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Master of Social Work

Program Information

The MSW Program at CSU Pueblo is currently in candidacy status with the Council on Social Work Education and anticipates accreditation in February 2022.  Once accreditation is achieved, all students attending the program from Fall 2019 and later will be covered under that accreditation status.

The mission of the MSW Program at Colorado State University Pueblo will be to prepare competent advanced social work practitioners with the knowledge, skills, values, and cognitive and affective processes required to serve diverse client populations in systems of all sizes.

Our goals are to:

  1. Prepare advanced social work practitioners with the ethical consciousness, cultural competence, and desire to be lifelong learners who give back to the profession of social work and enhance the global community in which we live;
  2. Provide students with the necessary advanced skills in engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation in order to competently serve diverse client populations at all levels of social work practice and across the lifespan utilizing the ecological perspective as a foundation; and
  3. Prepare students to engage in policy practice, to advocate for social and economic justice, to engage in research in its many forms in order to better serve individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

The MSW degree program provides two entry options for students: admission directly into the MSW program once a student has been awarded an accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, referred to as Specialized, and a longer program that can be accessed by anyone with any social work related undergraduate degree, referred to as Generalist.  At this time, we offer only full-time enrollment options. 

Generalist courses cover fall, spring, and summer semesters.  The Generalist curriculum is consistent with the core coursework of the BSW.  Once the Generalist year is completed, students move to the Specialized year, which requires another Fall, Spring, and Summer semester.  Therefore, students admitted into the Generalist year courses will attend classes for two full academic years, including summers.

Specialized courses cover the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters, as well.  Students admitted into the Specialized courses will attend classes for one full academic year, including a summer.

Classes meet on weekends only, with some courses online.  Students will meet every other weekend during the academic year and summer.  On Saturdays, all students are expected to travel to Colorado Springs and attend classes at the Towers site.  On Sundays, all students are expected to travel to the main campus in Pueblo to attend classes.  The academic year begins in Fall of each year.

The curriculum in this degree is advanced generalist, which means that graduates will be prepared to intervene at multiple levels:  micro, mezzo, and macro.  This degree program includes additional courses at each level in order to increase the strength of the focus.  We have chosen to make coursework in trauma required due to the amount of research that suggests social workers and other helping professionals are subjected to deleterious amounts of vicarious and secondary trauma. Of course, we work with individuals and families who have experienced such trauma, too. Therefore, we know that the earlier we introduce an understanding of the effects of trauma and insert self-care into the curriculum, we can help to prevent the burnout that is characteristic of social work.

The MAT or GRE is not required for admission.

There are two applications that must be completed for admission, the general Graduate Application to the university (which requires a $35 application fee and should be sent to admissions) and the applicable (Generalist or Specialized) application.  The Generalist or Specialized application should be sent to the Department of Social Work.  Our address is on the form.  Your application will not be considered until both applications are completed.  Students who apply for the Generalist coursework will move to the Specialized year upon satisfactory completion of the Generalist coursework.  All applications are due no later than February 1 of the year in which the student would like to begin coursework.  

Applications for admission for Fall 2021 will begin August 1, 2020.  

All applications are due no later than February 1 of the year in which the student would like to begin coursework.

See Admissions Requirements below:

Admissions Requirements

Master of Social Work (Generalist)

  • A bachelor’s degree from a university accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the Department of Education, with at least 18 credits of liberal arts studies;
  • A course in statistics;
  • A research course;
  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, or a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale with a “B” grade or higher in one course in Human Behavior in the Social Environment at the graduate level;
  • 3 Letters of recommendation, one from a professor, one from academic advisor, one from employer or field supervisor;
  • A 3-page summary; and
  • Payment of the application fee of $35 to Admissions

Master of Social Work (Specialized)

  • A Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE accredited program or recognized through its International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Services;
  • A course in statistics;
  • A research course;
  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale;
  • 120 hours of volunteer or paid work experience in human services field (above and beyond field hours) in a 6-month period during the last 5 calendar years;
  • Most recent field evaluation;
  • 3 Letters of recommendation, one from a professor, one from academic advisor, one from employer or field supervisor;
  • A 3-page summary; and,
  • Payment of the application fee of $35 to Admissions

Special Note on Recommendations

Students are required to submit 3 professional recommendations.  Students from the CSU Pueblo BSW program may not use full-time faculty for recommendations.  Instead, those students should submit an additional professional recommendation in place of the Academic Advisor's recommendation.  A separate, fillable Letter of Recommendation form is linked below for your convenience.

ALL applicants MUST complete the application at the red link below and submit a $35 application fee to admissions.

Assessment Data

Current assessment data for the program is provided below.

MSW Student Handbook



    What courses will I take in the Generalist year?

    The Generalist consists of 34 credit hours.  Courses are:

    Fall:  (12 credits)

    SW 502 Social Work Ethics (3 credits)

    SW 501 Holistic Human Behavior (3 credits)

    SW 550 Social Welfare Policy (3 credits)

    SW 520 Diversity in Human Experience (3 credits)

    Spring:  (11 credits)

    SW 522 Intervention with Individuals (3 credits)

    SW 523 Intervention with Families/Groups (3 credits)

    SW 588 Practicum I (4 credits)

    SW 581 Seminar 1 (1 credit)

    Summer:  (11 credits)

    SW 524 Intervention with Agency/Community (3 credits)

    SW 587 Foundations of Research (3 credits)

    SW 589 Practicum II (4 credits

    SW 582 Seminar II (1 credits)


    What courses will I take in the Specialized year?

    The Specialized (and Advanced Standing) year consists of 41 credits. Courses are:

    Fall:  (14 credits)

    SW 622 Assess/Intervene with Individuals (3)

    SW 625 Assess/Intervene with Children/Families (3 credits)

    SW 641 Understanding Trauma in Practice (3)

    SW 681 Practicum Seminar III (1)

    SW 688 Practicum Seminar III (4)

    Spring:  (14 credits)

    SW 624 Assess/Intervene with Agency/Community (3 credits)

    SW 685 Research I (3)

    SW 623 Assess/Intervene with Small Groups (3 credits)

    SW 689 Practicum IV (4 credits)

    SW 682 Seminar IV (1 credit)

    Summer:   (13 credits)

    SW 650 Advanced Policy in a Diverse World

    Elective (3 credits)

    SW 642 Administration and Supervision (3)

    SW 696 Research II (3 credits)

    SW 687 Culminating Project (1 credit)


    Do I have to do a field placement?

    Yes.  CSWE requires at least 900 clock hours of field placement for all MSW students.  Our students complete 948 hours.  Students will complete 448 clock hours in the Generalist year and 500 clock hours in the Specialized (and Advanced Standing) year.

    Can I do my field placement in my place of work?

    In some circumstances, you may be able to complete your field hours at your agency or place of work. There are restrictions, including doing a different job under a different supervisor (must be an MSW with at least 2 years of post-MSW practice experience) and a signed agreement from your agency director (this is to protect your employment in case your field placement does not work out). For more information, contact the Field Coordinator at (719) 549-2336.
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Social Work Department

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