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Master's Degree

Advanced Standing MSW
Go from BSW to MSW


May 6th

12 Mo.

Program Length






Areas of Practice

Master's Degree

Advanced Standing MSW
Go from BSW to MSW

Go from BSW to MSW and advance your career in social work

AccreditationHerzing University has achieved Candidacy for Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation;1 Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
EligibilityBachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree required
Format100% online classes delivered asynchronously; synchronous sessions offered weekly in each course allow you to discuss the material with professors
Field practicumComplete hands-on field education in your community concurrently with coursework  
FacultyLearn from experienced professionals: all professors are Licensed Clinical Social Workers
Areas of practiceChoose electives across 3 areas of practice
QuickPathsTransfer credit, stackable credentials, and adaptive learning technology build a faster pathway to a higher education with Herzing University
Advanced Standing Social Work Student Leading Community Center Meeting

Over 90%

Satisfaction rate

Our overall student satisfaction rate, according to the 2022 Herzing Graduate Survey.

Over 90%

Satisfaction rate

Our overall student satisfaction rate, according to the 2022 Herzing Graduate Survey.

Master of Social Work - Advanced Standing

Master of Social Work (MSW) – Advanced Standing

The Advanced Standing MSW degree program option is a 36-credit online graduate program which prepares you to advance your career in social work. The CSWE-aligned program curriculum1 provides students with advanced knowledge and skills in clinical social work, social justice and advocacy, psychosocial assessment, and more.

Career-focused curriculum

Discover the crucial knowledge and skills required to succeed in your work and build a foundation for continued career growth.

Flexible schedule

You can take classes during the day or in the evening. We strive to be as flexible as possible for busy non-traditional students.

Virtual services

Access to extensive virtual services, including academic advising, tutoring, support services, technical support and library services.

Lifelong support

We support your ongoing career advancement by providing comprehensive, personalized student services with lifelong career coaching.

Rolling admissions

No application deadlines to worry about. Apply when you’re ready and prepare to get started soon.

Classes Start May 6th

Learn More Today

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Classes & curriculum details

All didactic, lecture-style courses are delivered online, with 500 total field practicum hours. You can choose electives across three career-focused social work areas of practice: Mental Health, Medical Social Work, and Children, Families, and Aging Services.2

Master of Social Work (MSW) - Advanced Standing12-2436

i. Average number of months for students to complete the program for full-time (12 months) and part-time (24 months) enrollment.

Required Core Courses

All courses, 19.00 semester credit hours, are required.

Required Project Residency Core Courses

All courses, 8.00 semester credit hours, are required.

Required Area of Practice Elective Courses

9.00 Semester credit hours are required. Students should select three courses from the list below to learn more about areas of social work practice. Course availability depends on enrollment. 





Choosing the right area of practice electives

When you enroll in the Herzing MSW program, you will choose elective courses across three different areas of practice:

Mental Health

Develop an understanding of mental health assessment, diagnosis and intervention. Learn theories of human behavior, trauma, and diversity—and how to apply this knowledge to mental health provision and wellbeing.

Discover policies and laws related to mental health systems and become familiar with the service delivery structure of public and private mental health facilities.

Medical Social Work

Build an understanding of medical diagnoses in the context of a person-in-environment model. Study social work intervention strategies including crisis intervention, biopsychosocial assessment, and trauma-informed clinical approaches.

Immerse yourself in a curriculum focusing on how you can utilize evidence-based social work research in clinical practice of community public health and prevention services.

Children, Families, and Aging Services

Become an advocate for vulnerable children, families, and elderly clients in need of assistance. Build your understanding of social problems and their impact on individuals, families, and their communities across all age groups.

This area of practice explores the delivery structure of social services and how you can become a key facilitator of protective services for pediatric and gerontological clients.

Unsure which electives to choose? Our admissions team can help you determine what courses are right for you based on your personality and desired career path.

Field Practicums

Your field education experience

You can put didactic coursework into practice in the clinical practicum component of the MSW Advanced Standing program option. This represents hands-on experience that’s crucial to prepare you for career success right from the start. 

You’ll be required to complete two 250-hour Field Practicum courses within the area of practice of your choosing (500 total hours across two semesters).  

