Social Work (M.S.W.)

Social Work (M.S.W.)
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Our UNH Online Master of Social Work program teaches professionals to effectively work with a diverse range of individuals, families, and organizations in optimizing human potential through intervention. Our Advanced Generalist curriculum prepares students to navigate client systems of many sizes across a variety of settings.

  Credit Hours: 62   |     Program Length: 28 months  |    Tuition Cost

MSW Alumni Spotlights

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Learn more about the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work program


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).


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 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 local field internships.


  • 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 researcher/analyst
  • School social worker
  • Substance use disorder counselor

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Impact Social Change in your Community

Experience excellence in social work with UNH's online MSW program.

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 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. Field and Practice classes will have weekly synchronous online classes help on Monday or Wednesday evenings.  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.

Durham Two Year Program

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
SW 820 Social Welfare Policy I 3
SW 830 Social Work Practice I 3
SW 840 Implications of Race, Culture, and Oppression for Social Work Practice 3
SW 850 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I 3
SW 880 Field Internship I 3
SW 831 Social Work Practice II: Practice in Small Groups and Community Organizations 3
SW 851 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II 3
SW 860 Research Methods in Social Work 3
SW 881 Field Internship II 3
SW 926 Social Welfare Policy II 3
Second Year
SW 930 Advanced General Practice III: Clinical Assessment and Intervention 3
SW 952 Human Behavior and the Social Environment III 3
SW 962 Data Analysis and Statistics 3
SW 982 Field Internship III 4
Elective 3
SW 931 Advanced Generalist Practice IV: Community and Administrative Practice 3
SW 965 Program and Practice Evaluation 3
SW 983 Field Internship IV 4
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Total Credits62

Please refer to our MSW Handbook listed on our website for 3 year and 4 year Durham degree plan options.

Online MSW Degree Plan - Example below is Fall cohort course of study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Term 1
SW 820 Social Welfare Policy I 3
SW 850 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I 3
Term 2
SW 840 Implications of Race, Culture, and Oppression for Social Work Practice 3
SW 860 Research Methods in Social Work 3
Term 3
SW 851 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II 3
SW 926 Social Welfare Policy II 3
Term 4
SW 830 Social Work Practice I 3
SW 880 Field Internship I 1 3
Elective 3
Continuation of SW 880: Field 1
Second Year
Term 1
SW 831 Social Work Practice II: Practice in Small Groups and Community Organizations 3
SW 881 Field Internship II 2 3
Term 2
SW 952 Human Behavior and the Social Environment III 3
Continuation of SW 881: Field 2
Term 3
Elective 3
SW 962 Data Analysis and Statistics 3
Term 4
SW 930 Advanced General Practice III: Clinical Assessment and Intervention 3
SW 982 Field Internship III 3 4
SW 965 Program and Practice Evaluation 3
Continuation of SW 982: Field 3
Third Year
Term 1
SW 931 Advanced Generalist Practice IV: Community and Administrative Practice 3
SW 983 Field Internship IV 4 4
Term 2
Elective 3
Continuation of SW 983: Field 4
 Total Credits62

Goes through Terms 4 and 5


Goes through Terms 1 and 2


Going through Terms 4 and 5


Goes through Terms 1 and 2

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 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
Select three 3-credit elective courses of social work (other graduate programs with permission):9
SW 802
Aging and Society
SW 803
Social Work and Spirituality
SW 804
Adolescents with Emotional and Behavioral Challenges
SW 805
Child and Adolescent Risks and Resiliency: Program, Policy and Practice
SW #806
Social Action in the Dominican Republic
SW 807
Child Maltreatment
SW 808
Mental Health Aspects of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities
SW 809
First Responders
SW 810
SW and the Digital Age
SW 812
Understanding Developmental Disabilities
SW 813
School Social Work
SW #814
Introduction to Addiction: Assessment and Intervention
SW 815
Affirming Practice with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ People
SW 817
Understanding Suicide
SW 818
SW & Creative Arts
SW 957
Fund Development and Grantwriting
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 974
Social Work Supervision
SW 975
Theory and Practice of Family Therapy
SW 979
Social Work and the Law
Total Credits62

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

This graduate program is approved to be taken on an accelerated basis in articulation with certain undergraduate degree programs.

