Sep 18, 2021  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
    
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Social Work


The Department of Social Work at Metropolitan State University of Denver offers both a Bachelor of Science in Social Work degree and a Master of Social Work degree.

MSW Program

msudenver.edu/socialwork

MSU Denver's Master of Social Work program combines academic, research, and field experiences into an intense, demanding program that teaches: clinical assessment and intervention skills, evidence-based practice, ethical decision making, scientific inquiry, cultural sensitivity, global awareness, leadership, and teamwork, as well as personal reflection and self-correction.

The MSW program at MSU Denver offers the Regular (2 Year) program and the Advanced Standing program. If the student holds an undergraduate degree in any discipline other than social work, the student may apply to the Regular (2 Year) program. If the student holds an undergraduate degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) within the last six years, the student may apply to the Advanced Standing program.

Mission Statement and Goals

The primary mission of the MSW program is to educate a diverse group of professional social workers to function as advanced clinical practitioners, community leaders, and administrators in a multicultural and global society. The program's faculty, students and graduates are committed to helping those in need by recognizing the profession's core values; applying knowledge gained through scientific inquiry; promoting human rights, as well as social and economic justice; and providing leadership in social, economic and political contexts for the betterment of humanity. The program will:

  • Prepare students to conduct themselves as professional social workers who strive for continual professional development, who exercise core values and ethical decision making, and who practice personal reflection and self-correction. 
  • Prepare students for evidence-based, culturally sensitive, advanced, clinical, social work practice with vulnerable, diverse client systems and circumstances, using scientific inquiry, research-informed practice, and practice-informed research.
  • Prepare students to be advanced, macro-level social workers who are competent, effective, and innovative program designers and developers; political, community and agency leaders; and advocates and researchers in service delivery systems that address the needs of vulnerable and diverse client systems and circumstances, using scientific inquiry, research-informed practice, and practice-informed research.
  • Prepare students, as citizens of the world, to be effective change agents and leaders by recognizing the dynamic nature of social problems, policies, agency responses and opportunities for social change in the diverse context of an evolving ecological system.

Accreditation

The MSW Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the sole accrediting body for social work programs in the U.S. Accreditation assures that professional standards are met in curriculum content and delivery. Accredited programs periodically undergo rigorous review by CSWE in order to ensure compliance with educational standards.

Life Experience Credit

The Master of Social Work program does not give credit for life experience for, or in substitution of, any part of the MSW program course requirements, including the prerequisite SWK 1010 Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare, the foundation year coursework, or the concentration year required coursework and electives.

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.

Sequential Coursework Policy

Departmental Policy: All MSW coursework, including electives, must be completed in the required sequential order, adhering to course prerequisites and co-requisites. Students who fall out of sequence will no longer be considered in good academic standing within the department and must immediately seek advising to continue in the program. During the advising session, a plan of completion will be determined, and the revised plan could delay graduation by a year or more. No grade of "C+" or below may count toward degree requirements; thus, a student who earns such a grade would fall out of sequence. Such status would initiate an automatic performance review.

Part-Time Option

A part-time option is available for Regular (2 Year) MSW students and Advanced Standing MSW students. In order to qualify for this option, students must be accepted into the part-time program at the time of admission to the MSW program.

All students must complete the MSW program in a specified sequence. See "Advising Snapshots" on the MSW website for examples.


Regular (2 Year) MSW Program

Students who have a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than social work from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited program must apply for the Regular (2 Year) MSW program. Graduate students accepted into this program must complete 30 credit hours of graduate foundation coursework before starting 30 credit hours of graduate coursework specific to the area of concentration in which the student has been accepted (for a total of 60 credits). All students accepted into the Regular (2 Year) program must complete certain prerequisites prior to the fall semester in which they begin the program.

All students must complete the regular, two-year MSW program in a specified sequence. See "Advising Snapshots" on the MSW website for examples.

Regular (2 Year) MSW Program Admissions

If the student holds an undergraduate degree in any discipline other than social work, the student must complete the regular, two-year (60 semester hours) Master of Social Work program, including the undergraduate course prerequisites listed below. The regular MSW program only begins during the fall semester.

Application Deadlines

Please check the MSW website for current application deadlines.

