Skip to main content Skip to main content

General Program Policies


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/ 

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. To request a change of enrollment status, please contact msw@msudenver.edu

Students may complete the MSW degree through the fully online or mixed traditional course delivery option. In the mixed traditional course delivery option, students may take courses on campus, hybrid and online. While we guarantee that there will be a spot in a section of all required courses for mixed traditional students, registration occurs on a first come, first served basis. In the fully online course delivery option, students take all of their courses online and are guaranteed a spot in online sections of all required courses. 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. To request a change of course delivery, please contact msw@msudenver.edu.

At the time of admission to the Master of Social Work program, the student will receive an admissions decisoin that indicates program criteria including: full-time or part-time status, online or mixed delivery, and start semester. 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 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

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.

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

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.

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

MSU Denver Graduate Program Policies:

  • 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.
    • In order to be reviewed for transfer, graduate courses must be from other CSWE accredited MSW Programs.
    • 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.

Electronic communication (i.e., email and personal portal announcements) is a rapid, efficient and cost-effective form of communication. Consequently, reliance on electronic communication is expanding among students, faculty, staff and administration at MSU Denver. Because of this increasing reliance and acceptance of electronic communication, forms of electronic communication have become in fact the means of official communication to students, faculty and staff within MSU Denver. This policy acknowledges this fact and formally makes electronic communication an official means of communication for the University.

For more information, see the Electronic Communication policy page.


Academic Standing Policies


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

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

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

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

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.

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.


Departmental Note:  MSW students should NOT withdraw from a course without first contacting the Office of Social Work Student Services at msw@msudenver.edu.  Withdrawal from a course is likely to affect a student’s academic standing, course sequencing and degree plan.

Students should be aware that any kind of withdrawal can have a negative impact on some types of financial aid and scholarships. For further information, click on read the Withdrawals page.

The Withdrawal (W) notation is assigned when a student officially withdraws from a course via the Student Hub after the drop deadline (census date) and before the withdrawal deadline posted in the Academic Calendar. Deadlines differ proportionally for courses offered during part of a semester, including late-start and weekend courses. Students should refer to the Student Detail Schedule via the Student Hub to review drop and withdrawal deadlines for individual courses. When a student withdraws from a course, no academic credit is awarded. The course remains on the student’s academic record with a “W” notation and counts toward the student’s attempted hours. The course is not calculated in the student’s GPA or quality points. After the withdrawal deadline, students may not withdraw from a course and will be assigned the grade earned based on the course syllabus.

For your drop/refund or Withdrawal dates logon to your STUDENT HUB account and look at your Student Detail Schedule.

The Administrative Withdrawal (AW) notation is assigned when a student, or representative, requests to be withdrawn from a course due to unforeseen or extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control. When the “AW” notation is assigned, no academic credit is awarded. The course remains on the student’s academic record with an “AW” notation and counts toward the student’s attempted hours. The course is not calculated in the student’s GPA or quality points.

Students may request an administrative withdrawal from the Office of the Registrar after the drop deadline (census date) posted in the Academic Calendar. Deadlines differ for courses offered during part of a semester, including late-start and weekend courses. Students should refer to the Student Detail Schedule via the Student Hub to review drop deadlines for individual courses.

Although requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, examples include the death of an immediate family member, serious illness or medical emergency, or other life-altering event. The student must provide supporting documentation to substantiate the request.

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

Departmental Note: MSW students who have been granted an incomplete must complete the Incomplete Form in collaboration with the faculty member. Any outstanding incomplete at the start of the following semester will initiate an automatic performance review and could result in an altered academic plan. MSW students are not allowed to have more than one outstanding "incomplete" at one time. This status will initiate an automatic performance review and the student will not be in good academic standing. Refer to the Sequential Coursework Policy and consult with Office of Social Work Student Services advisors (msw@msudenver.edu) to see how this may impact you. 

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. The course counts toward the student’s attempted hours, does not count toward earned hours, and is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.

Determination of eligibility does not guarantee that an incomplete will be granted. Students who meet the qualifications may request an incomplete from the faculty member who is teaching the course. The decision to grant an incomplete is up to the faculty member or at the department chair’s discretion. The decision to grant an incomplete as an accommodation based on a student’s disability shall be made by the faculty member or the department chair, if the faculty member is not available, in consultation with the Director of the Access Center. If an incomplete is granted, the student and instructor should fill out and sign an Incomplete Agreement form to clarify what the student needs to do to complete the course.


Student Codes of Conduct


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

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.

As students, faculty, staff and administrators of Metropolitan State University of Denver, it is our responsibility to uphold and maintain an academic environment that furthers scholarly inquiry, creative activity and the application of knowledge. We will not tolerate academic dishonesty.  We will demonstrate honesty and integrity in all activities related to our learning and scholarship. We will not plagiarize, fabricate information or data, cheat on tests or exams, steal academic material, or submit work to more than one class without full disclosure.

For further information see the Academic Integrity and Academic Dishonesty pages.