Where you complete each practicum can vary widely based on your location and area of practice you choose. We encourage you to choose your preferred Field Agency, but our Director of Field Education will provide support should you need help securing practicum sites. 

Examples of potential field practicum sites include community agencies, counseling centers, criminal justice organizations, hospitals, mental health facilities, and schools.

Learn about field education

Social Worker Consulting with Elderly Client in Home

Tuition & Cost

Tuition & Cost

The cost of tuition for the Master of Social Work - Advanced Standing track is $615 per credit.

You can potentially earn even greater savings by transferring credit from prior college coursework, applying for financial aid, or potential partnership opportunities through your employer.

Our goal is your career advancement. That’s why we are always working to improve our curriculum and processes to make our program as affordable as possible while preparing you best for success in your work.

 Scholarships & Financial Aid

You may be eligible for multiple scholarships and grants, both through Herzing University and several national scholarship websites.

Find scholarships and grants 

 Military/Veteran Discounts

Veterans, Active Duty U.S. Servicemembers, and spouses may qualify for a 10% tuition discount or tuition reduction to $250 per credit.

VA/Military benefits 


Admission requirements

Candidates for the Master of Social Work (MSW) – Advanced Standing track must meet several prerequisites for acceptance, including the following: 

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • Prospective graduate students must have completed a bachelor’s or graduate degree in social work from a college or university accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or have completed a three- or four-year bachelor’s degree at a foreign college or university recognized as equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree by an approved foreign credential evaluator; within 7 years of the date their BSW was conferred, OR, have a BSW license in good standing
  • Transcript—BSW from a CSWE accredited program
  • A personal statement addressing MSW prompts—contact admissions for details
  • Optional Recommendations for both traditional and advanced standing MSW tracks: students may choose to submit recommendations to be considered with their application but are not required

Eligible states for enrollment: Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the Virgin Islands.

Waived Enrollment Fee

Now Through March 31st

Career Possibilities

What you can do with a master’s in social work

While the field of social work has evolved to become more diverse and specialized, core master’s degree courses prepare you for a wide variety of job possibilities.

Choose the area of practice electives best reflecting the social work career path you want to walk.

Job titles can vary widely with overlap across each area of practice.3

  • Behavioral Health Therapist
  • Mental Health Social Worker
  • Psychiatric Social Worker
  • Psychosocial Coordinator
  • Residential Therapist
  • Substance Use Disorder Clinician
  • Suicide Prevention Specialist
  • Therapist
  • Victim Advocate
  • Home Health & Hospice Social Worker
  • Hospice Social Worker
  • Medical Social Worker
  • Oncology Social Worker
  • Residential Treatment Coordinator
  • Social Work Case Manager
  • Adoption Social Worker
  • Adult Protective Services Worker
  • Child Protective Services Supervisor (CPS Social Worker)
  • Domestic Violence Advocate
  • Family Protection Specialist
  • Family Resource Coordinator
  • Family Service Worker
  • Foster Care Social Worker
  • Gerontology Social Worker
  • Pediatric Social Worker
  • School Social Worker
  • Veteran Affairs (VA) Social Worker
  • Youth Specialist

Job outlook


Projected employment growth, 2022-2032, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)*

Employment of social workers is expected to increase across all areas of practice, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. News and World Report scores social worker an 8 out of 10 in terms of future growth.

Among available BLS occupational groupings, employment of mental health and substance abuse social workers is expected to rise the fastest (11% growth).

Meet our Faculty & Leadership

Elizabeth Wilson - PhD, MSW, LCSW

"It is an honor and privilege to be part of a building a new MSW program with current, evidence-based curriculum to prepare students for high demand jobs in the areas of mental health, medical social work and children, families and aging services.

Our goal is to help support each student through our program to maximize their potential as a social worker and be a successful change agent."

Dr. Wilson is an established social work professor with over 20 years of teaching experience and 15 years as a social work program director in higher education. Dr. Wilson has extensive practice and teaching experience in crisis response, crime victimization, child abuse and neglect, family violence, mental health, and suicide prevention. She has delivered numerous professional presentations, continuing education sessions, and chaired numerous dissertations focusing on social issues. Dr. Wilson is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Missouri, a member of NASW, and has provided service to many community boards. Dr. Wilson has received several teaching recognitions and was awarded the Jane Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award in 2019.

