An advanced standing MSW program is a quicker and often cheaper option for social work graduate students. It is perfect for those who have completed their bachelor of social work (BSW) and even for those who have worked a few years in the field after becoming a social worker.
Advanced standing students can study at the school of social work at many universities and colleges. There are also fantastic online social work courses, or you can pursue an online BSW and or an online MSW that we will take you through below.
If you are looking for an online master of social work (MSW) that you can finish in as little as 12 months with exciting field placement opportunities, then keep reading.
A master of social work (MSW) degree will train you in clinical social work skills. An MSW usually entails specialization in a particular area of social work. It focuses on the macro and micro aspects of social work practice, whereas in a BSW program, you will do more social work within a community.
An MSW is quite a long master’s degree program compared to the advanced standing option. Many universities now offer advanced standing options for students who wish to take it, so let’s look at what an advanced standing MSW is overall.
What Is an Advanced Standing MSW
Advanced standing is also a graduate program for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work. Your bachelor’s degree should be from a university with a CSWE (Council of Social Work Education) accredited program. Advanced standing MSW programs take less time than traditional MSW programs.
On average, an MSW program is a total of 65 to 70 credit hours. Students in the advanced standing track can put 22 to 25 credit hours of their prior coursework toward their MSW degree.
Therefore, the remaining 35 to 43 credits are completed in the program and students will participate in an advanced field internship. Consequently, the advanced track can provide significant savings on tuition fees and speed up your learning.
Benefits of Advanced Standing MSW Programs
- An advanced standing MSW takes around half the time of a regular MSW
- Because they are shorter in time, they are cheaper than a regular MSW degree
- You will not need to relearn the same material as in a social work bachelor’s degree since you can transfer the credits
- It helps you find employment as a social worker, as many employers require you to hold a degree from a CSWE-accredited university program
- You can study online or on-campus, which provides you with options for flexibility
Disadvantages of Advanced Standing MSW
- You will acquire more debt
- There may be cheaper career-training alternatives to advance in some career positions
- If you are unsure of your future career, it could prove a hindrance more than a benefit if you decide to switch careers later on
Best Online Advanced Standing MSW Programs
Below is a look at the best online advanced standing master of social work training you can begin.
Case Western Reserve University
- Advanced Standing MSW
- Time: 1 Year
- Prerequisites: Your BSW must have been earned within the last seven years.
- Price: $56,000 in total
The CWRU curriculum offers three paths of study: Children, Youth, and Families; Community Practice for Social Change; and Mental Health with Adults. It is CSWE-accredited and requires 36 credit hours with some live seminars and classes. A GRE score is not required if you gained a GPA of 3.0 or more in your BSW.
- Online MSW
- Time: 1 Year
- Prerequisites: You need to have earned a BSW within the last 5 years.
- Price: $61,000 in total
This advanced standing program is offered online, or as a hybrid of online and on-campus classes. It requires a minimum of 33 credit hours to complete the program.
In this program, you can specialize in Advanced Clinical Practice; Social Enterprise Administration; Family, Youth & Children’s Services; or Health, Mental Health and Disabilities.
- Online MSW Program
- Time: 8 months full-time, or 16 months part-time
- Prerequisites: Earned a BSW from an accredited program with a 3.0 GPA, or students who have completed one year of an accredited MSW program.
- Price: $32,000 in total
At Fordham, you will receive guidance from an academic adviser, create your own curriculum of courses, and gain the professional skills you need to reach your career goals. The four areas of focus are Individuals and Families; Organization and Community; Evaluation Research; and Policy Practice and Advocacy.
- Master of Social Work
- Time: 15 months
- Prerequisites: Earned a BSW from an accredited program within the last 5 years with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
- Price: $516 per credit in-state; $568 nonresident
Edinboro offers students a more generalist range of practice areas to learn in just 15 months. Students will be able to work in family-based and mental health agencies, addiction treatment centers, schools, psychiatric facilities, correctional facilities, hospitals, veterans’ agencies, foster care, adoption agencies, nursing homes, and policy.
Cheapest Online Advanced Standing MSW Programs
Although gaining your certificate from the very best online degree programs is ideal, sometimes it is not best for you if it is not financially possible. Therefore, we have gathered some wonderful cheaper options that are also CSWE accredited and will still look fantastic on your resume.
Western New Mexico University
- Master’s of Social Work (Advanced Standing)
- Time: 1 Year
- Prerequisites: Earned a BSW within the last eight years with at least a 3.0 GPA for social work classes.
- Price: $288 per credit hour (For Residents)
Graduates gain the knowledge, values, and skills to practice social work in a variety of settings involving people young and old. From case management to counseling, advocacy to intervention, graduates can apply their skills to improve the lives of others.
Texas State University
- MSW Program
- Time: 1 Year and 6 Months
- Prerequisites: Candidates need a BSW from an accredited program within the last ten years.
- Price: $12,500 in total in-state
Texas State prepares students to develop advanced-level social workers with practice, advocacy, and research skills and will be able to address diverse needs in a multicultural society.
University of Central Florida
- Online Master of Social Work
- Time: Four Semesters
- Prerequisites: must have earned a BSW from an accredited program within the last five years with a GPA of 3.3 in their last 60 credit hours.
- Price: $15,600 in-state
UCF Online offers students learning on human diversity. The program focuses on the resources, problems, and service issues of various minority populations. Students will also work alongside families and do clinical social work practice with the LGBTQ+ community.
University of Missouri
- MSW Program
- Time: Approximately 1 Year.
- Prerequisites: Earned a BSW from an accredited program within the last 7 years.
- Price: $15,405 in total
This MSW program emphasizes enhancing human well-being by embracing diversity, alleviating social problems, and promoting social justice. Students will learn through advanced clinical social work practice, policy planning, and administrative social work practice.
Should You Pursue an Advanced Standing MSW?
If the idea of researching a subject you love, getting interesting internships, and being able to go on helping people in a variety of clinical settings is exciting, then yes. Social work is vital in helping people progress to a state of social and financial well-being.
Ask yourself whether you can commit to the time, tuition, and would love to help people throughout your career. If you are still interested in discovering more on how to become a therapist or find the easiest MSW programs to get into, then check out the Career Karma blog for more advice.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.