Program Eligibility

  • Have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Have completed, or will complete, a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to the fall semester in which the student begins the MSW program. 
  • Undergraduate course prerequisites as indicated below.
  • Completion of all regular, two-year program admissions forms and requirements as indicated below.
  • International students must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 540 (or a score of 76 on the Internet version of the TOEFEL).

Undergraduate Course Prerequisites

Regular MSW program applicants must demonstrate a liberal arts base upon which the social work degree is built. Prerequisites include:

  • At least 12 units of course work in the social sciences (sociology, psychology, economics, political science, etc.)
    • One course must be centrally organized around American government
    • One course must be centrally organized around multicultural or diversity issues
  • At least six units of course work in the humanities (English, art, music, foreign language, etc.)
  • At least six units in the sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.)
  • At least three units in elementary (basic) statistics (not research)

Students must complete prerequisite course work with a grade of "C" or better.

Required Application Materials

The application materials for Regular (2 Year) program applicants consist of several components.

The following materials are due on or before the specified deadline. Any questions regarding the admissions process should be directed to the social work department. Application materials are available for download on the social work MSW website, msudenver.edu/socialwork.

PART A | Required Materials | MSU Denver Office of Admissions

The following items should be sent directly to MSU Denver's Office of Admissions rather than the social work department.

Metropolitan State University of Denver
Office of Admissions
P.O. Box 173362, Campus Box 44
Denver, CO 80217-3362

  • Graduate application and application fee 
  • Transcripts: Request that official sealed transcripts from all institutions previously attended be sent to the Graduate Admissions (waived for MSU Denver graduates).
  • Foreign transcripts must also have an official English translation done by a certified translator (if applicable), and a professional course-by-course evaluation showing equivalency to a U.S. Bachelor's degree.  World Education Services, wes.org, or Education Credential Evaluators, ece.org, are recommended professional transcript evaluation service providers.

Additional Application Requirements for International Applicants

International students must:

  • complete all of the same requirements as domestic students, as well as a separate application form, which may be found on the Office of Admissions website, msudenver.edu/admissions/apply/internationalstudents;
  • have achieved a minimum TOEFL score of 540 (or a score of 76 on the Internet version of the TOEFL);
  • submit the required immigration documents for issuance of an I-20.

 Please contact the international admissions counselor at 303-556-3058 for information on additional requirements.

PART B | Required Materials | Social Work Department

Applicants should submit the following application materials as one complete packet to the social work department.

Metropolitan State University of Denver
Department of Social Work
P.O. Box 173362, Campus Box 70
Denver, CO 80217-3362

  • Regular (2-year) Program Cover Sheet
  • Resume: No standard format required. Submit a professional-looking resume. 
  • Personal Statement
  • Three Letters of Recommendation: Ensure that the completed general letters of recommendation are sent to the Department of Social Work.
  • Signature Page from the Standards of Professional and Ethical Behavior

 


Advanced Standing MSW Program

Graduate students who have completed a bachelor's degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited program may apply to the Advanced Standing MSW program at MSU Denver. Graduate students accepted into the Advanced Standing program must complete 30 credit hours of graduate coursework specific to the area of concentration in which the student has been accepted and are not required to complete any foundation coursework.

All students must complete the Advanced Standing MSW program in a specified sequence. See "Advising Snapshots" on the MSW website for examples.

Advanced Standing MSW Program Admissions

If the student holds an undergraduate degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the student may qualify for the advanced standing, one-year (30 semester hours) Master of Social Work program. The MSW Advanced Standing program only begins during the fall semester.  Please check the MSW Web site for current application deadlines.

Program Eligibility

Advanced Standing eligibility is considered only for applicants who:

  • Hold a degree from a baccalaureate, social work program accredited by CSWE, 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.*
  • Have a cumulative, undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Completion of all Advanced Standing program admissions forms and requirements, as indicated under the admissions section.
  • International students must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 540 (or a score of 76 on the Internet version of the TOEFEL).

*Applicants who have received degrees from outside of the United States should contact the department to determine eligibility.
Additional Eligibility Requirements for International Applicants

Required Application Materials

The application materials for Advanced Standing program applicants consist of several components.
The following materials are due on or before the specified deadline. Any questions regarding the admissions process should be directed to the social work department. Application materials are available for download on the social work MSW website, msudenver.edu/socialwork.  

