Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs in Colorado - Campus and Online

There are four schools in Colorado that currently offer Master of Social Work (MSW) degree programs, including three state universities and one private, non-profit university. Colorado State University (CSU), Colorado State University – Pueblo (CSU-Pueblo), and Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) are the three public universities in the state that offer MSW programs. The University of Denver (DU) is the one private university in the state that has an MSW program. All four schools are either fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or in the candidacy phase for CSWE accreditation, as noted below.

  • Colorado State University (Accredited)
  • Colorado State University – Pueblo (Granted Candidacy)
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver (Accredited)
  • University of Denver (Accredited)

There are several MSW program formats available to students who want to pursue an MSW degree offered by a school in Colorado, including fully campus-based programs, fully or mostly online programs, and hybrid programs that provide a mix of campus-based and online instruction. In addition, there are advanced standing programs for qualified students who hold a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program, as well as traditional programs that do not require applicants to have a BSW degree. Details about the MSW programs offered by schools in Colorado are provided below and grouped as follows:

Traditional MSW Programs in Colorado

A traditional MSW program is a full-length master’s degree program that offers training and instruction in social work. Like traditional master’s programs in many other fields, traditional MSW programs typically take four semesters or roughly two years for full-time students to complete. During this time, students in a traditional MSW program take didactic courses in the theories and general practice of social work and specialization coursework in clinical and/or macro practice social work. In addition, traditional MSW programs require students to complete at least 900 hours of field education at social work and human services agencies and organizations. Students who enroll on a part-time basis in a traditional MSW program can expect to add two or more semesters to the time it takes to earn their degree.

All four of the schools in Colorado that offer MSW programs have a traditional MSW program option, and three of the schools offer their traditional MSW program in both on-campus and online formats.

Campus

Traditional Campus-Based MSW Programs in Colorado

Colorado State University (CSU) has a traditional, campus-based MSW program with an Advanced Generalist Practice specialization. The program has a full-time enrollment format that takes two years to complete and a part-time enrollment option with limited admissions that can be completed in three or four years. As part of the program, students are required to complete roughly 945 hours of field education at program-approved sites. Students in the program are required to complete three electives and can choose to earn a graduate certificate in one of five specializations through elective coursework, including: Conflict Resolution and Mediation; Advanced Clinical Behavioral Health; School Social Work; Nonprofit Administration; and Military and Veteran Culture.

Colorado State University – Pueblo (CSU-Pueblo) offers a traditional MSW program that has an Advanced Generalist Practice concentration with a focus on Trauma. The program uses a hybrid format, with students attending campus-based classes every other weekend in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, while also completing coursework online. Students take classes year-round (fall, spring, and summer) for two years, during which they also complete 948 hours of field education. The program’s Advanced Generalist Practice curriculum is designed to prepare students for practice in both clinical and macro practice social work. CSU-Pueblo is in the candidacy phase for CSWE accreditation and expects its MSW program to be fully accredited by February of 2022.

Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) has a traditional MSW program that is offered in a flexible format that allows students to take campus-based courses or enroll in a mix of online and campus-based courses, effectively creating a hybrid program. Students can also choose between campus-based daytime or evening classes. Full-time enrollment in the MSU Denver program has a two-year completion plan. Students who enroll part-time take three to four years to graduate. The program, which requires 1080 hours of field education, includes training and instruction in both clinical and macro practice social work and gives students seven pathway options: Children and Families; Mental Health; Leadership and Management; School Social Work; Gerontological Social Work; Social Work in Health Care; and Children and Youth.

The University of Denver (DU) offers several campus-based and hybrid-online MSW program options for traditional students who do not hold a BSW degree. DU’s Denver Campus MSW program is a full-time, two-year traditional program that has eight concentration options: Aging Services and Policy; Child Welfare; Children & Youth: Risks and Health Development; Family Systems Practice; Health & Wellness; Mental Health; Organizational Leadership & Policy Practice; and Sustainable Development & Global Practice. The Graduate School of Social Work at DU also offers three social work certificate options for MSW program students: Animal-Assisted Social Work; Latinx Social Work; and School Social Work.

In addition to the Denver Campus MSW program, DU offers two satellite campus programs that utilize a hybrid course delivery model in which students attend campus-based classes and receive online instruction from faculty at DU’s Denver campus. The Western Colorado MSW program holds classes in Glenwood Springs, and DU’s Four Corners MSW program holds classes in Durango. Both programs offer an advanced generalist curriculum with an emphasis on equity and training that prepares students for social work practice with rural and tribal populations.

Online

Traditional Online MSW Programs in Colorado

Colorado State University (CSU) offers its traditional MSW program in an online format that requires students to attend a limited number of campus-based, in-person weekend sessions. CSU’s Distance MSW program has an Advanced Generalist Practice curriculum that provides training and instruction in both clinical and macro practice social work. Students in the program, which has a part-time, three-year enrollment plan, attend five intensive learning weekends and a capstone project presentation at campuses in one of three locations: Denver, Boulder, or Fort Collins. The site of these intensive campus-based learning weekends is determined by cohort. As with CSU’s campus-based traditional MSW program, students in the Distance program are required to complete roughly 945 hours of field education at social work sites approved by the program.

Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) offers its traditional MSW program in a fully online format that does not require any campus visits. The program has seven curricular pathway options, including Children and Families; Mental Health; Leadership and Management; School Social Work; Gerontological Social Work; Social Work in Health Care; and Children and Youth. Students in the program are required to complete 1080 hours of site-based field education and can complete the program in two years of full-time enrollment or three to four years of part-time enrollment.

The University of Denver (DU) has a fully online traditional MSW program with two concentration options: Mental Health and Trauma; and Health, Equity, and Wellness. The online [email protected] program does not require any campus visits, but it does include two field education internships for a total of 900 hours. The program utilizes a quarterly system and has an accelerated track that allows students to complete their degree in 21 months (seven quarters) and a full-time track that take 27 months (nine quarters) to complete. Both of the concentration options offered by DU’s MSW program provide advanced generalist practice training in clinical and macro practice social work.

Advanced Standing MSW Programs in Colorado

All four of the schools in Colorado that have MSW programs offer an advanced standing program track that allows qualified students to complete their degree in roughly half the time it typically takes to finish a traditional MSW program. Advanced standing tracks are designed for students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program and who meet other admissions requirements. Typically, applicants to advanced standing MSW programs must have completed their BSW degree within the past five to seven years and to have demonstrated academic excellence by maintaining a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale. However, admission requirements for advanced standing programs vary by program. It is important to note that BSW graduates who are not granted admission to an advanced standing program can still earn their MSW degree by enrolling in a traditional MSW program.

Campus

Advanced Standing Campus-Based MSW Programs in Colorado

Colorado State University (CSU) had an advanced standing MSW program with an advanced generalist curriculum that is offered in a campus-based format. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a BSW degree that was conferred within the last seven years. The program has a three-semester (one-year) full-time completion plan that includes a fall, spring, and summer term and 675 hours of required field education. The MSW curriculum at CSU provides training and instruction that prepares students for both clinical and macro practice social work.

CSU also offers its advanced standing program in a part-time, hybrid format in which students take online courses, attend two campus-based intensive learning weekends per semester, and attend a campus-based capstone project presentation at the end of the program. Campus learning session sites vary by cohort, with CSU hosting cohorts at its Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins campuses.

Colorado State University – Pueblo (CSU-Pueblo) has a mostly campus-based advanced standing MSW program track that requires applicants to have a BSW degree, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale, and a minimum of 120 hours of volunteer or paid work experience in a human services field above and beyond field education completed as part of their BSW program. The CSU-Pueblo MSW program has an Advanced Generalist concentration with a Focus on Trauma that provides training and instruction in clinical and macro practice social work. Students in the program must complete 41 credits, including 500 hours of field education, over three consecutive semesters (fall, spring, and summer) and can thus graduate in one calendar year. Classes for the program meet every other weekend in Colorado Springs and in Pueblo, with some classes being held online. CSU-Pueblo is in the candidacy phase for CSWE accreditation.

Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) has an MSW program with an advanced standing pathway that requires applicants to have earned a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program within the last six years. The program offers students seven specialization options: Children and Families; Mental Health; Leadership and Management; School Social Work; Gerontological Social Work; Social Work in Health Care; and Children and Youth. MSU Denver’s MSW program incorporates daytime and evening campus-based classes as well as online classes, and has full-time and part-time enrollment options. Students enrolled on a full-time basis can complete the program, including two 300-hour Field Experience internships (for a total of 600 hours), in one year; part-time enrollment extends the completion time by two semesters.

The University of Denver (DU) offers its Denver Campus MSW program in an advanced standing format for students who hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program and who maintained a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher on the four-point scale. The program’s specializations include: Aging Services and Policy; Child Welfare; Children & Youth: Risks and Health Development; Family Systems Practice; Health & Wellness; Mental Health; Organizational Leadership & Policy Practice; and Sustainable Development & Global Practice. Students who qualify for the program can earn their MSW degree in one year of full-time enrollment, during which they must complete 500 hours of field education.

DU also offers two additional MSW programs with advanced standing tracks: a Western Colorado MSW program that holds classes on Fridays and Saturdays in Glenwood Springs; and a Four Corners MSW program that holds classes on Fridays and Saturdays in Durango. Both programs offer an advanced generalist curriculum that provides training, instruction, and 500 hours of required field education in clinical and macro practice social work among rural and/or tribal populations.

Online

Advanced Standing Online MSW Programs in Colorado

Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) offers its MSW program in a fully online format that has an advanced standing track for students who hold a BSW degree earned within the last six years. Advanced standing students begin the online MSW program in the summer term and complete the program’s coursework and 600 hours field education in two additional semesters (fall and spring). The program also has a part-time advanced standing enrollment option that adds two semesters to the completion time. Students in the program have a choice of seven specialization options: Children and Families; Mental Health; Leadership and Management; School Social Work; Gerontological Social Work; Social Work in Health Care; and Children and Youth.

The University of Denver (DU) offers its online [email protected] program in an advanced standing format that requires applicants to hold a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program. The program has an advanced generalist practice curriculum and two concentration options: Mental Health and Trauma; and Health, Equity, and Wellness. Advanced standing students can complete DU’s online MSW program, including its 500 hours of required field education, in 18 months of full-time enrollment or 24 months of part-time enrollment.

All Master of Social Work Programs in Colorado

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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Colorado State University - Pueblo

(Pueblo)

Newman University at Colorado

(Colorado Springs)