Choose the Best Online Advanced Standing MSW Program for You 2021

If you already have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) within the past decade, you may be eligible to earn a master’s in social work (MSW) over a reduced time period compared with a traditional MSW. These accredited online MSW programs offer advanced standing curriculums, so you can become a licensed social worker at the master level in as little as a year, from the flexibility of your home.

Accredited Online Advanced Standing MSW Programs  

Accredited Online Advanced Standing MSW Programs
University Location Length Enrollment Options
Scroll to Adelphi University Garden City, NY 15 months Part time
Scroll to Baylor University
Sponsored Program
Waco, TX As few as 12 months Full time or part time
Scroll to Boise State University Boise, ID 2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Boston University Boston, MA 2 years Part time
Scroll to Campbellsville University Campbellsville, KY 2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Case Western Reserve University
Sponsored Program
Cleveland, OH As few as a year and a half Part time
Scroll to The Catholic University of America Washington D.C.  2 years Full time
Scroll to Columbia University New York, NY 1 year Full time
Scroll to Delaware State University Dover, DE 2 semesters Full time
Scroll to Edinboro University Edinboro, PA 15 months Full time
Scroll to Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 1 year  Full time or part time
Scroll to Fordham University
Sponsored Program
New York, NY As few as 8 months full time or 16 months part time Full time or part time
Scroll to Humboldt State University Arcata, CA 2 years Part time
Scroll to Indiana University Bloomington, IN 1.5 – 2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Jackson State University Jackson, MS 1 year Full time
Scroll to Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA 1 year Full time or part time
Scroll to Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL 10 months – 2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Metropolitan State University of Denver Denver, Co 1-2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Missouri State University Springfield, MO 3-6 semesters Full time or part time
Scroll to Morgan State University Baltimore, MD 1 year Full time
Scroll to Ohio University Athens, OH 2 years Part time
Scroll to Ohio State University Columbus, OH 1-2 years  Full time or part time
Scroll to Our Lady of the Lake University San Antonio, TX 12-20 months Full time or part time
Scroll to Portland State University Portland, OR 1.5 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ 1-2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Salisbury University Salisbury, MD 1-2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Samford University Birmingham, AL 2-4 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Simmons University
Sponsored Program
Boston, MA As few as 16 months Full time or part time
Scroll to Stephen F. Austin State University Nacogdoches, TX 10 months-2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Texas State University, San Marcos San Marcos, TX 2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Texas A&M University, Commerce Commerce, TX 1-2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Tulane University New Orleans, LA 1-2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY 1.5 years Part time
Scroll to University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR 1 year Full time
Scroll to University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 1-1.5 years Full time
Scroll to University of Alaska, Anchorage Anchorage, AK 1-2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to University of Central Florida Orlando, FL 16 months  Part time
Scroll to University of Denver
Sponsored Program
Denver, CO As few as 18 months Full time or part time
Scroll to University of Houston Houston, TX 2 years Part time
Scroll to University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL 2 years Part time
Scroll to University of Iowa Iowa City, IA 1-3 years Full time or part time
Scroll to University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 1-2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to University of Louisville Louisville, KY 1-2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to University of Missouri Columbia, MO 2 years Part time
Scroll to University of Nevada, Reno Reno, NV 15 months Full time or part time
Scroll to University of New England Biddeford, ME 1 year Full time
Scroll to University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND 1-3 years Full time or part time
Scroll to University of Northern Iowa Cedar City, IA 1-2 years Part time
Scroll to University of South Florida Tampa, FL 1-2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to University of Tennessee, Knoxville Knoxville, TN 1-2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Edinburg, TX 1 year Full time or part time
Scroll to University of Southern California
Sponsored Program
Los Angeles, CA As few as 12 months Full time or part time
Scroll to West Virginia University Morgantown, WV 2 years Part time
Scroll to Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY 1-2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Western New Mexico University Silver City, NM 1-1.5 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Widener University Chester, PA 2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Winthrop University Rock Hill, SC 2 years Full time or part time
Scroll to Yeshiva University New York, NY 1.5-3 years Full time or part time

Adelphi University

Garden City, NY

Adelphi’s online advanced standing Master of Social Work program can be obtained in as little as 15 months, and includes both remote instruction and twice-yearly in-person intensive instruction. Since it is close to New York City, Adelphi is able to find field placements in the biggest metropolitan region in the country; for students who are not in New York, Adelphi also works to find field placements for students in their local area of study.
Program Name: Advanced Standing Online Master of Social Work
Enrollment Options: Part Time
Coursework Credits: 32 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 600 Hours
Length of Program: 15 Months
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program obtained within the last five years
  • GPA of at least 3.0 in all undergraduate social work classes
  • Two professional letters of recommendation
  • Experience in human services is preferred (paid or volunteer)
  • Ability to abide by the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics

Baylor University – Sponsored Program

Waco, TX

Students in the Master of Social Work (MSW) online program from Baylor University will be educated and empowered to become compassionate social workers attuned to cultural and societal needs. With a deep commitment to the social work profession’s values of service, justice, and human relationships, MSW@Baylor prepares students to lead lasting change for individuals, families, and communities. MSW@Baylor believes your calling to pursue an MSW transcends career goals—it’s a calling to make a difference in people’s lives locally and globally through service, empathy, and action. The MSW online program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and can be completed in as few as 12 months. Baylor is now accepting applications, and GRE scores are not required to apply.
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 32 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 550 Hours
Length of Program: As few as 12 months
Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a Council on Social Work Education–accredited program at a regionally accredited college or university and have graduated within the past five years
  • A 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Essays demonstrating effective communication and critical thinking skills
  • High-quality letters of recommendation, written by academic and professional references who can speak directly about your preparation for graduate school
  • MSW@Baylor takes a holistic approach to the admissions process and carefully reviews each individual application.

