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BSSW Program Coursework

For the complete list of prerequisites, general studies, and BSSW Program required coursework, please download a BSSW Program Advising Chart


Required Prerequisite Courses

The major requires 9 prerequisite General Studies and Social Work courses to set the foundation for coursework in the major. Students must have all prerequisite courses completed prior to entry into the major. All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of “C-” or better. Upon approaching completion of the prerequisites, students may apply to the program.

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 the BSSW Program Application page.

Detailed Course Information

Please click on the drop-downs below for detailed information about approved upper division social work electives, SWK 3350 - Social Work Experience, Practice, and Communication, and the field placement process for SWK 4500 and 4510.


The following electives have been approved by the Department of Social Work. Please note - not all electives will be offered every semester. If there is a term listed in parenthesis after the elective title, that indicates the semester we can guarantee that a course will be offered. It may be offered during other semesters as well. Make sure to check the course schedule for the current semester to see all electives being offered.

  • SWK 3010 - Social Work Practice with Children and Youth (Fall)
  • SWK 3020 - Case Management Practice
  • SWK 3030 - Social Work with Older People (Spring)
  • SWK 3040 - Creative Approaches to Change (Fall)
  • SWK 3070 - Environmental Justice in Social Work (Spring)
  • SWK 3080 - Social Work with Families (Spring)
  • SWK 3100 - Child Welfare and the Law (Spring, Summer)
  • SWK 3110 - Social Justice and Activism in the Chicana/o Community (Multicultural)
  • SWK 3130 - Social Work and Criminal Justice Issues (Fall)
  • SWK 3150 - Social Work and Child Maltreatment (Fall, Summer)
  • SWK 3400 - Leadership and Program Administration in Social Work (Spring)
  • SWK 3500 - Social Work Practice with LGBTQ People (Spring)
  • SWK 3600 - Gender in Social Work Practice (Fall)
  • SWK 3660 - Poverty, Race, and Gender
  • SWK 4160 - Human Trafficking
  • SWK 4250 - Exploring Current Social Work Issues (Fall)

Junior Year Volunteer Agency Experience

The Social Work Experience course is a requirement in the fall semester of a student's junior year in the BSSW Program and must be taken alongside SWK 3410 - Generalist Practice I.

Social Work Experience, Practice, and Communication is a 3-credit course:

  • 2 credits for the weekly class meetings, and
  • 1 credit for the agency volunteer experience

Students will meet as a class on-campus for 2 hours or online every week to discuss readings and integrate the coursework with the agency experience. The focus of this course is to develop students as social work professionals - attending to professional roles and boundaries, examining your personal and professional values, developing effective written, verbal and non-verbal communication skills, demonstrating interpersonal skills, and practicing personal reflection and self-correction. 

Students will have the opportunity to focus on these areas by completing 60 hours of volunteer service in a community agency whose focus is in providing human/social services. For more information and guidelines, please download the SWK 3350 Guidelines for Selecting an Agency 2020 - Handout for Students.

All students in this course must secure an agency to complete their 60 hours of volunteer service by August 29, 2020. The Classroom to Career (C2) Hub on the Auraria Campus has a database of agencies that may be suitable for this class. Please contact the C2 Hub if you have trouble accessing the agency database. There are resources for searching for a volunteer position through the C2 Hub or by using www.metrovolunteers.org or www.volunteermatch.org. Questions about how to access CareerLink will be addressed in the information sessions. If you still have questions after attending an information session, please contact C2Hub@msudenver.edu

Information Sessions

Dr. K Scherrer, BSSW Program Director and course lead for SWK 3350, will be hosting mandatory information sessions for SWK 3350 in summer 2020. You must sign up for one information session to provide a more detailed orientation on how to access the agency database and to provide more information on the class and its requirements. Sign-ups for information sessions are being sent directly to students registered for SWK 3350 or who are projected to take this class in fall 2020.

Agency Confirmation

Once you have accepted a volunteer position at an agency, you must confirm your agency with your instructor by Saturday, August 29th at 11:50 PM. This course has
assignments throughout the class that involve your volunteer work. So in order to set yourself up for success in this class you MUST have a volunteer placement secured early as soon as possible.

COVID-19 and SWK 3350

We want you to know that we are very aware that we are beginning this fall term in the middle of a global pandemic. Each of our personal circumstances are a bit different in regards to our safety and risk with COVID, and it remains to be seen how our local and national risk will change in the fall. Even though we cannot predict what will happen, we want you to know that we are planning to do everything we can to help you meet the requirements for this course in a way that is flexible with your life circumstances. We’ll talk more about this in our upcoming information sessions, and your individual course instructors will be of great help with this as well. So please try not to worry too much about this for now. Bring your questions to an information session and we’ll plan on sharing some strategies that may be helpful for your varied situations.

 

The field placement search process is overseen by the Office of Field Education. For more information about this process, click here.

During their senior year in the program, BSSW students enroll in SWK 4500 and 4510 – Professional Field Experience I & II, where they complete a field placement and a concurrent biweekly field seminar during both fall and spring semesters. The field placement is geared towards a generalist experience allowing students to develop practice skills working across micro, mezzo and macro levels of practice in a community-based agency. The field placement is completed at the same agency over both semesters allowing students to deepen their learning and increase their impact over the course of the academic year.

