MSW Curriculum Description


MSW Curriculum Description

Full-Time and Extended Study Pathways

The 60-credit MSW curriculum may be followed through the full-time (15 credit hours a semester over 4 academic semesters) or extended study (6 to 9 credit hours a semester over 6- to 12 academic semesters). 

  • Full-Time and Extended Study students follow the same Degree Plan
  • The course sequence for Full-Time and Extended Study students differs based on the number of credits students take each semester

Students in the full-time and extended study pathways take the same courses yet follow a different timeline. 

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 and complete their MSW in 1 year.  


Generalist Practice:

UCCS MSW students along both pathways 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:

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.


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 (e.g. internship) spread across the generalist (year 1) and specialized practice (year 2) curriculum (CSWE, 2015).

Elective Options:

Students will also have the opportunity to deepen knowledge in a practice area by clustering electives in child welfare, healthcare, school social work, military social work and community practice.  Certification is available for each of these areas through the National Association of Social Workers.  Further, in Colorado social workers in schools are required to attain school social work licensure.