A Master of Social Work (MSW) is a degree that features advanced studies in social work, and it’s possible to earn this degree in just one year. Those with an interest in a one-year MSW program must either already have a social work degree or some experience in a social sciences field. Colleges offer these programs both online and as a traditional program that includes some on-campus classes. Some programs require that students spend more time working on their degrees.
What is an Advanced Standing MSW Program?
An advanced standing MSW program is one designed to build on the knowledge and skills that students developed in their undergrad years. It typically consists of just one year of study, though some programs include up to 18 months of work. A traditional MSW program typically features two years of classes or more. Students in those programs will spend at least one year taking classes before doing any internships. They may need to do practicums too and spend more than 500 hours working in the field. Students in an advanced standing program do less fieldwork and take fewer classes because they already have some experience.
Does it Include Fieldwork?
Most advanced standing social work programs do include fieldwork. These programs only accept those who have some social work experience already. The schools look at the internships and practical experience that students have to determine if they can enter the advanced standing program. Students will typically skip the introductory internships because of the work they already did in college. They will still do any practicums or internships required in the second or later years of the program though. Those who already work in the social work field can often do their practicums at the same agencies and offices if they take on new jobs that feature different duties than they currently have.
How Does the Program Work?
Advanced standing MSW programs usually start in the fall, but some programs start in the summer. Students will spend one semester taking required classes and at least one semester taking electives or courses within a social work concentration. They will also do either advanced internships or practicums that may require direct supervision or direct contact with clients. Most colleges have admissions requirements that they need to meet too. The college or university may ask for a resume or transcripts to see what professional experiences the students had in the social work field.
Are There Any Special Requirements?
MSW programs for advanced standing students can include online classes. With online programs, students are responsible for finding and securing their practical work experiences in their own areas. Students enrolled in more traditional programs can work with the school to find those experiences. Any student who completes an MSW program can become a licensed social worker in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for social workers today is $47,980 per year. This can vary based on where social workers live and work.
Related Resource: 50 Best Online MSW Programs
Social workers can work with specific groups of people such as children or the elderly. They can also work in hospitals and for government agencies. Those who have more experience in the field can earn an MSW in one year to 18 months through one of the advanced standing programs offered colleges today.