Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions Online MSW Program

Will the online component require synchronous (scheduled) meeting times?
This will be handled on a case by case basis according to the instructor. If synchronous meeting time is required, instructors will attempt to coordinate a meeting time that works for everyone.

Do I have to be an expert with computers?
You don’t need to be an expert with computers, but it is helpful if you have basic computer skills and have experience with Skype and Youtube. Our technical support team will do an initial blackboard training and the University has resources to answer your computer-related questions and provide assistance with technical issues. New students also receive special support during an extensive orientation prior to starting classes.

What courses do online students take and how long will it take to complete the MSW program?
As required for all of our MSW enrollment models, students must complete a minimum of 63 semester credit hours as well as 900 hours of field work in order to meet the MSW degree requirements. Most students complete the program in 2 ½ to 3 years. *Students with a BSW can apply for Advanced Standing status.

What are the field requirements? 
During their field education practicum, students work at an agency to complete field hours.  The agency provides an opportunity for students to apply classroom knowledge to actual experiences in the field. Hybrid and Online Students begin their field placement in the Spring Semester of their first year. Throughout the program, students complete 900 hours of field work.

Who are the faculty that teach online courses?
Full-time faculty members and adjunct faculty teach online courses in the GCSW.

What will I need to do to complete the field requirements and will I be able to do it while working?
We understand that online students might need flexible field hours because of work commitments, and for this reason, we encourage online students to begin thinking about their field practicum prior to beginning the program. A field coordinator is available to help you identify field placement opportunities in your area.

How will I know what classes to take? How do I register for classes?
Registration instructions are provided in summer advising meetings that precede your first semester of enrollment. Please see your confirmation form for a list of meeting dates and times. All incoming students must attend one of the summer advising sessions. These can be done in person or using a video conference such as Skype.

Can I choose a concentration in Macro practice, such as Administration or Policy?
At this time, the GCSW only offers a Clinical Concentration for online students. This means you will be offered elective courses in Macro practice, but these courses will be limited. Most of your course work will be based on Clinical (Direct) practice. Online students earn a clinical concentration with an option to earn a specialization in Health and Behavioral Health. 

Will it be difficult for me to get to know other students in the GCSW?
Like traditional students, our online students will be assigned to a cohort and will take online classes with this same cohort throughout the program. During this time, utilizing discussion boards and innovative technology, students develop supportive professional relationships with their online classmates that enhance the learning environment and help establish a network of support throughout the educational process. 

How big are the classes? How will I have contact with my professor in an on-line class?
There will be approximately 25 students assigned to a cohort. Because this is a relatively small class size, students will receive individualized attention from instructors.  Most interaction takes places between instructors and students through threaded discussions.  However, some faculty may hold ‘live’ office hours or ‘live’ class meetings via webcam, similar to a video conference.  Many of your courses will require group assignments, where students will have to work together.  The University provides a learning platform that allows for synchronous group meetings utilizing audio and/or video technology.

Are online classes easier than traditional classes?
Our online program maintains the same rigorous standards of our traditional program.  Often times, students report that more time is spent on coursework in the online environment than the traditional environment.  For planning purposes, each 3 hour course requires about 6-8 hours/week of time spent reading or completing learning activities or assignments.

What are the technological requirements for this program? 
Please visit distance education link (UH Dist Ed) to review the technical requirements for running software programs required for online courses. Certain software downloads are available to students at no cost or a reduced cost.  In addition, courses require a webcam and/or microphone. Our hybrid and online courses use the learning management system (LMS) Blackboard. 

What is the approximate tuition cost for the 3 year Online MSW Program?
You can visit the website at http://www.uh.edu/financial/graduate/tuition-fees/ for an idea about tuition cost which will vary each semester depending on how many hours you are enrolled.  Online students incur additional distance education fees.

Is financial aid available?
Financial aid is available for students taking 5 hours or more in one semester. To find out more about federal loans and grants, contact the UH Financial Aid Office at 713-743-1010 or see their website at www.uh.edu/enroll/sfa. You might also check with your place of employment to see if reimbursement programs are available.