Advanced Standing Curriculum | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Advanced Standing MSW Curriculum

If you have earned a BSW, you may be awarded between 3 and 19 credit hours of advanced standing for your BSW coursework. MSW students complete at least 39 credit hours of coursework at the Brown School, comprised of: 

  • 4 credits: BSW Intensive: Bridge to Brown (taught in the summer)
  • 21 credits: Concentration-Level coursework
  • 9 credits: Electives or Specialization coursework
  • 5 credits: Concentration Practicum

Advanced Standing students may complete the program on a 12-month or 16-month timeline. 

The sections below outline Advanced Standing program eligibility, curriculum sequencing and timeline considerations.

Advanced Standing Program Eligibility

To earn Advanced Standing credit, the following requirements must be met:

  • You earned your BSW from a CSWE-accredited institution or program within the past six years.
  • The content of each course is consistent with the Brown School’s MSW course work.
  • You received a grade of “B” or higher in the course.

Courses Eligible for Advanced Standing Credit

Up to 19 credit hours

Research Methods

3​

Human Behavior

3

Social Welfare Policies and Services​

3​

​Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups

3

Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities

3​

​Foundation Practicum

3

Foundation Practicum Integrative Seminar​

1



Advanced Standing MSW Curriculum

 Advanced Standing students are required to enroll in at least 35 credit hours at the Brown School, including the 4-credit Bridge Course. The curriculum outlined below is based on receiving all 19 hours of advanced standing credit; any course for which you do not received advanced standing credit must be added to your required coursework.

Any course in italics represents an opportunity to choose from a variety of classes offered within that category.

BSW Intensive: Bridge to Brown

4 credit hours

BSW Intensive: Bridge to Brown 

Advanced standing students matriculating in Fall of 2020 are required to take this two week bridge course, hosted from August 3-13, 2020. The bridge course covers select, foundational skills for MSW students at the Brown School, including evidence-based practice, social justice, human diversity, and social and political environment. Attendance at the BSW Intensive: Bridge to Brown is required for students with Advanced Standing Status.

4

Concentration*

21 credit hours

Social Policy

3

Theory, Problems, and Issues

3-6

Practice Methods

6-9

Evaluation

3

Leadership and Management

3

*Specific course options vary according to the concentration you pursue.

Concentration Practicum

5 credit hours

Electives**

9 credit hours

Elective I

3

Elective II

3

Elective III

3

**Electives may be used to earn an optional specialization or to take other graduate coursework.

Curriculum and required credit hours are subject to change.

Advanced Standing Program Timeline

Advanced Standing student can choose to complete the program in 12 months or in 16 months, selecting among three different program timelines. The tables below outline primary considerations when deciding which timeline will best suit your academic and professional goals.


Option 1: 12 MONTHS TOTAL (9 months coursework + 3 months practicum)

Program Timeline & Sequencing:

August, year 1: BSW Intensive: Bridge to Brown course (August 3 - 13, 2020)

Fall Semester: 15 Credit Hours of coursework

Spring Semester: 18 Credit Hours of coursework and practicum begins

Summer: Practicum completed

August, year 2: Graduate 


Pros of this timeline:

  • Lowest overall tuition charges.
  • Shortest coursework timeline (Fall and Spring semesters).
  • Early graduation (August).

​Cons of this timeline:

  • Students can anticipate very full and demanding academic semesters. In order to stay on timeline, students must enroll in the maximum course load: 15 credits in the fall and 18 credits in the spring. 
  • Students must declare their concentration and optional specialization prior to matriculating, and they cannot switch after declaring.
  • Students are unable to pursue the Individualized concentration.
  • Students must secure a practicum site very early in the academic year. They must work with an advisor throughout the summer to secure this spot. 



Option 2: 12 MONTHS TOTAL (12 months of coursework, including practicum)

Program Timeline & Sequencing:

August, year 1: BSW Intensive: Bridge to Brown course (August 3 - 13, 2020)

Fall Semester: 15 credit hours of coursework

Spring Semester: 15 credit Hours of coursework and practicum begins

Summer: Practicum completed and additional coursework

August, year 2: Graduate 



Pros of this timeline:

  • Lower overall tuition charges.
  • Early graduation (August).

​Cons of this timeline:

  • Students must declare their concentration and optional specialization prior to matriculating, and cannot switch after declaring.
  • Students are unable to pursue the Individualized concentration.
  • Course offerings in the summer are limited, and may not be your optimal offerings.
  • Coursework in the summer must be paid at an additional per-credit hour fee.
  • Students must secure a practicum site very early in the academic year. Students will work with an advisor throughout the summer to secure this spot. 




OPTION 3: 16 MONTHS TOTAL (3 full academic semesters and practicum in the summer)

Program Timeline & Sequencing:

August: BSW Intensive: Bridge to Brown course (August 3 - 13, 2020)

First Fall Semester: 12-15 credit hours of coursework

Spring Semester: 12-15 credit hours of coursework; option to begin practicum

Summer: Practicum 

Second Fall Semester: 9-15 credit hours; practicum completed

December: Graduate


​Pros of this timeline:

  • Most course flexibility; option to choose from classes offered across all three semesters.
  • Can take classes at the Brown School before officially declaring a concentration and specialization. Have the opportunity to enter the program as one concentration, and switch into another in the first fall semester.
  • Can distribute practicum hours across multiple semesters and throughout the summer. 
  • More time to interface with Brown School supports and resources, including Career Services, Student Groups and other opportunities. 

Cons of this timeline:

  • Highest overall program costs (three academic semesters plus bridge course).
  • Latest graduation date (December).