Mental Health Curriculum

The curriculum at GSSW is always evolving based on community needs and changes in the field. The concentration curriculum will prepare you for advanced practice in mental health. To see a full list of course descriptions, view the GSSW bulletin.

The minimum credits required for the MSW degree are 81 for two-year students and 54 for advanced-standing students. The concentration curriculum is made up of 45 credits, and the rest is comprised of the foundation curriculum. The table below shows a list of required and elective class offerings for the Mental Health concentration.

Curriculum plans are subject to change year over year.

Area Requirements  Course Offerings
Theory for Practice (3 credits required)  Intersections of Mental Health, Substance Use and Trauma
Methods/Skills (9 credits required)

Required: Assessment of Mental Health in Adults OR Assessment of Mental Health in Children & Adolescents 
Required: Suicide Assessment & Interventions
Integrated Health Care: Models and Practice
Practice Elements in Interventions With Children and Youth
Substance Use Interventions
Child and Adolescent Trauma
Mental Health Interventions With Children
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapies
Interpersonal Approaches to Counseling
Trauma-Informed Assessment and Intervention
Social Work With Adult Groups
Groups for Children and Adolescents

Policy & Program Advocacy (3 credits required) Mental Health and Substance Use Policies
Research (3 credits required) Methods for Evaluating Practice & Programs
Values for Practice (3 credits required)

Critical Race Praxis
Disproportionality & Disparity Across Systems
Intergenerational Justice
Restorative Approaches in Social Work
Social Work Practice With LGBTQIA Communities
Spirituality & Social Work Practice
Disrupting Privilege and Anti-Oppressive Practice
Disability Studies
Social Work Interventions With Latinos/as
Global Relations & Poverty in Mexico
Social Development in Latin America
Conservation SW in Kenya: Context, Empowerment, Sustainability
Global Cultural Perspectives: Consensus & Conundrums
Bosnia in Transition: The Social Work Response
Historical Trauma
Feminisms in Social Work Practice
Human Trafficking: Prevention, Intervention and Support of Its Victims
Human Sexuality
Contemporary Global Issues
Cultural Connectedness: A Journey Into Native American Country
Special Topics (as approved, titles vary)

Electives (12 credits required)

Evolving Perspective and Trends in Aging
Social-Ecological Resilience and One Health: Connecting Human and Environmental Well-Being
Community and Organizational Change: Theory for Practice
Aging Policy
Substance Use Interventions
Existential Social Work
Cognitive Behavioral Therapies
Interpersonal Approaches to Counseling

Students may take elective courses in any of the concentrations. Students may take up to 10 elective credits from other DU graduate programs with approval of advisor & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Certificate students will use elective slots to fulfill certificate requirements.   

Internship (12-15 credits)

Community internship at an organization that specializes in mental health. Learn more about field education

Capstone (0 credits) Capstone Project


University of Denver Campus

Are you interested in a career helping individuals who are living with trauma, mental illness or struggling with substance abuse?