Advanced Standing

Admission Eligibility Requirements 

  • Completed bachelor’s degree in social work (e.g., BSW/BASW) from a baccalaureate social work program accredited by CSWE, recognized through the International Social work Degree Recognition and Evaluating Service, or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work. Applicants who are finishing their baccalaureate degree may apply. Applicants must complete the baccalaureate degree before the MSW program begins. An admission decision will be considered provisional until degree is posted.
  • GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher in each required course for the applicant's BSW/BASW degree.
  • Signed acknowledgement of the Seattle University Social Work Department Non-Academic Technical Standards for Social Work Education. Please read the document and follow the instructions carefully. This document is required to complete the MSW application process.
  • Applicants for whom English is a non-native language must demonstrate English proficiency regardless of English language studies, residence in the United States or an English-speaking country, or immigration status. Graduate applicants with a baccalaureate or higher degrees from recognized colleges in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia and who have continued to reside in countries where English is the primary language for at least two years prior to applying to Seattle University will have this requirement waived. English proficiency may be met with an official TOEFL score of 92 (IBT), or 580 (PBT); the IELTS exam with a minimum score of 7.0; or a PTE score of 63.
  • Criminal Background Check/Criminal Offender Record Information.  Although this is not part of the application process applicants who are offered admission will receive instructions to complete the background check before field placement. Students should be aware that human services agencies often require an additional criminal history background check on students who apply to their agencies for field placements. A background check report that reveals a criminal history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from admission into the program, but it may preclude the student from many potential field placements and will limit the field placements available to the student. The Seattle University MSW program cannot guarantee field placements (a requirement for completion of the MSW degree and social work licensure) for students with a positive criminal background report, although we will do our best to find placements.

