Whether you intend to work internationally or in the United States, the Global Social Work Certificate will help you understand global connections and perspectives. Through a series of courses, specialized monthly in-service experiences, and internship projects, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge needed to work cross-culturally, either at home or abroad.

You’ll complete this certificate concurrently with your Denver Campus MSW program. The certificate is open to Denver Campus MSW students. The featured courses below are a few of the course options available in the Global Social Work curriculum. To enhance course content and internship experiences, you’ll participate in Let’s Go Global, a series of monthly trainings and activities related to international social work.

Want to learn more about the Global Social Work Certificate?

Request Information

Craig Hall building

Denver Campus Info Sessions

We offer 1-hour, virtual and 3-hour, in-person information sessions for our Denver Campus MSW programs. During these sessions, we will discuss the MSW program, admissions process and financial aid options. There will also be a Q&A where you can chat with current students about their experience at GSSW.

The in-person information sessions include a tour of GSSW and the surrounding University of Denver campus. After the tour, prospective students and guests will receive tickets for a complimentary lunch at DU's Community Commons.


“Broadening our worldview leads to a greater understanding of social justice issues around the globe. We are challenged to examine our personal and collective responsibility for human rights advocacy everywhere while at the same time being inspired by human resilience.”

Professor of the Practice Ann Petrila, Coordinator of Global Initiatives
Ann Petrila
group walking towards cemetery

Learning Outcomes

Global social work courses are anchored in social work values and ethics and apply a power, privilege and oppression framework to human rights advocacy and intervention. Through the Global Social Work Certificate, you will

  • Further your understanding of relationship-based work done in conjunction with local communities—working side by side rather than top-down
  • Explore appropriate roles for working internationally
  • Weigh ethical considerations when working in a community other than one’s own
  • Examine injustices and inequalities in the context of domestic and international policies and agreements
  • Reflect on the need to avoid the “white savior complex”
  • Learn to approach international social work from a place of humility and decenter your own lens
group at United Nations

Your Career Options

By completing the Global Social Work Certificate, you’ll graduate with an additional professional credential and a competitive advantage in your job search. Your international social work career could include:

  • Working on issues connected to refugees both domestically and internationally with organizations such as the Red Cross, refugee resettlement programs and schools
  • Human rights advocacy at the international, national and local level 
  • Working with nongovernmental organizations and local, regional and national governments on sustainable development projects connected to human security such as  food justice and economic safety
  • Working on projects connected to economic development locally, nationally and internationally
  • Working on universal issues such as HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and lasting COVID-19 impact

Global Social Work Certificate Coordinator

Ann Petrila

Ann T. Petrila

Professor of the Practice, Coordinator of Global Initiatives, Director of Global Practice Bosnia

Learn More


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Application Information

Upcoming Final Application Deadline: Summer 2024 Denver Campus Advanced-Standing MSW Program