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 CreditUp to 19 credit hours
Research Methods3​
Human Behavior3
Social Welfare Policies and Services​3​
​Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups3
Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities3​
​Foundation Practicum3
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 Brown4 credit hours
BSW Intensive: Bridge to Brown 

Advanced standing students are required to take this two week bridge course just prior to the start of the first fall semester. 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.

The Bridge Course is assessed at the per-credit hour tuition rate. The additional course fee for the BSW Intensive will be included in a student’s fall semester tuition bill. 
Concentration*21 credit hours
Theory, Problems, and Issues3
Social Policy3
Practice Methods9
Leadership and Management3
*Specific course options vary according to the concentration you pursue.

Concentration Practicum5 credit hours
Electives**9 credit hours
Elective I3
Elective II3
Elective III3
**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

(2 Full Academic Semesters and Practicum/coursework in the Summer)

Program Timeline & Sequencing:

August, year 1: 4 credit hours BSW Intensive: Bridge to Brown course 
Fall Semester: 15 credit hours of coursework
Spring Semester: 15 credit hours coursework and practicum begins
Summer: 5-6 credit hours  practicum completed and additional coursework
August, year 2: Graduate 


  • Lower overall tuition charges.
  • Early graduation (August).
  • Students must declare their concentration and optional specialization prior to matriculating, and cannot switch after declaring.
  • Students are unable to pursue the Individualized concentration.
  • 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.
  • Students cannot add a dual degree, except for the MSP, and must enter the program with a dual degree already declared. 

Option 2: 16 Months Total

(3 Full Academic Semesters and Practicum/coursework in the Summer)

Program Timeline & Sequencing:

August: 4 credit hours BSW Intensive: Bridge to Brown course 
First Fall Semester: 9-15 credit hours of coursework
Spring Semester: 9-15 credit hours of coursework; option to begin practicum
Summer: up to 6 credit hours of coursework practicum 
Second Fall Semester: 9-15 credit hours; practicum completed
December: Graduate


  • 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. 
  • Highest overall program costs (three academic semesters plus bridge course).
  • Latest graduation date (December).
  • Students can add a dual degree no later than the spring semester of their first year.