May 21, 2024  
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Social Work

Social Work is a professional practice. The primary educational goal of the major is preparation of generalist social work practice in social agencies. Through professional foundation courses and electives, students acquire skills, knowledge, values, and ethics required for beginning social work practice. A minor is not required for this major.

The Social Work Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver has trained undergraduate, social work professionals for the last fifteen years. We are proud of the accomplishments of our students and graduates who now serve the metropolitan Denver community in many key positions.  

Metropolitan State University of Denver does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, handicapping conditions, gender or sexual orientation.  The Social Work Department encourages ethnic and other minority students to apply.

Academic Programs

Rationale and Mission – The Social Work Major

The Social Work Department at Metro State is committed to educating and training B.S.S.W. social work professionals in generalist social work practice so that they may provide direct and indirect services to minority and majority clients. The focus of the department is on problems that often affect oppressed minorities representing people of color (African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian American) and other diverse populations, including women and children, gender and sexual minorities, the developmentally delayed and the aging. The department is committed to helping individuals in need and working toward leadership in the social, economic and political context that often fosters painful and socially unjust human conditions.

The needs of metropolitan Denver and other areas warrant a generalist perspective in which students are able to identify the destructive impact of negative interactions between individuals and systems in their environment.  Such interactions often have detrimental effects upon the social functioning of individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and larger systems.  Through professional foundation courses and electives, students acquire skills, knowledge, values and ethics required for beginning social work practice.  Clients are seen as partners in the process of working toward mutually agreed upon goals rooted in generalist practice.  Using problem-solving methods aimed at individual and group empowerment, the impact of historic and current negative valuations of diverse, at-risk populations may slowly be mitigated. 

Goals of the Social Work Major

The goals of the Social Work Department reflect the mission of MSU Denver and the purposes of the social work profession:

  1. To prepare students for generalist social work practice with diverse, at-risk populations, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and larger systems.
  2. To prepare students to be competent and effective, professional social workers, providing leadership and service in service-delivery systems that address the needs of diverse populations.
  3. To provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for understanding the dynamic nature of social problems, policies, agencies, and change in the context of a diverse environment as an evolving ecological system.
  4. To provide an ethical foundation to guide students in beginning and continued, professional social work practice in keeping with social work values.
  5. To prepare graduates to further develop their potential for lifelong learning and continued professional growth.

Objectives of the Social Work Department

  1. Apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional social work practice.
  2. Demonstrate the values of the social work profession with an understanding of respect for the positive value of diversity, including ethnic minorities, gender and sexual minorities, the aging, women and children, and the developmentally disabled.
  3. Practice without discrimination and with respect, the knowledge and skills related to clients’ age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.
  4. Integrate practice, research, and policy skills, and utilize the strategies of advocacy and social change to ameliorate the distress of diverse populations who have often experienced or still do experience social and economic injustice.
  5. Understand and interpret the history of the social work profession and contemporary structures and issues.
  6. Begin generalist practice with the theoretical knowledge and skills essential for social work with diverse client systems of all sizes.
  7. Apply the theoretical and conceptual knowledge base of the four sources of human behavior (biological, psychological, sociological, and cultural) across the life span to their understanding of the interactions among individuals and between individuals and families, groups, organizations and communities.
  8. Formulate, influence, and analyze the impact of social policies on diverse populations, workers and agencies.
  9. Evaluate research studies, apply findings to practice, and evaluate their own practice interventions and those of other relevant systems.
  10. Use communication skills differentially with a variety of client populations, colleagues, and community members.
  11. Utilize supervision and consultation when applying generalist social work knowledge and skills on behalf of all client systems.
  12. Function within the structure of organizations and service delivery systems, and, under supervision, seek necessary organizational change.


The Social Work major is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.  The Social Work major received initial accreditation in February 1997 and was reaccredited in 2008 for an additional eight years. 

Advanced Standing in Graduate School

Students who graduate with a B.S.S.W. from an accredited, undergraduate social work program may apply for advanced standing (where available) in social work graduate programs (M.S.W.). This standing often means that students may complete their M.S.W. degree in one year instead of two.