M.S.W. Program


Application Review and Applicant Notification Information

Distance Programs

3-year Part-time Hybrid

We will be accepting applications for our next 3-year Part-time Distance Hybrid MSW cohort from March through May 2019. This cohort starts in Spring Term 2020 (mid-January), and its twice-a-semester in-person classes meet in Denver for the entire length of the program.

Advanced Standing 2-year Part-time Hybrid

We will be accepting applications for our next 2-year Part-time Distance Hybrid Advanced Standing MSW cohort from March through May 2019. This cohort starts in Spring Term 2020 (mid-January), and its twice-a-semester in-person classes meet in Fort Collins for the entire length of the program. To qualify for Advanced Standing you must have earned a BSW within the last seven years.

On-campus Programs

Full-time two-year & Part-time Day

The Full-time and Part-time Day programs start in the Fall term each year.

The deadline to apply was January 2, 2018. The application period for 2019 will open in October 2018.

MSW/MPH Dual Degree

This program starts in the Fall term for regular students, and in the Summer term for Advanced Standing students.

The deadline to apply was January 2, 2018. The application period for 2019 will open in October 2018.

Advanced Standing

This program starts in the Summer term each year.

The deadline to apply was January 2, 2018. The application period for 2019 will open in October 2018.

General Application Information (for reference)

The Graduate School and MSW program application process will be entirely online during each cohort's application window. The links to apply will be posted on this page when the relevant application window is open.

Please see our Admission Requirements page for details on who qualifies for consideration.

Applications that are incorrect, incomplete, &/or have items missing at the deadline may not be included for admissions consideration.

Required information will include:

  • Statement of Purpose
    • Upload a document with your answers to these questions (suggested maximum length is 5 pages single-spaced with 1-inch margins and a 12 point font):
      1. Tell us about yourself. What about your background and life experiences brought you to choose social work as a career? Please also answer: How will an advanced generalist program, in contrast to a program with specialized tracks or focus areas, help prepare you to achieve your goals as a social worker?
      2. Select one of the 12 Social Work Grand Challenges found here and 1) describe an issue related to the Grand Challenge you selected that is of concern to you, 2) describe what the social work perspective on this issue would be (in terms of values, principles, and/or ethics of the profession), and 3) discuss how social workers can respond to this issue from micro to macro levels of either practice, policy, or research.
  • Summary of Experience
    • Upload a detailed resume-style document describing the types of experiences you have had that relate to your goal of professional social work practice. The Admissions Committee is looking for detail, not brevity.
    • List all experiences chronologically (starting with the most recent and working backward).
    • List your supervised experience in human service. There is a strict requirement for a minimum of 400 direct human service hours completed by the date of submission. This is defined as direct service work with vulnerable &/or disadvantaged populations. To qualify toward the human service work requirement the hours must be post-high school graduation.
    • Include the following information for each relevant entry:
      1. Name of agency or organization
      2. Type of agency (social work; human service, i.e., nursing, teaching, psychiatric, etc.; public or private industry in human resource area, i.e., training, personnel, community work, board or committee, etc.)
      3. Position held
      4. Paid or volunteer
      5. Length of time in positions and average amount of time worked each week, computed in hours. Please be very specific about the total hours spent on each position. Compute your total direct human service hours for each position, and include them in each position’s listing.
      6. Nature of activities performed (direct service delivery, i.e., counseling, tutoring; indirect service, i.e., supervising, administrative, lobbying, board membership)
      7. Population groups served (children, seniors, adolescents, ethnic minorities, women, men)
      8. Frequency of supervisory contact and supervisor's qualifications
    • This document must include a computation of hours worked in each social service setting totaled for each relevant position.
  • Three references
    • One reference must be a person who has most recently supervised the applicant in a human service delivery experience (paid, volunteer, or educational).
    • Appropriate sources for references include employers, field instructors, supervisors, and university faculty.
    • You will enter the references' contact information into the application form and the Graduate School will contact the references directly with instructions.
  • Official transcripts
    • You must arrange for an official transcript from each institution you attended after high school to be sent directly to CSU.
    • Transcripts must be sent directly from those institutions to CSU to be official. If they are received from you they are not official and will not be accepted.

Additional Application Information for MSW/MPH Applicants only (for reference)

In addition to the above, MSW/MPH dual degree applicants must also upload an essay and take the GRE.