Elizabeth Wilson PhD, MSW, LCSW Social Work Program Chair

Elizabeth Wilson

Program Chair
Master of Social Work

Nicki Schoonover - MSW, LCSW

"Field Education is the referred to 'Signature Pedagogy of Social Work Education' by the Council on Social Work Education, our accrediting body. Practicum is a keystone experience of your social work education, providing you a hands-on experience to develop your social work skills and determine your area of practice. At Herzing you will have support in locating and completing your practicum from our Director of Field, Practicum Readiness Training, Practicum Orientation, and Practicum Courses. We have partnerships with a variety of agencies and help you complete your practicum in a setting and with a population the matches your passion and expertise."

Nicki Schoonover is the Director of Field Education at Herzing University in the Master of Social Work Program. Nicki Schoonover is a licensed clinical social worker with 10+ years of practice in a variety of social work settings. She received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from William Woods University (2009) and her Master’s in Social Work from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis (2010). Nicki has practiced previously in St. Louis County public schools as a Child, Family, and Youth Therapist. She has also worked as a Training Coordinator with Every Child’s Hope in St. Louis, training staff on a variety of topics and helping the agency receive certification as a Trauma Informed Agency though the State of Missouri. Nicki has experience in social work education as the previous Director of Field Education and Assistant Professor of Social Work at Greenville University in Greenville, IL. While at Greenville University, Nicki directed the field program and taught practice-oriented courses in-person and online. Nicki also played a significant role in the accreditation reaffirmation of the Bachelor of Social Work Program in February of 2023.

Nicki Schoonover Director of Field Education

Nicki Schoonover

Director of Field Education

Dr. Hyacinth McKee DBH, LCSW-BACS, ACSW

"An MSW from Herzing allows for the student to acquire skills that will help them become effective social work practitioners in today's world. Being a part of Herzing allows students to engage in bi-directional innovation, scholarship and leadership with their professors.

An MSW from Herzing promotes opportunities to develop interconnected relationships with students and professionals in other Herzing programs such as criminal justice, nursing, and other medical degrees that are long lasting well after graduation."

Dr. Hyacinth McKee has 22 years of combined experience as a licensed clinical supervisor, clinical practitioner and professor. Her expertise includes integrated health, disease care management and educational social work. She holds leadership positions in the social work profession as she serves as the board chairperson of the Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners, her state social work licensing board, and on other boards nationally in the social work profession. She holds additional national and state certifications in the areas of school social work, school-based mental health counseling, and trauma informed supports. Dr. McKee has conducted local, state and national presentations on school based mental health, behavioral health, and social work services. She continues to provide supervision to clinical social workers who aspire to engage in independent clinical practice. She is considered among her colleagues as an expert in the field of behavioral health, mental health, child welfare and educational social work. Dr. McKee is an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusive practices as evidenced by her life's work serving marginalized and disadvantaged populations.

Dr. Hyacinth McKee DBH, LCSW-BACS, ACSW Associate Professor

Dr. Hyacinth McKee



Frequently Asked Questions

Educational and licensing requirements can vary by state and employer across both jobs. The disciplines are distinct enough to demand separate master’s degree curriculums.

The primary difference between clinical social workers and mental health counselors is the scope of their duties and the education required to perform them. Generally, counselors focus solely on mental health issues, while clinical social workers carry a wide variety of responsibilities including and beyond mental health care.

Becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) includes more involvement in managing your clients’ support network and larger community. While clinical social workers can potentially adopt a direct, active role in diagnosing and treating mental health issues, it’s not the sole purpose of the profession as it is for mental health counselors.

Yes, you can potentially leverage your education and experience in nursing into a career as a social worker. You may choose to stay in the healthcare field as a medical social worker.

You'll want to consider a Master of Social Work degree program to earn the new skills in knowledge to succeed in the field and position yourself best when applying for jobs.

Learn more about the RN to social work pathway and discover some of the primary differences between each career path.

The average salary for a social worker depends on several factors, including where they work, the state in which they practice, how long they have practiced, and chosen specialization.  

