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Advanced Standing

To avoid redundancy and/or repetition of social work content, the School provides an advanced standing (AS) option in the MSW program to applicants who meet the requirements outlined below.

The applicant:

  • has 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;
  • has 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 program director and/or the dean after a review of the student's transcript and 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 for the courses listed in Table 1. Students not eligible for advanced standing can avoid content redundancy by successfully passing a proficiency or "test out" examination [see below] for some foundation courses. Successful passage of a test out examination eliminates a course but not the credit hours and, as a result, a student must enroll for an equivalent number of credit hours in some other graduate course in or out of the MSW program. Field instruction courses are not subject to waivers. 

 Table 1. Baccalaureate Social Work Courses Eligible for Advanced Standing Credit**

BSW Course /Title MSW Course Equivalent Credit
SW 3510--Human Behavior/Social Environment SW 5500 3
SW 3210--Social Policy & Social Services SW 5200 3
SW 4110--Practice w/Individuals & Groups SW 5100 3
SW 4300—Social Work Practice with Communities SW 5300 3
SW 4350—Human Service Organizations SW 5350 3
SW 3700—Diversity & Social Justice SW 5700 3
SW 4800/4850--Field Experience I & 2 SW 5800 6
Possible AS Credits 24

**Only students who received a final course grade of B or better in those baccalaureate social work courses [as shown in Table 1 or their equivalents] are eligible for waivers of credit in the advanced standing [AS] program.

Courses and credits hours earned at another CSWE accredited graduate program in social work may be accepted for graduate credit at the University of Missouri‑St. Louis. Such acceptance, however, must be in accordance with established policies and procedures of the advanced standing [AS] program and the Graduate School. Requests of this nature will be reviewed on a case‑by‑case basis.

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 place of the field practicum or of other courses in the master’s program professional foundation curriculum.