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General Program Policies

Graduate Student Catalog

MSW Program students should familiarize themselves with the Catalog for a comprehensive list of University policies.  The website (below) has the most up to date MSW Program policies.  http://www.msudenver.edu/academics/catalog/

Degree Completion Options

Students may complete the MSW Program full-time or part-time.  Full-time students will take a total of 15 credits per semester.  Part-time students will take between 6 and 9 credits per semester.  Students must be accepted into the part-time or full-time option at admissions.  Any changes to this status must be initiated through the Change of Status form and approved by the Office of Social Work Student Services.  

Beginning Fall 2016, students who reside in Colorado may complete the MSW degree fully online or in the mixed delivery program, which consists of a variety of options including on campus, hybrid and online. Fully online students may be required to participate in extracurricular online seminars. Students must be accepted into the fully online or mixed delivery program at admissions Any changes to this status must be initiated through the Change of Status form and approved by the Office of Social Work Student Services.    

Change of Program Criteria Policy

At the time of admission to the Master of Social Work program, the student will receive an Advising Snapshot that indicates program criteria including: full-time or part-time status, online or mixed delivery, start semester, concentration and track (if applicable), and a semester-by-semester course plan. Students may not change any program criteria without the formal, written approval of a social work advisor. Any change in program criteria could delay graduation or require the student to reapply to the MSW program. Readmission is not guaranteed. 

To make a change to your academic plan (change of track/concentration, change of enrollment status, and/or change of delivery method), please fill out the Change of Academic Plan form. If you have any questions about the process, please email msw@msudenver.edu

Readmission Policy

Students who have not been in attendance for three consecutive semesters, including summer, must reapply to the University. Students requesting readmission must be in good academic standing and must submit their application for readmission to the master’s program in which they have been enrolled.

MSW Program students who are eligible for readmission should fill out the Readmission After Leave of Absence form. If you have any questions about the process, please email socialwork@msudenver.edu.

Students who readmit into the MSW Program will be held to the policies and curriculum of the later term in which they officially restart the MSW Program.  An approved readmit application is valid for one academic year from the readmit semester. 

Students who are not in good academic standing are not eligible for the readmit application process and must fully apply to the MSW Program.  

Life Experience Credit

No credit is given for learning gained through life experience and no life experience credit may be used toward the MSW degree. 

Testing Out Policy

The Master of Social Work Program does not provide an option to test out of any Social Work coursework at the graduate or undergraduate level.

Time Limit on Completion of Degree

Students must complete the master’s degree within six calendar years from the term they initially enroll. Students should check the program website and/or specific program section of the catalog to determine specific degree requirements.

Time Limit Waiver Request: MSW students who experience unexpected, life-changing events may request a waiver of this policy in writing to the Department of Social Work. Approval will be determined on a case-by-case basis and will be reviewed by the Chair, MSW Program Director, Director of Social Work Student Services and the student's faculty advisor.  Requests must be submitted in writing to the Office of Social Work Student Services at msw@msudenver.edu 

Transfer Student Admission Guidelines

  • No more than 9, graduate-level, transfer credits (semester hours or equivalent) will be accepted for any program. These credits must have been completed no longer than six years prior to the admission term and must be from a regionally accredited, U.S. institution or equivalent. 
  • Programs have discretion over acceptance of transfer courses. A minimum grade of “B” is required for each transfer course. Applicants should check the program website and/or contact a program advisor for details.

Departmental Transfer Process:

Advanced Standing Program applicants will automatically receive a block of 30 graduate credits once the program has verified affirmative Council on Social Work Education accreditation status at the time the student graduated with their BSW degree.

All graduate transfer credit requests, with the exception of the block of 30 credits automatically transferred for BSW graduates, must be reviewed by the Office of Social Work Student Services and the MSW Program Director.  Requests for review may be facilitated through an advising appointment with the Office of Social Work Student Services or by emailing the request to socialwork@msudenver.edu .  No undergraduate courses will be accepted as substitutions for graduate coursework. The MSW Program does not guarantee the transfer of graduate-level Social Work courses from other schools.

MSW students who received their BSW degree more than six years ago or are requesting the transfer of graduate social work courses from more than six years ago may be accepted conditionally on a case-by-case basis. This status is typically reserved for those that can document substantial and on-going professional experience in the field of social work.


Academic Standing Policies

Course Load

Students may enroll in no more than 15 graduate-level credits per semester for fall and spring semesters without department approval.

Duplicative Coursework

No course may count toward both the master’s degree and the bachelor’s degree.

Graduate Course Registration Eligibility

Only students who are formally accepted into the MSW program or non-degree seeking status may register for any graduate level social work course.

Residency Requirement

The University residency requirement for master’s programs is the total number of semester hours required for the program minus 9.

GPA Requirement

Students enrolled with 2012-13 Catalog Year or prior:Departmental Policy: MSW students who fall below a 3.0 GPA at any point during the program or receive one grade of “C+” or below will receive an automatic performance review. Departmental Policy: Students must receive a grade of “B” or better in SWKM5150 Field Experience I, SWKM5350 Field Experience II, SWKM6150 Field Experience III, and SWKM6250 Field Experience IV. A grade of “C” or below will initiate an automatic performance review.

 

Students enrolled with 2013-14 Catalog Year or later:MSW students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 in any academic term. Any student falling below a 3.0 in any given term will be placed on academic probation and be required to develop a plan for raising the GPA above 3.0. Students who fail to raise their GPA over 3.0 after 15 units will be dismissed from the program. No grade lower than a “B-” counts toward degree completion. Students receiving a “C+” or below will be required to repeat the course. Students must be aware that the sequential coursework policy will often require students to take time off to repeat the course work. Students who do not successfully complete a social work course with a “B-” or better after the second attempt will be dismissed from the program.

