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“The purpose of the social work profession is to promote human and community well-being. Guided by a person-in-environment framework, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, the purpose of social work is actualized through its quest for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice, the creation of conditions that facilitate the realization of human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of life for all persons, locally and globally.

To fully realize our commitment to social justice, social workers must engage in anti-racist, culturally responsive social work practice at the individual, family, group, organizational, community, research, and policy levels, informed by the theories and voices of those who have been marginalized. In an ever-shifting social and environmental context, social work is agile, responsive, and generative.

Social workers share a commitment to promoting social welfare, helping people of all backgrounds overcome their unique challenges, advocating for social and economic justice for all members of the community, and embodying a professional code of ethics” (CSWE, 2022).

Why earn your Master of Social Work degree from Colorado Mesa University?

The Master of Social Work degree program is a cohort model with small classroom sizes and professors who have expertise in the practice. Our program faculty have experience working in mental health, addictions, forensic social work, clinical practice, macro social work, research, and more.

MSW Foundation Program is a two year program with 74 credits. Students are required to complete 1050 hours of supervised training across practicum and internship experiences. Foundation is the required program for all students who have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university

Academic Requirements for Master of Social Work in Social Work: Foundation

MSW Advanced Standing Program is a one year program with 44 credits. Students are required to complete 600 hours of supervised training in an internship experience. Advanced Standing Applicants must have earned a social work degree from a CSWE Accredited program within five years of admission. Advanced Standing Applicants must have successfully completed a minimum of 400 hours of practicum experience during their BSW program.

Academic Requirements for Master of Social Work in Social Work: Advanced Standing

Professional social workers are found in a wide variety of setting including, schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, senior centers, elected office, private practices, prisons, military, corporations, and in numerous public and private agencies that serve individuals and families in need. They often specialize in one or more of the following practice areas: 

  • Alcohol and drug abuse, addictions, substance abuse treatment centers
  • Child welfare (abuse and neglect; adoption, foster care)
  • Clinical - Private Practice (therapist, mental health, addictions, family, divorce)
  • Community Organizing
  • Forensic Social Work (jails, prisons, courts, public defenders, district attorney, alternative defense, specialty courts)
  • Geriatric facilities (nursing homes, home health, Alzheimer's units)
  • Hospice & Palliative Care (end of life care)
  • International Social Work (United Nations, WHO - global social work; economic stress; liberation, community organizing)
  • Military & Veterans services (United States & International)
  • Medical Social Work (inpatient and outpatient hospitals, health clinics, specialty clinics)
  • Police Department (co-responder, crisis intervention, therapist)
  • Psychiatric Social Work (mental health centers, medical hospitals, psychiatric hospitals)
  • School Social Work (public or private schools K-12)
  • Trauma and Violence (combat, sexual violence, human trafficking, refugee, natural disaster)

HLC Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission (HLC) granted accreditation to the Masters of Social Work Program in 2022.

Higher Learning Commission


CSWE Accreditation

The Master of Social Work program is currently in Pre-Candidacy for Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education's Commission on Accreditation.

Students who enter programs in Pre-Candidacy that attain Candidacy in the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains Initial Accreditation.  The Candidacy process is typically a three-year process and there is no guarantee that a program in Pre-Candidacy will eventually attain Candidacy or Initial Accreditation.

Council on Social Work Education


Projected Growth

Expected growth of profession from 2020-2030

1 out of 5

Core Mental Health Professions

As recognized by the National Institute of Health


Clinically Trained Social Workers

The nation's largest group of mental health services providers.

              Questions about State Licensing?

Please learn more about state licensing for Master of Social Work.

              Questions about the MSW Program?

Graduate Admissions Coordinator
[email protected]


Dr. Michelle Sunkel, DSW, LICSW, LAC, MBE
Associate Professor Social Work
Master Social Work Program Director
Houston Hall 222C
[email protected]