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Application Deadlines and Procedures


The application for the 2019 Admissions Cycle will open on September 4th, 2018.

If you are on the MSW Prospective Student List, you will be notified when the application becomes available.

The application deadline for the 2019 Admissions Cycle is January 15th, 2019 at 11:59 PM.

To be considered for priority admission, applicants must submit all application materials by October 31st, 2018 at 11:59 PM.

Please note: Application processing takes 10-12 weeks after the deadline to complete

Applicants who submit all their materials by the priority consideration deadline of October 31st will have their application reviewed in advance by the MSW Admission Committee. Those ranked in the very top of the pool of applicants will be granted early admission to the program, granting them a head start on:

  • Preparing to start the program
  • Securing a field placement
  • Registering for classes

All other applicants who submit their application by the priority consideration deadline will have their application rolled forward and will receive their admission notification in spring 2019, 10-12 weeks after the application deadline.

Although only a select few will receive priority admission, we encourage you to give it a try, submit your materials early, then sit back and relax.

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.

Our acceptance rate for Advanced Standing Program applicants is 65% on average and our acceptance rate for Regular Program applicants is 76% on average. 

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!

If you are still working to decide what you’d like to major in, we encourage you to consider a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. The benefit of Advanced Standing is a huge one if you know that ultimately you’d like to pursue your MSW.

If you already have a Bachelor's degree, however, we typically do not recommend pursuing a second Bachelor's degree. For most students it would take them far more time, energy, and money to complete a second Bachelor’s AND a Master’s. If, however, you have concerns about your GPA from your previous Bachelor’s degree, please contact the department and we will discuss your options with you.

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 2019 Admissions Cycle, if your undergraduate degree is in social work and was conferred:

  • September 2013 to present - you are eligible for the Advanced Standing Program
  • September 2009 to August 2013 - you are eligible for the Advanced Standing Program, but will also have to submit the Petition for Advanced Standing as part of your application
  • August 2009 or earlier - you are no longer eligible for Advanced Standing and must apply to the Regular Program

Application Materials


The following components of the application are required from all applicants:

  • Online MSU Denver Graduate Application (including $50 Application Fee)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (submitted electronically)
  • Official Transcripts from all colleges and universities
  • MSW Program Application Materials:
    • Admissions Essay (prompts will be provided)
    • Professional History Form (a professional resume is optional)
    • Electronic Signature

The following MSW Program Application Materials are only required of Advanced Standing applicants:

  • Case Study (prompts will be provided)
  • Petition for Advanced Standing (if undergraduate degree is more than 6 years old)

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 vlaues 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 socialwork@msudenver.edu

Please use APA formatting in all formal written works. 

Please send official copies of all of your transcripts directly to the Office of Social Work Student Services.

Electronic transcripts are preferred and can be sent to socialwork@msudenver.edu.

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 confirm receipt of your application by emailing socialwork@msudenver.edu

Prerequisite Courses


The prerequisites are required of all Regular Program applicants. They are:

  • At least 12 units of course work in social and behavioral sciences (sociology, psychology, economics, political science, cultural anthropology, etc.)
    • One course must be centrally organized around American Government (not history)
    • One course must be centrally organized around contemporary multicultural or diversity issues
  • At least 3 units of course work in written or oral communication
  • At least 3 units of course work in arts and humanities (literature, art, music, history, philosophy, etc.)
  • At least 3 units of course work in human biology OR
    At least 6 units of course work in natural and physical science (chemistry, physics, geology, etc.)
  • At least 3 units of course work in basic statistics (not research methods)

Please check out our 2019 Application Cycle MSW Prerequisite Requirements and Completion Options for more information on what types of courses fulfill each prerequisite area

When you submit official transcripts, we perform a prerequisite review to determine what, if any, prerequisites you are missing. Please contact us at socialwork@msudenver.edu for more information on submitting official transcripts for review. 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.

Please check out our 2019 Application Cycle MSW Prerequisite Requirements and Completion Options for more information on what types of courses fulfill each prerequisite area

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 socialwork@msudenver.edu 

Courses Required: 2 courses (6 credits)

Course Requirements:

  • Courses must be a social or behavioral science course such as psychology, sociology, geography, social work, gender and women’s studies, political science, economics, criminal justice and criminology, Africana studies, Chicano studies, cultural anthropology, human services, etc.

