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The MSW Program has been accredited since 2011 by the Council on Social Work Education, the sole accrediting body for social work program in the U.S. Accreditation assures that professional standards are met in curriculum content and delivery. Accredited programs periodically undergo rigorous review by CSWE in order to ensure compliance with educational standards.
You should contact the Department of Social Work directly at [email protected] to get in communication with a member of the academic advising staff to have your coursework evaluated. The Department of Social Work will evaluate your courses but will only accept up to nine credit hours of graduate level transfer coursework. The department will not accept practice or field coursework as transfer. Please see below for the full guidelines:
Transfer Student Admission Guidelines
Departmental Transfer Process:
Advanced Standing Program applicants will automatically receive a block of 30 graduate credits once the program has verified affirmative Council on Social Work Education accreditation status at the time the student graduated with their BSW degree.
All graduate transfer credit requests, with the exception of the block of 30 credits automatically transferred for BSW graduates, must be reviewed by the Office of Social Work Student Services and the MSW Program Director. Requests for review may be facilitated through an advising appointment with the Office of Social Work Student Services or by emailing the request to [email protected]. No undergraduate courses will be accepted as substitutions for graduate coursework. The MSW Program does not guarantee the transfer of graduate-level Social Work courses from other schools.
MSW students who received their BSW degree more than six years ago or are requesting the transfer of graduate social work courses from more than six years ago may be accepted conditionally on a case-by-case basis. This status is typically reserved for those that can document substantial and on-going professional experience in the field of social work.
Our program only has one application cycle annually and we accept applications starting the fall prior every year. The application requirements and deadlines are typically posted at the start of fall semester (mid-August/September). Applicants can expect the deadlines to be December or January prior to the semester for which they are applying. The Advanced Standing Program is summer start only and the Regular Program is falls start only. Please note that deadlines change every admission cycle. For the most up to date information, please visit our MSW Program application page.
We admit students in the spring semester for a summer semester start or fall semester start. Our coursework is sequential and only starts in the summer of every year for the Advanced Standing Program and the fall of every year for the Regular Program.
Students can attend courses in either the Mixed Traditional format (taking courses on campus day, on campus night, in the hybrid format, or online) or in the Fully Online format (all courses are taken online and students are guaranteed a spot in online sections of all required courses). Due to the sequential nature of the coursework it is important for students to follow the plan of completion agreed upon at the time of admission. Students in the Mixed Traditional course delivery option should expect to be on campus at least one or two days a week depending on their course selection.
Yes, the Social Work Department has both part-time plans to complete the MSW degree and evening courses to help accommodate non-traditional schedules.
The application for the 2022 Admissions Cycle will open in Fall 2021. The MSW Program at MSU Denver has one admissions cycle annually. The application typically opens in early September, with a priority consideration deadline in late October and a final deadline in mid-January.
If you are on the MSW Prospective Student List, you will be notified when the application becomes available.
The MSW Program at MSU Denver has one admissions cycle annually. The application typically opens in early September, with a priority consideration deadline in late October and a final deadline in mid-January. We will release the exact dates for these deadlines when the 2022 Admissions Cycle opens.
Application processing takes 10-12 after the deadline to complete, and applicants are notified of their decision via email.
Priority Consideration Deadline Overview
Applicants who submitted all their materials by the priority consideration deadline have their application reviewed during the fall and early winter by the MSW Admission Committee. Those ranked in the very top of the pool of applicants are granted early admission to the program, granting them a head start on:
All other applicants who submit their application by the priority consideration deadline have their application rolled forward and receive their admission notification after the final application deadline review period.
We only admit once a year because of the sequencing of our courses. At this point in our program’s trajectory, the Advanced Standing bridge coursework is only offered in the summer semester and the Regular Program first semester coursework is only offered in the fall.
You will be notified via the email address provided in your application materials. Please note that application processing takes 10–12 weeks after the deadline to complete. If you have not heard from us in the agreed upon timeframe, please check your spam folder as sometimes .edu emails get filtered into spam.
