Create Positive Change With a Degree in Social Work

Social workers are trained to empower people and communities and to create positive change – locally, nationally and globally. With a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW), you can advance social and racial justice, and work with individuals and populations who have experienced oppression.

Program Highlights:

  • Top-Ranked MSW Program: Ranked #1 in Colorado and #11 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • A Specialized MSW: MSW Pathways include mental health, ecological justice, rural social work, aging services & policy and more
  • Location: Two MSW program options available in three Colorado locations — Denver, Durango and Glenwood Springs

No matter which program options you choose, you’ll be prepared for a meaningful career in a wide variety of settings, from public policy to private practice, health and mental health care, child welfare, nonprofit management and more.


The world needs more social workers. Find out how you can make a difference with a degree in social work.

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MSW Program Stats

$9M Total student scholarships awarded each year

22 Average class size

750+ Field internship sites

Denver Campus

Denver Campus MSW

Located in one of the nation’s most scenic and vibrant cities, the Denver Campus MSW is GSSW’s most flexible degree program. We offer both full- and part-time options for the Denver Campus MSW Program (for students who have a bachelor’s degree in any field other than social work) and the Denver Campus Advanced-Standing MSW Program (for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in social work).

With a concentration in Advanced Social Work Practice, you can follow one of several specialization pathways or create your own customized MSW degree to meet your personal interests or career goals. You can also choose from several dual-degree programs and certificates in Global Social Work, Human–Animal–Environment Interactions, Latinx Social Work and School Social Work. With so many options, you can chart your own career path!

  • MSW Specializations

    If you want to specialize, you can choose from eight sample pathways, or create your own.

    • Child Welfare: Work with children, youth and families across the continuum of care within the child welfare system, from entry to exit in both public and private child welfare agencies.
    • Children & Youth: Risks and Healthy Development: Work with adolescents and children in a wide variety of settings, including mental health, family services and community agencies, schools, treatment centers and correctional facilities.
    • Ecological Justice: Work in environmental social work, including assessment, community engagement, education, health promotion, mobilization, organizing, poverty reduction, environmental preservation and capacity building.
    • Family Systems Practice: Work with families and diverse clients in a variety of direct-service, private-practice and family-policy settings.
    • Health & Wellness: Practice in a variety of holistic health, integrated health and wellness settings, including hospitals, after-school programs and experiential treatment settings.
    • Mental Health: Work in a therapeutic social work setting as a counselor or behavioral health clinician who assists with trauma, mental illness and substance abuse issues.
    • Organizational Leadership & Policy Practice: Develop programs, administer organizations, build community coalitions, craft and analyze social policy, implement program and policy research, and advocate for policy and program change.

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Distance MSW Programs

Western Colorado MSW Program

Western Colorado MSW Program

Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, our Western Colorado MSW Program and Western Colorado Advanced-Standing MSW Program in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, offer a concentration in Advanced Social Work Practice. The programs will prepare you to work in rural social work practice, integrated health, ecological health and sustainability, community mental health, child welfare and other settings.

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Four Corners MSW Program

Four Corners MSW Program

Our Four Corners MSW Program and Four Corners Advanced-Standing MSW Program are located in Durango, Colorado, near the state’s intersection with New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Offering a concentration in Advanced Social Work Practice, these regional programs will prepare you to work in rural and tribal communities in mental health, integrated health, school, agency and other settings.

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GSSW Differentiators

  • Group of People Icon


    The GSSW faculty includes some of social work’s brightest minds. With diverse experience across many practice specialties, they will challenge you to come out of your comfort zone and fight for social and racial justice.

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    Student Experience & Support

    We provide student and career services support to help you nurture self-care, make a career plan, connect with peers and the community, and have some fun along the way.

  • Location Pin Icon


    We have three on-campus locations — all in sunny Colorado where hiking, skiing and adventuring is at your doorstep. We also offer MSW@Denver, our online Master of Social Work program.

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    GSSW’s justice-oriented curriculum will teach you to recognize and address issues of power, privilege and oppression from the micro level to the macro.


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