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Online MSW in Clinical Practice

MSW students around table discussing curriculum

Gain a Culturally Responsive Perspective With an Online MSW


Licensure Preparation

Clinical Practice

Advanced Standing Track

Learn More Today

Complete this short form to learn more about the online MSW at New Mexico Highlands.

  • Duration 2-3 years
  • Cost per Credit $525
  • Credit Hours 63

Program Benefits

  • 100% Online Coursework
  • Wednesday Evening Zoom Sessions from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Cohort-based Learning Community
  • Supportive Faculty
  • Evidence-Based Curriculum
  • No Entrance Exam
NMHU graduates waiting for commencement

Prepare to Make a Significant Impact in the Lives of Others in Rural Communities Throughout the Southwest

The CSWE-accredited online MSW in Clinical Practice from New Mexico Highland University’s respected Facundo Valdez School of Social Work connects you with experienced faculty who ensure you’re ready to work with diverse rural communities throughout the U.S. Southwest. Upon graduation, students will have the degree required for social work licensure and be ready to take the ASWB national exam.

In addition to the 100% online program, the Master of Social Work is offered at five locations, including our main campus in Las Vegas. Students can also pursue the advanced standing track at each location, allowing them to graduate faster.

Increasing Need for Social Workers

The demand for social workers is expected to grow 9% between 2021 and 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.1 You’ll graduate from our online MSW program ready to apply in-depth knowledge to help individuals, families, groups and rural communities. Our evidence-based, relevant curriculum ensures that your skills are based on the current and future needs of the communities you’ll serve.

Explore Careers
The Facundo Valdez School of Social Work not only provided me with the education necessary to begin my career as a social worker, but also helped me grow as an individual. The support received from the staff, professors and dean was just as critical in my development as a professional as the knowledge I gained in the courses.
– Jessica Estrada, May 2020 Graduate

Comprehensive, Forward-Thinking Curriculum

19 core courses

63 total credits

Our curriculum prepares students with the skills and knowledge necessary to address the challenges in our communities. The traditional program includes 63 credit hours, comprising 16 core classes, 4 focus courses and 2 field practicums for a total of 24 classes. Each practicum spans two semesters, totaling four semesters of practical experience. Most courses are fully asynchronous, with one Zoom session each week on Wednesday evenings. Additionally, students who qualify for the advanced standing track can complete their studies in 12 months (full-time) or a little over 16 months (part-time). This track includes 32 credit hours across 13 core courses.

Course topics include:

  • Social Work Clinical Practice
  • Human Behavior & Social Environment
  • Working with Indigenous, Hispanic/Latinx and Rural Communities
  • Policy and Research
View Complete Curriculum

Apply to the Online MSW Program

Now accepting applications for FALL 2024

No Entrance Exam Required

Two Start Dates Per Year

  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA
  • Bachelor’s degree (BA, BS or BSW) from an accredited institution
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended institution
  • 3 professional references
  • Personal statement essay
  • Up-to-date resume

Advanced standing applicants must meet additional requirements, which can be found on the admissions page. Start the online application process today.

SemestersPriority DeadlineApplication Deadline
FallMay 15July 1 (or when cohort is full)
SpringOctober 15December 1 (or when cohort is full)
View Requirements

An Affordable Online MSW

Total Tuition: $33,075

Cost per Credit: $525

Our competitive tuition rates make an MSW from New Mexico Highlands an affordable option for students from all walks of life. Our tuition earned us a Best Bang for the Buck recognition from Washington Monthly Magazine. With many options for financial aid available, we’ll work with you to ensure you can pursue your degree without financial strain.

View Tuition Details

What You’ll Learn

Through engaging courses and hands-on field practicums, you’ll learn to interview, perform psychosocial assessments, formulate treatment plans and provide relevant services for individuals and groups. The university works with you to provide field placement opportunities in your area. Upon graduation, you’ll have the degree you need for licensure and be ready to sit for the ASWB national exam.

Unique Skills for a Multicultural World

  • Apply a culturally responsive perspective to your work with the diverse communities of the U.S. Southwest.
  • Advocate for improving social policy, advancing human rights and promoting social justice.
  • Use ethical principles, critical thinking and knowledge of human behavior in your work with individuals, families and groups.
  • Understand the needs of rural and indigenous communities that are impacted by poverty, oppression, historical trauma, structural inequality and barriers to service.
  • Collaborate with individuals, families and communities to build resilience and promote self-determination.
  • Provide the most effective clinical services to address the behavioral health challenges and environmental stressors facing children, adolescents, adults and elders.

Faculty Spotlight

Cristina Durán, Ph.D., Former Dean of Social Work

Cristina Durán, Ph.D., is a social worker in New Mexico and the former Dean of the Facundo Valdez School of Social Work at New Mexico Highlands University. She is committed to the field of social work because she sees the enormous challenges faced by families and communities, especially in New Mexico and the U.S. Southwest, and recognizes their right to access the services they need and deserve. She also feels passionate about the profession of social work due to its long history and its proven record in impacting peoples’ lives in positive and meaningful ways.

  • Ph.D., University of New Mexico
  • MSW, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • BS in Sociology, University of Oregon

Experienced, Diverse Faculty Committed to Your Success

The faculty in our online MSW program take a student-first approach to instruction. You’ll have unparalleled access to your instructors, ensuring you get the personalized attention you need to achieve your goals. You’ll be paired with an advisor who will offer one-on-one support as you move through the program. Our faculty embrace high standards as they work to prepare you for the challenges of an ever-changing social work landscape that demands competent, ethical practitioners dedicated to positively impacting the lives of others.

An Accessible, Online Learning Experience

Online students have access to the same quality education that students at New Mexico Highlands experience on campus. Through engaging coursework and ongoing communication, our faculty ensure that you are challenged while still maintaining the flexibility you need in your busy life. Small class sizes allow you to connect with classmates and be part of a supportive, cohesive program. Benefit from the advantages of a small-group, cohort-based online MSW program primarily designed for students who live in rural areas.

  • 100% online coursework
  • Requisite Wednesday evening Zoom sessions
  • Personal attention
  • Diverse student population
  • Most field practicum placements will be in-person. A limited number of virtual placements are available
Explore Online Learning

Answers to Common Questions

Explore our frequently asked questions. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to reach out to us for assistance or more information.

Yes. The program is CSWE-accredited.

No entrance exam is required for the program. Find out more about admissions requirements.

We require 928 field practicum hours over four semesters (448 field hours for the 1st year placement and 480 hours for the 2nd year concentration practicum) with the requirement that field practicum hours are completed in blocks of time that are at least 4 continuous hours in length. Find out more.

The mission of the Facundo Valdez School of Social Work includes a commitment to populations of the U.S. Southwest and the unique challenges facing families in rural and indigenous communities in this region.

A cohort model means you will take classes together and complete the program with the same group of students. The cohort group fosters a strong sense of community and support among classmates. All students follow a predetermined schedule of courses which provides structure and consistency. Your cohort journey begins with the new student orientation (conducted through Zoom) on the Friday and Saturday before the start of the semester. This approach provides opportunities to network and support each other as you progress through the program.

The Online MSW program does not accept transfer credits.

Visit our FAQ page