Advanced Standing MSW

The Child Welfare Education Program for full-time MSW students in the Advanced Standing program provides financial support, a specialized curriculum, and a public child welfare field placement to MSW students at ASU.  Students who are accepted into the program receive payment of their in-state tuition and mandatory fees through Title IV-E.  Students who receive this funding sign a contract committing them to work for DCS upon graduation for 24 months. While working at DCS, graduates under contract receive the same rate of pay and benefits as all other DCS employees of their same pay grade and are able to be promoted within the agency when they are eligible. 



  • Must qualify for the ASU Advanced Standing MSW by having a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an accredited university with a 3.20 Jr/Sr GPA within the last 6 years
  • Be a full-time student in the MSW program in good standing
  • Attend the in-person MSW program at the Phoenix or Tucson campus
  • Complete the Child Welfare Specialization Curriculum
  • Complete a field placement at a Child Welfare Education Unit
  • Be willing and able to work full-time for DCS in AZ for 24 months upon graduation with the geographic location being dependent upon the agency's need
  • Meet the essential DCS work requirements
  • Students currently employed by DCS are not eligible for this program while working at DCS. Current DCS employees are encouraged to apply to the part-time MSW program

Employment Eligibility

CWEP students must also be willing and able to work full-time for the Arizona Department of Child Safety upon graduation. Part of the CWEP application will be to determine your DCS employment eligibility which includes but is not limited to:

  • having a valid AZ Department of Public Safety Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card
  • passing a Central Registry background check (which ascertains if the applicant has a substantiated allegation of child abuse or neglect against her/him as a parent/care-giver)
  • passing a criminal record background check
  • having a driving record with fewer than 8 points in the past 39 month period
  • passing a reference check including references from prior employers
  • passing an impromptu writing evaluation (which assesses basic writing skills),
  • passing an interview (which assesses basic competence in skills such as organization, communication, time management, and working with diverse people)

Students in the MSW Child Welfare Education Program receive payment of their in-state tuition (out-of-state students must pay the out-of-state portion) and mandatory student fees (this does not include books, application fees, parking, late fees, graduation fees).  The program will directly pay both the tuition and fees for each semester the student is in the program.  

The program will make these payments a few days before the tuition payment deadline. Students who are receiving financial aid may see that their financial aid is being held for tuition payment. Once the program pays the student's tuition bill, these funds will be released to the student. Please note, receipt of the scholarship may lower your financial need, which in turn could lower your financial aid. In this case, if funds have already been released to you, when the program pays your tuition, you could owe those funds back.  We encourage all students to wait to spend their financial aid until their tuition bill has been paid by the program.  

There is 1 award package available to students in the MSW Advanced Standing Program.

  • Package C (available only to Advanced Standing students) provides in-state, full-time graduate tuition and mandatory fees for the two six-week summer sessions of the Advanced Standing bridge courses and for the following academic year.  Students receiving this package will be in a Child Welfare Education Unit during their concentration year and must be in the Advanced Direct Practice concentration.  Students receiving this package are contracted to work full-time for AZ DCS for a minimum of 24 months after graduation.*

*All students receiving award packages are required to adhere to the Child Welfare Specialization Program of Study while in the Master of Social Work Program and to complete their field placement (Practicums) at a Child Welfare Education Unit.  The only exception is for students who have recent AZ DCS experience as a DCS Specialist.  


All full-time MSW CWEP students are required to follow the Child Welfare Specialization plan of study. Students not enrolled in CWEP are also welcome to be in the Child Welfare Specialization.  To receive information about the Specialization (offered in both the ADP and PAC Concentrations), please contact Lindsey Galvin at (602) 496-0081 or

The Child Welfare Specialization for Advanced Standing students follows the 39 credit MSW curriculum (there are no additional courses required).  The three courses of the Specialization are SWG 608, SWG 609, and SWG 633.  These are taken as electives in the ADP Concentration.  In addition to taking the Specialization courses, Advanced Standing CWEP students must also follow the CWEP curriculum which includes completeing their Concentration year  field placent at a Child Welfare Education Unit.  These units are considered direct practice field placements.  For this reason, Advanced Standing CWEP students must be in the ADP Concentration.  They cannot be in the PAC Concentration.       

Students in the CWEP must follow the CWEP Curriculum which consists of the Child Welfare Specialization and adhereing to the requirements for field placements.  These are detailed in the following documents: 

File Child Welfare Specialization Program of Study.docx

File msw_cwep_full-time_field_education_requirements.docx  

These are the basic requirements:

  1. Adhere to the requirements in the Child Welfare Specialization in the Advanced Direct Practice (ADP) Concentration.  This entails taking the following three courses as eletives:  SWG 608, SWG 609, SWG 633.    
  2. When choosing topics for essays, papers, and projects in all courses, choose those applicable to child welfare.    
  3. Complete their one field placement at a Child Welfare Education Unit, embedded in a Department of Child Safety office.  Students are placed in a unit by the CWEP office, congruent their Award Package.  Note that an exception to this requirement can be made for students who have recent AZ DCS experience as a DCS Specialist. 

Field Placement/Internship

The Child Welfare Education Program coordinates six Child Welfare Education Units (CWEU) which are located within the Department of Child Safety. These units are responsible for both working active Department of Child Safety on-going cases and for the training of students in best practice models. Field placements (internships) are open to all MSW students, providing there is space available. All CWEP students must complete one of their field placements in a CWEU. Five Education Units are located across the Phoenix metro area, and one is in Tucson. 

Advantages of a Field Placement in a Child Welfare Education Unit:

  • An educational curriculum is followed
  • The activities of the unit are geared toward student learning
  • The supervisors and social workers are allotted time to spend with students
  • One-on-one supervision