Boise State University

Boise, ID

Boise State University offers an online MSW advanced standing program with a focus on direct practice with individuals and families. The advanced standing MSW program requires applicants to have earned a BSW within the last seven years from a CSWE-accredited program or within the last 10 years with post-BSW practice experience. Students will enroll in coursework such as statistics for social work, program leadership, and advanced practicum seminars.
Program Name: Master of Social Work (MSW) Online
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 37 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 600 Hours
Length of Program: 2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher during the last two years of earning your BSW or an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Practical experience in the social services field (paid or volunteer)
  • A personal essay
  • Recommendation letters 
  • A background check and, if there is criminal history, a sufficient explanation 
  • Ability to abide by the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics

Boston University

Boston, MA

The advanced standing online Master of Social Work program at Boston University is open to applicants who have earned a BSW within the last six years with the ability to transfer 22-25 credit hours. BU offers two focuses for advanced standing students: clinical and macro. A research waiver exam is offered for three credits toward your degree if passed.
Program Name: Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing Program
Enrollment Options: Part Time
Coursework Credits: 43 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 1,000 Hours
Length of Program: 2 Years 
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW obtained from a CSWE-accredited program in the past six years
  • A minimum undergraduate cumulative academic average of 3.0
  • Approved field evaluation
  • Personal statement 
  • Current resume or CV
  • Three references
  • Transcripts 

Campbellsville University

Campbellsville, KY

Campbellsville University claims its curriculum is “rooted in ethical and Christian ideals along with trauma-informed practice.” The online advanced standing MSW degree program is for students who have earned their BSW from an CSWE-accredited school and trains you to work at the individual, family, group, community and global levels of practice. Psychopathology, practice with families and groups, leadership skills and ethical practice are among the topics taught in the program. 
Program Name: Master of Social Work—Online MSW
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 60 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 450 Hours
Length of Program: 2 Years (Full Time)
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from an CSWE-accredited school
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 with no Ds, Fs or Us
  • Transcripts 
  • Three recommendations

Case Western Reserve University – Sponsored Program

Cleveland, OH

Earn your Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) online at Case Western Reserve University, ranked the No. 9 best school of social work in 2019 by U.S. News & World Report. This degree is equivalent to an MSW, and our curriculum will prepare you to lead social change. Paths of study are available in Children, Youth and Families; Mental Health with Adults; and Community Practice for Social Change. A bachelor’s degree is required to apply.
Coursework Credits: Up to 21 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 500 Hours
Length of Program: As few as a year and a half
Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a CSWE-accredited institution, earned within the last seven years
  • Online application External link 
  • A current resume/CV highlighting paid and volunteer work experience
  • Transcripts from all previously attended institutions
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A two-part essay
  • Essays (Description of your previous field education experience)

The Catholic University of America

Washington, D.C.

The Catholic University of America offers an advanced standing online MSW program that prepares students to pass the Licensed Graduate Social Work (LGSW) exam. Those accepted into the advanced standing program must take an online transition course during their first semester that aims to prepare you for graduate school, strengthen your social work expertise and create a community among advanced standing students.
Program Name: Online MSW Program – Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Full Time
Coursework Credits: 30 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 600 Hours
Length of Program: 2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited school
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 in all undergraduate social work courses and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 in all courses applied toward the BSW
  • An undergraduate generalist field practicum and a letter of reference from either the undergraduate program’s Field Office Director or the student’s field instructor; you may substitute a final field practicum for the letter of reference
  • Three reference letters 

Columbia University

New York, NY

The only Ivy League school with a fully online social work master’s program, Columbia permits advanced standing students to transfer up to 27 credits and earn their MSW in one year. You must complete 33 credits total―21 in coursework and 12 in the field. All advanced standing students must begin their studies with an intensive four-week program beginning in late July/early August.
Program Name: Online MSW Program – Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Full Time
Coursework Credits: 33 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 600 Hours
Length of Program: 1 Year
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW obtained from a CSWE-accredited school within the past five years
  • Field work evaluation
  • Resume
  • Three essays
  • Three letters of reference
  • Transcripts
  • List of BSW Courses

Delaware State University

Dover, DE

The only accredited MSW program in the state of Delaware, this historically Black public college teaches from “within the context of a Black perspective for social work practice,” according to its program goals. This MSW program here offers one concentration—advanced generalist practice—and graduates are prepared for advanced practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Advanced standing students may receive up to 28 credits toward their MSW degree.
Program Name: MSW Program – Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Full Time
Coursework Credits: 30 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 500 Hours
Length of Program: 2 Semesters 
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW obtained from a CSWE-accredited school within the past five years
  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and a grade of B or better in all social work practices courses during undergraduate education
  • Transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Advanced standing students must take an summer seminar and pass with a B or better to continue in the advanced standing program

Edinboro University

Edinboro, PA

Students in Edinboro University’s advanced standing MSW program may receive up to 27 credits for previously taken courses, as long as the applicant received at least a B in said courses and earned their BSW within the last five years from a program accredited by the CSWE. According to the university’s MSW program handbook, students will learn about the “intersectionality of policy practice, diversity, trauma history, family dynamics, and human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.”
Program Name: MSW – Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Full Time
Coursework Credits: 30 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 500 Hours
Length of Program: 15 Months
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW obtained from a CSWE-accredited school within the past five years
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.0
  • Two letters of reference
  • Resume
  • Letters of reference

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Students holding a BSW from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work may be able to enter the advanced standing Master of Social Work program at Florida State and complete the MSW in one year. Students must choose between two concentrations: the Clinical Social Work Concentration or the Social Leadership Concentration. You have seven years to complete the MSW at FSU.
Program Name: Advanced Standing MSW Program
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 39 Credits
Field Internship Hours:  512 Hours
Length of Program: 1 Year
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited school
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume
  • Letters of recommendation

Fordham University – Sponsored Program

New York, NY

OnlineMSW@Fordham is the online Master of Social Work program from the top-ranked Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Designed for aspiring practitioners who want to help individuals and communities thrive, the program offers an integrated, future-focused curriculum with four inter-professional competency areas: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy.
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 33 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 500 Hours*
Length of Program: As few as eight months full time or 16 months part time
Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or completed one year of coursework through anåother CSWE-accredited MSW program
  • 3.0 GPA from their BSW or one year of coursework through another MSW program
  • Online application
  • Essay
  • Transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Current resume/CV

*The number of total field internship hours is subject to change.

