Advanced Standing

The Advanced Standing MSW is an accelerated program that allows you to complete your master's degree in only three semesters so you can start making positive change in your community sooner. 

Application deadline is January 15

For Students with a BSW

Our Advanced Standing program was developed for students who have already proven their commitment to improving vulnerable lives by earning a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)


All students are able to choose their course of study (macro or clinical); one of six fields of practice; and over 50 electives. Advanced Standing students can complete up to two certificates.

12-Month and 16-Month Program Options

Advanced Standing MSW students can choose from two accelerated tracks — one that begins in January, and one that begins in May.

General Requirements

To be granted Advanced Standing, you must have finished an undergraduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education within five years of enrollment in our program.

Preference will be given to students with GPAs of at least 3.3 during the final two years of Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) study.

As part of your application, one of your three letters of recommendation should be from your BSW program director or advisor, and one should be from your undergraduate field supervisor or current social work supervisor.

Advanced Standing waivers will be considered for the following BCSSW courses: Human Behavior and Social Environment, Rethinking Diversity: Systems of Oppression and Privilege, Basic Skills in Clinical Social Work Practice, Basic Skills in Macro Practice, The Social Welfare System, Research Methods in Social Work Practice, and Field Education I.

The application deadline for both advanced standing programs is January 15. For a complete list of application requirements and to apply, visit MSW Admission & Aid.

Start Date Options


Apply for the January start if:

  • You want to complete the program in 16 months.
  • You are interested in Clinical or Macro Specialized Practice.
  • You will choose one of the following fields of practice: 
    • Afrocentric Social Work
    • Children, Youth, and Families
    • Global Practice
    • Health
    • Mental Health


Apply for the May start if:

  • You want to complete the program in 12 months.
  • You are interested in the Clinical Specialized Practice only.
  • You will choose one of the following fields of practice: 
    • Afrocentric Social Work
    • Children, Youth, and Families
    • Health
    • Mental Health


January Start Advanced Standing Curriculum Plan

Starting the program in January allows you to earn your MSW degree in 16 months. You will take courses and have field placements over three semesters. Summer classes are optional to lighten your course load in the fall and spring semesters. This option is available for students interested in Clinical or Macro Specializations.

May Start Advanced Standing Curriculum Plan

Starting the program in May allows you to earn your MSW degree in 12 months. You will take courses and have field placements over three semesters. This option is only available to students interested in the Clinical Specialization.

Customize Your Graduate Education Experience

Practice Specialty

You will choose between clinical or macro. The clinical program teaches students how to integrate evidence-based interventions. Macro social work aims to affect change within large systems at the community, organizational, and policy levels.

Fields of Practice

Within either specialized practice (clinical or macro), you will develop expertise by selecting a field of practice. 


Build additional knowledge and specialized skills by completing an optional certificate. Certificates give students the opportunity to build knowledge in subject-specific areas of social work. Certificates require the completion of three specified courses within a chosen area. 

Field Practicum 

The Field Education team will consult with you to organize the practicum experience that aligns with the social work perspective and build the skills and competencies needed as a master’s level practitioner.

Student Groups

Advanced Standing students can find community in the BCSSW student groups, including the Social Workers for Social Justice Committee, Social Work and Spirituality group, Umoja, Spectrum, and the Macro Social Work Student Group, among others.

Ministry at BC

St. Ignatius Loyola emphasized improving the world through education, advocacy for the poor, and missionary work—establishing a precedent for the Jesuits to work toward reducing the gap between rich and poor, combatting hatred, and helping those who have suffered or are still suffering to heal.

Brigid Belger
BC has a lot more options for advanced standing than all of the other programs I got into. I just felt like BC had the only program where I would be able to take so many different electives.
Brigid Belger, Advanced Standing Student
Career fair

Succeed with Career Services

Our dedicated Career Services staff help you explore promising opportunities, connect with potential employers, polish résumés, and more. Our annual events include a job fair, alumni networking opportunities, and mock interviewing.  Even after you graduate, you can participate in the Alumni Mentoring Program connecting young professionals with more seasoned social workers. 

Carla B. Monteiro
Social work teaches us how to be advocates. We look at things through a holistic lens. We understand how policies are created, how policies affect individuals and communities, and I think that’s why we’re more than capable of holding office.
Carla B. Monteiro, Advanced Standing Alumna

Why Boston College School of Social Work?




Faculty diversity


Employment rate within 1 year of graduation


Weeks of average length of job search

Connect with Us

Campus Tours & Virtual Visits

Get to know us on your schedule: Visit our beautiful campus in person, take a virtual tour, or sign up for an admissions webinar. Boston College offers a wealth of resources—from libraries and dining halls to an art museum and 244,000-square-foot fitness center—just six miles from downtown Boston. 

Visit Us

Admissions Guidance

The BCSSW Admissions team is available to support students throughout the application process. We are proud to offer scholarships to 100% of our students. Join us for a virtual information session to learn more or connect with a member of the Admissions team for a one-on-one chat. 

Tuition & Aid

Ready to make an impact on your community? 

Develop your skillset with an MSW degree.