Over the past four years, the average acceptance rate for our Advanced Standing Program applicants is 70% and the average acceptance rate for our Regular Program applicants is 75%.
Unfortunately we do not accept late applications. Please contact us after the admissions deadline if you would like information about applying to the MSW Program with Non-Degree Seeking Status.
We do not require the GRE or any other form of standardized assessment as an admissions requirement.
Yes! We look for relevant experience and that weighs in our admission decision. While a lack of experience won’t mean that you won’t be accepted, the more relevant experience, the better!
Advanced Standing eligibility is only considered for applicants who hold a degree from a baccalaureate social work program accredited by CSWE (within the last six years), hold a degree recognized through CSWE’s International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service, or hold a degree from a program that is covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors.
If it has been more than 6 years since you earned your undergraduate degree in social work, you can petition for Advanced Standing as part of the application process.
If you have an undergraduate degree in any other field (including Psychology, Human Services, etc.), you are not eligible for Advanced Standing and will need to apply to the Regular Program.
For the 2021 Admissions Cycle, if your undergraduate degree is in social work and was conferred:
The following components of the application are required from all applicants:
The following MSW Program Application Materials are only required of Advanced Standing applicants:
We look for academic or professional letters as part of our application process. Recommenders should be professional and not be family, friends, and/or personal therapists. Professional recommenders include faculty members or supervisors of work, volunteer, or internship placements. Professional colleagues may serve as adequate recommenders if need be, but use caution that the Admissions Committee highly values faculty and supervisor letters. Recommenders should be able to speak to your academic and/or professional abilities as well as comment on your potential to succeed in graduate school and the field of social work.
If you have questions about the appropriateness of a letter writer, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]
Please use APA formatting (7th edition) in all formal written works. For all written work, a cover page and/or references do not count towards the page limit. For the admissions essay, an abstract is not required.
Please send official copies of all of your transcripts directly to the Office of Social Work Student Services. You should not submit any application materials, including transcripts, to the MSU Denver Office of Admissions.
Please note: if you are ordering your transcripts and select to send them to a school, you may be forced to choose from a list of schools and will not be able to enter the Office of Social Work Student Services email or mailing address. If this is the situation, do not have your materials sent to MSU Denver Office of Admissions. Instead, you should select to send the transcripts to a third party at which point you should be able to directly enter our information.
Electronic transcripts are preferred and can be sent to [email protected].
Paper transcripts can be mailed to:
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Department of Social Work
Attn: Office of Social Work Student Services
PO Box 173362 Campus Box 70
Denver, CO 80217-3362
You can check the status of your application materials in your MSU Denver application account.
Please be aware that our team has to manually mark transcripts as received in your account – this can take several weeks after transcripts are received to complete. Transcripts are the one item we allow to arrive after the deadline so if your transcripts are not marked as complete but all other required materials have been submitted via your MSU Denver Graduate Application account, your application will be considered complete and eligible for review.
The prerequisites are required of all Regular Program applicants. They are:
Please download our 2021 Admissions Cycle MSW Program Prerequisite Requirement & Completion Options packet for details on courses that fulfill each of these requirements.
When you submit official transcripts, we perform a prerequisite review to determine what, if any, prerequisites you are missing. When you submit transcripts, please email us at [email protected] with your full name, any former names, and the names of the schools you are submitting transcripts from so we can easily contact you once our review is complete. If, after our review, you believe a course should have counted for a missing prerequisite, we are happy to look over course descriptions and/or syllabi to see if it meets our requirements.
All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to the start of the fall semester in which you begin MSW Program coursework.
Applicants are welcome to apply to the program without all prerequisites complete, and may work on completing any missing course work prior to or after receiving their admissions decision. If an applicant is accepted to the program without all prerequisites complete, it will be with the condition that all courses are completed prior to the start of the fall semester.
