Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs in New Mexico

There are three state universities in New Mexico that currently offer Master of Social Work (MSW) degree programs: New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) in Las Vegas; New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces; and Western New Mexico University (WNMU) in Silver City. All three of these schools offer advanced standing MSW programs for students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an undergraduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and traditional MSW programs for students who do not have a BSW degree. All three universities have campus-based and/or hybrid programs that require students to attend in-person classes, and both NMSU and WNMU offer MSW programs that can be completed fully online.

The NMSU and WNMU programs have an advanced generalist curriculum that provides training in both clinical and macro practice social work, and the NMHU program offers a choice of two clinical concentrations (Clinical Practice and Bilingual/Bicultural Clinical Practice) and a macro practice concentration (Leadership and Administration).

All three of the public universities that offer MSW programs in New Mexico are fully accredited by the CSWE:

  • New Mexico Highlands University (Accredited)
  • New Mexico State University (Accredited)
  • Western New Mexico University (Accredited)

Details on each of the MSW programs offered by the schools in New Mexico are provided below and grouped into the following categories:

Traditional MSW Programs in New Mexico

Traditional MSW programs are full-length master’s programs that provide students who hold a bachelor’s degree and meet other admissions requirements with graduate training in advanced social work practice. Like traditional master’s degree programs in many other fields, these programs generally consist of two years or four semesters of coursework for students who are enrolled on a full-time basis. Students who enroll part-time in a traditional MSW program typically add another year or two to the completion time and graduate in three to four years. In additional to didactic instruction and coursework, MSW programs have site-based field education requirements. Students in a traditional MSW program should expect to complete a minimum of 900 hours of field education prior to graduating.

In New Mexico, New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) offers a fully campus-based traditional MSW program and New Mexico State University (NMSU) and Western New Mexico University (WNMU) have traditional MSW programs that are offered in a hybrid format that provides a blend of campus-based and online instruction.

Campus

Traditional Campus-Based MSW Programs in New Mexico

New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) offers a traditional, campus-based MSW program through its CSWE-accredited Facundo Valdez School of Social Work on the university’s Las Vegas campus and at satellite campuses in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho Center, Santa Fe, San Juan College in Farmington, and Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell. The program is offered in a full-time format that takes four or five semesters to complete and a part-time format that can be completed in seven or eight semesters. Both formats are offered at all six of the program’s campus locations.

The program’s curriculum, which includes 928 hours of field education, has three specialization options: a Clinical Practice specialization that is available at all six locations; a Leadership and Administration macro practice specialization that is also available at all six campuses, and a Bilingual/Bicultural Clinical Practice specialization that is only available at the Albuquerque Center campus.; In addition, students enrolled in the Albuquerque campus program have the option of completing a Substance Abuse Focus curriculum as part of the Clinical Practice specialization.

New Mexico State University (NMSU) offers a traditional MSW program in a hybrid format that combines campus-based classes with online instruction. The program, which is offered through NMSU’s CSWE-accredited School of Social Work, has an advanced generalist practice curriculum that prepares students for clinical and macro practice social work with populations in the Southwest. Students in the program complete two 225-hour foundation year field education practicums and two 250-hour concentration year field education practicums for a total of 950 site-based training hours. The program has a two-year, full-time enrollment option, as well as a three-year, part-time track, and it is offered at NMSU’s main campus in Las Cruces and at the university’s Albuquerque campus.

Western New Mexico University (WNMU) has a traditional MSW program that it offers through its CSWE-accredited School of Social Work in a hybrid format that allows students to take some of their courses online and some of their courses at WNMU’s Silver City campus while completing 900 hours of field education. The program has an advanced generalist curriculum that provides training and instruction in clinical and macro practice social work and gives students the option of taking elective courses in school social work, military social work, and social work practice with aging individuals and populations. WNMU’s traditional MSW program is designed to be completed in two to three years, depending on the number of courses a student takes per semester.

Online

Traditional Online MSW Programs in New Mexico

New Mexico State University (NMSU) offers its traditional MSW program in a fully online format that does not require students to attend any campus-based sessions. Offered through NMSU’s CSWE-accredited School of Social Work, the program has an advanced generalist specialization, which means it offers training and instruction in both clinical practice and macro practice social work with a focus on populations in the Southwest. While all of the program’s didactic coursework is offered via online instruction, students in the program are required to complete a total of 950 field education hours at program-approved sites. Students who enroll full-time in the NMSU online MSW program can graduate in two years; part-time students generally take three years to complete the program.

Western New Mexico University (WNMU) offers its Advanced Generalist Practice MSW program in a fully online format that does not require any campus visits and which allows students to complete the 900 hours of field education required to graduate from the program at approved sites in their geographical area. The program’s advanced generalist curriculum is designed to prepare students for clinical and macro practice social work. Students in the program can further specialize by taking electives in school social work, military social work, child welfare, helping victims of human trafficking, and more. The expected completion time for WNMU’s online MSW program is two to three years.

