Online Social Work Programs in Colorado

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 16% employment growth and 109,700 new jobs between 2016-2026 for the social work field. This data signals the need for prospective graduates to fill licensed social worker jobs in Colorado.

For mental health and substance abuse social worker careers, Pueblo, Colorado ranks third in the U.S. for top ten metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs. Child, family, and school social workers in Colorado earn an annual mean wage of $51,060, while healthcare social workers in the state make $52,150 per year.

The overall outlook in the state is promising and can help graduates enter roles with career advancement opportunities and high salaries.

Social Work Programs by Degree Level


Online Bachelor's in Social Work Programs

Online Master's in Social Work Programs


Education and Licensure Requirements for Social Workers in Colorado

Colorado's Department of Regulatory Agencies oversees the Division of Professions and Occupations, which is charged with consumer protection. The Association of Social Work Board (ASWB) regulates and licenses social workers, including the licensed social worker (LSW) and licensed clinical social worker credentials.

Education Requirements

Colorado requires a degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) for social work licensure. This requirement also applies to clinical social workers. For LSW applicants educated outside of the U.S., Colorado accepts equivalencies approved and documented by the CSWE Foreign Equivalency Determination Committee submitted directly to the state's licensing office.

Exam Application Process and Requirements

ASWB administers social work licensing examinations at secure testing centers year round. Passing the ASWB examination — which costs $230 for the master's exam and $260 for the advanced generalist or clinical exam — is required before the application process can begin. The exam tests each candidate's competency to perform safely and ethically.

Additionally, applicants must pass the Colorado Mental Health Profession's jurisprudence examination, administered online for $20 per attempt. The 45-question exam determines the applicant's knowledge of state laws and ethical standards needed to enter social work jobs in Colorado. Supervised experience must total 3,360 hours earned over a minimum two-year period.

Continuing Education and Licensure Renewal

All state-issued social worker licenses expire on August 31 of odd-numbered years. Candidates must submit license renewals through the Board's online portal. The window for renewals opens 4-6 weeks prior to the August expiration date. Note that licenses initially issued before May of an odd-numbered year will expire that August. License renewals incur a $70 processing fee.

Colorado requires 40 professional development hours for license renewal. Candidates cannot hold more than 20 hours in one category. Categories include volunteer service, supervision, and publication, along with typical coursework.


Why Choose an Online Social Work Program in Colorado?

Earning an online social work degree in Colorado is affordable and convenient. Students can earn their master's in social work in as little as 18 months. Field placement — typical for master's degrees — occurs in students' local communities and field liaisons provide guidance and support.

Students may also simultaneously pursue graduate certificates in social work specializations to increase their career and earning potentials. With Colorado's employment projections, students pursuing a master's in social work online can look forward to entering a field with significant growth after graduation.

Ranking Methodology

Here is our list of online social work degree programs in Colorado as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics. We cover online bachelor's in social work, online master's in social work, and online doctorate in social work programs. All programs are regionally and CSWE accredited, and all are available entirely online.


Online Social Work Programs in Colorado

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Serving a student body of more than 24,000, MSU hosts one of the top undergraduate social work programs in Colorado. The school's Bachelor of Science in Social Work emphasizes experiential learning for students of all backgrounds, and MSU Denver's partnerships with over 500 social services agencies around Colorado make it easy for candidates to find internship and practicum sites. The program centers its social work education around values of research, cultural responsiveness, and academic rigor.

Likewise, the school's Master of Social Work trains students to serve client populations in a multicultural society, emphasizing scientific inquiry, ethical decision-making, community organizing, assessment and intervention, and leadership.

MSU Denver also provides ample opportunities for experiential learning, including a significant field experience.