For more information about completing missing prerequisite courses through MSU Denver, please email [email protected]
Courses Required: 1-2 courses (3-6 credits)
Suggested Completion Options:
Human/General Biology (1 course required)
Other Science Courses (2 courses required)
If you have any questions about the appropriateness of a course, please email [email protected].
Courses Required: 1 course (3 credits)
Suggested Completion Options:
If you have any questions about the appropriateness of a course, please email [email protected].
CLEP exams are subject specific tests that can be taken in place of a course. Our applicants can take CLEP exams to fulfill the Social and Behavioral Science – American Government prerequisite and the Human or General Biology/Natural and Physical Science prerequisite as it is less money and more time efficient than taking an in-classroom course. Please note that you need at least a score of 50 to pass the CLEP exam and that you can only take the exam once every three months. We strongly recommend that you not wait until the last moment to take this test.
No, your prerequisites do not expire. It does not matter when you earned your Bachelor’s degree – the prerequisites will qualify as long as they were taken at a regionally accredited institution.
There are approximately 530 students in our program spread between the Foundation and Concentration years.
Yes! We offer our MSW Program fully online. When applying to the program you must select fully online as your course delivery option and will be guaranteed spots in online courses. If you wish to take classes both online and on campus you must select the mixed traditional course delivery option and will not be guaranteed spots in online courses.
All of our classes are available both on campus and online. The on campus courses are offered in a variety of date and time formats.
While all of our coursework is available online, due to our field placement requirements, in the past we have required students to reside in the state of Colorado to complete their degree. However, we are now evaluating out of state applicants on a case by case basis to determine if it is possible for our Office of Field Education to support the out of state fully online student. Out of state students are accepted based on the Office of Field Education’s ability to accommodate additional out of state students for the years that student will be in their field placement. You are welcome to apply to the program, however we cannot guarantee that you would be able to complete the program out of state at this point in time.
Students must be residing in the United States to complete our program, as we cannot currently support students residing internationally.
Please email [email protected] for more information.
It depends on whether you are full- or part-time and Advanced Standing or Regular. Regular Program applicants (those without a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work) can complete the program in two years of full-time coursework or four years of part-time coursework. Advanced Standing applicants can complete the program in one year of full-time coursework or two years of part-time coursework.
It does. Currently our MSW graduates have a 81% pass rate on the licensure exams that you would take post-graduation. Please visit our Licensure Resources page for more information.
We can accept up to 9 credits of transfer coursework from graduate programs at a regionally accredited college or university. All graduate transfer credit requests must be reviewed by the Office of Social Work Student Services and the MSW Program Director. No undergraduate courses will be accepted as substitutions for graduate coursework. The MSW Program does not guarantee the transfer of graduate-level coursework from other schools. Please email [email protected] to learn more about the transfer credit process.
You can definitely start working on your prerequisite requirements if you have any left to complete, but you cannot take most MSW courses until you have been accepted into the program. If you would like to begin working on your prerequisite requirements, please email [email protected] for more information.
We do offer the opportunity to be admitted as a non-degree seeking student. You can learn more about applying to the MSW Program with Non-Degree Seeking Status here.
You can apply to the MSW Program with Non-Degree Seeking Status, though there is no guarantee of acceptance. Non-degree seeking students can take and apply a maximum of 12 credits toward their future MSW degree. As part of applying to the MSW Program with Non-Degree Seeking Status, the Office of Social Work Student Services determines which classes the student is allowed to take. Please see our website for our more information.
Advanced Standing Program:
Advanced Standing students are required to complete a 6 credit bridge program, which is only offered in the summer semester. This prepares students for their first semester concentration year courses, which are only offered in the fall semester. Our program is very sequential, with fall content relying on the summer bridge program, and spring content relying on fall content.
The first semester foundation year courses are only offered in the fall semester. Our program is very sequential with spring content relying on fall content.
