Proficiency Exams | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Proficiency Exams

The Brown School offers proficiency examinations for select foundation courses in the MSW, MPH and MSP programs.

Proficiency exams do not offer course credit toward your degree; however, passing an exam will exempt you from taking the associated Foundation course, therefore allowing the credits to be satisfied with an approved elective course. 

There are advantages to taking proficiency exams before course registration opens in June. There will be additional opportunities to take exams throughout July, August and at New Student Orientation.

MSW Proficiency Exams

MPH Proficiency Exams

MSP Proficiency Exams

Proficiency Exam Policies

  • Students must confirm their intent to enroll and submit their non-refundable $200 advance-tuition deposit to be eligible to take proficiency exams.
  • Students are encouraged to take any available proficiency exam in which they have background knowledge or prior coursework. If passed, the associated course will be waived and the student will replace those credits with an elective later in the program. 
  • Each proficiency exam may be taken only once. If you believe you will be better prepared to take an exam in August than March, we encourage you to wait until the later test date. 
  • Students are notified of their exam results within 10 days of taking the exam.
  • Study guides are not provided for proficiency exams. Students are encouraged to review the course overviews for an understanding of what each exam will cover.

Registering for Proficiency Exams

Students may register to take a proficiency exam in one of two capacities.

I. Admitted Students Weekend

Students attending Admitted Students Weekend may elect to take their exams on the morning of Friday, April 3 at 8:00 am or 10:00 am. To register, please complete this form

II. Select Dates Throughout Summer and Pre-Orientation

Students may take proficiency exams by visiting campus on select Mondays and Fridays throughout summer. 

To register to take your proficiency exams during one of the following dates, please complete this form. Please register at least two business days in advance of your preferred exam date.

When you visit the Brown School to take your exams, you may choose to partake in other campus visit activities (e.g. tour of the School, meeting with a current student, meeting with an admissions representative, etc.). 

Except where noted, summer proficiency exams are offered at 9:00 am. If you are taking two exams in one day, you will take your first exam at 9:00 am and your second at 11:00 am.


Monday, June 1

Friday, June 5

Monday, June 8

Friday, June 12

Advanced Standing MSW students register for courses on June 16

All other incoming students register for courses on June 18


Monday, July 27

Friday, July 31


Friday, August 14 (exam will be offered at 1:00 pm on this day; students taking two exams will take their second exam at 3:00 pm)

Saturday, August 15