Sequential Coursework 

Students enrolled with 2012-13 Catalog Year or prior:All MSW coursework, including electives, must be completed in the required sequential order adhering to the course prerequisites and co-requisites. Students who fall out of sequence are no longer in good academic standing within the department and must seek advising immediately with Office of Social Work Student Services to continue in the program. A plan of completion will be determined in advising and the revised plan could delay graduation by a year or more. No grade of C- or below counts towards degree requirements, thus causing student to be out of sequence and requiring an automatic performance review.

 

Students enrolled with 2013-14 Catalog Year or later:All MSW coursework, including electives, must be completed and passed in the required sequential order as listed in the Advising Snapshots/Plan of Completion and student must maintain continuous enrollment. Students who fall out of sequence are no longer in good academic standing and must seek advising immediately with the Office of Social Work Student Services to continue in the program. A plan of completion will be determined in advising and the revised plan could delay graduation by a year or more. Students who fall out of sequence and do not seek advising for a new plan of completion will receive an automatic performance review.  

 


Grades and Notations

MSW Program student should refer to the Academic Policies and Procedures section of the Graduate Catalog for a listing of all grades and notations including incompletes and withdrawals. 

Incomplete Notation

A student who is concerned about the completion of a course may request a grade of Incomplete. It is up to the student to review the policy, complete the departmental incomplete form, and request approval from the instructor prior to the end of the semester.  Incompletes are not automatic; it is at the discretion of the faculty member whether to grant an incomplete in all circumstances.

Department of Social Work Incomplete Agreement of Completion Form

University Policy: The Incomplete (I) notation may be assigned when a student, who was achieving satisfactory progress in a course and who had completed most class assignments, is unable to take the final examination and/or did not complete all class assignments due to unusual circumstances such as hospitalization or disability. Incomplete work denoted by the Incomplete "I" notation must be complete within one calendar year or earlier, at the discretion of the faculty member. If the incomplete work is not completed within one year, the "I" notation will convert to an "F." Students must have completed at least 75% of the course work to qualify for consideration for an Incomplete. The student must be passing the course in order to be granted an Incomplete. Please see the MSU Denver Catalog to read the entire policy.

Departmental Note: Any outstanding incomplete at the start of the following semester will initiate an automatic performance review and could result in an altered academic plan.  Refer to the Sequential Coursework Policy and consult with Office of Social Work Student Services advisors to see how this may impact you. 


Student Codes of Conduct

Student Performance Process

The Department of Social Work at Metropolitan State University of Denver has as their primary mission the successful professional education and development of our students for the field and profession of social work. Student success is our highest priority. Our primary concern is to ensure students’ successful progression through either the BSSW or MSW program and readiness for the field. However, as professional and accredited educational programs, each program in the department is required to make sure that students adhere to the standards, ethics, and values of the profession. Therefore, students are continually assessed in terms of academic and professional performance.

We recognize that there are times in each person’s life when meeting academic and professional standards may be difficult. The Student Performance Process is designed to support our students in being successful while maintaining programmatic standards. The process outlined here further builds upon the Department’s Standards of Professional and Ethical Behavior. Students, faculty and staff are always entitled to utilize University policy and procedure to address their concerns.  However, the following outlined process is the preferred process of the Department of Social Work. It should also be noted that, depending on the nature of the concern, a referral to higher levels of support is possible at any point in the process should the concern warrant (see serious vs. non-serious concerns).  If, at any stage, the student refuses to engage in the process, the student may be referred to a Full Student Performance Review. For concerns specifically related to performance in a field agency, students will follow the parallel Field Student Performance Support and Problem Solving Process. Issues in field seminar will follow the policy noted below, as they would in any academic course.

This process is intended to address issues that may create obstacles to student success during any part of their academic program. It is important to note that the University prohibits discrimination and/or harassment against any employee or student based on the individual’s race, color, gender, national origin, religion, disability, age, veteran or marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or based on those aspects in an individual’s relatives, friends or associates. Allegations of discrimination should be reported to the Office of Equal Opportunity at (303) 556-4746, SSB 440. Allegations of sexual misconduct can be submitted to Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Services at (303) 556-3559, Tivoli 311, or an individual can file a report online by visiting:  http://www.msudenver.edu/studentengagementandwellness/studentconductandconflictresolutionservices/reportanincident/

Download the Department of Social Work Student Performance Process

Metropolitan State University of Denver Student Code of Conduct

The Metropolitan State University of Denver Student Code of Conduct applies to all MSU Denver students, regardless of level.

Standards of Professional and Ethical Behavior

The Department of Social Work at the Metropolitan State University of Denver is mandated by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) to foster and evaluate professional behavioral development for all students in the social work program. The Department of Social Work also bears a responsibility to the community at large to produce fully trained professional social workers who consciously exhibit the competencies, values, and skills of the profession of social work. The values of the profession are codified in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics and the Council on Social Work Education has ten core educational competencies that social workers must master. Given this context, the Social work Department has identified behaviors for the social work student to exhibit in the classroom, the online classroom, field placement, in the Social Work office, through email/phone conversations, and any other interaction in a professional/academic setting. This document does not include the complete NASW Code of Ethics or the CSWE Educational Policies, however it highlights particular ethics and competencies to serve as a framework of professional and ethical behaviors to abide by while a social work student at MSU Denver. Other aspects of the NASW Code of Ethics or the CSWE Educational Policies are evaluated academically throughout the program's curriculum. Please read the Standards of Professional and Ethical Behavior.


MSW Student Handbook

Download the MSW Student Handbook


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Main Office Phone:

303-615-0555

Location:

Main Office
Central Classroom Suite 201

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Central Classroom Suite 202

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