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MSU Denver

Course Delivery Options

Students may complete the Master of Social Work (MSW) Program in either the fully online or the mixed traditional (combination online and on campus) course delivery option.

In the fully online course delivery option, students take all courses online and are guaranteed a spot in online sections of all required courses. Field placements are done in person, but can be done in the student’s local community.

In the mixed traditional (combination online and on campus) course delivery option, students may take courses on campus, online, and/or in the hybrid format. While we guarantee that there will be a spot for students in a section of all required courses, we cannot guarantee that students will always get into their first choice of section. Field placements are done in person, but can be done in the student’s local community.

Students will be accepted into either the fully online or mixed traditional (combination online and on campus) course delivery option at admission. If you need to change your course delivery option, please contact the Office of Social Work Student Services at [email protected]

To learn more about on campus, online, and hybrid course options, please visit our Course Delivery Information page.

Enrollment Options

Students may complete the Master of Social Work (MSW) Program full time or part time.

Full time students will take a total of 15 credits per semester. The Regular Program takes 2 years to complete full time and the Advanced Standing Program takes 1 year to complete full time.

Part time students will take between 6 and 9 credits per semester. The Regular Program takes 4 years to complete part time and the Advanced Standing Program takes 2 years to complete part time.

Students will be accepted into either the full time or part time option at admission. If you need to change your enrollment option, please contact the Office of Social Work Student Services at [email protected].

MSW Regular Program Curriculum

The MSW Regular Program is a 60 credit hour program designed for students with an undergraduate degree in a field other than social work. The Regular Program begins in fall semesters only.

The Regular Program can be completed in 2 years full time or 4 years part time and is available in both the mixed traditional and fully online course delivery options.

To learn more about the course sequencing, please download a MSW Regular Program Advising Snapshot. The Advising Snapshot outlines the required sequence of coursework in both the full time and part time plans. Any deviation from this plan must be approved by the Office of Social Work Student Services.


MSW Regular Program Full Time Plan

Required Foundation Coursework

FALL - Year 1

SWKM 5400 Human Behavior and the Social Environment (3)

SWKM 5425 Privilege, Oppression, and Power (3)

SWKM 5450 Social Policy Analysis (3)

SWKM 5600 Generalist Practice I (3)

SWKM 5625 Field Experience I (3)*

TOTAL: 15 credits

SPRING - Year 1

SWKM 5475 Legal Issues in Social Work Practice (3)

SWKM 5500 Research Methods in Social Work (3)

SWKM 5575 Groups, Teams, and Leadership (3)

SWKM 5650 Generalist Practice II (3)

SWKM 5675 Field Experience II (3)*

TOTAL: 15 credits

Note: Foundation Field Placement consists of 16 hours/week at an agency
* Linked courses, students must enroll in the same section for both fall and spring semesters

Required Concentration Coursework

FALL - Year 2

SWKM 6700 Capstone I (3)†

SWKM 6725 Field Experience III (3)‡

SWKM 6425 Advanced Integrative Practice: Leadership (3)

SWKM 6450 Advanced Integrative Practice: Clinical (3)

SWKM Elective (3)

TOTAL: 15 credits

SPRING - Year 2

SWKM 6750 Capstone II (3)†

SWKM 6775 Field Experience IV (3)‡

SWKM 6475 Advanced Policy and Advocacy (3)

SWKM Elective (3)

SWKM Elective (3)

TOTAL: 15 credits

Note: Concentration Field Placement consists of 20 hours/week at an agency.
† Linked courses, student must enroll in the same section for both fall and spring semesters.

‡ Linked courses, student must enroll in the same section for both fall and spring semesters.


MSW Regular Program Part Time Plan

Required Foundation Coursework

FALL - Year 1

SWKM 5400 Human Behavior and the Social Environment (3)

SWKM 5425 Privilege, Oppression, and Power (3)

SWKM 5450 Social Policy Analysis (3)

TOTAL: 9 credits

SPRING - Year 1

SWKM 5475 Legal Issues in Social Work Practice (3)

SWKM 5500 Research Methods in Social Work (3)

SWKM 5575 Groups, Teams, and Leadership (3)

TOTAL: 9 credits

FALL - Year 2

SWKM 5600 Generalist Practice I (3)

SWKM 5625 Field Experience I (3)*

TOTAL: 6 credits

SPRING - Year 2

SWKM 5650 Generalist Practice II (3)

SWKM 5675 Field Experience II (3)*

TOTAL: 6 credits

Note: Foundation Field Placement consists of 16 hours/week at an agency
* Linked courses, students must enroll in the same section for both fall and spring semesters

Required Concentration Coursework

FALL - Year 3

SWKM 6425 Advanced Integrative Practice: Leadership (3)

SWKM 6450 Advanced Integrative Practice: Clinical (3)

SWKM Elective (3)

TOTAL: 9 credits

SPRING - Year 3

SWKM 6475 Advanced Policy and Advocacy (3)

SWKM Elective (3)

SWKM Elective (3)

TOTAL: 9 credits

FALL - Year 4

SWKM 6700 Capstone I (3)†

SWKM 6725 Field Experience III (3)‡

TOTAL: 6 credits

SPRING - Year 4

SWKM 6750 Capstone II (3)†

SWKM 6775 Field Experience IV (3)‡

TOTAL: 6 credits

Note: Concentration Field Placement consists of 20 hours/week at an agency.
† Linked courses, student must enroll in the same section for both fall and spring semesters.