Suggested Completion Options:

  1. MSU Denver Courses – Courses listed under the Social and Behavioral Science I or II categories will fulfill this requirement.
  2. Colorado Community College System – AGE 102; ECO 101, 201, 202, 211, 245; POS 105, 125, 205, 215, 225; GEO 105, 106; AGR 260; ANT 101, 102, 103, 104, 107, 108, 201, 215, 225, 250; CRJ 110; JOU 105; PSY 101, 102, 205, 217, 226, 227, 235, 238, 240, 249, 265; SOC 101, 102, 205, 207, 215, 216, 218, 220, 231, 237; WST 200, 225, 240, 249
  3. CLEP Exam – Students must receive a score of 50 or higher for the CLEP Exam to be accepted, options include: Introductory Psychology; Introductory Sociology; Human Growth and Development; Principles of Macroeconomics; Principles of Microeconomics

If you have any questions about the appropriateness of a course, please email socialwork@msudenver.edu.

Courses Required: 1 course (3 credits)

Course Requirements:

  • Courses must be a social or behavioral science course such as psychology, sociology, geography, social work, gender and women’s studies, political science, economics, criminal justice and criminology, Africana studies, Chicano studies, cultural anthropology, human services, etc.
  • Courses must focus on one or more of the following:
    • One or more regions or countries outside the U.S. (including aspects such as the historical, political, social, cultural, legal, or business contexts of these regions)
    • One or more of the four groups of color in the United States
    • Global interdependence
    • Gender and/or sexualities
    • Effects of bias, prejudice, and discrimination

Suggested Completion Options:

  1. MSU Denver Courses – AAS 1010, 2100, 2200*, 3220*, 3700*; ANT 2330, 3310*, ANT 3340*, 3480*; CAS 3760*; CHS 1000, 2100, 3100*, 3200*; CJC 3720*; ECE 3860; ECO 3600*, 3800*; EDS 1001, 3150*; EDU 1111, 3111, 3200*; GEG 1000*, 1300*; GWS 1001, 1200*,1550, 2100, 2770*, 3070*, 3170*, 3220*, 3395*, 3600*, 3650*, 3660*, 3700*; HCM 2010*, 3700; HSP 3490*; IND 2810*; NAS 1000, 3200*, 3300*; NUT 3300*, 3550; PSC 2200*, 2230, 2240*, 3200*, 3300*; PSY 3030*, 3700*; RECR 2010*; SED 2200; SOC 1020, 1040, 3410*, 3220*; SWK 3110*, 3500*, 3660*; TTM 3700
    * May have prerequisite requirements
  2. Colorado Community College System – ANT 215; COM 220; ETH 200, 212, 224; SOC 218; POS 205

If you have any questions about the appropriateness of a course, please email socialwork@msudenver.edu.

Courses Required: 1 course (3 credits)

Course Requirements:

  • Courses must be a social or behavioral science, typically must be a political science course
  • American or U.S. History courses are not accepted
  • Courses must focus on the U.S. political system of representation at the national level

Suggested Completion Options:

  1. MSU Denver Courses – PSC 1010 American National Government
  2. Colorado Community College System – POS 111 American Government
  3. CLEP Exam – Students must receive a score of 50 or higher for the CLEP Exam to be accepted, options include: American Government (https://clep.collegeboard.org/exams)

If you have any questions about the appropriateness of a course, please email socialwork@msudenver.edu.

Courses Required: 1 course (3 credits)

Course Requirements:

  • Course must be focused on written or oral communication, such as composition, research and argument writing, public speaking, interpersonal communication, etc.

Suggested Completion Options:

  1. MSU Denver Courses – CAS 1010, 1020, 1710; ENG 1010, 1020, 3525
  2. Colorado Community College System – COM 115, 125; ENG 121, 122

If you have any questions about the appropriateness of a course, please email socialwork@msudenver.edu.

Courses Required: 1 course (3 credits)

Course Requirements:

  • Courses must be an arts and humanities course such as art history, music, theatre, humanities, history, literature, philosophy, upper division language courses, etc.

Suggested Completion Options:

  1. MSU Denver Courses – Courses listed under the Arts and Humanities or Historical category will fulfill this requirement; Upper Division Foreign Language courses taken at MSU Denver may also be accepted.
  2. Colorado Community College System – ART 110, 111, 112, 207; DAN 125; MUS 120, 121,122, 123, 125; THE 105, 108, 211, 212, 215; HUM 115, 121, 122, 123; LIT 115, 201, 202, 205, 211, 212, 221, 222, 225, 246, 259, 268; PHI 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 205, 214, 218, 220; FRE 211, 212; GER 211, 212; ITA 211, 212; JPN 211, 212; RUS 211, 212; SPA 211, 212
  3. CLEP Exam – Students must receive a score of 50 or higher for the CLEP Exam to be accepted, options include: American Literature; English Literature; Humanities

If you have any questions about the appropriateness of a course, please email socialwork@msudenver.edu.

