Prerequisites for 1 year MSW Program
If you are interested in taking advantage of Advanced Standing degree programs, you should prepare yourself from the beginning of your college experience. The BSW program typically takes anywhere from 3-4 years to complete. Paired with a 1 year MSW program, you could potentially completed your Master’s in Social Work in around the same time it would take you to complete a standard bachelor’s degree.
1. A Bachelors of Social Work
At the forefront of your college experience, enrolling in a Bachelor’s of Social Work program is your best option if you are confident about moving forward into higher degree programs in the future. The most common and prominent requirement for enrolling in 1 year MSW programs is already having a BSW from a CSWE-accredited degree program. Accreditation is another vital factor in determining if your degree will be accepted by graduate schools.
2. GRE Test Scores
In addition to having the right type of degree, you may also find schools that require you to take the Graduate Level Examination (GRE) prior to applying. The GRE is a tool for testing your abilities in critical thinking, quantitative analysis, and verbal reasoning. While there is a large number of traditional and online schools that still have this requirement, students may also choose without the GRE requirement for their degree program. Click here for Online MSW Programs with no GRE requirements.
3. Minimum GPA
Whether you excelled in undergraduate education or fell short, your progress at the lower degree level can have a direct effect on whether or not you are accepted into 1 year MSW programs. Since this is an Advanced Standing degree program, students are often expected to prove their worth in these programs by presenting a minimum 3.0 GPA from undergraduate studies. The GPA may be measured by your total performance during your bachelor’s program or by just the final 2 years – which likely contained the majority of your Social Work curriculum.
4. Field Work Experience
This next requirement is only part of the admissions requirements for a few schools offering the 1 year MSW, but it is important to consider if you are planning for this degree program. Some 1 year MSW programs encourage their applicants to have some work experience in the field of Social Work prior to applying. Experience in the field can sometimes promote a better understanding of the curriculum as well as the job itself.
5. Reference Letters
Lastly, students that are applying for the 1 year MSW programs across the country should be prepared to provide letters of reference from previous instructors, employers, or personal acquaintances. This requirement is quite common for universities to include in their admissions process, since it can give them a better idea of your personal attributes that are relevant to the degree program. After applying to select universities, you may also have to sit for a face to face interview prior to being accepted.
1 Year vs 2 Year MSW Programs
1 year MSW programs are a great way for students to quickly get involved in the field of Social Work. If you are given the opportunity to finish your degree quickly, it is hard to turn it down. There are many advantages to pursuing your degree through Advanced Standing programs, some of which cannot be obtain through traditional 2 year programs.
The 1 year MSW often includes expedited courses that can be completed in as little as 7 weeks. While this is a great option for dedicated learners, there are some students that need more time to fully absorb all of the information gained within one entire course. Quick learners and experienced Social Work professionals could benefit more from these types of courses that entry-level Social Work students.
The financial sacrifice that 2 year learners take to pursue their degree program often goes underrated by enrolled students. If you were to complete your degree program in a year, you could have 1 whole year of additional income working at the master’s level. Students that are already working full-time and take part in 2 year programs may not feel the advantage as much as others, which is why traditional programs are sometimes the path of choice for upcoming master’s students.
The curriculum and instruction for both programs falls within a similar realm. Both programs must be CSWE-accredited in order to solicit students for the purpose of MSW licensure, so quality is not an issue between the two programs. Often times, the same instructors team both programs at the same university, so students are getting the same experience regardless of which path they take.
Advanced Standing MSW degree programs were designed for students that have already completed the BSW. This allows for lower credit hour requirements, which are typically between 30-40 for 1 year programs. 2 year programs can have credit hour requirements that range from 45-65 hours depending on the university. 2 year programs are also the best and only option for students that are coming from unrelated bachelor’s programs.