Colorado Social Work Programs and Degrees Guide

There are numerous social work programs in Colorado accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). A license is not required for generalist practice in Colorado for those with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, but a Master of Social Work (MSW) is required for clinical social work practice. Obtaining a CSWE-accredited BSW may enable you to qualify for advanced standing in an MSW program, which may reduce the time it takes to earn your master’s degree. In addition to traditional on campus Colorado social work programs, an online MSW degree is offered at the University of Denver.

Quick Facts

  • 6 schools offering social work programs in Colorado are in our database (see below)
  • Of the social work schools in Colorado, 1 offers associate’s degrees or certificates, 4 offer bachelor’s degrees, and 3 offer a master’s or advanced degree1
  • 1 school ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 20182
  • 3 schools ranked in US News Best Graduate Social Work Programs in 20183
  • 2 schools ranked in Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs in 20184
  • Across 5 schools, 7 bachelor’s and master’s social work degree programs in Colorado are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)5

Top-Ranked Schools with Social Work Programs in Colorado

Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

  • University of Colorado-Boulder (#68 in-state, #94 out-of-state)

*Institution-wide ranking.

US News Best Graduate Social Work Programs 2018

  • University of Denver (#17 tie)
  • Colorado State University (#54 tie)
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver (#128 tie)

Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs 2018

  • Colorado State University
  • University of Denver

Schools with Social Work Programs Accredited by the CSWE

  • Colorado Mesa University
  • Colorado State University
  • Colorado State University-Pueblo
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • University of Denver

Schools in Colorado with Social Work Degree Programs

BSW and Other Undergraduate Programs

Colorado State University

Colorado State University’s School of Social Work offers a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) rooted in the professional values of human rights, well-being, and community. Upon graduation, students will have developed generalist skills valuable in many different practice settings. The curriculum is based on foundational courses in communications, social science, and cultural awareness as well as social work classes in practice, policy and research, a senior capstone project, and a field education placement. Students may also elect to complete the BASW with a double major or minor; common choices include psychology, family studies, or languages. The school has an active student body with extracurricular activities sponsored by such student organizations as the Social Work in Action group and several honors societies. Colorado State University also offers an MSW program. In 2016, US News and World Report ranked the university #127 among national universities.

Colorado Mesa University

Located in Grand Junction, Colorado Mesa University is a liberal arts institution that prides itself on small class sizes and individualized attention. CMU’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Department offers a CSWE-accredited BSW program focusing on generalist practice skills, professionalism, social work values, and social justice. All students must take courses in English, math, humanities, social science, natural science, history, and fine arts, in addition to the social work core courses. The core courses introduce students to case management, group work, and community organizing. A 2.0 GPA in all courses, and at least a 2.50 GPA in social work courses, must be maintained. In the senior year students complete a field education placement in a local social service organization, a professional communications project, and a social work research project. Areas of focus may include child welfare, gerontology, health, mental health, or school social work.

MSW and Other Graduate Programs

Metropolitan State University of Denver

The Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Department of Social Work offers a two-year CSWE-accredited MSW program with advanced standing admissions for applicants with a CSWE-accredited BSW degree conferred within the past six years. The university prides itself on the program’s affordability and offers online, blended, and face-to-face courses to fit many schedules. The degree can be completed either full-time or part-time. All students are assigned a faculty advisor once admitted to the program to help them choose the right courses and schedule to fit their needs. Two concentrations are offered. The Individuals and Families concentration prepares students for micro practice with children and families, adults, seniors or child welfare systems and prepares students to apply for Colorado’s Licensed Clinical Social Worker credential. The Macro Practice concentration focuses on administrative, leadership, and policy analysis skills and prepares students to apply for Colorado’s Licensed Social Worker designation.

