Advanced Standing

The USC School of Social Work offers a 35-credit advanced standing MSW program with both full-time (three semesters) and part-time (five semesters) options. Admission to the advanced standing program allows students to complete their MSW degree in less time than the traditional MSW program by waiving the first-year foundation course requirements. Students applying for this option must demonstrate their readiness to perform at the level of a second-year MSW student.

Admitted advanced standing students begin the program by taking three two-unit bridge courses in their first semester. Upon successful completion of the bridge courses (must earn a grade of B or better in each bridge course), students advance to the concentration curriculum. They can select one of the three concentrations offered in the Virtual Academic Center, as well as the optional Military Social Work sub-concentration, to complete their program of study. Students who do not earn a B or better in the bridge courses will be automatically removed from the advanced standing program. However, they may enroll in the traditional 60-unit MSW program.

Acceptance into the advanced standing program is not automatic. Admission is competitive, and the Virtual Academic Center only accepts a limited number of advanced standing students.

Additional Eligibility Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited school of social work within the past five years
  • Overall GPA of 3.25 or above
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5 in all social work courses
  • Two letters of recommendation from a BSW professor and your agency field placement supervisor; a third recommendation is optional and may come from an academic or professional reference. These individuals should indicate they are recommending you for the advanced standing program specifically.

Applicants should refer to the Application Process for complete instructions on submitting an application.

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Important Dates

Please refer to our Admissions Overview page for application deadlines and class start dates.

MSW@USC Advanced Standing Curriculum

Full-Time

Semester 1 6 Units
Bridge Program Course 1 2
Bridge Program Course 2 2
Bridge Program Course 3 2
Semester 2 16 Units
Concentration Course 1 3
Concentration Course 2 3
Elective 1 3
Elective 2 3
Field Practicum II (686a) 4
Semester 3 13 Units
Concentration Course 3
Leadership in the Social Work Profession & Organizations 3
Field Practicum II (686b) 4
Elective 3

Part-time

Semester 1 6 Units
Bridge Program Course 1 2
Bridge Program Course 2 2
Bridge Program Course 3 2
Semester 2 10 Units
Concentration Course 1 3
Concentration Course 2 3
Field Practicum II (686a) 4
Semester 3 7 Units
Concentration Course 3
Field Practicum II (686b) 4
Semester 4 6 Units
Elective 1 3
Elective 2 3
Semester 5 6 Units
Leadership in the Social Work Profession & Organizations 3
Elective 3
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