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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

Sustainable Development & Global Practice

Humans need an ecological understanding of their place in the natural environment to promote personal health and well-being, environmental awareness, sense of belonging in a community, sustainability, resilience and advocacy. Students will develop practice behaviors in assessment, community engagement, education, health promotion, mobilization, organizing, poverty reduction, environmental preservation and capacity building strategies. Students in the Sustainable Development and Global Practice concentration will learn about local and global policies and laws relevant to humane treatment of human and animals, human security, sustainable development strategies in countries emerging from conflict, conservation of nature, biodiversity and sustainability, land use, and water use.

Courses and field internships will be guided by the principles of human rights, global justice, and sustainability and will address complex social and economic development, reconciliation and restorative justice, implementation of sustainable development strategies in countries emerging from conflict, conservation of nature, and biodiversity issues to support the systemic interconnections of human-animal and ecosystem health using practice-informed environmental health and capacity-building strategies.

Students learn to partner effectively with families, communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and institutions by developing competencies in assessment, community engagement, education, health promotion, mobilization, environmental preservation, organizing and developing strategies to reduce poverty and build capacity.

The minimum credits required for the MSW degree is 90 (60 for advanced standing students). In addition to the courses listed below, students may also take courses from other concentration areas or up to 10 credits of coursework (with the approval of the advisor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) from other DU graduate programs to fulfill elective requirements.


Required Recommended
Theory for
(3 credits required)
SOWK 4360 – Social-Ecological Resilience and One Health and Resiliency: Connecting Human and Environmental Wellbeing SOWK 4370 – Community and Organizational Change: Theory for Practice
SOWK 4375 – Economic Theory for Social Work
(9 credits required)
SOWK 4465 – Human Security: Intervention Strategies for Economic and Social Development
SOWK 4565 – Social and Environmental Impact Assessments
At least 1 additional course from this list →
SOWK 4530 – Poverty and Community Economic Development
SOWK 4535 – Planning & Program Development
SOWK 4760 – Resource Development & Fundraising
SOWK 4765 – International Social Development

Policy and 
Social and 
(3 credits required)

SOWK 4635 – Immigration Policies and Services


SOWK 4665 – Global Policies and Programs for Sustainable Development

SOWK 4670 – Policy Analysis and Development

Research (6 credits required)

SOWK 4900 – Methods for Evaluating Practice/Programs
SOWK 4901 – Applied Practice Evaluation Research
Research courses must be taken in sequence. The research will be conducted in the student's field placement.
Values for 
Practice (minimum three credits)
SOWK 4759 – Global Cultural Perspectives: Consensus and Conundrums SOWK 4232 – Critical Race Praxis
SOWK 4235 – Disproportionality & Disparity Across Systems
SOWK 4240 – Intergenerational Justice
SOWK 4732 – Disrupting Privilege and Anti-Oppressive Practice
SOWK 4751 – Global Relations & Poverty in Mexico
SOWK 4753 – Social Development in Latin America
SOWK 4749 – Social Work Interventions with Latinos/as
SOWK 4758 – Conservation SW in Kenya: Context, Empowerment, Sustainability
SOWK 4759 – Global Cultural Perspectives: Consensus & Conundrums
SOWK 4762 – Bosnia in Transition: The Social Work Response
SOWK 4764 – Historical Trauma
SOWK 4790 – Human Sexuality
SOWK 4890 – Contemporary Global Issues
SOWK 4971 – Gender and Feminisms in SW Practice
SOWK 4971 – Cultural Connectedness: A Journey into Native American Country
SOWK 4971 – Disability Studies
SOWK 4971 – Spirituality & Social Work Practice
SOWK 4990 – Special Topics (as approved, titles vary)
(15-18 credits)
SOWK 4970-Concentration Field Internship
Appropriate internships are chosen in consultation with the Field Team.
(1 credit) 
SOWK 4999 – Capstone
Required in final quarter of program

Note: Most courses are 3 credits, unless otherwise indicated on the course schedule.