Transform Lives in Your Community with an Advanced Standing MSW Degree
If you’ve already earned your Bachelor of Social Work degree, Liberty’s Advanced Standing Master of Social Work (MSW) program offers you the opportunity to continue your education and further your commitment to assisting individuals in need. This program can enable you to support those who are suffering and marginalized while actively combating injustice within your community.
Our online Advanced Standing MSW program is designed to help you further your learning and provide you with advanced social work expertise in an expedited manner. Through this degree, you can be equipped to take social work licensure examinations,** ensuring you obtain the necessary credentials to advance your professional journey.
What is the difference between the Advanced Standing MSW and the MSW?
When it comes to choosing an MSW, it’s important to note that “Advanced Standing” refers to what your undergraduate education background is, while the MSW is the standard degree.
Our Advanced Standing MSW is designed for students who already hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or a Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).*** This gives you an opportunity to complete your MSW degree in less time and with fewer requirements. Through Liberty’s Advanced Standing MSW, your specialized training can help accelerate your journey to gaining your social work license and making a difference in others’ lives.
In contrast, the other MSW offered by Liberty gives a very broad, well-rounded background in the topics you need to know about social work. Our traditional MSW program, is the degree you should pursue if you don’t already have a CSWE-accredited BSW or BSSW.**
This program provides 2 options: a general cognate and an individual and family clinical cognate. No matter which option you choose, you will receive advanced training in social policy, research, and practice. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to apply your knowledge in real-world scenarios.
Prepare to champion social justice and apply the knowledge from your undergraduate studies as you begin your advanced social work training.
*Some exclusions apply. Please refer to our exclusions page for more information.
**Each state has unique requirements for becoming a licensed social worker. Be sure to research the requirements in your state.
***View the Admission Requirements tab on this page for more information.
Why Choose Liberty’s Online Advanced Standing MSW Program?
Our online MSW advanced standing program has been carefully designed to promote your academic achievement and foster your professional development. Within this program, you can acquire the necessary skills to serve diverse communities, engage in research-informed practice, and formulate social policies rooted in biblical principles.
Consider these benefits of choosing Liberty for your online Master of Social Work degree:
- Hands-On Experience | You will fulfill a minimum of 600 hours of practical field experience, enabling you to acquire valuable skills and receive accelerated on-the-job training compared to the traditional MSW degree program.
- Expert Guidance | Receive instruction from esteemed educators at Liberty, where every member of our MSW faculty possesses a doctorate and has academic authority in the field of social work. Additionally, you will have the advantage of completing your hands-on social work experience under the guidance of a master’s-level social worker.
- Faith-Based Perspective | We are steadfast in our conviction that the Scriptures provide the most solid foundation for driving social justice efforts. In our Advanced Standing MSW program, you can learn to fuse biblical values with in-depth research and practical techniques, with a special emphasis on recognizing the inherent value of every person.
- Tailored Degree Paths | At Liberty, you have the flexibility to tailor your MSW degree to align with your individual interests and passions. Opt for the general cognate to delve into a diverse range of courses and develop a well-rounded skill set. If you are particularly drawn to specializing in family and children’s services, our individual and family clinical cognate may be the ideal choice for you.
What Will You Learn in Our Advanced Standing MSW Online Degree Program?
Liberty’s Advanced Standing MSW online program is tailored to build upon your prior education and experience. Whether your aim is to work directly in the field or contribute to policy development, our program can help equip you with the necessary tools for success.
Within our MSW courses, we aim to cultivate a commitment to social, economic, and environmental justice while providing you with the skills to deliver effective clinical interventions. Upon completion of this MSW, you can be prepared to assist diverse populations facing challenges such as disabilities, substance abuse, unemployment, domestic conflicts, or poverty.
Throughout this online Advanced Standing MSW program, you will experience a degree that integrates various facets of social work. You can learn how to advocate for socially just policies in line with biblical truths, developing a well-rounded approach that considers the social, biological, psychological, and spiritual facets of human life. Additionally, you’ll explore topics related to human rights, engaging in discussions on both national and international issues. You can also learn how to critically examine American social policy from the perspective of a Christian worldview.
