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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

Four Corners MSW Program

GSSW's Four Corners MSW Program operates through a unique partnership with the Colorado Department of Human Services, Fort Lewis College, Southwest Colorado Community College and many other Four Corners agencies.

Since 2002, this program—based in Durango, Colorado—has met a need for graduate-level MSW education in the rural and tribal communities of the Four Corners region that includes southwestern Colorado, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Through the program, Four Corners residents can earn the MSW degree in or near their home communities.

The Four Corners MSW offers an Advanced Social Work Practice concentration curriculum with a particular focus on rural and tribal communities, preparing students to work in a variety of practice settings including mental health, integrated health, schools and nonprofit agencies.

Source: DU VideoManager

Program objectives

  • Enhance social service delivery systems.
  • Address community problems and the special needs of rural communities.
  • Address the concerns and needs of multi-ethnic communities, with special emphasis on local Native American communities.
  • Strengthen the professional social work infrastructure of Four Corners communities.

Teaching methods

  • GSSW faculty and local social work professionals teach courses on-site in Durango.
  • We use Interactive TV (ITV) to simulcast and broadcast classes from Denver.
  • We provide online and hybrid courses using Web-based technology.
  • GSSW offers field education internships throughout the Four Corners area.
  • Both you and your instructors have online access to the University of Denver's Penrose Library, part of DU's new Anderson Academic Commons.

Class schedule

The Four Corners program offers a weekend schedule of Friday afternoon and Saturday classes. This allows you to be in your community during the week and also work at your field internship sites.

Social work with Native Peoples

Because 25 percent of Four Corners student enrollment comes from the area's many Native tribes, the program includes a special focus on Native social work. Two specialized courses, both taught by Native faculty, add Native content to the curriculum.

For detailed curriculum requirements, please see the Four Corners Bulletin (PDF).

Applying to the program

GSSW accepts applications for the Four Corners MSW Program until the class is full. Learn about admission requirements and financial aid for prospective Four Corners MSW students.

Learn more

For additional information about the Four Corners MSW Program, please contact Wanda Ellingson, Program Director and Professor of the Practice of Social Work (970-247-9773 or 970-259-4122).

Listen to a KDUR radio interview with the Four Corners program director and assistant director who discuss the program's community partnerships, curriculum, international opportunities and Native course content.