Humboldt State University

Arcata, CA

The MSW program at Humboldt State prepares students for advanced generalist practice and emphasizes working in rural and indigenous communities. Online advanced standing students can earn their MSW in two years going part time. Students must live in California while they are in the online advanced standing social work program.
Program Name: Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW)
Enrollment Options: Part Time
Coursework Credits: 43.5 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 480 Hours
Length of Program: 2 Years 
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited school within the last five years
  • GPA of 3.5 or better and a grade of B or better in all social work courses
  • Personal statement
  • California residency while enrolled in the online program

Indiana University

Bloomington, IN

This advanced generalist program can be completed in 1.5 years (full time) or two years (part time). Electives include courses on e-social work practices, community and global theory and practice, and assessment in mental health and addictions. Graduates from the MSW program are prepared to advocate for social, racial and economic justice and to work at a rural, urban and global levels. This advanced standing MSW program must be completed within five years.
Program Name: Online Master of Social Work
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 41 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 640 Hours
Length of Program: 1.5-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a program accredited by CSWE within the past five years; OR BSW from a program accredited by CSWE within the past 10 years and have social work practice experience or maintained licensure during the past five years
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in final 60 credit hours
  • References

Jackson State University

Jackson, MS

This historically Black university has offered an accredited social work program since 1998, and advanced standing students can finish their MSW in one year. This is the first online MSW program in the state of Mississippi. Graduates are prepared to work with children, youth and families in both urban and rural areas.
Program Name: Master of Social Work Program
Enrollment Options: Full Time
Coursework Credits: 30 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 225 Hours
Length of Program: 1 Year
Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a social work program accredited by CSWE
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and a grade of B or better in all social work courses
  • Volunteer or work experience in social work
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation

Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, LA

Online advanced standing MSW students at LSU are required to complete a course in Differential Diagnosis (3 hours) prior to beginning the rest of their coursework. The online advanced standing program is asynchronous, meaning you do the coursework at your own pace with deadlines to guide you. No international students are accepted into this program.

Program Name: MSW Online – Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 33 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 480 Hours
Length of Program: 1 Year
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from program accredited by CSWE within past five years
  • A grade of B or better in all social work courses
  • GPA of at least 3.00 on all undergraduate work or in the final 60 credit hours

Loyola University Chicago

Chicago, IL

Students in Loyola’s online advanced standing MSW can pursue a number of electives and specialty areas, including Social Policy and Practice with Families and Children; Clinical Practice in Addictions; Program Management and Development Practice; and Philanthropy, Public Policy, and Community Change. You can complete the program in 10 months if you go full time or two years if you go part time.
Program Name: Advanced Standing Master of Social Work (MSW)
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 28 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 720 Hours
Length of Program: 10 Months-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a social work program accredited by CSWE within the last five years
  • Official transcripts
  • Two professional references
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Denver, CO

The online advanced standing MSW program at Metropolitan State University of Denver begins in summer and can be completed in a full- or part-time program. Pathways (or specializations) are available in: Children and Families; Mental Health; Leadership and Management; School Social Work; Gerontological Social Work; Social Work in Health Care; and Children and Youth. 
Program Name: Advanced Standing Master of Social Work Program
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 36 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 600 Hours
Length of Program: 1-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a social work program accredited by CSWE within the last six years
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Admissions essay
  • Official transcripts

Missouri State University

Springfield, MO

Missouri State’s online advanced standing MSW program is offered in full- and part-time formats. The full-time program can be completed in three semesters, while the part-time program can be completed in six semesters. Each consists of 34 credits that provide an advanced generalist education. 
Program Name: MSW Advanced Standing Online Degree
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 34 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 525 Hours
Length of Program: 3-6 Semesters
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last seven years
  • Cannot have more than one C and cannot have grades below C in social work courses
  • Successful completion of statistics and/or research design course with a grade of C or better
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume
  • Personal statement essays
  • Letters of reference

Morgan State University

Baltimore, MD

Morgan State University’s online MSW emphasizes improving the lives of individuals living in urban cities. It focuses on mental health problems, substance abuse, violence, discrumination and other pertinent topics. The advanced standing program consists of 30 credits and can be completed in one year.
Program Name: Online MSW Program – Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Full Time
Coursework Credits: 30 Credits
Field Internship Hours:  624 Hours
Length of Program: 1 Year
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last five years
  • 3.0 GPA and no grades lower than B in social work classes
  • Two recommendations forms (one from the chair of your BSW program and the other from someone involved in your BSW field education)
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendations
  • Personal background statement
  • Resume
  • Interview may be required

Ohio University

Athens, OH

Ohio University’s online advanced standing MSW consists of 10 courses and 36 credits. It can be completed in as few as two years. The program focuses on assisting those in rural areas. 
Program Name: Online Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing Program
Enrollment Options: Part Time
Coursework Credits: 36 Credits
Field Internship Hours: n/a
Length of Program: 2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last five years
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • B or higher in social work courses
  • Essay
  • Resume
  • Three letters of reference
  • Field evaluation
  • One reference from field instructor

Ohio State University

Columbus, OH

Ohio State University offers an MSW advanced standing program on campus and online. The 43-credit program can be completed in one year full time (three semesters) or two years part time (6 semesters). Online students can choose an area of emphasis in aging and health, mental health and substance misuse, or child and youth services.
Program Name: Advanced Standing Alternative Plan (ASAP) MSW
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 43 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 672 Hours
Length of Program: 1-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last five years
  • 3.0 undergraduate GPA 
  • B or higher in all necessary social work classes
  • Successful field practicum completion
  • 10 semester hours or 15 quarter hours in social science coursework
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least one from a field advisor)
  • Personal statement
  • Case study response

