Advanced Standing

Change can’t wait! The Advanced Standing Program offers an accelerated option to candidates with an undergraduate social work degree.

The School offers an Advanced Standing Program at the following campuses:

  • Charles River Campus (Boston): Full-time and part-time Advanced Standing Program options available
  • Off-Campus Program: Part-time Advanced Standing option available at the Fall River and the BU North-Bedford campuses
  • Online Program: Part-time Advanced Standing option

The Advanced Standing option is open to candidates with an undergraduate social work degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. A minimum undergraduate academic GPA of 3.0 (B) is required for admission. The undergraduate social work degree must have been received within six years before entry into the program.

Students accepted to our Advanced Standing Program receive credit for their foundation year. The additional 43 credits required for graduation (or 40 credits if the student passes the Research 1 Waiver Exam) must be taken at the School of Social Work or as part of a School of Social Work-approved course of study. No additional transfer credits will be accepted toward the MSW degree.

Classes for both full- and part-time Advanced Standing students begin in the fall semester. All Advanced Standing students complete 1,000 hours of field work. Full-time Advanced Standing students are in field placement 24 hours per week beginning in September and continuing through August. Accepted students planning to attend full-time will need to be available for an agency interview in early spring, prior to enrollment. Part-time Advanced Standing students begin their field placement in the second year of the program. Due to the timing of the placement process and some specific agency requirements, some agencies may not be available for Advanced Standing students.

For prospective students with an extensive social work background and experience, a special request to simultaneously pursue the Advanced Standing program and a dual degree option (in education, public health, or theology) may be considered. Advanced Standing applicants should discuss their eligibility with the appropriate program director.

Clinical Practice majors take intermediate and advanced Clinical Practice courses along with electives in social welfare policy and human behavior and required courses in social research, ethics, and racial justice.

Macro Practice majors take three required Macro Practice courses along with electives in social welfare policy and human behavior and required courses in social research, ethics, and racial justice.


Part-time Advanced Standing students at the BU North-Bedford (Merrimack Valley) and Fall River campuses enter the program in September and complete the program over six consecutive semesters. Students enroll in courses in their first semester and continue with courses while enrolled in an advanced 1,000 hour field internship for the rest of the program.


Part-time Advanced Standing Online Program students complete the program over six consecutive semesters. Students enroll in coursework for the first two semesters. Starting in their third semester, students enroll in 2 courses a semester while completing an advanced 1,000 hour field internship which begins after the first two semesters.