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Master of Social Work


Advanced Standing


The MSW Program at St. Ambrose University offers an accelerated curriculum option available to highly qualified graduates of baccalaureate social work programs accredited by the Council of Social Work Education. Consideration for advanced standing is given only to those social work graduates with superior academic standing and exceptional references. Applicants for advanced standing must meet all the admissions criteria required for standard admission. Additionally, Advanced Standing applicants must have graduated from an accredited baccalaureate program within the past seven years from the date of application, with a 3.0 (B) grade in all required social work courses.

Applicants should submit an official transcript of their undergraduate work for review by the Admissions Committee of the MSW Program. The Program may request a baccalaureate program bulletin, course syllabi, title and descriptions of courses, and reading lists. Decisions will be made on the basis of comparability of the undergraduate social work courses to relevant areas of foundation curriculum.

Students given advanced standing may receive recognition of up to 21 credits toward the MSW.  Students accepted for advanced standing must complete concentration requirements as well as those foundation year. Full-time students admitted to advanced standing ordinarily begin on six-week summer session scheduled especially for them. During this special summer session, students will register for 9 credit hours in foundation courses in Human Behavior II, MSW 620, Research II, MSW 720, and Social Policy II, MSW 820. Other arrangements can be made for advanced standing part-time students, integrating their schedules with those of the part-time schedule.

Course Requirements for the Advanced Standing Program

Prior to completion of two semesters of the concentration curriculum, advanced standing students will register for three courses (9 credit hours) in a preceding spring or summer session. Advanced standing students will complete requirements for the MSW degree with 39 credit hours. This is apportioned over three semesters with 9 credits in the spring or summer, 15 in the fall and 15 in the spring. The 9-credit-hour summer session courses present foundation content in an accelerated format prior to the concentration courses. These courses can be taken during spring session with full-time first year students or during the summer session for advanced standing students only:

MSW 620 Diversity and Social Systems (3)
MSW 720 Social Work Program Evaluation (3)
MSW 820 Social Policy Analysis (3)

Empowerment Concentration Curriculum
Fall Semester
MSW 530 Empowerment Practice I, 3 credits
MSW *** Electives, 6 credits
MSW 603 Field Seminar III: SW Ethics, 2 credits
MSW 593 Field Instruction III, 4 credits
Total semester hours - 15  

Spring Semester 
MSW 540 Empowerment Practice II, 3 credits
MSW *** Electives, 6 credits
MSW 604 Field Seminar IV: Ethical Decision Making, 2 credits
MSW 593 Field Instruction IV, 4 credits
Total semester hours - 15


MSW 550 Empowerment Social Work in Mental Health
MSW 560 Empowerment Social Work in Child Welfare
MSW 570 Couple and Family Therapy
MSW 580 Empowerment Social Work in Aging
MSW 590 Advanced Group Work
MSW 740 Advanced Data Analysis
MSW 830 Supervision
MSW 840 Exceptional Child for Social Work
MSW 850 Empowerment Social Work in School Settings
MSW 860 Economic and Social Justice
MSW 870 Management in Human Services
MSW 910 Mental Health Practices and Policies - India
MSW 920 Empowerment Social Work in Substance Abuse
MSW 930 International SW and Social Welfare, 3 credits
MSW 940 Feminist Social Work
MSW 950 Empowerment Social Work in Health Care
MSW 960 Collaborative Practice with Difficult Clients
MSW 970 Spirituality and Social Work
MSW 980 Trauma Informed Child Welfare Practice
MSW 99* Special Topics


Concentration Year Practicum
2 days per week
16 clock hours per week
Fall and Spring Semesters