We have been offering MSW degrees since 2011.
The Advanced Standing Program is summer-start only, and students are required to complete a 6 credit bridge program during the summer semester prior to starting concentration year coursework in the fall.
We occasionally offer foundation and concentration year MSW courses over the summer, but outside of the summer bridge program the coursework is primarily confined to the fall and spring semesters.
Yes, there is a part-time option that involves taking approximately half of the credits of the full-time plan each semester. This means that you would complete the MSW in double the amount of time it would take you were you to be full-time. On the part-time plan, your field placement years will not be spread over the years, but concentrated in one year each.
If you are a Regular Program student and begin part-time you must complete the full Foundation Year part-time before switching back to full-time. This means you would complete your Foundation Year in two years and your Concentration Year in one for a total of three years. If you are an Advanced Standing student and begin part-time you do not have the option to switch to full-time status.
We do. We work to take the feedback of our students and provide coursework at times that are most convenient for them.
We strongly discourage it. We consider our full-time program to be a 50 hour/week commitment between field placement, in class time, and out-of-class homework. We have found that students in our program are most successful if they are not trying to manage a full-time job. With that said, we understand that working full-time is a necessity for some. If this is your situation we encourage you to attend our program part-time and speak to an advisor in our office to ensure you are receiving adequate support.
If you have life circumstances that require you to miss a semester or even year of the program, our advisors will work with you to develop an altered academic plan.
At this point in time, we are unable to connect prospective students with MSW Program alumni.
There are tours of campus that run every day out of the Admissions Office, though they are primarily geared toward undergraduates. At this point in time, we do not offer tours specifically for students interested in the Master of Social Work program. However, we can let you know that the majority of MSW Program courses are located in the Central Classroom and West Classroom Buildings, and all of the Department of Social Work offices are located on the second floor of the Central Classroom Building.
Please take a look at the 19-20 MSW Program Cost Information. As with all institutions of higher education, our tuition does raise marginally from year to year so keep that in mind as you are financially planning. We will update this answer with the 2020-2021 tuition and cost information when it becomes available later this summer.
The majority of aid at the Master’s level is in the form of federal loans. We do have some stipend and scholarship programs through our department and you can find details under Scholarships & Stipends on our website.
The MSW Regular Program for students who have an accredited bachelor’s degree is a 60 credit hours.
The MSW Advanced Standing Program for students who have a Bachelor of Social Work degree accredited by the Council on Social Work Education is 36 credit hours.
Full time students will take 15 credits (5 courses) per semester. Part time students will take 6-9 credits (2-3 courses) per semester. For more information, please visit our Regular Program advising page and our Advanced Standing Program advising page.
We do offer some summer courses to lighten the course work through the regular academic year. We recommend student check summer schedule and confirm they are eligible for the coursework.
The MSW Regular Program curriculum is delivered within a two year (full time) highly structured format. Students take Social Work coursework in sequence and should take that into consideration when planning education, work and other commitments. The first year of courses (foundation year) must be completed before students can move on to courses in the second year (concentration year).
The MSW Advanced Standing Program curriculum is delivered within a one year (full time) highly structured format including summer bridge courses. Students take Social Work coursework in sequence and should take that into consideration when planning education, work and other commitments. Students must complete fall concentration year coursework in order to move on to spring coursework.
Foundation year students are required to complete sixteen hours a week for a total of 240 hours per semester. Concentration year students are required to complete twenty hours a week for a total of 300 hours per semester. Keep in mind that schedules are dictated based on the needs and schedule of the agency.
Yes! You will submit a field application to the Office of Field Education and they will give you a list of agencies to interview with based on your interests, availability, etc. After each interview there will be a mutual selection process until you find the placement that is the right fit for you.
There is an option to submit your current job for consideration as an employment based field site. Please contact the Office of Field Education for more information.
Yes, you will be assigned both a faculty advisor and an academic advisor at the time of admission into the Social Work Department.