About the Online MSW
The University of New Hampshire (UNH), Department of Social Work is pleased to offer a fully online Master of Social Work (MSW) program. The Online MSW program provides the same quality professional education that our campus-based programs offer. We proudly “educate 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.
Preparing You to Make the World a Better Place
- Earn a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited MSW from an outstanding New England University.
- Complete your coursework and field practicum work at home and in your community.
- No campus visits are required at any time.
- Learn from full-time faculty who are passionate about social justice and experts in their field of practice.
- Earn a Graduate Certificate in Intellectual and Development Disabilities while completing your degree.
- Use your professional skills to improve the quality of life for people in your community.
Online education provides the flexibility to meet individual needs without the expense and necessity of traveling to campus. See if the online option is right for you.
Check out a sample online course layout, assignments, and lecture to get a sense of how online learning happens.
Ask yourself the following Questions.
Are you looking to obtain your MSW to advance your career?
Online education is ideal for working professionals, single parents, and anyone looking to enhance or move into careers such as health care, education, mental health, child care, substance abuse, child welfare, employee assistance programs, the military and other human service oriented environments.
Is getting to a campus-based program not practical or even possible for you?
The flexibility that online education provides can make earning your MSW a reality. If distance from campus, physical limitations, work or family life have prevented you from enrolling in an MSW program this option is ideal for you.
Do you need a course schedule that is flexible and can be done on your own time?
The majority of our courses will be asynchronous, meaning that you will be able to participate, complete assignments, view lectures, and access other course materials at times that are convenient for you. However, there may be synchronous components to some of your classes, particularly your practice classes. These classes will require scheduled synchronous online class time where you will interact with the instructor and classmates at the same time.
How does online learning work?
Online education is neither better nor worse than face-to-face instruction—it is simply different. The online environment provides new learning opportunities and creates a more direct relationship between students and instructors. But, it is not for everyone. Please take the time to view some of our sample online learning materials and consider what type of learner you are. Remember that the Department of Social Work at UNH offers a traditional 2-year and a 1-year advanced standing face-to-face models as well as a face-to-face part-time weekend executive model at our Manchester NH campus.
Founded in 1866 as the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, the University of New Hampshire was one of the early land-grant institutions established to serve the sons and daughters of farming and laboring families. Today UNH is not only a land-grant institution but also a designated sea- and space-grant University, and is among the top-tier research institutions nationally. The University is made up of dozens of academic departments, interdisciplinary institutes, and research centers that attract students and faculty from around the world. As state-of-the-art facilities are built to support academic growth, and new residence and dining halls are built to meet the growing popularity of campus life, the University continues to rest lightly on the Durham landscape. Some 13,000 students and hundreds of faculty and staff live and work amid the rolling hills and riverbeds of one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation.
Maintaining Quality and Integrity of Social Work Education
All online courses are designed by full-time faculty in the Department of Social Work. Additionally, full-time faculty share responsibility for teaching the core social work online courses and also provide guidance, mentorship, and oversight of all courses taught by faculty outside the Department to guarantee exceptional educational quality. Maintaining a personal connection to each and every student is a priority for our faculty. Doing so in an online environment presents challenges but also unique opportunities. We provide personal connections through use of technologies such as Skype and Blackboard Collaborate to provide advising and mentorship that is essential to becoming a professional social worker.
Graduates who wish to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) must complete a minimum of two years of work experience under the supervision of a LCSW, and then satisfy the specific requirements imposed by the state(s) in which they hope to practice. Individual state requirements vary, but each includes a fee. In New Hampshire, current rules require that one academic year be spent in residency or on campus. The New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice offers this interpretation of one academic year: "a minimum of 12 graduate credits of face to face, on-site interaction over two or more semesters." For more information visit http://www.nh.gov/mhpb/OneAcademicYear.htm
We strongly encourage you to become familiar with the licensure requirements expected in the states in which you expect to practice. For your convenience, here are a pair of links that provide general information about licensure in each of the United States. Please also contact your state licensure board to investigate their specific requirements.
Is there an Advanced Standing option for online students?
Currently, no there is not an Advanced Standing option for online-only students. However, we do plan to offer this option soon.
Are online courses more or less work than face-to-face courses?
The learning expectations are the same for online students as they are for face-to-face students. What is different is the delivery of this content. For example, an online student spends more time interacting with instructors and fellow students in relation to the content of courses via online discussions and assignments and less time passively listening to lectures.
How does the field internship work?
Students are required to complete two field internships at a program or agency in their community. Students will work with Department of Social Work’s field office to identify acceptable field sites. In some circumstances, students will be allowed to conduct their field placements with an employer if certain conditions are met. Students will receive social work supervision during their placements and will be enrolled simultaneously in an online field seminar with an instructor and other students. For detailed information on field internships please review the current MSW Field Manual.
What are the technology requirements for online courses?
Please see the following link for Tools and Technologies used in the courses: http://www.unh.edu/eunh/students/tools-technologies
Will there be an orientation to the program?
Yes, an online orientation will be provided prior to the start of your program for all enrolled students.
Will I have access to the UNH Library and all of its resources?
Yes, you will have all the same access privileges as students on our campuses. However, some of the libraries services are contingent upon a student’s ability to access the physical library.
As an online student, what types of technical supports are available to me?
Please see the following link for Support options available : http://www.unh.edu/eunh/students/student-services
How much does the program cost?
Please see details of the program cost here.
What about Financial Aid?
Please see details of financial aid here.
As an online student, can I be part of either of the dual-degree programs?
At this time, no, the Adventure Therapy and JD programs do not have online components.
How long will the program take to complete?
The program will take 28 months to complete if you start in either the fall or spring, 29 months if you start in the summer. This assumes that you take two courses per term during each of the five annual eUNH 8-week terms.
Will UNH accept any courses in transfer to the MSW program?
Yes, but only for accredited courses that will fit into the Master of Social Work program. Once you have been admitted to the MSW program, you can request transfer consideration for a maximum of two non-UNH courses. Your request will be evaluated by the Social Work faculty and the Dean of the Graduate School. Please see further details of credit transfer here, or download the Transfer Credit Request Form at the following link: http://www.gradschool.unh.edu/pdf/frm_transfer_cr_non_unh.pdf
What are my career opportunities with an MSW?
Social Workers practice in a very wide variety of employment settings including advocacy networks and organizations, child care, child welfare, disability, education, health care, employee assistance programs, juvenile and adult criminal justice, mental health, substance abuse, the military and other human service oriented environments. Additionally, national labor statistics demonstrate faster than average occupational growth through 2020 for social workers.
As an online student, can I complete any of the Graduate Certificate programs?
It depends. Currently the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the Mental Health Aspects of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are available to online students. We are working to be able to offer the rest of our Certificate programs online.
How do I apply?
Applications are to be made online through the Graduate School. Review the Apply Online instructions to complete your application. The Graduate School will forward all completed admissions materials to the Department of Social Work.