GSSW Academic Programs

Skills for Social Change

Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) faculty, staff and students may represent a broad range of backgrounds, research interests and practice areas, but we share a common identity as champions of equity and inclusion with a bias toward action.

Our focus on equity and inclusion shows up in everything we do, including our curriculum. A GSSW education provides much more than a strong foundation in social work practice, critical thinking and research methods. Whether you are planning to work in policy, community-based settings or private practice, you’ll be grounded in our approach to equity and inclusion and trained to see individuals and systems through the lens of power, privilege and oppression. You’ll be prepared to be a force for social justice in your profession and in your life.

“How do we use the power of narrative — informed by cultural histories of contribution, resistance and justice — to activate change?"

Professor Debora Ortega

Social Work Degree Options

We offer master of social work programs (two-year and advanced-standing options) in Denver, Durango and Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and the online MSW@Denver program is available for students nationwide. We offer dual-degree and doctoral programs on our Denver campus.

Want to expand your career options? We offer certificates in Animal-Assisted Social Work, Social Work with LatinX, and School Social Work for students in the Denver Campus MSW Program.

two female msw students on graduation day

MSW Degree Programs

Our top-ranked Master of Social Work (MSW) degree programs — online or on campus in three locations — will prepare you for a career pursuing social justice and positive change for individuals and communities.

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gssw phd graduate

PhD Program

The demand for social work research, scholarship and education is greater than ever. With a PhD in social work, you’ll be prepared for an academic career as a social justice scholar, educator or policy expert.

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associate professor karen bensen with graduate

MSW Dual-Degree Programs

With an MSW dual degree, you’ll save time and money and graduate with an advantage in the job market. Social work dual-degree options include public health, business, human rights, law, social justice and more.

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11:1 student–faculty ratio

400+ GSSW students

750+ field internship sites

university of denver campus

Want to learn more about our MSW programs?

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Social Work in Action

Classroom and field experience. Faculty-student research collaborations. Student organizations, career planning and student support. They all work together to prepare you to create social change through a career in social work. And career options are plentiful, with the number of U.S. social work careers projected to grow by 16 percent through 2026 — much faster than the average for all occupations. Whether you see yourself as a clinical social worker, a policy advocate, a community organizer, a researcher or an educator, we have a path that will meet your purpose.

"We want to invest in your passion and potential to make a difference in the world"

Dean Amanda Moore McBride

The focus of social justice within the curriculum, paired with the professors’ approaches, helped hone my interventions with family systems, allowing me to be a change agent with families.

Adam Tannenbaum, MSW ’15, Clinical Supervisor and Program Manager, Adolescent Substance Abuse Program, Denver Family Therapy Center Read More
Adam Tannenbaum


Excellence in Teaching

GSSW Assistant Prof. Ramona Beltrán received the University of Denver Distinguished Teaching Award for her work to create engaged, radical, careful and compassionate learning that extends beyond the classroom.

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Philip Tedeschi with children in Kenya
Impacting Kenyan Communities

For a decade, GSSW’s Social Work in Kenya course has prepared students to collaborate with local communities and organizations to improve the health of people, animals, and the environment.

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