Advanced Standing

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

  • Charles River campus – Full-time and Part-time Advanced Standing Program options available
  • Bedford and Fall River Off-Campus Program – Part-time Advanced Standing option available at the Fall River and the BU North campuses
  • Online Programs – Part-time Advanced Standing option is available for applicants entering the program in September

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

Students accepted for advanced standing receive 22-25 credit hours (dependent on whether they pass the Research I Waiver Exam). The additional 40-43 credits required for graduation must be taken at the School or as part of a School of Social Work approved course of study. No additional transfer credits will be accepted toward the MSW degree.

Advanced Standing at the Charles River campus in Boston:

All full-time Advanced Standing students begin the program in May by taking courses and beginning a field placement during the summer term. Full-time clinical students will take three two-credit intensive clinical courses in the summer and full-time macro students will take two required courses along with the field placement. All full-time Advanced Standing students are in the field 24 hours a week from June until the following May. Part-time students begin taking classes in the fall semester and start their advanced field placement for a minimum of 16 hours per week in the following summer. All Advanced Standing students complete 1,000 hours of fieldwork.

For selected prospective students with extensive background and experience, a special request to pursue advanced standing and dual degree programs (with Education, Public Health, or Theology) will be considered. Special requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and require approval of the director of the Dual Degree Program for which the student is applying, as well as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Applicants interested in learning more about the Advanced Standing and Dual Degree Programs should contact the director of the appropriate dual degree program to discuss their application. Persons interested in the Advanced Standing program should contact the Admissions Office for detailed information on the application procedure.

Advanced Standing at the Bedford and Fall River campuses:

Part-time Advanced Standing students at the Bedford and Fall River campuses enter the program in September and complete the program in six consecutive semesters. Students enroll in coursework only in their first semester and continue with courses while completing an advanced 1,000 hour field internship. Students are in the field for 16 hours per week for 14 months from January to March.

Advanced Standing Online:

Part-time Advanced Standing Online Program students enter the program in September and complete the program in six consecutive semesters. Students enroll in coursework only for the first two semesters and continue with courses while completing an advanced 1,000 hour field internship. Students are in the field for 16 hours per week for 14 months from May to July.

Admission Information & Deadlines

All applicants for the Advanced Standing program must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate studies.

Application Requirements
Online application form
($95 non-refundable application fee)
Personal Statement
Current Resume

Field Evaluation (copy of your final field evaluation from your senior year field placement)
Three references (the person who completes your field evaluation should not submit a reference)
(from any school where you received credit towards a degree)

For Advanced Standing applicants applying for the full-time program at the Charles River Campus, or the part-time programs at Charles River, Fall River, and BU North Campuses the deadline to complete your application is January 13All materials must be received by 5 p.m. on this date. Applications for the part-time Online MSW Advanced Standing program are only accepted for September admission and the deadline is June 15.

Materials should be submitted through the online application process with the exception of the Field Evaluation and Official Transcripts. Transcripts should be mailed to the following address: Boston University School of Social Work, Admissions and Financial Aid, 264 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215. The Field Evaluation may be mailed or faxed to (617) 353-5612. Please see the advanced standing program plans for planning purposes. Feel free to contact us with questions at 617-353-3750 or

Please be aware that most social work students will be required by their prospective field placement agencies to have a background check regarding a history of criminal offenses.  Some agencies conduct the check through their Human Resources Department and some ask the University to do it.  In either case, students will be asked to give written permission for the check(s) to be done and will be apprised of the outcome.  If a background check reveals a felony history, the agency will make the final decision about whether the student will be offered an internship. 

Students who have a record of a felony conviction may have difficulty being accepted for any internship and, in that case, will not be able to complete the requirements for the MSW program, and will not be eligible for a refund of tuition and other fees paid to the University.  In addition, many employers and state social work licensing boards have policies regarding criminal histories which could limit employment and licensure opportunities. We recommend that applicants check their state licensing regulations with regard to this issue.