Advanced Standing MSW Programs in New Mexico

All three of the universities that offer MSW programs have an advanced standing track for qualified students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an undergraduate program accredited by the CSWE. Advanced standing programs provide students who have already completed their foundational training through a BSW program with a pathway to earn their MSW degree in roughly half the time it takes to complete a traditional MSW program. Students who enroll in an advanced standing track are given credit for foundational coursework and field education hours that were completed as part of their BSW program. Therefore, advanced standing students begin their MSW training with the specialization coursework that comprises a traditional MSW program’s second year of study. As part of an advanced standing MSW program, students are typically required to complete a minimum of 450 to 500 hours of field education, although some programs require more.

It is important to note that admission to an MSW program’s advanced standing track is not automatic for students who hold a BSW degree. Most programs require advanced standing students to have earned their BSW degree within the last five to seven years, and many programs require advanced standing applicants to have maintained a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale.

Campus

Advanced Standing Campus-Based MSW Programs in New Mexico

New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) has a campus-based MSW program with an advanced standing track that is designed for students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. To qualify for the program, applicants must have earned their degree within the last five years and have a combined GPA of 3.5 or higher in all of their undergraduate social work courses. The NMHU advanced standing program track is offered at six sites, including NMHU’s main campus in Las Vegas, and at San Juan College in Farmington, Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell, and campuses in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho Center, and Santa Fe.

All six locations offer NMHU’s advanced standing program with specializations in Clinical Practice or Leadership and Administration (macro practice). NMHU also offers a Bilingual/Bicultural Clinical Practice specialization that is available at the Albuquerque campus. Students who enroll in the Clinical Practice specialization at the Albuquerque campus also have the option of completing a Substance Abuse Focus concentration. Advanced standing students in NMHU’s MSW program are responsible for completing at 480 hours of field education and can graduate from the program in two or three semesters.

New Mexico State University (NMSU) has an advanced standing MSW track that is offered in a hybrid format that combines online coursework with campus-based classes. The program requires applicants to have completed a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree within the last five years from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. NMSU’s MSW program has an advanced generalist curriculum that focuses on clinical and macro practice social work with populations in the Southwest. Students in the program’s advanced standing track must complete 500 hours of field education at program-approved sites and can graduate in one year of full-time enrollment or two years of part-time enrollment. The hybrid advanced standing program is offered on NMSU’s main campus in Las Cruces and at NMSU’s Albuquerque Center campus.

Western New Mexico University offers its MSW program in a hybrid format with an advanced standing track for students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program that was conferred within the last eight years. In addition, applicants must have a 2.75 GPA in their most recent 64 hours of college coursework and a 3.0 or higher in their BSW major classes. The program has an advanced generalist curriculum that provides training and instruction in clinical and macro practice social work, as well as elective courses in various social work focus areas, including child welfare, human trafficking, military social work, and school social work. WNMU’s advanced standing MSW program track, which includes 450 hours of field education, can be completed in one calendar year of full-time enrollment. However, most advanced standing students take 18 months to complete the program.

Online

Advanced Standing Online MSW Programs in New Mexico

New Mexico State University (NMSU) offers its advanced standing MSW program in a fully online format that does not require any campus visits. To qualify for advanced standing status, applicants to the program must hold a BSW degree conferred within the last five years from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. Students who meet that requirement and who are accepted into the NMSU advanced standing MSW program track can complete all of their MSW online coursework and the program’s 500 required hours of site-based field education in one year if enrolled on a full-time basis. Part-time students can complete the advanced standing online program track in two years. The NMSU program has an advanced generalist curriculum that includes training and instruction in both clinical and macro practice social work.

Western New Mexico University (WNMU) has an advanced standing MSW track that is offered in a fully online format that does not require any campus visits. The advanced standing track has several admissions requirements. Applicants must hold a BSW degree that was earned within the last eight years from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. In addition, they must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher in their most recent 64 credit hours of college coursework and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in their undergraduate social work courses.

WNMU’s MSW program has an advanced generalist curriculum that provides training and instruction in clinical and macro practice social work and allows students to further specialize by taking elective courses in child welfare, human trafficking, military social work, school social work, and social work with aging individuals and populations. While full-time students can complete WNMU’s advanced standing track, which includes 450 hours of required field education, in one calendar year, most students take 18 months to finish their degree.

All Master of Social Work Programs in New Mexico

T Traditional programs, Advanced Standing programs, Campus programs, Hybrid programs, Hybrid-Online programs (3 to ~6 campus visits per year), Online programs (fully online to 2 campus visits per year)
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