Our Lady of the Lake University

San Antonio, TX

Our Lady of the Lake University’s online MSW advanced standing program can be completed in 12 to 20 months. OLLU prides itself in preparing students to work with the Hispanic community. Course topics cover psychopathology, Hispanic children and families, social work with Hispanic youth, social work with Hispanic elders, and more.
Program Name: Online Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing Program
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 30 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 500 Hours
Length of Program: 12-20 Months
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program
  • 3.0 GPA in undergraduate coursework and social work coursework
  • Resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendations (at least one from a school professor) and a completed Letter of Recommendation (LOR) forms for each 
  • Personal statement

Portland State University

Portland, OR

Portland State University offers an advanced standing MSW program in Portland, Southern Oregon, Central Oregon, Eugene, Salem or online. Online students enroll in seven to 13 credits per for four to five terms. Students can also choose an advanced concentration in Practice and Leadership with Communities and Organizations (PLCO) or Health Across the Lifespan (HAL).
Program Name: MSW Advanced Standing – Online
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 46 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 500 Hours
Length of Program: 1+ years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last five years
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least one speaking to your academic readiness and preferably from a BSW faculty member)
  • BSW field evaluation
  • 3.0 GPA in BSW coursework preferred
  • 2,000 hours of paid or unpaid human service experience preferred
  • A three to four page statement of purpose

Rutgers University

New Brunswick, NJ

Students can earn an advanced standing MSW through Rutgers’ 100% online program or intensive weekend program. The intensive weekend program has a hybrid format and meets in-person one weekend per month. Each program consists of 39 credits. 
Program Name: MSW Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 39 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 885 Hours
Length of Program: 1-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program 
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Prerequisite statistics course
  • Competency in BSW courses
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • BSW field placement evaluation

Salisbury University

Salisbury, MD

The mission of Salisbury’s MSW program is “to inspire and educate competent and culturally responsive social work professionals to be prepared for advanced direct practice with individuals, families, groups and organizations in local, regional, national and global arenas.” The regular MSW program consists of 62 credits, while the advanced standing MSW program consists of 32 credits—24 credits from classwork and 8 credits from fieldwork. 
Program Name: Advanced Standing MSW Program
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 32 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 672 Hours
Length of Program: 1-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last three years
  • At least 24 hours of liberal arts education with a minimum of one course in sociology, psychology and introductory statistics
  • Minimum 3.2 GPA on social work and prerequisite courses and 3.0 GPA for last 120 bachelor credits
  • One letter of recommendation from the field liaison who taught your last field education course
  • Three supplemental letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Personal statement
  • Final evaluation from BSW field experience

Samford University 

Birmingham, AL

Samford University offers an in-person and online advanced standing MSW program with a Chrisian focus. Each consists of 33 credit hours and covers topics such as faith perspectives in social work, clinical social work theories and psychopathology. You can complete this program full time in one year or part time in two years.
Program Name: Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 33 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 500 Hours
Length of Program: 1-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA, or 3.2 minimum GPA during last 60 hours of undergraduate courses
  • B- or better in all social work undergraduate courses
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Successful completion of a statistics course with a C or better
  • Academic writing sample
  • Personal statement
  • Field evaluation from your BSW program

Simmons University – Sponsored Program

Boston, MA

SocialWork@Simmons is an innovative, online Master of Social Work (MSW) program offered through the Simmons School of Social Work, the nation’s first school of clinical social work. The program combines live classes taught by renowned SSW faculty, internships in or near students’ own communities, and the same rigorous curriculum as the on-campus MSW program to prepare students for direct practice with diverse populations.
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 37 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 1,000 Hours
Length of Program: As few as 16 months
Admission Requirements:

  • A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a college or university that is regionally accredited and accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • A grade of B (3.3) or better in each of their BSW courses
  • An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of professional and educational intent and an advanced standing essay
  • Copy of the applicant’s most recent BSW field placement evaluation

Stephen F. Austin State University

Nacogdoches, TX

SFASU’s advanced standing MSW program can be completed online as of the summer of 2020. A minimum of 35 credits are required to complete the advanced standing program. The program curriculum covers generalist and specialized practice topics. 
Program Name: MSW Program – Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 38 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 500 Hours
Length of Program: 10 Months-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program
  • 2.5 cumulative undergraduate GPA
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in last 60 credits of undergraduate courses
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of reference
  • Statement of social work interest
  • Supplemental MSW program application

Texas State University, San Marcos

San Marcos, TX

Texas State University, San Marcos offers an advanced standing MSW program both on campus and online. The program can be completed within two years. Courses cover topics such as social justice and policy, advanced assessment, advanced intervention and leadership in social organization. 
Program Name: MSW Advanced Standing Track
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 36 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 540 Hours
Length of Program: 2 years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last 10 years
  • Department application
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of purpose
  • Interview
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in last 60 hours of undergraduate courses
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in last two years of study
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in social work undergraduate courses

Texas A&M University, Commerce

Commerce, TX

Texas A&M University, Commerce’s MSW program is offered in-person and online. The advanced standing program can be completed in one year full time or two years part time. Course topics include generalist practice, clinical practice in mental health, social justice, and social work administration. 
Program Name: MSW Advanced Generalist Practice
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 36 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 640 Hours
Length of Program: 1-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program within the last 6 years
  • Minimum 3.0 overall GPA or 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work
  • Official transcripts
  • Three references
  • Resume or CV
  • Liberal arts background
  • Professional narrative statement
  • GRE is not required

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA

Students can enroll in Tulane University’s online advanced standing MSW program full- or part-time. 

