Social Work - Advanced Standing - Direct Practice, MSW

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Moment by moment and person by person, social workers improve lives and strengthen communities. Wherever life takes you, this master's degree prepares you, a recent BSW graduate, to thrive in numerous professional settings, including mental health organizations, schools, nonprofits and government agencies.

The advanced standing --- direct practice concentration of the MSW consists of three specializations that prepare students for professional practice with diverse populations in a wide variety of settings. Across all specializations, the curriculum is guided by the social work values that emphasize evidence-based practice, client strengths, social justice and client empowerment. The primary curriculum goal of the Master of Social Work program is to educate advanced social work practitioners who demonstrate the knowledge, skills, values and ethics of the profession and who are competent for specialized practice.

This program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

At A Glance

Social Work - Advanced Standing - Direct Practice, MSW

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Degree requirements

Required Core (3 credit hours)
SWG 510 Foundation Practice I (3) or
SWG 514 Bridge Seminar I (3)

Advanced Direct Practice Concentration (12 credit hours)
SWG 606 Assessment of Mental Disorders (3)
SWG 619 Practice-Oriented Research (3)
SWG 641 Advanced Practicum: Direct Practice I (3)
SWG 642 Advanced Practicum: Direct Practice II (3)

Specialization (6 credit hours)

Restricted Electives (15 to 36 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
SWG 621 Integrative Seminar (3)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students on the 39 credit hour path have an undergraduate Council on Social Work Education accredited BSW in Social Work with a 3.20 Jr/Sr GPA within the last 6 years.

Students on the 51 credit hour path have an undergraduate CSWE accredited BSW in Social Work degree.

The students on the 60 credit hour path have an undergraduate degree that is not directly in social work or community advocacy. Students in this path may need to take foundation coursework as part of their elective coursework to satisfy CSWE requirements. Students should see the academic advisor when selecting courses.

All credit hour path criteria must be approved by the academic unit prior to selection in the iPOS. The academic unit will advise and monitor students to ensure they choose the appropriate coursework. Core course selection will depend on the student's background.

Students select from specializations in:

  • children, youth and families
  • health, behavioral health
  • public child welfare

The amount of restricted elective coursework depends on the credit hour path selected based on the student's background. Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved specialization and elective coursework.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Applicants must have a BSW from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited program with a minimum GPA of 3.20 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last two years of work leading to the Bachelor of Social Work (junior and senior GPA). Applicants must have received their Bachelor of Social Work degree no more than six years prior to the date of admission to the MSW program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work
  3. three letters of reference
  4. professional resume that includes volunteer and paid work experience
  5. statement of educational and career goals
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

A combination of academic and professional references is desirable. References from friends, family members or personal therapists are not accepted. At least one of the three required references must be from the applicant's Bachelor of Social Work field instructor, or if employed in a social work-related job for two or more years, a recommendation from the applicant's supervisor.

Guidelines for writing the statement can be found at

Applicants should see the program website for application deadlines.

For questions about the applications process, students should contact the School of Social Work.

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