MSU Denver's Bachelor of Science in Social Work

  • Credits and Courses: The program requires 54 major credits and 120 credits total for the bachelor's degree. Courses use a mix of synchronous and asynchronous elements.
  • Completion Time: Full-time students can complete the program in four years. Part-time students may take five years or more depending on course load.
  • Field Education: 480 hours spread over two semesters, equating to about 16 hours of work per week.
  • Transfer Policies: Students may be able to transfer credit from other CSWE-accredited programs with approval.
  • Online Student Support: Students receive access to tutoring, library resources, and academic advising.
  • Cost: $349/credit in-state; $809/credit out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: Applicants under 20 years old must submit SAT or ACT scores.

MSU Denver's Master of Social Work

  • Concentrations: The program offers concentrations in children and families, mental health, and leadership and management.
  • Credits and Courses: The program requires at least 60 credits (36 credits for advanced standing students). Courses use a mix of synchronous and asynchronous elements.
  • Completion Time: Full-time students can complete the program in about two years. Part-time students typically complete the program in about four years.
  • Field Education: 1,080 hours required.
  • Exam Preparation: The program prepares graduates for the ASWB clinical exam.
  • Transfer Policies: Students can transfer up to nine credits from other CSWE-accredited graduate programs, with approval.
  • Online Student Support: MSU Denver offers tutoring, academic advising, and library resources.
  • Cost: $473/credit in-state; $663/credit out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: A minimum 3.0 GPA.

MSU Denver is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). MSU Denver's online social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

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Colorado State University

Offering another of the top social work programs in Colorado, CSU ranks among the largest colleges in the state, serving more than 33,000 students from its campus in Fort Collins. Founded in 1968, CSU's School of Social Work emphasizes economic, environmental, and social justice for communities both local and global.

The program centers its curriculum on principles of applied research, outreach, and exemplary education, preparing graduates to serve as social work leaders who can assess and evaluate social work practice at all levels of engagement.


CSU's Master of Social Work

  • Concentrations: The program offers an advanced generalist studies concentration.
  • Credits and Courses: The program requires at least 64 credits. Courses use a mix of synchronous and asynchronous elements.
  • Completion Time: The program follows a part-time format, which takes three years to complete. Graduates of CSWE-accredited bachelor's programs can enroll in an advanced standing track, which takes two years of part-time enrollment to complete.
  • Field Education: 945 hours required.
  • Other Requirements: Online students must attend two intensive in-person sessions each semester, held in Fort Collins, Boulder, or Denver.
  • Exam Preparation: The program prepares graduates for Colorado social worker licensure.
  • Transfer Policies: Students can transfer credits from CSWE-accredited master's programs with department approval.
  • Online Student Support: The school offers support services including tutoring, technology assistance, library services, and career counseling.
  • Cost: $584/credit in-state; $1,432/credit out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: A minimum 3.0 GPA.

CSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). CSU's online social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

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University of Denver

A private college located just south of downtown Denver, DU offers an assortment of online options, including one of the top social work degree programs in Colorado. DU's Graduate School of Social Work emphasizes progressive ideals, social work knowledge, and social change. The program centers its curriculum and research on the examination of systems, including their impact on individuals, families, and communities.

DU draws direct links between social work theory and practice. Both students and faculty participate in shaping local legislative policy and supporting local social agencies.


DU'S Master of Social Work

  • Concentrations: The program offers concentrations in mental health trauma and health and wellness.
  • Credits and Courses: The program requires 90 credits for general students and 60 credits for advanced-standing students. Courses require synchronous components, but students can choose from set times that fit their schedule.
  • Completion Time: General students can complete the degree in 21-48 months, while advanced standing students can complete the degree in 18-24 months depending on their enrollment status.
  • Field Education: All candidates complete a foundation internship requiring 12 hours per week, and a concentration internship requiring 15 hours per week.
  • Exam Preparation: The program prepares graduates for Colorado social worker licensure.
  • Transfer Policies: Students may transfer credits from CSWE-accredited master's program with department approval
  • Online Student Support: DU offers support services including enrollment counseling, academic advising, internship placement, and career counseling.
  • Cost: $947/credit
  • Admission Requirements: A minimum 3.0 GPA.

DU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). DU online social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

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