The UNI online MSW program focuses on the development of our rural and under-served communities by increasing the number of Master's-level social work practitioners within those communities. A strong rural and remote social work workforce advances social and economic justice and well-being for all Iowans.
The distance education program is designed for individuals whose circumstances do not provide them the opportunity to attend, on-site, campus MSW programs. It has two tracks: Foundation and Advanced Standing. The Foundation track is for individuals who do not have a bachelor's degree in social work. The Advanced Standing track is for individuals who have a social work undergraduate degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program.
Courses are offered online using elearning, a 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. Limited on-campus attendance required for practice-related courses.
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 ensuring that every student graduating from a social work program has the same requisite skills and knowledge.
Tentative course scheduleClick on a course title to view the course description (if available).
Course details and enrollment information
All students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of location, making it an affordable option for all students.
Tuition for the 2017-18 academic year is $498 per unit of graduate credit or $311 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 email@example.com
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 319-273-5970, 800-648-3864 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. If we don’t have the answer, we will do our best to find it.
You will work with the program coordinator when communicating about the program of study. Once participating in the program, you will be assigned a faculty advisor who will work with you one-on-one regarding your progress in the program.
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.
While it is often possible to make up courses that are missed, our commitment is to deliver the courses as outlined in the cohort schedule. This is not designed as a program in which students come and go. Rather, the cohort model requires that students take the prescribed sequence in unison. Should you need to miss a course, you should consult with your program advisor for options.
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.
For information about course delivery, please see the "Overview" tab above.
In general, students complete the full set of courses outlined in the program. It is possible to transfer a limited number of graduate credits. However, this credit must meet the following criteria:
Please check with the program coordinator about specific situations and Transfer Evaluation Forms.
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 semeters. 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.
Please complete the online interest form to the right to express your interest in joining a future Master of Social Work (MSW) 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 Fall 2018 Foundation cohort. We encourage you to apply for admission to graduate students through the University of Northern Iowa as soon as possible. Applications received by April 1, 2018, 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 us at CESP-Consult@uni.edu or 800-772-1746 and let us know that you are interested in applying for the MSW program.
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:
Supporting documents can be attached to the application at the time it is completed and must be in .pdf format. If you have any questions, please call 800-648-3864 or email Distance@uni.edu.
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.
Delivery of the program is contingent on a sufficient number of students being accepted into the program.