Master’s in Social Work (MSW) Programs in Colorado (CO) – Online & On-Campus

Social work programs in Colorado span from as far west as Grand Junction to as far south as Pueblo, with several options in and around Denver. All of these Master of Social Work programs offer advanced standing options for Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree holders and differing enrollment opportunities. All programs listed below are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Learn more about entering an MSW program to pursue a career in social work as a licensed social worker (LSW) or licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in Colorado.

 Sponsored Online MSW Program

Earn your Master of Social Work online from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work.

The University of Denver’s top-ranked school of social work1 offers two online MSW tracks: traditional and advanced standing. Students with a BSW can earn an MSW in as few as 18 months; students without a BSW can earn an MSW in as few as 27 months. GRE scores are not required.

1U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 – Best Schools for Social Work

Social Work Degree Programs in Colorado

There are options for on-campus Master of Social Work (MSW) programs in Colorado, as well as a few for pursuing an online MSW program in Colorado. 

Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs in Colorado

UniversityCityConcentrationProgram Options
Colorado State UniversityFort Collins, CONoneFull time
Advanced standing program
Colorado State University – PuebloPueblo, CONoneFull time
Advanced standing program
Metropolitan State University of DenverDenver, COChildren and Families
Mental Health
Leadership and Management
School Social Work
Gerontological Social Work
Social Work in Health Care
Children and Youth
Full time
Part time
Advanced standing program
University of DenverDenver, COAging Services and Policy
Child Welfare
Children and Youth
Family Systems Practice
Health and Wellness
Mental Health
Organizational Leadership and Policy Practice
Sustainable Development and Global Practice
Full time
Advanced standing program

Online MSW Programs in Colorado

A few universities in Colorado that offer MSW programs also have online MSW programs

UniversityCityConcentrationsProgram Options
Colorado State UniversityFort Collins, CONoneFull time
Advanced standing program
Metropolitan State UniversityDenver, COChildren and Families
Mental Health
Leadership and Management
School Social Work
Gerontological Social Work
Social Work in Health Care
Children and Youth
Full time
Part time
Advanced standing program
University of Denver
Sponsored Program
Denver, COMental Health and Trauma
Health, Equity and Wellness
Full time
Part time
Advanced standing program

Learn more about MSW programs:

Education Requirements

If you choose to pursue an advanced standing MSW program at any of the above universities, you will need a bachelor’s degree in social work accredited by the CSWE. Some other requirements for traditional programs may include specific coursework in areas such as social and behavioral sciences, biology, statistics and multicultural issues. MSW applicants may also need to complete human service hours before enrolling.

Similar to other graduate degree programs, some of these MSW programs in Colorado may require a minimum GPA, transcripts, resume, some number of recommendations, a personal statement and application fee. Be sure to check with your preferred CO university above for more information on their MSW program.

Curriculum

Some MSW programs in Colorado offer specializations or concentrations which focus on one or more facets of social work. Whether you choose a specialization or not, there will likely be a foundational year, or foundational curriculum for traditional students. Foundational coursework may include:

  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment
  • Social Policy
  • Research Methods in Social Work
  • Legal Issues in Social Work
  • Clinical Social Work Theory
  • Social Work for Social Justice
  • Internships

If you choose to specialize your MSW degree, you may expect coursework in your second year to be centered on that topic with field internships. Curriculum will vary amongst the Colorado MSW programs, so be sure to check with your preferred university for more information.

What Can I Do With an MSW Degree in CO?

As of May 2019, there are a total of 13,170 social workers in Colorado. This includes child, family and school social workers; healthcare social workers; mental health and substance abuse social workers; and all others, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, there are also 250 post-secondary social work teachers, or professors of social work.

By earning an MSW degree in Colorado, you may prepare for licensure as an LSW or to become an LCSW. There are also multiple Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in Colorado throughout counties such as El Paso, Yuma, Summit, Alamosa, Weld, Denver and others. MSW degree recipients in Colorado may also pursue social work careers as a school social worker in the Colorado Department of Education or a military social worker at one of the military bases in Colorado or the Department of Veterans Affairs. Learn more on how to become a social worker and various opportunities for you. Learn more about how to become a social worker in Colorado or check out more on social work licensure.

FAQs

Which school has the best MSW program in Colorado?

There are a few universities in Colorado that offer CSWE-accredited MSW programs, and deciding which is best depends on your location, willingness to pursue an online MSW program, career goals and previous experience. If you want to pursue social work with a focus on children, an MSW program with that specialization may be ideal, for example.

What is the typical cost of an MSW program in CO?

Cost will vary by school, residency status, type of program and more. Each university will likely have different tuition costs per credit and different costs for online, hybrid and on-campus programs. Regardless, each university with an MSW program in CO will have a financial aid office and likely opportunities to apply for social work scholarships, grants and loans for financing your MSW degree.

Is a career in social work worth it?

As of May 2019, the employment of social workers is expected to grow by 13% from 2019 to 2029, with a higher growth projection for mental health and substance abuse social workers at almost 100,000 new jobs by 2029. There is clearly a need for MSW graduates to fill these roles throughout the country. Whether or not a career in social work is worth it for you may depend on your own traits. If you enjoy helping others succeed and face their challenges to become contributing members of society, a career in social work may be worth it for you.

Can you become a counselor with an MSW?

For licensure as a counselor in Colorado, you must have obtained a CACREP-accredited master’s degree or higher. As MSW programs are accredited by a different agency, you may not be eligible to become a licensed counselor in Colorado. However, organizations and agencies may title their career opportunities with “counselor” but accept applicants who have an MSW, as social workers and counselors are sometimes similar. It’s important to check with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies for more information to help with your career goals.

Information on this page was updated in October 2020.