Advanced Standing Admissions

Advanced Standing Admissions

The Advanced Standing MSW program at the University at Albany is a 39-credit program for applicants who already hold a Bachelor's degree from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  The program must be completed on a full-time basis over the course of one year beginning the summer semester of the academic year following the admissions cycle.

Online Application Information & Deadline

Applications for admissions to the advanced standing program are handled through the Graduate Admissions office and all materials must be electronically submitted by January 30.  Step-by-step instructions for preparing your application are available.  You can keep track of specific application requirements and deadlines for admission to the Advanced Standing program on the Graduate Admissions Program Deadlines and Requirements page.

Required Materials

Applications must include the following materials:

Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work attempted.  Transcripts must be sent directly to:

Office of Graduate Education
University at Albany
UAB, Room 121
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222

References from a total three (3) individuals and must include one (1) from a member of applicant's previous field team (field supervisor, field director or field liaison) who can speak to the  applicant's abilities in the following areas (a reference must be obtained for each of the categories):

    • potential for professional social work
    • academic performance
    • human service/employment experience            

A two to four (2-4) page, statement (double spaced, 12 point font) reflecting on the definition of social work and the school's mission as noted below, that includes the questions following:

Social Work practice consists of the professional application of social work values, principles, and techniques to one or more of the following ends: helping people obtain tangible services; counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; helping communities or groups provide or improve social and health services; and participating in legislative process.  The practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; research and evaluation; of social and economic, and cultural institutions; and of the interaction of all these factors (From National Association of Social Workers Website)

The mission of the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany is to further social and economic justice and to serve people who are vulnerable, marginalized, or oppressed. This mission is implemented through education, knowledge development, and service that promotes leadership for evidence-based social work with a global perspective.

    • Describe your reasons for pursuing a career in social work.               
    • How does your work and/or volunteer experience prepare you for starting a professional degree program in social work?
    • Given the mission of our school of social welfare, explain why you think you are a good fit for this school.               

An updated resume

Admissions Process

Admission to academic programs at the School of Social Welfare is highly competitive. Prior to being reviewed by the School of Social Welfare’s Admissions Committee, all applications are screened for completeness by the University at Albany’s Graduate Admissions Office.

Completed applications are then forwarded for review to the School of Social Welfare’s MSW Review Committee. The Advanced Standing MSW application review process takes approximately 4-6 weeks from the application deadline date. Decisions are sent by email from the Office of Graduate Admission.

Application Review

The admissions process considers four areas in reviewing applications:

GPA: A GPA of 3.0+ is preferred but a lower GPA does not preclude you from consideration. Reviewers take into consideration your total educational, professional, and volunteer experiences. If your undergraduate GPA is below a 3.0 it is highly recommended that you take graduate courses as a non-matriculated student in the School of Social Welfare and do extremely well in the courses. Non-matriculated students can take up to 12 credits in the School of Social Welfare. If accepted in the MSW program, the non-matriculated courses will transfer into the program.

Work and Volunteer Experience: What type of work have you done in the human services (current employment is a plus)? In addition, volunteer work during undergraduate years and summer employment is a plus. It is mandatory to include a resume with the application packet.

References: It is important to include references from three (3) individuals who have known the applicant in an academic, human service, or employment capacity. Advanced standing students must include one reference from their field team of professionals including their field supervisor, field director or field liaison. Personal or friends of the family should not write references for you. Professional or academic references are best. Be sure to include a copy of your resume as part of the application packet.

Personal statement: Reviewers look at both the content, and writing style (spelling and grammar, sentence structure, organization of ideas) and general readability of the essay.

NOTE: The merit of any one criterion is considered in light of all others when admissions decisions are made. The overall quality of the application will provide the basis for admission.

NOTE: This program requires an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience requirement. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.

Help is Available

Information Sessions are available to assist applicants who desire clarification or more detailed information about programs and admission standards. To attend an information session visit link for schedule or call 518-442-5320.