Students are required to complete 240 hours in their agency setting per semester, the equivalent of 16 hours per week during each of the 15 week semesters, both fall and spring. The accompanying field seminar course (offered face-to-face, online and in hybrid formats) meets every other week throughout the course of the two semesters of Field Experience. The seminar course is taught by a Faculty Field Liaison and provides a forum for students to critically reflect on their experiences out in the field in an environment geared towards promoting professional development.


Complete before entering the major:

General Studies Prerequisites

These courses must be completed with a C- or better prior to entry into the BSSW Program.


Students must take the following courses:

  • ENG 1010 - Composing Arguments Credits:3 (students may also take ENG 1008 + ENG 1009)
  • AND ENG 1020 - Research & Argument Writing Credits: 3

Students must take one of the following courses:

  • CAS 1010 - Public Speaking Credits: 3
  • OR CAS 1020 - Communication in Action Credits: 3
  • OR CAS 1710 - Interpersonal Communication Credits: 3
  • OR HON 2950 - The Art of Critical Thinking Credits: 3

Students must take one of the following courses:

  • 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

Note: Students are required to take a total of 6 credits in Natural and Physical Science to meet MSU Denver General Studies requirements. The Biology prerequisite fulfills 3 of the 6 required credits. The remaining Natural and Physical Science general studies requirement can be found in the "Other General Studies Courses" section below.

Students must take the following courses:

  • PSC 1010 - American National Government Credits: 3
  • AND PSY 1001 - Introductory Psychology Credits: 3 
  • AND Pick one of the following:
    • SOC 1010 - Introduction to Sociology Credits: 3
    • OR ANT 1310 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology Credits: 3
    • OR ANT 2330 - Cross-Cultural Communication Credits: 3

Note: 3 credits apply to General Studies SBS I requirement and 3 credits apply to General Studies SBS II requirement

Social Work Prerequisites

Must be completed with a C- or better prior to entry into the BSSW Program


Students must take the following courses:

  • SWK 1010 - Introduction to Social Work: Overview of Contemporary Issues Credits: 3
  • AND SWK 1600 - Community Engagement & Civic Responsibility Credits: 3 §

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


Complete before graduation from MSU Denver

General Studies Courses

These courses must be completed with a D or better prior, and we recommend completing these courses before entering the major.


See General Studies Requirements for course list.

The BSSW Program does not require the completion of any specific Quantitative Literacy (College Level Math) courses. Students are free to register for any math course that fulfills the MSU Denver Quantitative Literacy General Studies requirement.

See General Studies Requirements for course list.

The BSSW Program does not require the completion of any specific Arts and Humanities courses. Students are free to register for any courses that meet MSU Denver's General Studies requirements.

See General Studies Requirements for course list.

The BSSW Program does not require the completion of any specific Historical course. Students are free to register for any course that meets the MSU Denver Historical General Studies requirement.

See General Studies Requirements for course list.

The BSSW Program requires that students complete a Biology course (see Natural and Physical Science - Biology requirement) but does not require students take a specific second Natural and Physical Science course. Students are free to register for any course meeting the MSU Denver Natural and Physical Science General Studies requirement to fulfill their second science course.

The Global Diversity requirement may be fulfilled with a course that also fulfills the Arts & Humanities, Historical, or Natural & Physical Science requirement. See General Studies Requirements for course list.

Graduation Requirements

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


The Multicultural requirement may be fulfilled with a course that also fulfills the Arts & Humanities or Historical requirement. See General Studies Requirements for course list.

MSU Denver requires that students complete at least 120 credits in order to earn a bachelor's degree. Because the BSSW Program does not require a minor, students must typically complete 18-24 credits of general electives. General electives are any college level course not already fulfilling a degree requirement (i.e. general studies and social work major courses). The number of general electives a student has left to complete must be evaluated individually.


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.

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 Welfare Policy (3) *

Upper Division Social Work Elective (3) *

TOTAL: 15 credits

*These courses can be taken over the summer semester. Please work with an advisor in the Office of Social Work Student Services (303-615-0555, socialwork@msudenver.edu) to customize a plan that works for you.

† Requires approximately 4 hours/week of volunteer work for a total of 60 hours per semester

Please see the BSSW Program Advising Chart for the part-time plan

 

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. Please work with an advisor in the Office of Social Work Student Services (303-615-0555, socialwork@msudenver.edu) to customize a plan that will work for you.

‡ Requires approximately 16 hours/week of field work for a total of 240 hours per semester

Please see the BSSW Program Advising Chart for the part-time plan



Coursework Totals

  • General Studies Prerequisites: 21 credits
  • Social Work Prerequisites: 6 credits
  • General Studies Courses: 15-18 credits
  • Graduation Requirements: 18-24 credits
  • Required Social Work Courses: 54 credits

TOTAL: 120 credits

MSU Denver requires that students have at least 120 credits to earn a bachelor's degree. The BSSW Program does not require a minor.


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Contact Information

Main Office Phone:

303-615-0555

Location:

Main Office
Central Classroom Suite 201

Office of Field Education
Central Classroom Suite 202

Office of Social Work Student Services
Central Classroom Suite 206

Maps and Parking

Mailing Address:

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


Accreditation

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation logo

Our MSW and BSSW Programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education - the sole accrediting body for social work education.