Academic Credit for Prior Coursework

To avoid redundancy and/or repetition of social work content, the School provides an advanced standing (AS) option in the MSW program to qualified applicants. Eligibility requirements for this option require that an applicant have:

  • a baccalaureate degree in social work awarded by a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education within five years prior to admission to the master's program;
  • a cumulative undergraduate grade point average and a social work major grade point average of 3.00 or better on a 4.00-point scale;
  • a grade of B (not B-) or better in equivalent undergraduate social work courses for which advanced standing in the master's program is requested; and
  • has been admitted to the Graduate School and the MSW program in the "Regular Student" (unconditional) admissions category. Eligibility for advanced standing is determined by the MSW Admissions Committee and the program director prior to an applicant's initial enrollment in the master’s program.

Advanced standing credits may be awarded up to a maximum of 24 hours.

Course Waivers

Students not eligible for advanced standing can avoid content redundancy by successfully passing place-out or waiver examinations for some foundation courses. Successful passage of a place out or waiver examination eliminates a course, but not the credit hours. As a result, a student must enroll for an equivalent number of credit hours in an appropriate graduate course. Foundation social work practice courses and field instruction courses are not subject to waivers. Contact the department for more information on test out exams.

In compliance with Council on Social Work Education’s [CSWE] Accreditation Standard 5.2, the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Undergraduate, Graduate and Professional Catalog/Bulletin contains the following statement: “academic credit cannot be given for life experience and previous work experience, in whole or in part, in lieu of field practicum or foundation year courses”. Thus, the School of Social Work will not under any circumstances, grant academic credit to any MSW program student for life experience and/or previous work experience, in whole or in part, in place of the field practicum or of other courses in the master’s program professional foundation curriculum.