What is Advanced Standing?

Advanced Standing is a term applied broadly by universities and colleges to grant credit to a student for their professional experience or academic coursework completed at another institution. For social work, Advanced Standing is the recognition of undergraduate social work (Bachelor of Social Work) coursework taken that is accredited by the CSWE (Council on Social Work Education).

As of the October 2017 COA meeting, there are

  • 518 accredited baccalaureate social work programs
  • 255 accredited master’s of social work programs
  • 74 accredited DISTANCE EDUCATION / ONLINE master’s of social work programs
  • 17 baccalaureate social work programs in candidacy
  • 23 master’s social work programs in candidacy

Compare the CSWE-accredited DISTANCE EDUCATION / ONLINE master’s of social work programs here.

What are the benefits of Advanced Standing?

An Advanced Standing track allows you to apply relevant completed coursework and move directly into your upper-level coursework — helping students graduate much sooner.

Here’s an example*:

A typical MSW program falls around a total of 65 to 70 credit hours. Students accepted into an Advanced Standing track are able to put 22-25 credit hours of previous coursework towards their MSW degree. The remaining 40-43 credits in the program would be taken at the respective university and students would still participate in an advanced 1,000 hour field internship. Since a typical course is equal to 3 credit hours, that means students eligible for Advanced Standing could opt out of up to 8 general courses. Let’s say each credit hour is $700 on average and it’s 3 credit hours per course, that’s a savings of $16,800!  A significant savings on overall tuition.

*Credit hours and field experience hours vary by institution, program and selected track.

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