MSU Denver

For a complete list of prerequisite, general studies, and BSSW Program required courses, please download a BSSW Program Advising Chart. The BSSW Program does not require a minor.

Applying to the Social Work Major

The social work major is fall-start only. To begin the major, students must apply to the BSSW Program during the spring prior to starting the fall courses. For more information, please visit our BSSW Program application page.

Required SWK Pre-Major Courses

The major requires 2 social work prerequisite courses to set the foundation for coursework in the major. Students must have all prerequisite courses complete prior to starting BSSW Program courses in the fall. The SWK pre-major courses must be completed with a grade of “C-” or better. More information on SWK pre-major courses can be found below.

Required Ancillary Prerequisite Courses

The major requires 4 ancillary prerequisite courses to set the foundation for coursework in the major. Students must have all prerequisite courses complete prior to starting BSSW Program courses in the fall. The required ancillary prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of “D-” or better. More information on required ancillary prerequisites can be found below.

Electives, Agency Experience, and Field Placement Overview

SWK Pre-Major Requirements

The following social work courses must be completed prior to entry into the BSSW Program. All social work courses must be completed with a grade of “C-” or better.

  • SWK 1010 – Introduciton to Social Work Credits: 3
  • SWK 1600 – Community Engagement & Civic Responsibility § Credits: 3

§ Requires approximately 3 hours/week of volunteer work for a total of 45 hours per semester

SWK Required Ancillary Prerequisite Requirements

The following courses must be completed prior to entry into the BSSW Program. All ancillary courses must be completed with a grade of “D-” or better.

  • One of the following: (can also fulfill Natural & Physical Science General Studies Requirement)
    • BIO 1000 – Human Biology for Non-Majors Credits: 3
    • OR BIO 1030 – General Biology for Non-Majors Credits: 4
    • OR BIO 1080 – General Biology I AND BIO 1090 – General Biology Laboratory I Credits: 3 + 1
  • PSC 1010 – American National Goverment Credits: 3 (can also fulfill Social & Behavioral Science General Studies Requirement)
  • PSY 1001 – Introductory Psychology Credits: 3 (can also fulfill Social & Behavioral Science General Studies Requirement)
  • One of the following: (can also fulfill Social & Behavioral Science General Studies Requirement)
    • SOC 1010 – People, Power and Progress Credits: 3
    • OR ANT 1310 – Introduction to Cultural Anthropology Credits: 3
    • OR ANT 2330 – Cross-Cultural Communication Credits: 3

General Studies Requirements

These courses must be completed with a grade of “D-” or better prior to graduation from MSU Denver, although we recommend completing these courses prior to entry into the BSSW Program.

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements in the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.

** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences. 

Additional Graduation Requirements

These requirements must be met in order to graduate from MSU Denver per university policy.

Required Social Work Courses

Because the BSSW Degree is professionally-oriented, students must pass through the curriculum in a sequential manner with lower-level courses preparing them for the work and expectations of upper-level courses. The following social work courses are required after students have been accepted into the BSSW Program. Students must adhere to the required coursework. Upper Division Social Work Electives can be taken in any fall, spring, or summer term. The below plan includes suggestions of when to take upper division electives.


Required Junior Year Coursework

FALL - Junior Year

SWK 3410 Generalist Practice I (3)

SWK 3350 Social Work Experience, Practice & Communication (3) †

SWK 3050 Human Behavior & the Social Environment I (3)

SWK 3090 Philosophy of Social Work (3) *

TOTAL: 12 credits

SPRING - Junior Year

SWK 3420 Generalist Practice II (3)

SWK 3120 Privilege, Oppression & Power (3) *

SWK 3060 Human Behavior & the Social Environment II (3)

SWK 3780 Social Policy & Social Justice (3) *

Upper Division Social Work Elective (3) *

TOTAL: 15 credits

* These courses can be taken over the summer semester

† Requires approximately 3 hours/week of volunteer work for a total of 45 hours per semester.

Please see the BSSW Program Advising Chart for the part-time plan. If you need a plan that differs from the outlined full-time or part-time plan, please schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor by calling our Welcome Desk at 303-615-0555.


Required Senior Year Coursework

FALL - Senior Year

SWK 4300 Research Methods (3)

SWK 4400 Generalist Practice III (3)

SWK 4500 Professional Field Experience I (3) ‡

Upper Division Social Work Elective (3) *

TOTAL: 12 credits

SPRING - Senior Year

SWK 4310 Research Statistics (3)

SWK 4410 Generalist Practice IV (3)

SWK 4510 Professional Field Experience II (3) ‡

Upper Division Social Work Elective (3) *

Upper Division Social Work Elective (3) *

TOTAL: 15 credits

* These courses can be taken over the summer semester

‡ Requires approximately 14 hours/week of field work for a total of 200 hours per semester (400 hours per academic year)

Please see the BSSW Program Advising Chart for the part-time plan. If you need a plan that differs from the outlined full-time or part-time plan, please schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor by calling our Welcome Desk at 303-615-0555.

Enrollment Options

Students may complete the Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) Program full time or part time.

Full time students will take 9-12 credits of required BSSW Program coursework per semester, plus 12 credits of upper division electives across any fall, spring or summer semesters. The BSSW Program upper division coursework takes 2 years to complete full time.

Part time students will take 6-9 credits of required BSSW Program coursework per semester, plus 12 credits of upper division electives across any fall, spring or summer semesters. The BSSW Program upper division coursework takes 3 years to complete full 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].

Course Delivery Information

Students may complete the Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) Program in either the fully online or the mixed traditional 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 and SWK 3350 agency volunteer hours are done in person, but can be done in the student’s local community. Please note: all online sections of upper division required BSSW courses have required synchronous meeting times.

In the mixed traditional 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 and SWK 3350 agency volunteer hours 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 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.