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MSW Classroom Policies

Class Attendance

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

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 ( for a modified degree plan in advance of the start of the succeeding semester.

Student Concerns Regarding Grades / Faculty

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

If the concern regards unlawful discrimination, the student is advised to read and follow EO processes found here:

Late Paper Policy

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.

APA 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. 

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


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:

‌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 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

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