PART A | Required Materials | MSU Denver Office of Admissions

The following items should be sent directly to MSU Denver's Office of Admissions (not the social work department).

Metropolitan State University of Denver
Office of Admissions
P.O. Box 173362, Campus Box 44
Denver, CO 80217-3362

  • Graduate application and application fee
  • Transcripts: Request that official, sealed transcripts from all institutions previously attended be sent to the Graduate Admissions (waived for MSU Denver graduates).
  • Foreign transcripts must also have an official English translation done by a certified translator (if applicable), and a professional course-by-course evaluation showing equivalency to a U.S. Bachelor's degree.  World Education Services, wes.org, or Education Credential Evaluators, ece.org, are recommended professional transcript evaluation service providers.

Additional Application Requirements for International Applicants

International students must:

  • complete all of the same requirements as domestic students, as well as a separate application form, which may be found on the Office of Admissions website, msudenver.edu/admissions/apply/internationalstudents;
  • have achieved a minimum TOEFL score of 540 (or a score of 76 on the Internet version of the TOEFL);
  • submit the required immigration documents for issuance of an I-20.

 Please contact the international admissions counselor at 303-556-3058 for information on additional requirements.

PART B | Required Materials | Social Work Department

Applicants should submit the following application materials as one complete packet to the social work department.

Metropolitan State University of Denver
Department of Social Work
P.O. Box 173362, Campus Box 70
Denver, CO 80217-3362

  • Advanced Standing Program Cover Sheet
  • Resume: No standard format required. Submit a professional-looking resume.
  • Personal Statement (as outlined on MSW website) 
  • Completion of Case Study
  • Two Letters of Recommendation 
  • Letter of Recommendation from BSW program (waived for MSU Denver BSW graduates) 
  • Copy of Final Field Evaluation from BSW program: complete with signatures OR submission of Letter of Intent for students who have not yet graduated. MSU Denver BSW graduates are not exempt. Students should not assume that the department will automatically pull the evaluation. 
  • Signature Page from the Standards of Professional and Ethical Behavior

 


Degree-seeking Admission Process

The MSW Admissions Committee, which is comprised of faculty members, will review complete applications only. Applicants who submit incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the admissions committee and will be denied from the program. After the MSW Admissions Committee receives and reviews the applications, the applicants will be notified in writing of their status. Applicants may be: "accepted," "accepted with conditions," "waitlisted," or "denied admission." In some cases, the Admissions Committee may require an interview with the applicant before an acceptance decision can be made. Students should check the MSW program website for admission timelines.

Accepted:

Students who are accepted into the program typically have no additional obligations to fulfill and will receive an acceptance packet from the social work department including: a welcome letter, information about the field placement process, and a personalized Plan of Completion. The Plan of Completion serves as a contract between the student and the department and cannot be altered without the approval of an advisor. The Admissions Committee will do their best to fit applicants into the concentration area of their choice. Students will be required to submit the Intent to Start form that confirms acceptance into the specified program and concentration.

Accepted with Conditions:

Students who are accepted with conditions into the program typically have additional obligations to fulfill. These obligations could include, but are not limited to: course completion, low MAT scores, low GPA, or other items that are not in compliance with program eligibility standards. A student who is admitted with conditions must complete specified criteria within the first 6 credit hours of enrollment or, in the case of course completion, before the applicant starts the MSW program. In some cases, the Admissions Committee may decide that an applicant is only eligible to take certain coursework during the first year of study under specific guidelines. These criteria, including timeline, will be outlined in the admissions packet. Students who do not fulfill the obligations of conditional acceptance will be dismissed from the MSW program.

Students will receive an acceptance packet from the social work department including: a welcome letter, specific information about the conditions that must be met, information about the field placement process, and a personalized Plan of Completion. The Plan of Completion serves as a contract between the student and the department and cannot be altered without the approval of an advisor. The Admissions Committee will do their best to fit applicants into the concentration area of their choice. Students will be required to submit the Intent to Start form that confirms acceptance into the specified program and concentration.

