What is Advanced Standing?
Essentially, advanced standing gives you credit for time served in your Bachelor’s in Social Work program. You have demonstrated an understanding of social work’s basic tenets and are ready to move into the more practical applications of those theories. In some ways, it’s like transferring into the Master’s in Social Work program with half your degree earned already.
What Are the Benefits?
advanced standing saves you time and money and puts you one giant step closer to starting your social work career. Even though you earn your MSW in half the time, your degree is still fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which is something you will definitely want when it comes time for licensure.
How Do I Know if I Qualify?
BSW recipients generally qualify for advanced standing in the MSW program if they meet the following requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree in social work from a program accredited by CSWE that has been earned within the university’s given timeframe (typically 5-7 years).
- Meet your university’s minimum undergraduate GPA requirements – this varies by college but is generally a 3.0 or higher.
- Positive evaluations from your undergraduate field experience – specifics vary by college.
- Some colleges require that you participate in a personal interview.
What Does an advanced standing MSW Program Look Like?
With advanced standing, you skip the generalist requirements and move directly into your upper-level coursework, often in a specific area of concentration (i.e. healthcare, children and family services, addictions, etc.).
Sample Three Semester Program
|Advanced Field Experience||Advanced Field Experience||Advanced Field Experience|
|Social Policy||Addictions (Elective)||Adductive Families (Elective)|
|Individual Therapy Practice||Family Therapy Practice||Group Therapy Practice|
|Advanced Research Methods||Independent Research Thesis|
Sample Two Semester Program
|Micro Practice I||Macro Practice II|
|Social Justice||Social Policy Analysis|
|Resource Development||Elective I|
|Advanced Field Experience||Advanced Field Experience|
Some Things You Might Not Know About advanced standing:
- Be sure to read all the information available on your college’s advanced standing option. Some schools have different application deadlines for students with advanced standing.
- Some universities require that you apply for advanced standing if you hold a BSW.
- Your BSW faculty and field supervisors will get to sing your praises during the application process, so be sure to stay in touch and keep copies of your evaluations.
- Students who earned their BSWs outside the US may have their transcripts evaluated to determine whether they qualify for advanced standing at some universities.
- If your program allows students to select multiple areas of concentration (say you’re interested in both criminal justice and addictions) you can devote the time and money you would have spent on your first year of the MSW program toward additional electives in those areas and still graduate on time.