University of Denver

The University of Denver confers a CSWE-accredited MSW degree that offers course options based on students’ locations. The Four Corners MSW Program from DU’s Graduate School of Social Work offers courses in the Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah borders region while the Western Colorado MSW Program creates opportunities in rural areas in the western region of the state. Students can choose from eight concentrations: child welfare; children and youth: risks and healthy development; family systems; aging services and policy; health and wellness; mental health; organizational leadership and policy practice; or sustainable development and global practice. The school also offers a PhD degree in social work. In 2016 US News and World Report ranked the University of Denver #26 among social work graduate schools and #86 among national universities in the US.

Accreditation Information for Colorado Social Work Schools

School Graduation Rate1 Transfer-Out Rate1 Associate’s SW Program Bachelor’s SW Program Graduate SW Program CSWE Accred.5 US News Best Social Work Grad Schools Ranking3 Net Price*1
Colorado Mesa University N/A N/A No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $8,008
Colorado State University-Fort Collins 65% 10% No Yes Yes Yes #54 tie $14,511
Colorado State University-Pueblo 32% 15% No Yes No Yes Not Ranked $11,785
Metropolitan State University of Denver 24% 32% No Yes Yes Yes #128 tie $9,145
University of Denver 76% N/A No No Yes Yes #17 tie $33,625

*The net price is calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics by subtracting the average amount of aid (including grants and scholarships) from the total published cost of attendance for in-state/in-district students, which includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses. To gain a better understanding of how to interpret the statistics discussed in this table, see our list of important definitions.

Directory of Social Work School Programs

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Schools with an asterisk (*) have programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Colorado Mesa University*
1100 North Ave
Grand Junction, CO 81501
(970) 248-1020

Colorado State University-Fort Collins*
301 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523-0100
(970) 491-1101

Student Review: “I had a great time in the Masters of Social Work program at Colorado State University. The program is considered “generalist”, so we got to learn a little bit about many different subjects/aspects of social work. My professors were wonderful, and I was lucky to receive a Graduate Research Assistant position which helped me pay for school. Assignments were usually interesting and relevant, and the small class size led me to meet some lifelong friends. There were several options to choose from in terms of the classes you could take or the potential final projects you could engage in. I would definitely recommend CSU for a Masters of Social Work. I have been successful in my social work career in large part to the great start I got at Colorado State University.” – Student at Colorado State University

Colorado State University-Pueblo*
2200 Bonforte Blvd
Pueblo, CO 81001-4901
(719) 549-2100

Metropolitan State University of Denver*
890 Auraria Pkwy
Denver, CO 80217-3362
(303) 556-3058

University of Denver*
2199 S University Blvd
Denver, CO 80208
(303) 871-2000

University of Northern Colorado
501 20th St
Greeley, CO 80639
(970) 351-1890

Student Review: “I rather enjoyed the Social Work program at UNC. The professors had a wealth of experience from a variety of fields (not all of them social work, per se, but sociological research mostly). The lectures were generally quite lively and engaging (a generous and lively amount of participation was encouraged) and the coursework load was, honestly, minimal. It’s the kind of program a student can get a LOT out of, if they’re willing to put in the effort. At the same time, it’s also unfortunately easy to cruise-through with minimal effort as well (a good number of students in my field of study appeared to be doing just that). What the program decidedly lacked was the amount of practical experience necessary to seriously pursue work in the field immediately after graduation. I found it extremely difficult citing any real-world experience in my supposed field of expertise, as a result (I’m a teacher now, but not in the field of social work, as I’d intended). The good thing was that that the limited outside work I had to do enabled me to pursue work on the side while I finished up my degree, which is a godsend for anyone paying their tuition without assistance, like I had to. Overall, it’s a decent program for a decent price, but don’t expect miracles or the ability to land a job instantly after graduation.” – Student at University of Northern Colorado

Schools with an asterisk (*) have programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Kiplinger’s Best College Values: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-private-colleges/index.php?table=all
3. US News & World Report Social Work Best Grad Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/social-work-rankings
4. Social Work Guide’s Top Online MSW Programs 2018: /degrees/masters/online/
5. Council on Social Work Education: https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation/Directory-of-Accredited-Programs.aspx