‡ Linked courses, student must enroll in the same section for both fall and spring semesters.

MSW Advanced Standing Program Curriculum

The MSW Advanced Standing Program is a 36 credit hour program designed for students with an undergraduate degree in a social work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program. The Advanced Standing Program begins in summer semesters only.

The Advanced Standing Program can be completed in 1 year full time or 2 years part time and is available in both the mixed traditional and fully online course delivery options.

To learn more about the course sequencing, please download a MSW Advanced Standing Program Advising Snapshot. The Advising Snapshot outlines the required sequence of coursework in both the full time and part time plans. Any deviation from this plan must be approved by the Office of Social Work Student Services.


MSW Advanced Standing Full Time Plan

Required Concentration Coursework

SUMMER - Year 1

SWKM 6400 Bridge Seminar (3)

SWKM 5475 Legal Issues in Social Work Practice (3)

TOTAL: 6 credits

FALL - Year 1

SWKM 6700 Capstone I (3)†

SWKM 6725 Field Experience III (3)‡

SWKM 6425 Advanced Integrative Practice: Leadership (3)

SWKM 6450 Advanced Integrative Practice: Clinical (3)

SWKM Elective (3)

TOTAL: 15 credits

SPRING - Year 1

SWKM 6750 Capstone II (3)†

SWKM 6775 Field Experience IV (3)‡

SWKM 6475 Advanced Policy and Advocacy (3)

SWKM Elective (3)

SWKM Elective (3)

TOTAL: 15 credits

Note: Concentration Field Placement consists of 20 hours/week at an agency.
† Linked courses, student must enroll in the same section for both fall and spring semesters.

‡ Linked courses, student must enroll in the same section for both fall and spring semesters.


MSW Advanced Standing Part Time Plan

Required Concentration Coursework

SUMMER - Year 1

SWKM 6400 Bridge Seminar (3)

SWKM 5475 Legal Issues in Social Work Practice (3)

TOTAL: 6 credits

FALL - Year 1

SWKM 6425 Advanced Integrative Practice: Leadership (3)

SWKM 6450 Advanced Integrative Practice: Clinical (3)

SWKM Elective (3)

TOTAL: 9 credits

SPRING - Year 1

SWKM 6475 Advanced Policy and Advocacy (3)

SWKM Elective (3)

SWKM Elective (3)

TOTAL: 9 credits

FALL - Year 2

SWKM 6700 Capstone I (3)†

SWKM 6725 Field Experience III (3)‡

TOTAL: 6 credits

SPRING - Year 2

SWKM 6750 Capstone II (3)†

SWKM 6775 Field Experience IV (3)‡

TOTAL: 6 credits

Note: Concentration Field Placement consists of 20 hours/week at an agency.
† Linked courses, student must enroll in the same section for both fall and spring semesters.

‡ Linked courses, student must enroll in the same section for both fall and spring semesters.

Pathways and Electives

In the MSW Program at MSU Denver, students may select to further focus their practice in one of the many pathways offered in the program. Pathways are advising recommendations of electives that help students enhance learning in special areas. Students are not required to pick a pathway, but we offer them as an enrichment to the MSW Program. Students are free to take electives from any pathway they choose. With pathways, students are given more choice in their education. Students do not start a pathway until the concentration year.

The current pathway offerings include:

  • Children and Families
    • Students are prepared to work effectively with families and family systems in ways that promote healthy family functioning. They will learn to work with organizations and communities in ways to support youth and families. Students are also prepared to work with abused and neglected youth, their families and caregivers, supporting social service agencies, and the Department of Human Services child welfare delivery system.
  • Mental Health
    • Students are prepared for effective multilevel practice with populations experiencing, or at-risk for, behavioral health/mental health and/or substance abuse concerns. Students learn specialized skills on how to practice directly with clients and client groups
  • Leadership and Management
    • Students are prepared to take on leadership roles such as program managers, agency directors, policy analysts, program evaluators, and community organizers. Students learn the skills needed to develop, administer, and enhance programs.
  • School Social Work
    • Students are prepared for how to effectively work with and within private schools and the public school system. Students are prepared to work with various at-risk children including those who have emotional and developmental challenges, abused and neglected youth, their families and caregivers, and support social service agencies.
    • Those who plan to get a license in School Social Work must take SWKM6635 School Social Work.
  • Gerontological Social Work
    • Students are prepared to work with older adults and their families and caregivers. They receive training and skills necessary to address psychosocial issues of aging, health and mental health issues, the network of aging services, and social policies affecting older adults.
  • Social Work in Health Care
    • Prepares students to practice in health promotion, integrated health care and other healthcare settings with populations with, or at-risk for, acute and chronic health conditions. Students are trained as leaders in the health field, equipped to address health related concerns at all levels in multidisciplinary environments. Typical field placements settings include prevention programs, public health, community health agencies, hospitals and clinics.
  • Children and Youth
    • Students are prepared for how to effectively work with children and youth in various settings for effective multilevel practice. Students are prepared to work with various at-risk children including those who have emotional and developmental challenges, abused and neglected youth, their families and caregivers, and support social service agencies.