Waitlisted:

Students may be offered waitlist status.

Denied Admission:

The Admissions Committee reserves the right to deny acceptance to any applicant. Applicants who submit incomplete applications, including test scores, will not be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and will be denied from the program.

 


Non-degree-seeking Admission Policies and Procedures

Non-Degree Admission: Students may be admitted to the program with a non-degree-seeking status. Before applying for Non-Degree MSW admission, please read information below to ensure that you are qualified to apply. Please contact the Social Work department at 303-556-3474 if you have any questions concerning non-degree admission.

Enrollment as a non-degree-seeking student is limited to the following categories:

  1. Individuals who have completed a baccalaureate degree at a regionally accredited institution and whose cumulative undergraduate GPA, or whose GPA from the last 60 hours completed, is 3.0 or higher will be considered on a space available basis.
  2. Individuals who are currently admitted to a graduate program at another regionally accredited Master of Social Work Program who wish to take a limited number of classes at Metropolitan State University of Denver will be considered on a space available basis. 
  3. Individuals who have completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree at a regionally accredited institution and who can demonstrate on-going professional activity in a helping profession who wish to take graduate-level, social work courses for professional reasons will be considered on a space available basis.

Applicants in these categories must submit the following:

  • Graduate application and application fee (check on-degree option),
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended, 
  • Current detailed resume,
  • Submission of Statement of Intent (modified version of personal statement)

Important Information for Non-degree-seeking Students

  • Graduate tuition applies for all graduate courses taken as a non-degree-seeking student. Information about tuition rates and payment deadlines is available on MSU Denver's website.
  • Students admitted as non-degree-seeking are not eligible for graduate-level financial aid.
  • Students are held responsible, both academically and financially, for any class in which they enroll. Failure to withdraw from any class, regardless of attendance, results in a grade of "F." Students remain liable for tuition and fees. 
  • All grading policies for degree-seeking students also apply to non-degree-seeking students. 
  • Students who were previously enrolled in, or who have previously been denied admission to or dismissed from the graduate degree program in Social Work at MSU Denver are not eligible for non-degree status. 
  • Non-degree-seeking students are limited to taking a maximum of 9 credit hours in total. Registration holds will be placed on non-degree-seeking students' accounts each term to facilitate monitoring of total credit hours. Due to the sequential nature of graduate social work courses, students accepted as non-degree-seeking will have a limited amount of electives available. Students should contact the Social Work department at 303-556-3474 for advising. 
  • Non-degree-seeking students can change their status by fully complying with the degree-seeking admission requirements. 

Students can apply a maximum of 9 credit hours when changing from non-degree to degree-seeking status, but must still complete all requirements of the degree-seeking concentration/track into which the student is accepted (i.e., if the elective taken during non-degree status is not a requirement of the concentration/track into which student is accepted, it will not count toward the degree).

Non-degree Enrollment Procedures

  • The MSW program's Director and Associate Director of Admissions, Advising and Alumni determine an applicant's eligibility to take graduate courses once all application materials have been received. Incomplete or late applications are not processed.
  • Students who wish to apply for non-degree-seeking status to take graduate level social work classes should follow college application deadlines. Non-degree-seeking applications are accepted each semester. 
  • Eligible applicants are admitted and allowed to register for specific elective courses on a space available basis. Students should obtain a list of eligible course work from the Social Work department by calling 303-556-3474.

 


Departmental Policies and Procedures

The information below is not a substitute for the current graduate catalog, the MSU Denver Student Handbook, or the departmental website and course syllabi. Students should be familiar with official University policies delineated in the University graduate catalog and Student Handbook. Students should familiarize themselves with the departmental website, the graduate catalog, the MSU Denver Student Handbook, and course syllabi.

Credit for Life Experience

The Master of Social Work program does not give credit for life experience for, or in substitution of, any part of the MSW program course requirements, the foundation year coursework, or the concentration year required coursework and electives.

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.

Academic Standing

University Policy: Students may enroll in no more than 15 master's level credit hours per semester for fall and spring semesters. The same limit applies during the summer term.