As you progress, you’ll explore advanced generalist methods for serving individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. The curriculum places a strong emphasis on research skills, guiding you through processes such as writing literature reviews, proposing research studies, conducting program evaluations, and completing your own research projects.
Furthermore, your studies can further extend to creating social work programs grounded in cutting-edge research, ethical principles, and detailed needs assessment. Preparation for advanced social work services in various contexts like military, international, mental health, and nonprofit settings is also an integral part of this broad program. Additionally, you can gain insights into the cultural values of diverse groups and assess how these values impact daily life.
The general cognate offers additional flexibility for you to be able to choose the courses that best suit your personal and professional goals. You will have credit hours to use on courses that can help prepare you for the diverse directions your social work career may take. Join us and become equipped to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need.
- SOWK 600 – Advanced Generalist Bridge Course*
- SOWK 625 – Social Policy, Justice, and Advocacy
- SOWK 650 – Diversity and Cultural Humility*
- SOWK 655 – Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice*
*Course guide coming soon
Highlights of Our Advanced Standing MSW Degree
- We are recognized by multiple institutions for our academic quality, affordability, and accessibility. Our commitment to excellence also helped us rank in the top 10% of Niche.com’s best online schools in America. Earning your online Advanced Standing Master of Social Work – General cognate from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.
- Your success is our success, which is why we are committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we have frozen tuition rates for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years — and counting.
- Liberty University is accredited by SACSCOC, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
- Complete at least 600 hours of field experience prior to graduation.
- Meet the requirements to sit for social work licensure exams.
- Receive hands-on guidance and mentorship from industry experts.
- Develop core skills needed to work in schools, hospitals, adoption agencies, nursing homes, group homes, and mental health clinics.
- Earn your MSW degree online in as little as 1 year.
Master of Social Work Online Program Information
- This program falls under the School of Behavioral Sciences.
- View the Graduate Behavioral Sciences Course Guides (login required).
- A background check is required for students in practicum courses.
- Students will complete at least 600 hours of social work practice experience.
Military Benefits for Liberty’s Master of Social Work Program Online
Liberty University is dedicated to providing world-class educational experiences to military students across the globe. Whether you are a current service member, discharged or retired from service, or the spouse of a service member or veteran, we are here to support you every step of the journey.
As a thank-you for your dedication and service to our country, Liberty is honored to serve and support you in your pursuit of online education by offering the following benefits:
- Tuition discounts – $275 per credit hour for graduate courses
- Additional discount for veterans who serve in a civilian capacity as a First Responder (less than $625 per course)
- 8-week courses, 8 different start dates each year, and no set login times (may exclude certain courses such as practicums, internships, or field experiences)
Potential Career Opportunities for Online Advanced Standing Master of Social Work Graduates
Liberty’s Master of Social Work online program can help you pursue administrative and supervisory positions in the field of social work. Some of the roles you may qualify for include:
- Agency director
- Medical social worker
- Program director
- School social worker
- Social work supervisor
Please note: Some roles may require licensure in social work, and each state has specific requirements for licensure. Be sure to research the licensure requirements in your state.
Admission Requirements for Liberty’s Online Advanced Standing MSW Program
A BSW or BSSW from a CSWE-accredited program (conferred within the last 7 years) with a 3.0 GPA or higher is required for admission in good standing. Please visit our admission requirements page for more detailed admissions-related information.
All applicants must submit the following:
- Admission application
- Application fee*
- Official college transcripts
- Unofficial college transcripts may be accepted with a completed official transcript request form**
- 3 reference names and contact information (including phone number)
- 1 must be a field faculty member or program director from the BSW/BSSW program
- Statement of Purpose
- Department questionnaire
- Final field evaluation from BSW/BSSW program
- Department approval
- Proof of English proficiency (for applicants whose native language is other than English)
*There is no upfront application fee; however, a deferred $50 application fee will be assessed during Financial Check-In. This fee is waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses — documentation verifying military status is required.
**An official transcript is needed within 60 days of acceptance or before non-attendance drops for the first set of matriculated classes, whichever comes first.
Online Advanced Standing MSW Cognates
When you pursue the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work, you will choose one of the following cognates to personalize your degree to your unique professional goals.
Individual and Family Clinical