University of North Dakota Master’s in Social Work Online
Program Options: Part-Time
Acceptance Rate: 86 percent
GRE Required: No
1-Year/Accelerated Option: No
Campus Visits Required: Yes
Field Hours: 1,000+
CSEW Accredited: Yes (1991)
Application Deadline: June 15
See our ranking of the Top 10 Most Affordable Master of Social Work Online (MSW) Degrees.
Founded in 1833, the University of North Dakota is the state’s oldest university and actually dates back to before it became a state. Often called UND, the university saw its enrollment grow as it added distance education programs to its curriculum. These programs allowed students to earn their degrees while living anywhere in North Dakota or even in a different state. UND now offers online programs that operate in the same way. Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and Washington Monthly are among the publications and organizations that rank UND as one of the best schools in the United States. Its Master of Social Work programs rank among the best in the Midwest.
Many students do better in traditional classes and when they see professors standing in front of them, which is why UND offers live social work classes for online students. Students will log in and watch those classes in real time. This gives them the chance to ask some questions and interact with their peers, which can lead to vibrant discussions. Live classes will meet between two and three times a week and always at night to accommodate the needs of students. Students will also do two intensive lab sessions that take place on the UND campus. They will spend between five and six days working with other students and talking to their professors.
UND doesn’t give students the chance to choose a concentration because it considers its distance education program as a concentration. The university understands that students will spend a lot of time working on their assignments and completing their practicum work. It doesn’t want students to feel overwhelmed with completing a concentration at the same time. Distance education online students will take advanced generalist courses that prepare them for working with individuals and families as well as small groups. Those who want to work in specific fields or areas of social work can gain experience in those areas when doing their practicums.
Students who do not have a Bachelor of Social Work must take 24 credits of foundation courses. Those courses include two practicums and two seminars that go along with those practicums. The seminars will help students talk about their experiences and share their experiences with their peers as they do fieldwork. Students will also take up to 34 credits of generalist practice classes. Advanced standing students will only take this set of courses. UND requires that students do two practicums and take two seminars when completing this phase of the program.
The UND Online MSW application is fairly straightforward. All students will use the same online application, but the requirements they must meet will change based on whether they are traditional or advanced standing applicants. Students who do not have a BSW must submit official transcripts that show they maintained a grade point average of at least 3.0 in all their classes and that they maintained a 3.0-GPA in all courses taken within the last 60 credits or two years of work. They must also take a statistics class and receive a “C” or higher in that class. The university requires that students take 30 credits of liberal arts courses as an undergrad, including courses in psychology, sociology, music, political science and history. They will agree to follow the university’s ethical standards and submit a professional resume too.
The professors working for UND include both full-time and adjunct professors as well as assistant teachers. Some of its instructors work on a part-time basis because they also work for a local social work agency. They bring a deep understanding to all the courses they teach, which they will pass onto their students. Students will also work closely with their advisers. Those advisers can help them both choose the right classes and secure placements near the campus or in their own areas.
Online MSW students at UND will take online classes every week. These classes meet at least twice a week, usually on weekends or later in the evening. Students can interact with both their teachers and their peers through the class discussion boards and via email. They’ll also have the chance to interact with each other during class meetings.
While UND requires that students complete several residencies every year, it also offers a number of online classes. The 24 credits of foundation classes that students take include Generalist Research Methods and Analysis, Generalist Practice with Communities and Organizations and Human Behavior in the Social Environment. Students will also take more than 30 credits of advanced generalist courses on working with communities, organizations and treatment groups.
UND offers help and advice for students who have a hard time finding internships where they live. Students who live close to the campus can actually do internships with partner organizations. They can also work with their advisers and talk about their interests and where they want to work. The university requires that traditional students complete four practicums, while advanced standing students will only do two practicums. Each one requires that they spend 500 hours working in the field during traditional business hours. Students will do between 1,000 and 2,000 hours of fieldwork.
Many Online MSW students use this as an opportunity to work for different organizations and to find out what each one does. This can help them decide where they want to work after they graduate. Those who work in their own communities can also make connections in the field and possibly receive job offers too.
Gillette Hall, Room 302
225 Centennial Drive, Stop 7135
Grand Forks, ND 58202-7135
UND offers two different social work degree programs that students can complete based on the amount of field experience and education that they already have. Advanced standing students will finish their studies faster because they already took foundation courses as an undergrad. The Online MSW at the University of North Dakota requires that students work on the campus and do work in the field.