School of Social Work

MSW Advanced Standing: Policies & Procedures


As described on the University website and in the University Catalog (2011-2012, p. 281-282) the School of Social Work recognizes superior academic performance by students who have graduated from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited undergraduate social work or social welfare department or program within five years prior to enrollment in the MSW program. Advanced standing students are exempted from 15 hours of first-year core or foundation courses and the first semester of field education and may therefore accelerate their graduate study by completing only the remaining 41 hours of degree requirements in one calendar year.

Specific courses exempted are: SW 600, SW 601, SW 603, SW 610, SW 620 and SW 650/651.  All Advanced Standing students may take a 100-item diagnostic proficiency examination in research methods.  A score of 75% or higher on the test will qualify the student for exemption from SW 690 Research Methods I. This reduces to 38 hours the degree requirements remaining for completion.

  • Applicants must have an overall GPA no lower than 3.0 in their undergraduate coursework
  • Official transcripts must note that the BSW degree has been awarded from a CSWE accredited program
  • Applicants must have a minimum grade of 3.0 in all Social Work courses; or a 3.5 or above cumulative GPA in all Social Work courses
  • Three professional recommendations, using our forms
  • Forms can be accessed at: http://www.gvsu.edu/ssw/msw-applicant-guide-127.htm

Advanced Standing Graduate Eligibility Degrees

Advanced standing is awarded only to graduates holding degrees from baccalaureate social work programs:

  • Accredited by CSWE
  • Recognized by its International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service
  • Covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors

Page last modified October 15, 2014