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Bachelor of Science in Social Work Program

Social Work is an exciting academic major, preparing students for professional entry-level work in the social and human services. Students in the Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) Program engage in the exploration of ways to ameliorate personal, interpersonal, and societal problems and learn skills and techniques in order to create change and make a difference in people’s lives. Social Work is a valuable degree as many employers recognize it as preparing graduates to utilize a variety of tools to work with diverse populations on multiple issues and goals.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) defines social work as “a profession devoted to helping people function the best they can in their environment” and defines social workers as “people who care about people, who want to make things better, who want to relieve suffering, who want their work to make a difference“.

Employment of social workers is expected to grow by 13% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 2021). Bachelor-level social workers are employed in a variety of settings, including schools, prisons, non-profit and for-profit private agencies, and governmental agencies. They work with individuals, families, groups, and communities as intake staff, resource and referral specialists, case workers, case managers, program coordinators, project directors, community organizers, and more. All social workers share a commitment to:

  • Promoting social welfare
  • Helping people of all backgrounds overcome their unique challenges
  • Advocating for social and economic justice for all members of the community
  • Embodying a professional code of ethics

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

At MSU Denver, students get a high level of instruction at an affordable price. Our BSSW program offers:

  • Multiple course delivery and enrollment options (including online, hybrid, and on-campus day, night and weekend course offerings) that allow flexibility for our students and increase accessibility no matter their life circumstance.
  • Small class sizes, which means you get more direct contact with your faculty and advisors.
  • Classroom and field experiences that prepare you for an intense professional environment.
  • Diverse and experience professors who are dedicated to helping students learn and succeed.
  • A unique Office of Social Work Student Services, providing dedicated student support from admission through graduation and beyond.
  • A dedicated Office of Field Education, working one-on-one with students to secure field placements while maintaining relationships with over 700 agencies throughout the state.

Welcome from the BSSW Program Director

“We shall overcome. We shall overcome. Deep in my heart I do believe we shall overcome. And I believe it because somehow the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Greetings! I share one of my favorite quotes with you as a way of welcoming you to the BSSW Program in Social Work at Metropolitan State University of Denver. In 2021, our BSSW program celebrated its 25th anniversary, an exciting and important milestone!

There is perhaps no more relevant and exciting time to join the social work profession than today. When I read this quote from Dr. King, it causes me to reflect on the social work profession’s mission of social justice and how we are called to engage in social and political action (as outlined in the NASW Code of Ethics) to address the pressing social and economic inequalities in our state and country.

Social workers are change agents. And one of the most special and unique features of a social work education is the incredibly broad array of career options that are available to those with a social work degree—everything from healthcare, mental health, children and families, aging, school social work, non-profit organizations, criminal justice, international social work, poverty and homelessness, political advocacy, and research, just to name a few! And social work provides opportunities to effect change at both the micro, mezzo, and macro levels—from the individual to society at large.

All the faculty members who teach in the BSSW program love teaching and working with students. We are highly committed to supporting you so that you can have the best learning experience possible. The BSSW program includes both coursework AND valuable internship experiences so that students will graduate with the values, knowledge, and skills they need to be effective social work practitioners. Our diverse faculty members bring a wealth of social work practice experiences into face-to-face and online classes.

We have worked hard to build a BSSW program that supports students’ diverse needs, that is rigorous and intellectually challenging, and that ultimately prepares students to step into professional social work positions and create meaningful change in our communities. Many of our BSSW graduates decide to pursue their MSW degree and are successful in this pursuit based on the strong preparation they receive in our undergraduate program.

In my role as BSSW Program Director, my job is to support BSSW students in this program and beyond. I frequently meet with students on topics such as:

  • Discussing ideas for how to navigate challenging classroom or life situations
  • Hearing your feedback on about how to improve the BSSW program
  • Answering questions about Departmental or University policy
  • Providing advice about professional next steps

I invite you to learn more about the BSSW Program here at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Check out the resources available here on our website. If you’re new to MSU Denver, send us a question via email at [email protected] or give us a call at (303) 615-0555. Attend an information session to learn more about our programs. Visit our Facebook page. Or come visit our offices in Central Classroom, Suite 201. You can email me at [email protected] to talk about all things social work.

My door is always open!

Jessica A. Ritter, Ph.D., MSSW, BSW

BSSW Program Director | Full Professor of Social Work

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

As a graduate of MSU Denver’s BSSW Program you will be prepared for entry-level, direct-service positions such as caseworker or mental health assistant. Among the organizations and agencies who hire social workers are:

  • Mental health clinics
  • Schools
  • Child welfare and human service agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Community development corporations
  • Senior citizen centers
  • Youth organizations
  • Private practices

On average, our BSSW graduates earn $30,000 to $60,000 annually with 75% of graduates finding a job in the field within 2 months of graduation. BSSW Program graduates are also eligible for Advanced Standing in many Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs across the nation (including the MSU Denver MSW Program). This allows students to complete their MSW degree in just one year!



Our BSSW Program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education – the sole accrediting body for social work education in the United States. 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.

Did You Know?

Many Social Work faculty members have been awarded large state and federal grants that bring stipend money to students studying to practice in certain fields such as child welfare and behavioral health.

Alumni at Work

Some agencies that have hired our students are: The Denver Department of Human Services Give Program, Jefferson County Juvenile Assessment Center and Denver Public Schools.

Program Assessment

The Department of Social Work at MSU Denver values the assessment process as it leads to instrumental data that informs program improvement on multiple levels. Our assessment methods have improved over the years, and our most recent improvement involves the sharing of assessment data with our stakeholders (students, field instructors, and other community partners). We invite you to view our recent assessment findings.

Contact Us

The Department of Social Work is here to support you on your journey!

Have a question or comment for us? Please fill out the form linked below and a member of our team will reply via email in 2-3 business days.

Contact Form

Office Location:
Central Classroom Building, Suite 201

Campus Maps and Parking

Welcome Desk Phone:

[email protected]

Mailing Address:

Metropolitan State University of Denver
Department of Social Work
PO Box 173362 CB 70
Denver, CO 80217-3362