience.

  • Field instruction is concurrent with coursework; students are required to take co-requisite Social Work Practice and Field Seminar courses at the same time while interning.
  • During the first field internship students spend two days per week (16hrs) in the field for four e-terms.
  • In the second field internship students spend three days each week (24hrs) in the field for four e-terms.
  • Based on student and agency need, some flexibility in the day and time may be possible; however, there are no placements on the weekend. 
  • Students in their first internship are placed in settings that enable them to obtain generalist practice skills, while second field internships are in agencies that offer opportunities to learn Advanced Generalist skills.



Tuition & Fees:

Tuition for 2020-21 Academic Year*:

  • $785 per credit for New Hampshire (NH) residents
  • $865 per credit for non-NH residents                                                                  

Program Total Number of Credits: 35
*eTerm 5 2020 through eTerm 4 2021

Technology Fee per Semester:

  • 1-4 credits $26.00
  • 5-8 credits $52.00
  • 9-16 credits $104.00


Financial Aid

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans is the form of federal financial aid available to Graduate Students. To apply, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The UNH priority deadline is March 1. This is the date by which the FAFSA must be received by the federal processor, however, if your application is received after March 1st you will still be considered for the Federal Direct Loan, which is not subject to the priority deadline.

The basic eligibility requirements to be considered for Financial Aid include:

  • Attend classes at least half-time (5 or more credits per semester).
  • Enrollment in a degree program.
  • Documentation of United States citizenship or eligible non-citizen status.
  • Must maintain satisfactory academic progress.


Scholarship Opportunities

Although the Social Work Department has no direct departmental aid for online students, there are other ways to make your education affordable:



Loan Forgiveness Programs

Under some circumstances, you can have your federal student loan forgiven, canceled, or discharged. Explore the links below to learn some of the ways through which federal loans can be fulfilled.

Our online Advanced Standing Master of Social Work courses are taught by the same full-time faculty who also teach our on-campus courses. This means you are getting the same education online as you would on campus.


Our program has five 8-week e-terms per academic calendar year. Students who successfully complete two courses per e-term, as outlined below, earn their degrees in 16 months. Taking fewer courses per term will extend the completion timeframe.

Advanced Standing MSW Sample Schedule