Family meeting with social worker

Social Work - Advanced Standing (MSSW)

Make a difference.

ACU’s M.S. in Social Work program offers an innovative curriculum aimed at preparing leading social work practitioners in the field. Designed to produce versatile social work leaders, you are able to incorporate faith and employ technology into your work in the program. You will identify and make use of what works from the most promising interventions and forward-thinking programs and policies to empower and instill hope in your clients, in essence promoting positive social change.

The Advanced Standing program is for students who have completed a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from a program accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). Following a 6-hour summer seminar, Advanced Standing students move directly into the 38-hour second year of study which can be completed entirely through remote learning. Students also spend a significant amount of time in field practicum experiences.

In cooperation with the Graduate School of Theology, the School of Social Work has developed plans whereby students can pursue the M.S. in Social Work degree concurrently with the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry degree.

ACU’s M.S.S.W. program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is ranked the 3rd best value Christian College Social Work program accredited by the CSWE.

Program Overview

Credit hours 38
Degree Master of Science in Social Work (M.S.S.W)
Program length 1 year
Tracks/Concentrations N/A
Application deadlines for Summer 2017 February 16, 2017 for priority review (for scholarships, graduate assistantships and field practicum sites) 
May 1, 2017 for standard review (deadline may extend if space is available)


You will take courses such as:

  • Diversity, Power, and Oppression
  • Policy Analysis and Practice
  • Management and Funding for Nonprofit Organizations
  • Leading and Managing Change in Nonprofit Organizations
  • Psychopathology
  • Spirituality and Social Work Practice
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Leticial Cisneros

The passion to be a voice for those with no voice led Leticia Cisneros (’15) to pursue her MSSW.

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What outcomes can you expect?

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Nonprofit or Social Services Director
  • Medical Social Worker
  • Military Social Worker
  • Substance Abuse Social Worker
  • Mental Health Social Worker
  • Child Welfare Advocate
  • Adoption Social Worker
  • Public Health Social Worker
  • Rehabilitation Social Worker
  • Family Violence Counselor
  • Sexual Assault Counselor
  • Immigration Policy Advocate
  • Poverty Advocate
  • Lobbyist
  • Policy Analyst/Researcher
  • Legislator/Public Official
  • Community Planner
  • Rural Social Worker
  • Social Work Administrators, Researchers, Planners and Policymakers
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Admission requirements:

  • Compelete the online application;
  • Pay the $50 application fee;
  • An official transcript(s) in English (or translated to English) of all previous colleges attended. The transcript must indicate an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university or equivalent;
  • A cumulative undergraduate approximate B average or above in the area of focus or related area and evidence of an overall productive GPA; If undergraduate GPA is below 3.0, the GRE or MAT entrance exam is required. Our GRE code is 6001;
  • Two letters of recommendation (may be submitted through the online application); For Advanced Standing applicants, one letter of recommendation must be from a former social work professor;
  • A personal statement addressing your motivation for graduate studies and entering the social work profession, including reflections on the four themes of the ACU School of Social Work- evidence-based practice, God’s gift of diversity, faith and social work, and social justice;
  • A second writing sample in the form of a formal graded (returned with feedback) senior level assignment of at least five pages from the student's undergraduate work (or acceptable alternative). Contact the School of Social Work for a grading rubric;
  • A "field practicum assessment" must be submitted by students who have graduated from a CSWE accredited BSW/BSSW program and are applying to advanced standing status (1 year program);
  • Advanced-standing program eligibility includes a completed Bachelor of Science in Social Work or Bachelor of Social Work from a Council on Social Work Education-accredited program within the past five years; cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in B.S.S.W. or B.S.W. course work; and acceptable field practicum evaluation. Applicants who completed the BSW more than five years ago are eligible for Advanced Standing if they are employed in the field of social services.

Various forms of financial aid are available to assist you with funding your education. Learn more about these opportunities and visit our Graduate Financial Aid page to apply for scholarships and graduate assistantships.

Ready to Be a Part?

We’re eager to see not only what you can accomplish with an ACU education, but how your unique perspective can enrich your fellow classmates and ACU as a whole.