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides average salary estimates for three different types of social workers:* 

The skills and traits required for success as a social worker overlap with those of a human resources manager or professional. Both careers require strong communication skills, empathy, and a desire to help both individuals and groups thrive.

However, there are significant differences in the day-to-day life of HR professionals vs. social workers, including work environment, schedule, who you’ll work with, and types of problems you’ll be solving.

Learn more about the difference between human resources and social work careers.

According to the CSWE’s most recent Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, the 9 Social Work Competencies are listed as such: 

  1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior 
  2. Advance Human Rights and Social, Racial, Economic, and Environmental Justice
  3. Engage Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ADEI) in Practice
  4. Engage in Practice-Informed Research and Research-Informed Practice
  5. Engage in Policy Practice
  6. Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  7. Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations and Communities
  8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Learn more about the most important skills needed to succeed as a social worker.

Social workers provide assistance to individuals, families and communities to address problems in their everyday lives. They can work in a “macro” role directly coordinating with organizations or policymakers, or a “micro” role focusing on individuals and their families. 

The social work job description varies—social workers can have a wide variety of duties: 

  • Find those in need of help 
  • Work with people in all stages of life from birth to end of life 
  • Assess their situation: what they need, who supports them, what their goals are and develop interventions and strategies to help 
  • Collaborate with community resources to offer a network of care and refer clients accordingly 
  • Diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional health problems 
  • Maintain clear case files and records 
  • Raise awareness and advocate for solutions at the local, state, or even national level 
  • Navigate crisis situations, such as child abuse, family and community violence, or health emergencies 

Program Finder

Master of Social Work - Advanced Standing Degree Programs

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Disclosures & Accreditation

1. Herzing University has achieved Candidacy for Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.

Candidacy for a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has made progress toward meeting criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. A program that has attained Candidacy has demonstrated a commitment to meeting the compliance standards set by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, but has not yet demonstrated full compliance.

Students who enter programs that attain Candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains Initial Accreditation. Candidacy is typically a three-year process and attaining Candidacy does not guarantee that a program will eventually attain Initial Accreditation. Candidacy applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

For more information about social work accreditation, you may contact Accreditation.

2. The Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies three specialties projected to grow at an above average rate from 2022-2032: Mental health and substance abuse social workers (11%), Healthcare social workers (10%), and Child, family, and school social workers (5%).*

3. Individuals considering the Master of Social Work program should be aware that state certification/ licensure requirements and eligibility to apply for certification/licensure vary from state to state. While certification/licensure is not a requirement for certain types of jobs, in some states, it may be required for any positions titled ‘Social Worker’ and to refer to yourself as a Social Worker in professional settings.

* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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Herzing Tuition Wizard

When do you want to start classes?

The program has an automatic transfer of credits, and allows you to transfer up to additional credits.

  Transfer Credits

The program allows you to transfer up to credits.

  Transfer Credits

The program allows you to transfer up to credit hours.

  Transfer Credit Hours
Master of Social Work Online Campus
Cost per Credit$615.00
Base Tuition$36,900.00
Savings from Transfer Credits (9 x $615.00 )(-$5,535.00)
Estimated Tuition Cost*$31,365.00
One-time Program Fee$0.00
Per-semester Program Fee$0.00
Per-semester Learner Resource Fee$530.00
Estimated Total Fee*$3,180.00
Total Semesters 1
Total Credits
Estimated Cost 2
Base CostYour Cost
Estimated Savings*

Available Scholarships & Loan Options

Who Can Apply

Available to students enrolling in the MSW online program during the 9/6/2022 start

  • Must be starting the MSW online program on 9/6/2022
  • Continuous enrollment is required


Reach out to a member of the Financial Aid team at the Online campus:

Financial Aid Team
(866) 508-0748


Actual semesters to complete are dependent upon university approved transfer credits and program mapping.


Estimated program length, estimated number of semesters, and estimated program shown above are standard by program for each student based on: a student taking a full-time course load each semester, the student not having any transfer credits (from previous Herzing experiences or from other post-secondary institutions), and successful completion of each course.

Current tuition rates for all programs are effective through the Summer 2024 semester.