General Accelerated Master's policy, note that some programs have additional requirements (e.g. higher grade expectations) compared to the policy.

Please see the Graduate School website and contact the department directly for more information.

The Accelerated Masters (also referred to as early entry) program allows you to take graduate credit course senior year and have greater access to MSW elective options.  It also provides students with the option of completing graduate certificates, such as the Child Welfare or Substance Use Disorder Certificates.

  • 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.

Apply now


Please note the deadlines below may be shortened, as we will close any new applications once a cohort is full. In this case, the next start date will be open for application submission. All applications must be complete before they will be reviewed for admission. If you have questions or concerns about the deadlines please contact UNH Online for details:

* It is recommended to apply earlier as spots are filled on a rolling basis and the deadline closed once the cohort is filled

Application fee: $65

Campus: Online

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 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.

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

Two years of full-time experience in the field is strongly recommended. Graduation from an accredited undergraduate institution with a broad liberal arts background is required.

Enrollment Deposit

This program requires an enrollment deposit of $200. If admitted the deposit will be due by the deadline specified in your admit letter. For more information please see our enrollment deposits help page.

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.


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

Explore Program Details

Tuition & Fees:

The University of New Hampshire’s online graduate tuition and fees information is available on the UNH Business Services Website. Program costs and technology fees are subject to change.

Course Fees: Specific courses may have additional course fees. Visit the course schedule for more information. 


Financial Aid:

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans are a form of federal financial aid available to Graduate Students.

To apply, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


Your 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 internship each contribute to the development of a students’ competencies of professional practice.  Graduate school is a rare opportunity to have so many people; your internship supervisor, faculty and other students, supporting your professional development. 

How Internships Works:                     

Students are required to complete two internships at a program or agency in their local community and work with Social Work Department field office to identify acceptable field sites. The most important objective of the internships 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.

  • Internship instruction is concurrent with coursework; students are required to take co-requisite Social Work Practice and Internship Seminar courses at the same time while interning.
  • During the first internship students spend two days per week (16hrs) in the field for four terms.
  • In the second internship students spend three days each week (24hrs) in the field for four 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 internships are in agencies that offer opportunities to learn Advanced Generalist skills.


MSW Internship MANUAL

Our online 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.

View UNH Social Work Faculty

Our program has five 8-week terms per academic calendar year. Students who successfully complete two courses per term, as outlined below, earn their degrees in 28 months. Taking fewer courses per term will extend the completion timeframe.

Sample Schedule - Starting in Fall/August

Sample Schedule - Starting in Spring/January

Sample Schedule - Starting in Summer/May

College of Health and Human Services

Our Department of Social Work embraces the foundations of social welfare policy and professional practice through research, field education and the study of social environments. Learn more

Faculty & Student Spotlights

  • Sarah Menard MSW 2022
    Master of Social Work, '22G
    The Balance - Sarah Menard, 2022 graduate of the online UNH Master of Social Work (MSW) program, has firmly committed to her vocation. Raised by parents who specialized in education and social work, she was drawn to the caregiver model, influenced by Menard’s younger sibling who experiences multiple…
    Learn More
  • S. Davis MSW 2022
    Looking Ahead
    “I see people as a holistic entity rather than a snapshot in time,” says S. Davis, 2022 graduate of the online UNH Master of Social Work (MSW) program. Originally planning to become a teacher of history, a required introductory course in social work opened her awareness of a field that…
    Learn More
  • Journee LaFond
    The Bridge Builder
    "I feel passionate about being the instrument of change in a family’s struggle to achieve a satisfying and productive outcome. Building bridges for families is the cornerstone of my life and career." Growing up in Hartford, CT,…
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  • trish_Cox
    Making hard days a little brighter
    Patricia (Trish) Cox radiates passion when speaking about her career in social work, painting a clear picture of deep commitment and strong values.  After college Cox accepted a job in the pediatric cancer ward at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Witnessing first-hand the high level of care given by hospital social workers and the benefits to families…
    Learn More
  • Aimee Kereage
    Learn, Earn and Be Healthy
    As Director of Community Impact at Granite United Way in Manchester, New Hampshire, Aimee Kereage lives and works by these three words, which represent the mission of the organization. Her dynamic vision is to bring together local businesses and nonprofits and pool their resources to…
    Learn More