Metropolitan State University of Denver prohibits sexual misconduct in any form, including sexual assault or sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and other forms of nonconsensual sexual conduct, including stalking and electronic harassment. Forms of intimate partner violence, including dating violence and domestic violence, are also prohibited under this policy.  Students, faculty, staff and visitors, should be able to live, study, and work in an environment free from sexual misconduct. It is the policy of MSU Denver that sexual misconduct in any form will not be excused or tolerated. Retaliation in any form for reporting such sexual misconduct or for cooperating in a sexual misconduct investigation is strictly prohibited and will be addressed as a separate violation of the Student Code of Conduct. This policy is promulgated under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 106; Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000c).

For further information, see the Title IX page and refer to the Student Code of Conduct page.


Classroom Policies


University Policy: Students are expected to attend all sessions of courses for which they are registered. Each instructor determines when a student’s absences have reached a point at which they jeopardize success in a course. When absences become excessive, the student may receive a failing grade for the course. If students anticipate a prolonged absence, they should contact their instructors. The full University policy on class attendance, including policies related to class attendance on religious holidays, can be found at http://www.msudenver.edu/handbook/academicpoliciesforstudents/#Class_Attendance

Department Policy: Attendance is expected in all classes. Failure to attend class reflects poor professional conduct and compromises knowledge acquisition. Students who miss class may seek assistance from their peers regarding missed material. Students are encouraged to review the syllabus for the instructor’s additional policies on missed classes. A student missing more than two classes must contact the instructor and it is the discretion of the instructor as to what the consequence of absences will be. No student may miss more than 25% of any course. Attendance is defined by the instructor. It is the students’ responsibility to know and follow instructors’ attendance requirements. Students who miss more than 25% will receive a grade of “F” in the course. Students receiving an “F” must contact the Office of Social Work Student Services (msw@msudenver.edu) for a modified degree plan in advance of the start of the succeeding semester.

Students at MSU Denver who, because of their sincerely held religious beliefs, are unable to attend classes, take examinations, participate in graded activities or submit graded assignments on particular days shall without penalty be excused from such classes and be given a meaningful opportunity to make up such examinations and graded activities or assignments provided that advance written notice that the student will be absent for religious reasons is given to the faculty members during the first two weeks of the semester.

For further information, see the Class Attendance policies page.

The Metropolitan State University of Denver is committed to making reasonable accommodations to assist individuals with disabilities in reaching their academic potential. If you have a disability which may impact your performance, attendance, or grades in this class and are requesting accommodations, then you must first register with the Access Center, located in the Plaza Building, Suite 122, 303-556-8387.

The Access Center is the designated department responsible for coordinating accommodations and services for students with disabilities. Accommodations will not be granted prior to your faculty member's receipt of your faculty notification letter from the Access Center. Please note that accommodations are never provided retroactively (i.e., prior to the receipt of your faculty notification letter.) Once your faculty has received your official Access Center faculty accommodation letter, they are happy to meet with you to discuss your accommodations. All discussions will remain confidential. Further information is available by visiting the Access Center website: http://www.msudenver.edu/access/

Students who have a concern about a course instructor or grade should contact the instructor to discuss and seek resolution regarding their concerns.

If a student needs further advice on the issue, they may discuss with their advisor or the program director. The advisor and program director do NOT have supervisory authority, so such a meeting would be to advise the student on steps and processes in place for problem-solving. In alignment with university policy, the student may take such matters directly to the chair, and should be aware the chair will probably (unless dealing with severe situations) ask what steps the student has taken before bringing the concern to their office. 

Students are advised to review the university policy regarding appeals and concerns at https://www.msudenver.edu/deanofstudents/studentcomplaintsappeals/

If the concern regards unlawful discrimination, the student is advised to read and follow EO processes found here: https://www.msudenver.edu/eoo/

Students are responsible to:

  1. Turn in the correct paper for the assignment due. If a student turns in a paper intended for another class, it will be graded based on the assignment due. If that student discovers his/her mistake, contacts the instructor and emails the correct paper to the Instructor, it will be graded as a late paper.
  2. Turn in a paper in a file format that opens in Word. The instructor will notify the student and give the student a limited amount of time to resubmit the paper. It will be graded as a late paper.
  3. Turn in assignments by the due date and submitted in the proscribed method. If a paper is late, it will be graded as a late paper. Each week a paper is late a 10% deduction will be given.
  4. Discuss exceptions to the above with the instructor. On rare occasions where students know their paper will be late due a personal crisis, the instructor may modify the above policy.

All written communication in the classroom environment (online and on campus) will be in American Psychological Association (APA) style and it is the responsibility of the student to become familiar with APA style requirements.  Students are advised to purchase a copy of the most current edition of the APA Publication Manual and become familiar with the style.  Instructors are not responsible for teaching the requirements. 


MSW Student Handbook

Download the MSW Student Handbook


Edit this page

Connect With Us‌


Facebook Twitter Linkedin

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