Advanced Standing

Penn’s Advanced Standing MSW program is designed for exceptional BSW students who have graduated from a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work program within the past five years. A limited number of students are accepted into this program and they earn their MSW in ten months by taking one non-credit seminar, ten courses, and completing an advanced-level field placement.

Admissions Information


Students in the Advanced Standing program begin graduate studies in July and take two credit-bearing courses and one non-credit bearing course during the Summer II term. During the Fall and Spring terms, students take the equivalent of four courses per semester. In order to enroll in Fall classes, students must satisfactorily complete the two required summer courses and achieve satisfactory performance in the no-cost Integrative Practice Seminar and field placement.

Field Placement

Students complete one field placement during the Advanced Standing program, beginning in July and ending in April. This field placement is focused on either clinical or macro social work, depending on which concentration a student chooses. Although a student’s field placement schedule will depend on the needs of their agency, Advanced Standing students can generally expect to be in field placement on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays during the academic year.

Learn more about Field Placement.

Standard Course of Study

While students may customize their schedules due to participation in a certificate program, enrollment in an international course or study abroad experience, or the needs of their field placement agency, the grid below outlines the standard schedule and course of study for Advanced Standing students. Advanced Standing students are not eligible for dual-degree programs. Due to scheduling issues and course structuring, not all certificate programs and specializations are available to Advanced Standing students.

Note: The course grid below is only for students who matriculate after July 1, 2014. Students who enrolled in the MSW program prior to July 1, 2014 will adhere to the previous curriculum.

Field placement begins at the start of the Summer II Term and ends in April.

Summer Term
SWRK 611: Contemporary Social Policy
SWRK 620: Integrative Practice Seminar*
SWRK 7xx: Research Option

Fall Semester
SWRK 704/708: Advanced Clinical/Macro Social Work Practice I + Field**
SWRK 603: Understanding Social Change: Issues of Race and Gender
SWRK 7xx: Elective #1 (SWRK 760 is required elective for clinical concentration students; may be taken in either semester)
SWRK 7xx: Elective #2
SWRK 710: Supervision Seminar (For students without an MSW Field Supervisor)*

Spring Semester
SWRK 714/718: Advanced Clinical/Macro Social Work Practice II + Field**
SWRK 713: Understanding Social Change: Issues of Race and Gender
SWRK 7xx: Elective #3
SWRK 7xx: Elective #4
SWRK 710: Supervision Seminar (For students without an MSW Field Supervisor)*

*Non-credit/non-tuition course.
**Practice classes are a year-long sequence. Students remain in the same section of SWRK 604/614 for the entire first year, and remain in the same section of SWRK 704/714 or 708/718 for the entire second year.

Joint Lectures

Several sequences in the MSW program schedule sequence-wide lectures for all sections. These lectures feature experts in the field and all students are expected to attend. Joint lectures are scheduled on Monday evenings (6:30 – 8:30 PM). Students who have extenuating circumstance that prevent them from attending the joint lectures must make arrangements with their course instructors to receive the lecture content in another way.