The program can be completed in as little as 12 months and offers two additional certificates: the Disaster and Collective Trauma certificate and the Mental Health, Addictions, and Family certificate.
Program Name: Online Advanced Standing MSW
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 44 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 316 Hours per Semester (for full-time students) or 158 Hours per Semester (for part-time students)
Length of Program: 1-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW earned within the last 5 years
  • Minimum 3.3 cumulative GPA
  • 3.0 GPA in undergraduate social work classes
  • B+ average or better in field practicum
  • Final Field Evaluation from BSW to Tulane’s Field Placement Office
  • Personal essay
  • Resume
  • Official  transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR

The University of Arkansas’ full-time online advanced standing program allows students to earn an MSW in 12 months. In three semesters you’ll complete all classroom and field requirements. The program helps arrange field internships close to your home location, wherever you may be. 
Program Name: Online Advanced Standing Program
Enrollment Options: Full Time
Coursework Credits: 39 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 900 hours
Length of Program: 1 Year
Admission Requirements:

  • Admission to the University of Arkansas Graduate School
  • BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited program within the last six years (check school’s website for exceptions)
  • 3.0 undergraduate GPA for the final 60 hours of first bachelor’s degree; if your GPA is lower than 3.0, you must complete the GRE or MAT
  • If you have a master’s degree, your GPA may be considered (check school’s MSW admission requirements for details)
  • Personal statement
  • Social needs paper
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Successful completion of a foundational statistics course and demonstration of computer literacy 
  • Interview might be required

University at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY

This part-time online advanced standing MSW integrates trauma-informed and human rights perspectives. In this program, you’re required to take at least one advanced interventions course, two advanced topic analysis courses and two elective courses of your choosing. 
Program Name: Online Advanced Standing MSW
Enrollment Options: Part Time
Coursework Credits: 35 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 480 Hours
Length of Program: 1.5 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited institution
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 
  • Minimum B- average in all undergraduate social work courses
  • At least 24 undergraduate credits in liberal arts coursework
  • Prerequisite undergraduate course in human biology
  • Three professional references
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement essay

University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL

The University of Alabama’s advanced standing MSW cohorts begin in January and late May or early June each year. Most coursework is completed online, though skills labs are periodically held on Saturday’s at locations across Alabama, as well as in Jackson, MI, and Atlanta, GA.
Program Name: Advanced Standing Program
Enrollment Options: Full Time
Coursework Credits: 42 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 500 Hours
Length of Program: 1-1.5 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited school
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 or minimum GPA of 3.0 for the last 60 hours of coursework 
  • Applicants can be considered for admission if they meet the GPA requirement or admissions test score requirement; if admitted, permission to continue is contingent on earning at least a 3.0 GPA at the end of the first 12 graduate credit hours 
  • At least a B average in social work courses 

University of Alaska, Anchorage

Anchorage, AK

The mission of the University of Alaska, Anchorage’s Master of Social Work program is “to prepare advanced generalist social workers who address health and social issues in Alaska.” UAA offers three MSW program options: a full-time, part-time, and advanced placement program for those with a BSW from a CSWE-accredited program. Advanced placement students can complete the program part time or full time.
Program Name: MSW Advanced Placement Program
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 31 credits
Field Internship Hours: 480 Hours
Length of Program: 1-2 years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • 3.0 undergraduate GPA
  • 3.5 GPA in core courses from BSW program 
  • A or equivalent in all field courses
  • Successful completion of two prerequisite courses in human biology and statistics
  • Professional resume
  • Personal statement
  • Writing sample
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Official transcripts

University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL

University of Central Florida’s online MSW advanced standing part-time program can be completed in 16 months. The program uses a cohort learning model that begins in the fall each year and lasts for a four-semester period. Students complete 32 credits hours; 18 in core and clinical specialization courses, 6 in elective courses, and 8 in field experience. 
Program Name: Online MSW Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Part Time
Coursework Credits: 32 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 600
Length of Program: 16 Months
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program within the last 6 years
  • Completion of one course in each of the following areas (with a C or higher): humanities, physical and biological sciences, mathematics, and social sciences
  • Official transcripts
  • Current resume
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Professional statement
  • Writing sample

University of Denver – Sponsored Program

Denver, CO

The Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) at the University of Denver offers a 54-credit online program that can be completed in as few as 18 months—the advanced standing Master of Social Work (MSW)—to students who have earned a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a regionally accredited school at any point in time. Advanced standing online MSW students will bypass the foundational coursework already completed during their BSW and choose from one of two concentrations—Mental Health and Trauma or Health, Equity and Wellness.
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 54 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 500 Hours
Length of Program: As few as 18 months 
Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a regionally accredited college or university at any point in time
  • Undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale (a 3.0 GPA is preferred; however, if your GPA is lower than 3.0, the admission committee is likely to look at your last 60 or 90 undergraduate credits)
  • Online application
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Resume
  • Career Goals Statement

Learn more about the online Master of Social Work program at the University of Denver.

University of Houston

Houston, TX

This online MSW is offered in an advanced standing, cohort format that can be completed in two years. Students are assigned to a cohort and take online classes with those individuals throughout the program. Discussion boards and firm deadlines are part of this program.
Program Name: MSW Online – Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Part Time
Coursework Credits: 38 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 500 Hours
Length of Program: 2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Three letters of recommendation (it’s recommended that at least two are from people in your BSW program)
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • GRE scores are not required
  • For international applicants, English proficiency shown through TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo Scores 

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Urbana, IL

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign offers a hybrid and 100% online iMSW program. The 100% online option has a Leadership and Social Change concentration. In addition to online courses, the iMSW Hybrid Option (Advanced Clinical) features in-person weekend sessions at the Urbana campus or at the Illini Center in Chicago.
Program Name: iMSW Online Program – Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Part Time
Coursework Credits: 44 credits
Field Internship Hours: 500
Length of Program: 2 years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last seven years
  • Personal qualities ideal for the social work profession
  • 3.0 minimum GPA for the last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours
  • Paid or unpaid experience in human services
  • 20 hours of coursework in social and behavioral sciences, humanities, and biological sciences
  • GRE is not required
  • Three letters of reference
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • Unofficial and official transcripts