Application Instructions

  • Complete graduate application form. There is no application fee.
  • Submit an official, degree-posted transcript from the last 90 quarter/60 semester graded credits of your BSW/BASW degree from a baccalaureate social work program accredited by CSWE, recognized through the International Social work Degree Recognition and Evaluating Service, or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work. Include any transfer institution credit earned during this time period as well as any post-baccalaureate coursework. The minimum GPA for eligibility is a 3.0 or equivalent.
  • Applicants from institutions issuing non-graded transcripts may be required to submit official results from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Please reach out to the MSW department ASAP if you graduated from a non-graded institution.
  • Submit three professional or academic recommendations using the MSW forms supplied through the application. The references should be from people who know your academic capabilities as well as interpersonal strengths. One of the three recommendations must be from a BSW program the applicant attended (preferably a Field Advisor or Field Supervisor). Personal references or references from co-workers are not accepted.
  • Include a résumé documenting education, work and volunteer experiences (please distinguish between those experiences).  Include your role, dates employed, whether part-time or full-time as well as the organization name. Résumé should list the name of every college or university attended and dates.
  • Submit three admission essays, 1: Personal Statement with three questions, 2: Social Problem Analysis, and 3: Case Study.
  • Submit a senior final field evaluation. Applicants applying for Advanced Standing must submit a copy of their *senior final field evaluation as an attachment to the application. This document may be from your own records or directly from your undergraduate school. If the school no longer has a copy of the final field evaluation, the Field Director, Liaison, or BSW/BASW advisor may submit a letter that specifies: name of agency and type of services provided, number of hours completed, description of learning activities, clients, number of cases, frequency of contact, and overall performance.
    • *Current BSW/BASW seniors may submit a current field evaluation at the time of application. The final field evaluation must be submitted upon completion of their BSW/BASW program.
  • Admission Essay 1: Personal Statement
    • Please answer questions A, B, and C separately. (1500 words max total)
    • A. Bearing in mind the mission of the SU MSW program:
      • The mission of the Seattle University (SU) Master of Social Work (MSW) program is to educate students for social justice-focused and community-based advanced clinical social work practice. The program seeks to advance equity in access to excellent clinical social work practice for historically marginalized populations by preparing competent and effective practitioners who restore, maintain, and enhance human and community well-being with unwavering attention to social and economic justice. The program is committed to respectful engagement and collaboration with community partners in its scholarship, teaching, and service.
      • Discuss how your education and/or experience (work, volunteer, personal) prepared you to pursue graduate social work education at this program.
    • B. The SU MSW program offers a single specialization in advanced clinical social work practice. Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) defines clinical social work:
      • As a specialty within the practice of social work, clinical social work builds on professional values, ethics, principles, practice methods, and the person-in- environment perspective of the profession. It reflects the profession's mission to promote social and economic justice by empowering clients who experience oppression or vulnerability. Clinical social work requires the professional use of self to restore, maintain, and enhance the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual functioning of individuals, families, and groups.
      • Why is clinical social work a good fit for you? What relevant skills and qualities do you bring to clinical social work?
    • C. Discuss your preparation for a rigorous graduate academic program and field What are your academic strengths? What strategies or skills do you currently have to maintain strong performance in classes and in field practicum (which occur simultaneously)? What do you recognize as areas for development in order to succeed in this program?
  • Admission Essay 2: Social Problem Analysis
    • (1500 words max excluding the reference section)
    • Identify and analyze a social problem that is significant to the profession of social work. This analysis paper must include appropriate references and use the American Psychological Association (APA) style citation and formatting. Faculty will evaluate the paper for its content and social justice framework, organization, and writing quality.
    • The following elements must be addressed in this essay:
      • A. Definition and description of the social problem
      • B. Societal issues that contributed to the creation and maintenance of the problem
      • C. Possible solutions or interventions to address the problem
      • D. Limitations of the proposed interventions or obstacles to proposed solutions
  • Admission Essay 3: Case Study
    • (1000 words max total)
    • Submission of a Case Study is required for Advanced Standing applicants.
    • Drawing upon your BSW/BASW practicum or social work experience, please describe a case (individual, family, or group) with which you worked directly. Write a case summary addressing the following elements. If you do not have direct experience, you may use the Advanced Standing Provided Case Study to develop your case study. If you are using the case provided, please propose an appropriate intervention for (D) and how you might evaluate your intervention for (E).
      • A. Client description, including age, race, ethnicity, gender, and other relevant sociocultural factors (use a pseudonym and appropriate disguise to protect the identity of the client).
      • B. Presenting problem(s).
      • C. Contributing factors: what are the factors (biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual) that might have contributed to the presenting problem?
      • D. Intervention: describe your intervention and why you chose that intervention
      • E. Evaluation: How effective was the intervention? What have you learned from this case? What would you do differently in retrospect?


Advanced Standing Curriculum

The Advanced Standing summer intersession starts with the history of social welfare as an anchor to examine social problems and society’s attempts to address them. In addition, the Social Justice course examines different theories of justice and structural inequality and helps students articulate a personal-professional stance toward social work practice for social justice. Lastly, the Advanced Field Practicum Seminar course assists new students in transitioning into their fall quarter. From Fall Quarter, Advanced Standing students join the Specialized Practice curriculum and take the same second-year courses as the 2-Year MSW students. 

Required Courses

  • Advanced Field Practicum Seminar
  • Social Work and Social Justice: Ethical Professional Formation
  • Social Work Foundations-Policy: History and Justice
  • Advanced Practice I: Clinical Social Work with Individuals
  • Advanced Practice II: Clinical Social Work with Families
  • Advanced Practice III: Clinical Social Work with Groups
  • Advanced Social Welfare Policy: Practice for Advocacy
  • Advanced Clinical Assessment for Treatment: Mental Health Disorders
  • Advanced Field Practicum I, II, III

Electives: Students choose from a variety of course offerings for two electives (6 credits). 

Still Accepting Applications for 2024!

Applications close Sunday, May 19, pending space.