Courses Required: 1-2 courses (3-6 credits)

Course Requirements:

  • Students must complete either:
    • One (1) Natural and Physical Science course focused on human biology, anatomy and physiology, general biology, or biopsychology (3 credits required) OR
    • Two (2) Natural and Physical Science course in other areas such as chemistry, geology, physics, astronomy, biological anthropology, environmental science, etc. (6 credits required)

Suggested Completion Options:

Human Biology (1 course required)

  1. MSU Denver Courses – BIO 1000, 1030, 1080 + 1090, 2310
  2. Colorado Community College System – BIO 104, 105, 106, 111, 112, 201, 202
  3. CLEP Exam – Students must receive a score of 50 or higher for the Biology CLEP Exam to be accepted
  4. University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work – Human Biology for Social Sciences (Biology of Humans: Concepts, Applications, and Issues)

Other Science Courses (2 courses required)

  1. MSU Denver Courses – Courses listed under the Natural and Physical Sciences will fulfill this requirement
  2. Colorado Community College System – AGY 240; ANT 111; AST 101, 102, 150, 160; BIO 103, 116, 204, 208, 220, 221; CHE 101, 102, 105, 111, 112; ENV 101, 110; GEO 111, 112; GEY 108, 111, 112, 135; MET 150; NRE 251; PHY 105, 107, 111, 112, 211, 212; SCI 105, 155, 156
  3. CLEP Exam – Students must receive a score of 50 or higher for the CLEP Exam to be accepted, options include: Chemistry; Natural Sciences

If you have any questions about the appropriateness of a course, please email socialwork@msudenver.edu.

Courses Required: 1 course (3 credits)

Course Requirements:

  • Courses must be either a math or social and behavioral science course focused on statistics
  • Research methods courses are not accepted

Suggested Completion Options:

  1. MSU Denver Courses – MTH 1210 Introduction to Statistics; PSY 2310 Statistics for the Social and Behavioral Sciences
    To take courses through MSU Denver, email socialwork@msudenver.edu for instructions on getting enrolled
  2. Colorado Community College System – MAT 135 Introduction to Statistics
  3. University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work – Statistics for the Social Sciences (Statistics for People Who [Think They] Hate Statistics) (https://reg.abcsignup.com/reg/event_page.aspx?ek=0015-0015-59a0aa8e52fc49da8308e7c85b83395a)

If you have any questions about the appropriateness of a course, please email socialwork@msudenver.edu.

 

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, Arts and Humanities, and/or Human Biology/Natural and Physical Science prerequisites 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 an accredited institution. 

The MSU Denver Difference


There are approximately 440 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 socialwork@msudenver.edu for more information.

Please take a look at the 18-19 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. 

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 accept up to 9 credits of transfer coursework from other accredited MSW programs. Please email socialwork@msudenver.edu to learn more about the transfer credit process. We are not able to accept graduate level transfer courses from non-MSW Programs such as Psychology or Counseling.

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 socialwork@msudenver.edu 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.

Regular Program:

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.

Yes. Our programs are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the state of Colorado.

We have been offering MSW degrees since 2011.

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 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.

Yes. Please take a look at our Facebook page and/or Twitter account

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.

Field Placement Process


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.

About Social Work


Social Work knowledge, values, and skills allow helping professionals to examine issues and problems from a perspective that goes beyond just an individual, and takes into account the person in environment perspective. Social workers are equipped to practice at all levels- individuals, families, groups, and larger systems. They may engage in direct practice work, or may choose to address social justice and policy issues from a macro perspective.  Social workers are also rooted in the core value of social justice and not just anyone can call themselves a social worker. Because social work is a value based profession, we have an organized accreditation process for education, a code of ethics and a licensure process. Additionally, the signature pedagogy of social work education is applied learning, where you have skills training through field education.

Social work is a continually growing field so the job market is good for social workers right now. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects social work jobs to grow by 16% by 2026, which is faster than the national average growth rate of 7%. Because social work is such a diverse field, there are many opportunities for individuals with an MSW. Social workers can find jobs in a variety of settings including non-profits, schools, governmental agencies, hospitals, and mental health centers.

The first step to becoming a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) or a Licensed Clinical Social Woker (LCSW) is to earn your Master's in Social Work. Please visit our Licensure Resources page for a step-by-step walkthrough.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationally the median pay for social workers is $46,890 per year. Starting wages for social workers nationally range from $28,800 to $78,510.

In the state of Colorado, the median pay for social workers is $46,555 per year. Starting wages for social workers in Colorado range from $30,150 to $73,570.

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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.