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

The University of Iowa offers advanced standing and accelerated advanced standing program options. Students in their online MSW program are part of a cohort learning group that has both synchronous and asynchronous classes. The next cohort starts in the summer of 2022.
Program Name: Online MSW Program
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 41-48 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 700
Length of Program: 1-3 years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program within the last five years
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.5 in social work programs
  • Can commit to both evening classes in real time using video conferencing and asynchronous classes in which course work is done independently, adhering to deadlines.
  • Willing to attend required 2- to 3-day Summer Institute in Iowa City and semester meetings with students in your area
  • GRE is not required
  • Official and unofficial transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two essays
  • Three letters of reference
  • Resume

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY

Through UK’s CSWE-accredited online Master of Social Work, you can earn your master’s degree in as little as one year when studying full time. The program explores ethical and effective social work practices that can be applied in many settings. Advanced standing coursework covers topics such as psychopathology, assessment and social welfare policy.
Program Name: Master of Social Work Online – Advanced Standing MSW
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 30 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 600 Hours
Length of Program: 1-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited program, earned within the last seven years
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0, social work GPA of 3.5, or a graduate GPA of 3.0 
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Writing sample
  • Personal statement
  • Official transcripts

University of Louisville

Louisville, KY

The University of Louisville’s advanced standing online MSSW program can be completed in two to four semesters full time or five semesters part time. Courses cover social justice policy, advanced research and various elective topics. The university also offers specializations in alcohol and drug counseling, forensic social work, gerontology, mental health, military social work, and psychosocial oncology. 
Program Name: Online Master of Science in Social Work – Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 30 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 900 Hours
Length of Program: 1-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last seven years
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 recommended and social work GPA of 3.25 preferred
  • Three recommendation forms
  • Official transcripts
  • Two essays
  • Resume
  • Copies of final practicum evaluation
  • GRE not required

University of Missouri

Columbia, MO

Mizzou’s online advanced standing MSW consists of 39 credits—3 credits in a foundation course, 30 credits in concentration courses, and 6 credits in elective courses. Course topics include research, social agency management, policy and advocacy, human behavior, and intervention with individuals and groups. To apply for admission, you must live in Missouri or a contiguous state (Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois).
Program Name: Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Part Time
Coursework Credits: 39 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 680 Hours
Length of Program: 2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • Reside in Missouri or a contiguous state (Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois)
  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 undergraduate hours
  • Successful completion of a statistics course with a C- or better
  • Transcripts 
  • Resume or CV
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement 
  • Copy of your field evaluation

University of Nevada, Reno

Reno, NV

University of Nevada Reno’s online MSW is structured around advanced generalist practice (AGP), which prepares students for a range of careers working with individuals in many professions. The program provides training to prepare students for careers in administration, child welfare, community organizations, corrections, family services, politics, mental health, private practice, schools and more.
Program Name: Online Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing Program
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 32 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 450 Hours
Length of Program: Few as 15 Months
Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from regionally accredited institution and graduation from CSWE-accredited program
  • Prerequisite courses in statistics and research methods 
  • Essays
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • 3.0 GPA or 3.25 GPA in the last 60 hours; B- in each social work course
  • Documentation of strong BSW field experience

University of New England

Biddeford, ME

The UNE online MSW program is a fully accredited CSWE program. Course topics include community practice frameworks, substance abuse, advanced social work practice with families and more. Many electives are offered, from Grant Research & Program Writing to Narrative Therapy.
Program Name: Master of Social Work Advanced Standing Track
Enrollment Options: Full Time
Coursework Credits: 35 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 550 Hours
Length of Program: 1 Year
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last seven years
  • 3.0 minimum GPA preferred
  • Preferred that general undergraduate courses completed with a B or better
  • Experience in human services with MSW supervision
  • Computer skills and access
  • Online application and professional statements in response to accompanying prompts
  • Resume or CV
  • Two recommendation forms
  • Official transcripts

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND

UND’s online master’s degree in social work is tailored for students who work full time. The Online (Distance) Concentration is for students who have BSW from a CSWE-accredited program. Courses cover topics such as social policy, human behavior, and advanced generalist practice with individuals and groups.
Program Name:Master’s in Social Work – Advanced Generalist Program
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 36 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 500 Hours
Length of Program: 1-3 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (or 3.0 in the last two years of undergraduate program)
  • Successful completion of a statistics course with a C or higher
  • Abide by the National Association of Social Worker’s Code of Ethics and the University of North Dakota Code of Student Life
  • Meet English Language Proficiency requirements
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of goals
  • Three academic or professional references

University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls, IA

The goal of UNI’s social work programs is “to develop the social work specialization workforce in under-served areas of Iowa with a focus on individuals who have barriers or challenges with on-campus attendance.” The advanced standing MSW prepares students to work with individuals and groups who have experienced trauma. The program is delivered in a cohort learning format.
Program Name: Advanced Standing MSW
Enrollment Options: Part Time
Coursework Credits: 37 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 500 Hours
Length of Program: 1-2 Years

Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program
  • Minimum GPA of 3.2 in undergraduate coursework or GPA of 3.25 in graduate coursework
  • Resume
  • Professional statement
  • Transcripts
  • Three references
  • GRE is not required

University of South Florida

Tampa, FL

The USF online advanced standing MSW is delivered in a cohort model with weekly webcam classes. Full-time students complete the program in three semesters, while part-time students complete it in five semesters.
Program Name: Online Advanced Standing Master of Social Work
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 35 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 600 Hours
Length of Program: 1-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum B- in social work courses
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least one academic and one professional)
  • Resume
  • Two essays (one 500-word personal statement and one 500-word essay describing a social problem)
  • Official transcripts
  • Liberal arts prerequisites, including 12 liberal arts credits (3 in biology, 3 in social and behavioral sciences, and the remaining in additional social and/or behavioral sciences, humanities and fine arts classes)
  • GRE is not required
  • Interview may be required