University Policy: Students in master's programs must complete the degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. No more than two grades of "C" will be counted toward degree requirements. No grade lower than "C" counts toward degree requirements. All grade records remain on the master's transcript and count toward the GPA. A student who has received two grades of "C" will be placed on probation and required to meet with an advisor on a regular basis. A student who receives a third grade of "C" will be dismissed from the program.

Departmental Policy: 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.

University Policy: No course may count toward both the master's degree and the bachelor's degree.

Departmental Policy: Only students who are formally accepted into the MSW program may register for any graduate level, social work course.

University Policy: The University residency requirement for the master's program is the total number of hours required for the program minus nine.

Sequential Coursework Policy

Departmental Policy: All MSW coursework, including electives, must be completed in the required sequential order, adhering to course prerequisites and co-requisites. Students who fall out of sequence will no longer be considered in good academic standing within the department and must immediately seek advising to continue in the program. During the advising session, a plan of completion will be determined, and the revised plan could delay graduation by a year or more. No grade of "C+" or below may count toward degree requirements; thus, a student who earns such a grade would fall out of sequence. Such status would initiate an automatic performance review.

Change of Program Criteria Policy

Departmental Policy: At the time of admission to the Master of Social Work program, the student will receive a Plan of Completion that indicates program criteria including: full-time or part-time status, 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. Students may obtain the Change of Program form at msudenver.edu/socialwork.

Time Limit for Completing the Program

University Policy: 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.

Departmental Procedure: MSW students who experience unexpected, life-changing events may request a waiver of this policy in writing to the social work department. Approval will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Leave of Absence

University Policy: Students, who have not been in attendance for three consecutive semesters, including summer, need to submit a reapplication form. 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 enrolled.

Departmental Procedure: Students who wish to return to the MSW program must fill out the MSW Program Readmission Form. Upon receipt of the form, the Admissions and Advising Coordinator will contact the student to determine a timeline and to develop a plan of completion. Students are not guaranteed readmission. Students are also not guaranteed reentry into their original concentration. The readmission form is due to the department at least eight weeks prior to the intended semester of reentry.

Transfer of Credits

University Policy: No more than 9 transfer hours (semester or equivalent) will be accepted for any program. These credit hours 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 which courses are accepted. A minimum grade of "B" is required for transfer courses.

Departmental Transfer Procedure: 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 a BSW degree.

All graduate, transfer credit requests, with the exception of the block of 30 credits automatically transferred for BSW graduates, must be submitted in writing to the MSW program director with the course syllabi for each course attached. 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 who can document substantial and on-going professional experience in the field of social work.

Incomplete Notation

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 does not complete all class assignments due to unusual circumstances, such as hospitalization or disability. Incomplete work denoted by the "I" notation must be completed 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 Graduate Catalog to read the entire policy.

Departmental Policy: MSW students are not allowed to have more than one outstanding "incomplete" at one time. This status will initiate an automatic performance review. 

Note:


*All students accepted into the Regular (2 Year) program must take SWK 1010 Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare, in addition to other prerequisites, prior to starting foundation level coursework.

MSW Concentration Coursework (Second Year/Advanced Standing)


All MSW students must complete coursework specific to their selected concentration.

Macro Practice Concentration


The macro practice concentration includes knowledge, values and skills related to making large system changes. Macro practice social workers are often agency directors, grant writers, legislative advocates or elected officials, program designers and developers, social entrepreneurs, and/or community leaders. Macro practice social workers may be licensed as Licensed Social Workers (LSWs) by fulfilling additional state requirements after graduation.

Required Courses: 30 credits

Individuals and Families Concentration


The individuals and families concentration includes knowledge, values and skills related to working as advanced, clinical social workers with individuals, families, and groups. Students may choose to focus on the health and mental health issues for children/youth/families, adults, older adults, or child welfare. Advanced clinical social workers may be licensed as LCSWs by fulfilling additional state requirements after graduation. Students with an individuals and families concentration must complete the required coursework, plus the specified coursework for the specific track.

Required Courses: 21 credits

Child Welfare Track


Required Courses: 9 credits

Adult Mental Health Track


Required Courses: 9 credits

Children, Youth and Families Track


Required Courses: 9 credits

Older Adults Track


Required Courses: 9 credits

Total Credits: 60