University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work is ranked No. 17 on U.S. News & World Report's 2018 list of best social work programs.
The Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) takes a progressive approach to social work education, preparing students to practice social work in traditional and nontraditional settings. Students in the online Master of Social Work (MSW) program, MSW@Denver, are taught to think critically and creatively in order to advance equity across all communities. They also learn to empower populations impacted by oppression and become champions of social change.
Online MSW Admission
We seek candidates from a variety of backgrounds and educational experiences, and we encourage those with and without related experience to apply. There are four convenient start dates throughout the year, so you can begin classes on your schedule: January, April, June and September.
GSSW reviews applications on a rolling basis, so the sooner you apply, the sooner you’ll receive an admission decision. Learn more about the application process.
Online Program Tracks
MSW@Denver offers two online programs: the traditional MSW and the advanced standing MSW.
Traditional Online MSW
If you have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in a field other than social work, you are eligible to apply to our traditional online MSW program. The traditional program can be completed in as few as 27 months (nine quarters) in the full-time track or 21 months (seven quarters) in the accelerated track.
As a traditional MSW student, you will:
- Complete the 90-credit program, which is approximately 60 credits in the semester system.
- Complete the foundation curriculum, concentration curriculum in Mental Health and Trauma and two field internships.
Advanced Standing Online MSW
If you have earned a bachelor of social work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited institution at any point in time, you are eligible to apply to our advanced standing online MSW program, which can be completed in as few as 18 months or six quarters.
As an advanced standing MSW student, you will:
- Complete the 60-credit program, which is approximately 45 credits in the semester system.
- Complete three foundation curriculum courses, the concentration curriculum in Mental Health and Trauma and one field internship.
Online MSW Curriculum
With the MSW@Denver curriculum, you will gain a holistic understanding of social work principles and be prepared to advocate for social justice in a variety of settings. If you are a traditional MSW student, you will begin the program with the foundation curriculum. If you’re an advanced standing MSW student, you will complete three foundation courses and then proceed to the concentration curriculum.
The foundation curriculum develops your understanding of the history, values and ethics of the social work profession.
The concentration curriculum comprises coursework in Mental Health and Trauma that focuses on comprehensive assessment, advanced interventions based on cognitive approaches and trauma-informed care.
As a student in the online program, you will complete coursework that covers a variety of topics, providing you with a strong foundation for social work practice. Some sample courses include:
- Power, Privilege and Oppression
- Leadership and Supervision Skills
- Evidence for Practice
- Assessment of Mental Health Across the Lifespan
How Do Field Internships Work?
Whether you live in downtown Denver, a small town in Colorado or another city across the United States, we will help you find an internship to practice the concepts and theories learned in your online classes.
The Field Placement Process
- You will work with a field placement specialist who will find you a school-approved internship site in or near your community.
- You will be supervised at your site by a licensed social work professional who will provide feedback on your work and help you develop your skills.
- You will receive support from your field liaison who will ensure you’re meeting curricular milestones throughout your time at your internship site.
What Can You Do With an MSW?
Earning your MSW provides you with countless opportunities to advocate for social change in your community and beyond. As a GSSW graduate, you’ll be prepared to seek social work employment in traditional and nontraditional settings and challenge systems of oppression at the micro, mezzo and macro level. You can pursue employment in a variety of roles, such as behavioral health clinician, psychiatric social worker, community and economic developer, mental health counselor and evaluator or policy analyst.
Growth in the Field
The field of social work is projected to grow 16 percent by 2026,1 with increases in the following sectors:
Child, family and school 2
Mental health and
substance abuse 2
Health care 2
Many traditional social work careers require licensure. Learn more about how to become a licensed clinical social worker in Colorado.
Why Earn Your MSW Online
With an MSW, you can advance your career, fight for social justice and serve marginalized communities. The flexible online format allows you to balance your personal and professional commitments while pursuing a master’s degree from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work.
As an MSW@Denver student, you will attend live online classes, complete coursework and grow your personal relationships through our online campus. You can easily connect with your network of classmates, professors and support services while you complete coursework. The online campus is also accessible on your tablet or smartphone using our convenient mobile app.
In-person, hands-on experience is a key aspect of your social work education, and during your internships, you will make a difference in your community while building your skill set and receiving mentorship from experienced social work professionals. GSSW facilitates internships in traditional and nontraditional settings, supporting the individual goals of our student community.
Your weekly classes are delivered seminar-style by our faculty. There are approximately 15 students in each class to ensure you receive personal attention and have the opportunity to collaborate and form relationships with peers and professors. During your classes, your professor can divide you and your classmates into break-out rooms to discuss a topic or case as a smaller group as well as create quizzes and polls to gauge understanding of course topics.
As a student in the online MSW program, you will be supported from admission through graduation and beyond. You also join a learning environment dedicated to student success and growth. MSW@Denver offers support in the following areas:
About the Top-Ranked Graduate School of Social Work
GSSW is a top 20-ranked school of social work that prepares you to become a professional who is committed to social justice. Faculty members have community experience and are committed to mentorship, so you can pursue a career creating positive change.
Our curriculum and community are grounded in equity, inclusion and diversity, and we seek passionate change-makers who will join our efforts to make the world a more just place.
GSSW also offers the MSW program at three locations in Colorado, including our main campus in Denver. Visit the GSSW website to learn more about our on-campus MSW programs.
CSWE-Accredited Online MSW Program
MSW@Denver is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Accreditation verifies the University of Denver’s online Master of Social Work curriculum meets the high standards of social work education. As an accredited online MSW, MSW@Denver prepares you with the knowledge, skills and field experience you need to meet your state’s specific education licensure requirements.
Committed to Community
“Our faculty and staff provide countless opportunities for your development. You will be inspired, supported and mentored by them. We are committed to helping each member of our community find a place to root and grow through respect and celebration of difference.”
— Amanda Moore McBride, Morris Endowed Dean and Professor
Learn From Renowned Faculty
Faculty members have social work experience across many fields of practice, and they publish groundbreaking research to impact social change. As an MSW@Denver student, faculty will challenge you to think critically and creatively about how social work can create meaningful change. You can meet with professors face to face through the online campus for classes or 1:1 office hours. Learn more about faculty members and their expertise below.
Take the Next Step
Have you seen or experienced the impact of oppression and injustice on the lives of individuals, families and communities? Are you eager to help create social justice with the knowledge and skills you will gain through MSW@Denver?
Request information to discover how you can prepare for a career creating positive change as a social worker.