University of Southern California – Sponsored Program

Los Angeles, CA

The MSW@USC, the online Master of Social Work from top-ranked USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, is designed for aspiring social work leaders. Students gain clinical skills from in-person field education and will choose a department of study in either adult mental health, children and families, or social change. The Advanced Standing track, available to BSW holders, can be completed in as little as one year. 
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 37 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 790 Hours
Length of Program: As few as 12 months
Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited school of social work earned within the past five years
  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 grading scale)
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in all social work courses
  • Online application
  • Letters of Recommendation from a professor from your BSW program and agency field placement supervisor

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Knoxville, TN

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s online MSSW programs use synchronous and asynchronous class formats. The advanced standing program begins in the summer each year. Students can complete this program full time in 12 months or part time in 18 to 24 months. 
Program Name: MSSW Advanced Standing Program
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 37 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 672 Hours
Length of Program: 1-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last five years
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum of three-fourths of undergraduate in the social sciences, humanities, physical sciences and other liberal arts subjects
  • Liberal arts background with courses in at least four of these areas: economics or math; government, political science, or history; sociology or anthropology; psychology; philosophy, literature, or arts
  • Personal traits acceptable for the social work profession
  • Official transcripts
  • English proficiency scores if English is not your first language
  • Professional statement
  • Three reference forms
  • Resume or CV
  • GRE scores not required

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Edinburg, TX

UTRGV’s online MSSW in Administration and Community Practice prepares students to improve human services within the Latino community. Coursework helps students develop leadership skills and understand characteristics of Latino populations. 
Program Name: MSSW Online – Administration and Community Practice (Advanced Standing)
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 33 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 500 Hours
Length of Program: 1 Year
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • 3.2 GPA or higher in social work courses
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement 
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Successful completion of a basic statistics course

West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV

According to WVU’s website, “The focus of this education is to produce competent and effective practitioners committed to enhancing social well-being and quality of life with particular emphasis on vulnerable and oppressed populations in small towns and rural areas characteristic of the Appalachian region.” In the online advanced standing program, courses are asynchronous. Topics include policy and advocacy, financial management and grant writing, practice with individuals and groups, and organizational leadership. 
Program Name: Online MSW Program Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Part Time
Coursework Credits:  36 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 600
Length of Program: 2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last eight years
  • 2.75 minimum GPA, though 3.0 is preferred
  • 3.25 GPA or better in undergraduate social work courses
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Essay
  • Case study

Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green, KY

WKU’s advanced standing online MSW prepares students to work with individuals, families, communities, groups and organizations. The program can be complete in one to two years, and cohorts begin in the fall. WKU focuses on preparing students for careers in rural areas and small towns throughout Kentucky and neighboring areas. 
Program Name: Master of Social Work Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 33 Credits
Field Internship Hours: N/A
Length of Program: 1-2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last seven years
  • 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework
  • Minimum 30 hours in liberal arts coursework 
  • Successful completion of a statistics course with at least a C grade 
  • Personal statement
  • Writing sample
  • Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation

Western New Mexico University

Silver City, NM

WNMU’s advanced standing MSW can be completed online or on campus. It can also be completed in a year if you study full time. The core curriculum covers topics such as cultural competence, advanced psycho-social approaches, community development and social welfare policy.
Program Name: Master’s of Social Work (Advanced Standing)
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 39 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 450 Hours
Length of Program: 1-1.5 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last eight years
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA from last 64 credit hours
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA from social work courses
  • Official transcripts
  • Five references (at least one from a BSW professor and a BSW field instructor)
  • Personal statement
  • Professional resume

Widener University

Chester, PA

Widener’s online MSW program focuses on the role trauma plays in people’s mental health challenges. The program prepares you to help a wide range of clients overcome trauma in their lives. The advanced standing program can be completed in about two years. 
Program Name: Online Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 41 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 680 Hours
Length of Program: 2 years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program within the last six years
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA; 3.3 GPA in social work courses
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts

Winthrop University

Rock Hill, SC

Winthrop’s online MSW emphasizes empowerment practice to promote the well-being of individuals and communities. The advanced standing program can be completed in as few as two years. By the end of the program, you’ll be prepared to engage, evaluate, and intervene with communities, individuals, families, and groups. 
Program Name: Online Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing Program
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 39 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 672 Hours
Length of Program: 2 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from CSWE-accredited program
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Three professional recommendations
  • Resume
  • Professional narrative statement
  • Official transcripts

Yeshiva University

New York, NY

Yeshiva University’s online advanced standing MSW program can be completed in as few as one and a half years. Core courses cover topics such as generalist social work practice, human behavior, cultural diversity, social welfare, advanced clinical practice with individuals and families, ethics and values, and trauma-focused child welfare. 
Program Name: Advanced Standing MSW
Enrollment Options: Full Time or Part Time
Coursework Credits: 36 Credits
Field Internship Hours: 840 Hours
Length of Program: 1.5-3 Years
Admission Requirements:

  • BSW from a CSWE-accredited program
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Fieldwork evaluation from your BSW program
  • Personal statement
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • No GRE required  

Should I Pursue an Online Advanced Standing MSW?

There are a number of benefits that come with pursuing an online advanced standing MSW program. Ultimately, earning this type of degree could help you meet your career goals. But you also want to make sure that your degree program accommodates your current needs.

Ask yourself questions. Do you have personal or professional commitments to attend to? Does daily travel to and from campus work for you or would you rather complete your coursework from the comfort of your home? Are you looking for the same reputation and credibility of a traditional MSW degree? Is the financial investment worth it?

Take time to weigh the pros and cons of the programs you’re considering before making a decision. Time commitment, accreditation, cost of attendance and career advancement all matter but one or two of these factors might dictate your decision process.

Career Benefits of an Advanced Standing MSW

Employment of all social workers is projected to grow 13% from 2019 to 2029, while job growth among mental health and substance abuse social workers will reach 17%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The demand for mental health and substance abuse social workers in particular is expected to expand over the years. 