  • 3-point Essay on MSW/MPH interest
    • Please respond to the 3 points below in your essay. (5,000 character maximum)
      1. Tell us why you are applying to the combined MSW/MPH Program (what you hope to gain through this program versus the traditional MSW Program:
        1. how you anticipate using your training for the MPH program in career paths you are considering;
        2. how your career as a social worker with a MPH might contribute to our profession;
        3. what you know about the importance of public health training to the role of social workers in society.
      2. Tell us what past experiences in your life have contributed to your interest in both public health and social work. Perhaps they were work experiences/observations/collegiate training in Public Health, Preventive Medicine, or Epidemiology. The resume you included for your MSW Application should have clearly outlined your work experience with titles and duration of employment. In this narrative, please refer to the positions by title and give more detail regarding the type and scope of your responsibilities and how they informed your decision to apply for the MSW/MPH Program.
      3. The MSW/MPH program is tied to the Global Health and Health Disparities concentration. Tell us how this concentration fits with your career goals and why.
  • Complete the GRE and have the scores sent to CSU

Information on In-state Tuition for Western States Residents

WICHE/WRPG Tuition Program

(Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education / Western Regional Graduate Program)

Graduate applicants for any on-campus program option who are residents of any participating WICHE state/territory may enroll and pay resident tuition rates:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands
  • Hawai'i
  • Guam
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

If you are admitted to an on-campus program, you will be eligible to receive in-state tuition.

The application process for the WICHE/WRGP Tuition Program is incorporated into the Graduate School application. Please follow the directions as you apply.

More information on the WICHE/WRGP

Information on the Review Process

  • Admission judgments will be made only on applications that are complete with all required documents received by CSU by the deadline.
  • Not waiting until the day of the deadline is recommended.
  • It is your responsibility to see that all required items are submitted.
  • Any faculty reviewer may request additional information, including a personal interview. Interviews are rarely needed and are conducted by telephone.

Applicant Notification

  • Our goal is to notify applicants of our decision within a reasonable timeframe after the application deadline. You will be notified through the same system that you submit your application, and via email.
  • You may monitor the decision process through your application account. We do not provide final decision information by telephone.
  • If an applicant declines to accept the invitation for admission by six weeks after notification, an alternate candidate may be offered admission.
  • Applicants who were denied admission may reapply in a subsequent year.

Instructions for Applicants Who Were Not Offered Admission Previously

  • Log in to the application system and create a new application for this round.
  • There are two options (either way, the application fee for this round will be required):
    1. Submit a new application with entirely new documents
    2. Include documents from your last application. To include documents from the last application send an email to timothy.frank@colostate.edu requesting the specific documents from your last application that you want included in your new application. This most commonly includes transcripts, but you have the option to include any or all other documents.
  • Application materials are retained for one year. If you applied for a start term that began over a year ago the materials may no longer be available.

Most Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Having transcripts sent to the School of Social Work rather than directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions
  2. Forgetting to include hours worked per position on the Summary of Experience; forgetting to compute the total hours; not putting it in the format described in the instructions
  3. Not referencing name change on transcripts
  4. Not checking written statement for errors
  5. Not completely answering the questions in the Statement of Purpose
  6. Not submitting all materials prior to the deadline
  7. Not having all references and transcripts submitted by the deadline
  8. Not following-up by logging in to application to verify that references and transcripts have been received by CSU
  9. Sending materials to the School of Social Work rather than uploading them in the application process

Miscellaneous Information

  • Computer skills/requirements/recommendations:
    • Applicants are required to have a working knowledge of computer word processing, preferably in a Windows® environment.
    • Students are required to have access to e-mail correspondence.
    • A personal computer is strongly recommended.
  • International applicants:
    • Applications from international students are accepted provided they meet all admission requirements plus those regulations established by the university for foreign students.
    • English proficiency requirements:
      • TOEFL - minimum score of 550 (paper test), 213 (computer-based test) or 80 (Internet)
      • IELTS - minimum score of 6.5
    • The requirements also include proof of financial backing for the duration of the program.

Please contact MSW Program Coordinator Timothy Frank with any questions about the application process. He can be reached at timothy.frank@colostate.edu or (970) 491-2536.