Our Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) approach to service provision takes into account an individual’s past, which may include trauma, and involves practices to reduce the risk of retraumatization. It is a systematic approach valuable to clinics and hospitals, schools, human service agencies, policy making spaces, and anywhere social work takes place.
Ranked #11 of affordable online Master of Social Work degrees in the U.S. by AffordableColleges.com, this distance education program is designed for individuals whose circumstances do not provide them the opportunity to attend on-site, campus-based MSW programs. The Foundation track is designed for individuals who do not have a social work undergraduate degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program. If you do have an undergraduate degree from a CSWE accredited program, please review our Advanced Standing track.
New cohort program to begin Spring 2021
Applications are currently being accepted; apply by August 1, 2020 for full consideration.
This program incorporates the same high standards and course workload expectations as the on-campus MSW program, but features the convenience of course delivery without the necessity of commuting to campus.
Courses are offered online using Blackboard, an online learning management system requiring Internet access and a web browser. Most courses will also meet Tuesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. via interactive video conferencing. Students study with the same group of adult learners for the duration of the program, networking with working professionals facing similar challenges.
This program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Accreditation verifies that the MSW degree meets the high standards considered essential to providing a high quality social work education, and ensures that every student graduating from a social work program in the U.S. possesses the same requisite skills and knowledge.
Tentative course scheduleClick on a course title to view the course description (if available).
All students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of location, making it an affordable option for all students.
Tuition for the 2019-20 academic year is $509 per unit of graduate credit or $320 per unit of undergraduate credit. An additional technology fee per course may apply. Tuition and fees are expected to rise each May, typically announced by the Iowa Board of Regents in March.
Distance education students may qualify for financial aid with the following eligibility requirements:
Specific questions about financial aid should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships at 319-273-2700 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Since its establishment in 1876 as the Iowa State Normal School, the University of Northern Iowa has maintained its affirmed commitment to the support of excellence in teacher education. That commitment remains strong as the university continues to prepare students to become teachers, as well as provide opportunities for career advancement in the field of education. In addition to a commitment to teaching, our faculty members are engaged in research, writing and professional development. View UNI's national rankings and honors.
Research findings demonstrate that students of all types of learning styles can succeed in a distance environment. View our tips for being a successful distance learner.
The University of Northern Iowa is committed to providing comprehensive support services for distance education students. The Office of Continuing and Distance Education serves as your primary point of contact in accessing distance education support services, including enrollment services, technical support for online course tools and more. You are also given access to the UNI Rod Library’s print and electronic collections for your convenience. View a complete list of services and support resources.
Please contact the Office of Continuing and Distance Education at 319-273-7206, 800-648-3864 or email@example.com with any questions. If we don’t have the answer, we will do our best to find it.
See the "Next Steps" tab above for information. If you have any questions, please contact the program coordinator(s) and/or enrollment contact below or contact the Office of Continuing and Distance Education at ContinuingEd@uni.edu.
When you have completed the steps to admission and have been accepted into the program, we will send you details and information about how to enroll in the first course. After you participate in the first term of courses in the cohort sequence, the Office of Continuing and Distance Education will notify you with enrollment details for the next term of courses as they become available. You are required to enroll in your courses each semester.
The program is planned so that students move through the sequence of courses as a cohort group. The first course forms a foundation for the program and includes an introduction unit describing the program goals, sequence of courses, standards, rubrics and academic expectations. For that reason, it is important that you enroll and complete the courses in the same sequence. Program faculty expect that students have a growing knowledge of concepts built upon a prescribed sequence of courses. In addition, program faculty work to build an online community as students move through the course sequence together.
The Department of Social Work determines admission using four criteria: Undergraduate GPA, Experience, Professional Statement, and References. The GRE or any other examination is not required; however, applicants with low GPA scores may submit results of the GRE if it is more indicative of their true potential.
Successful applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. For those students who do not meet this requirement, the following criteria may be considered as an alternative:
Students who do not meet the GPA requirement and who demonstrate in their application other strengths or exceptional circumstances may be admitted on a provisional basis (provisionally admitted students will be required to achieve a grade point average of 3.0 in their first semester of course work).
Expectations for the distance program are the same as the expectations for the on-campus program. Distance education provides greater flexibility. Students should expect to spend six hours a week on course work for every course credit. For the MSW distance education program, that means a minimum of 36 hours of study per week.
For your field experiences, our agency partners request that you are available to complete your internship hours between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For the MSW Foundation field experience, you will need to complete approximately 12-13 hours per week over two semesters. For the MSW Specialization field experience, you will need to complete approximately 15-16 hours per week over two semesters.
For those students already employed in the human service field, it is possible to complete your internship at your current place of employment. Your internship duties and supervisor must be different than your employment duties and supervisor.
The Department of Social Work determines admission using four criteria:
Additional information can be found at csbs.uni.edu/socialwork/msw-admissions.
Please complete the online interest form to the right to express your interest in joining a future Social Work: Foundation cohort. We will use the information you provide to send you program updates, including important information about application deadlines.
We are currently accepting applications for the Spring 2021 Social Work: Foundation. We encourage you to apply for admission to graduate students through the University of Northern Iowa as soon as possible. Applications received by August 1, 2020, will receive full consideration.
Former UNI students: The online application requires logging in with your CatID credentials. If you have forgotten your username or passphrase,contact the IT Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-273-5555 and have them reset your password.
Contact us at 800-648-3864 or Distance@uni.edu for assistance. Additional resources are also available from the UNI Graduate College.
Required departmental materials:
Required application materials can be attached (in .pdf format) to the application at the time of or after submission or sent directly to the Office of Admissions.
Submission of additional materials after the application has been completed should be sent directly to the Office of Admissions via email or postal mail:
University of Northern Iowa002 Gilchrist HallCedar Falls, IA email@example.com
When your application for graduate study is complete, you will receive confirmation from UNI Admissions staff that they have received and forwarded your application and transcripts to the the Department of Social Work for review.
The department will review your application materials and contact you about your admission status. Following admission to the program, you will be provided enrollment information.