Master of Social Work, MSW

Master of Social Work, MSW

Traditional Program

Course Delivery

On Campus, Online, Hybrid

Total Credits

60 Credits

About the MSW Program

The UCCS Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares students to change lives and communities for the better through ethical and competent trauma-informed social work practice.

Graduates are prepared for careers as professional social workers able to help individuals, families, groups, and communities enhance, restore, and create conditions favorable to social functioning. Students are trained to be clinicians, advocates, and leaders who make a difference in the lives of clients and communities impacted by trauma.


Focus of Study

Trauma-Informed Social Work
The UCCS Master of Social Work program specializes in trauma-informed social work practice.

The curriculum prepares students to change lives and communities with an emphasis on behavioral health and healthcare social work, military social work, child welfare, school social work, and other areas.


Program Requirements for Admissions

The MSW program follows a modified cohort model. As such, traditional MSW applicants (e.g., full-time and extended degree plans) are admitted in the fall semester only. Advanced Standing applicants are admitted in the summer only.

Applicant Materials:

  • Online Graduate School Application 
  • A non-refundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended 
  • Professional statements for 3 writing prompts (500 to 1,000 words for each question) 
  • Current resume
  • Contact information for 2 professional references

Specific details about the application process are included in the MSW Student Handbook.


MSW Program Prerequisites:

A four-year undergraduate degree from an institution accredited by a recognized regional accrediting association (or equivalent if your degree was earned outside of the U.S.)

Grades sufficiently high to indicate the ability to pursue graduate work. Typically, this is a grade point average of 3.0 or better. However, when applicants have an exceptional application, those with a lower GPA may be considered. The UCCS Graduate School requires a GPA of 2.75 or higher for full admission to UCCS graduate programs.

Sufficient undergraduate preparation and training for graduate study in social welfare (at least 18 social science credits in anthropology, economics, ethnic studies, geography, history, linguistics, political science, psychology, sociology, etc, or any combination)

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for admission to the MSW program.


Advanced Standing Program:

Students who hold an undergraduate social work degree from a Council on Social Work Education Accredited program may apply for the Advanced Standing Program (ASP). Students applying to the advanced standing program must submit a copy of a field placement evaluation(s).

Visit the Advanced Standing Program page.


Application Deadlines:

Early Admission December 1
Scholarship Priority February 1
Priority April 15


The application deadline for Fall 2024 traditional MSW cohorts closes on June 15, 2024.
Applications received after this time will be considered for the Fall 2025 cohort.


Program Coursework

The MSW requires 60 Credits for the Traditional Program or 36 credits for Advanced Standing, which can be completed through a full-time schedule, or extended study. The program includes:

  • 30 credit hours of generalist practice
  • 30 credit hours of specialized practice
  • Field Practice (or internships) during years 1 and 2
  • Opportunity to choose relevant electives

For specific program coursework, please visit the UCCS Academic Catalog.


Advanced Standing Program (ASP):
Qualifying students with an undergraduate social work degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may apply to the Advanced Standing Program.


Generalist Practice:
UCCS MSW students along the traditional pathway spend the first half of the program (e.g., 30 credit hours over 2 to 4 academic semesters) mastering practice at the generalist level using a person-in-environment framework.

The generalist practice courses target content common across all social work education programs which focuses on a range of prevention and intervention methods in their practice with diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities based on scientific inquiry and best practices.


Specialized Practice - Trauma-Informed Social Work Practice:
After successfully mastering the social work competence at the generalist level, students then complete the remaining second half of the program (e.g., 30 credit hours over 2 to 4 academic semesters) mastering the competencies at a specialized practice level, which is trauma-informed social work practice.

We infuse trauma-informed social work practice throughout the curriculum to equip students with the specialized knowledge and skills needed to work with clients and communities who have experienced trauma and violence. The trauma sequence instills the importance of incorporating trauma-informed care into all aspects of social work practice.


Field Practice:
Field practice (e.g., internships) is considered to be “the signature pedagogy for social work” (CSWE, 2015, p. 12). Thus, students will complete no less than 900 hours of field practice spread across the generalist (year 1) and specialized practice (year 2) curriculum (CSWE, 2015).

Through the field practice sequence, students develop their skills by completing no less than 900 hours of field practice (e.g. internship) spread across the generalist and specialized practice curriculum. Field practice integrates theoretical and conceptual classwork with the practice setting.


Elective Options:
Students may choose their elective hours around a particular area based on their interests and career goals. Students have options to deepen their knowledge in a practice area by clustering electives in child welfare, healthcare, school social work, and military social work.

Some students may include courses offered by other departments and colleges of the University to earn certificates in areas such as public management, nonprofit management, and grant writing. Prior written approval from the MSW Program director is required for courses taken outside social work.


Upcoming Information Session

person on a computer

To learn more about the Master of Social Work program, join us for one of our information sessions, which are available both in-person and virtually.


Accreditation

The UCCS Master of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.

Accreditation of a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process.  An accredited program has sufficient resources to meet its mission and goals and the Commission on Accreditation has verified that it demonstrates compliance with all sections of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. 

Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program.  Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

For more information about social work accreditation, you may contact Accreditation.


Assessment:

All social work programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) measure and report student learning outcomes, which are based on the 9 social work competencies outlined in the CSWE accreditation standards. These competencies are dimensions of social work practice which all social workers are expected to master during their professional training. Click the link below for more information.