To remain relevant in a competitive and fast-growing hiring field, you might decide to earn your graduate degree. Or you may have had your eye on a social worker role that requires applicants to have a graduate degree for consideration, for a while. Once you have completed your advanced standing MSW program, you can begin to search for these types of positions.

Social workers who have earned an MSW from a CSWE-accredited university program qualify to become clinical social workers (CSW) or licensed clinical social workers (LCSW). Titles for these levels of social workers vary by state boards. An MSW also allows social workers to specialize in a specific field of practice. Common areas of specialization include clinical, school, child and family, and gerontological social work. Additionally, qualifying social workers are eligible to apply for certain specialty certifications offered through the National Association of Social Workers.

Online Advanced Standing MSW Student Benefits

One student benefit of pursuing an online advanced standing MSW is saving time. Advanced standing MSW programs are often completed on-campus, online, or in hybrid enrollments. The hybrid models may require students to travel to campus once or twice each semester. An online MSW program builds on prior knowledge obtained in BSW programs.Traditional MSW programs can take up to three years to complete. Advanced MSW programs typically take less time and may allow you to save money too and have a practicum, field placement, or internship requirement.

What to Expect from an Advanced Standing MSW Program

With advanced standing MSW programs you are not obligated to take general course requirements, as they have already been obtained through a BSW program. Students in advanced standing MSW programs engage in upper-level coursework and specialized instruction. The specifics of the program vary by university.

Admissions

The admissions process for advanced standing MSW programs can be incredibly competitive. It’s important for students to have an idea of what the advanced standing MSW program might require and entail.

In order to be eligible for acceptance into the program, students may need to meet the following requirements:

  • Completed a bachelor’s degree from a CSWE-accredited university (within five years for most programs)
  • Meet the program’s minimum GPA requirements (may vary by school but typically 3.0 or higher)
  • Complete a number of perquisite courses prior to application
  • Submit a transcript of undergraduate studies
  • Submit a personal statement and letters of recommendation
  • Pay the program’s application fee

Some advanced MSW programs may require some social work field experience before beginning the program. Be sure to check with your preferred MSW program for more information.

Curriculum

MSW curriculum will vary from school to school but the end goal is the same: to prepare prospective social workers for licensure and create positive change within their communities through their work.

Because advanced standing students enter an MSW program with experience and credits, coursework for these programs are less generalized and more specialized in nature, with most classes falling within these categories: theory, practice, policy, and research.

Advanced standing MSW coursework may include the following, and more:

  • Advanced Standing Seminar
  • Social Work Practice
  • Social Work in Child and Family Settings
  • Social Work and Aging
  • Policy and Programs

Many courses will also offer a practical component, giving students real-world experience. Every school of social work will have different requirements for advanced MSW program graduation. Be sure to check with your preferred program for more information on that.

Structure and Length

Some advanced standing MSW programs can be completed in just a year. Credit requirements for a program will also vary, depending on how many BSW credits can be applied to your MSW. Credit requirements typically range from 30 to 43 credit hours, with the average being 33 credits.

There is also a range of structural learning offered. There are programs that are fully online, while others offer mostly online with some live, in-person sessions. Full time and part time options are also offered with most programs.Students attending classes full time may expect to complete their advanced standing MSW within 12 to 18 months. Many programs hold classes year-round so students can keep earning credit hours as quickly as possible. Part-time students often take a little longer to earn their social work degree. They can expect to finish their degree program within two and a half years, though most complete it in two years.

Field Placement/Internship

Like traditional MSW students, advanced standing students will need to complete a field education component before they are eligible to graduate from the program. This field work requirement must be met under the supervision of a licensed field instructor. Students may expect to complete up to 900 hours of supervised field experience.

For students enrolled in a full-time program, this component is likely to take place in the form of an internship that may last as long as two semesters. These students may work an average of 20 hours per week gaining relevant field experience.

Part-time students may experience a greater variance in field work requirements; these programs tend to deviate in detail more than traditional full-time programs. If this is a path you’re considering, be sure to contact an admissions officer at your school for program specifics.

Advanced Standing MSW Program FAQs

To figure out which type of graduate MSW program is the best fit for you, you may consider the difference between a traditional MSW and advanced standing MSW program, as well as the admissions requirements for each of the degrees.

What is an advanced standing social work program?

Advanced standing social work programs are designed for students who have completed a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited social work program and often within a recent time period (such as the last five years). Compared with a traditional master’s degree in social work, these programs enable students to earn a MSW in a shorter time period and with reduced credit and field work requirements.

How long is an advanced standing MSW program? 

The length of an advanced standing MSW program depends on the school and whether the student is enrolled part time or full time. These programs may take one to two years of concentrated study, including field work.

Can I get an MSW without a BSW?

Yes. A bachelor’s degree in any field of study and from an accredited university may be accepted in order to earn a traditional MSW. However, a BSW is required for admission to CSWE-accredited advanced standing MSW programs.

What is the difference between a traditional and advanced standing MSW program?

Traditional and advanced standing MSW programs have different admissions, curriculum, and field work requirements. Students pursuing admission at advanced standing programs may require a BSW from a CSWE-accredited institution. These students are likely to complete less credits and hours in their field work experience. These BSW students are able to transfer over some of their social work credits and hourly experience into their MSW.

Students in traditional MSW programs take more generalized, core curriculum courses, while students in advanced standing MSW programs enroll in coursework that is specialized, shortening their time to graduation. 

What is the difference between advanced standing and accelerated MSW programs? 

An advanced standing program requires less coursework and field work than a typical MSW program because some of the required courses and field work were already covered by a BSW program. An accelerated social work track may permit students to gain their MSW in a reduced time period, but with the same number of credits as a traditional program. It is often for students who can study full time, taking on a rigorous workload. 

Information on this page was retrieved in September 2020.