Advanced Standing Admissions

If you already hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, you may be eligible to earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree in just 12 months through the MSW@USC advanced standing program. 

With the same leadership focus as the traditional MSW curriculum, the advanced standing curriculum enables you to bypass the first-year foundational requirements and start classes at the second-year level. As an advanced standing student, you will: 

  • Earn your MSW full time in three semesters or part time in five semesters.
  • Focus your degree by choosing one of three departments in which to study: Adult Mental Health and Wellness, Children, Youth and Families and Social Change and Innovation.
  • Complete 37 credits that will prepare you to pursue professional licensure.

The advanced standing program has multiple start dates throughout the year. View the program admissions criteria and application deadlines for your desired start date below.

Fall 2022

Early Action Deadline
April 22, 2022
Priority Deadline
May 20, 2022
Final Deadline
June 10, 2022
Classes Begin
August 22, 2022

Application Requirements

You must complete the online application and submit all supporting documentation by the deadline in order to be considered for admission.

To apply for the advanced standing program, your letters of recommendation must come from a professor from your BSW program and your agency field placement supervisor. You may submit a third optional recommendation from an academic or professional reference. These individuals should indicate they are recommending you specifically for the advanced standing program.

You can see the application requirements here.


Eligibility requirements for the advanced standing online MSW program are:

  • Bachelor’s degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited school of social work earned within the past five years
  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 grading scale)
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in all social work courses

Please note that applicants currently residing in Puerto Rico are ineligible to apply for this program at this time.

Acceptance into the advanced standing program is not guaranteed. Admission is competitive, and the MSW@USC only accepts a limited number of advanced standing students.

For more information please contact MSW@USC Admissions at 877-700-4679 or