A Foundation of Strengths. A Vision of Justice. A Mission of Change.

Chapter 4: MSW Program Expectations and Advancement

MSW Student Standards and Advancement Policies and Procedures 


Advancement is a process intended to assure that each student maintains adequate progress in gaining the values, knowledge, skills, competencies, and behaviors required for successful professional practice. Students are automatically advanced if they meet or exceed all our expectations and should consider themselves to be making adequate progress unless they are otherwise informed. 

Because of the nature of professional social work practice, the School of Social Welfare has some expectations of students that are different from those typically found in other academic but non-professional programs. The standards are linked to students’ abilities to become effective social work professionals and are provided so that students and faculty can be clear about expectations and procedures to address academic performance or behavioral concerns. The goal of the Standards is to help students to successfully graduate and provide effective social work services in a range of settings over the course of one’s career.

Upon admission, all social work students will be provided with and are expected to read the KU Student Code of Conduct, the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the MSW Student Advancement Policy (this chapter).  Students will then be asked to electronically sign an acknowledgment that they: (1) have read these documents, (2) are aware of their contents, and (3) will abide by the standards elaborated in the documents. The form will be kept in students’ files.

MSW Student Standards

Within the School of Social Welfare, we expect students to meet or exceed certain basic minimum standards to demonstrate their ability to advance to degree completion.  These standards are categorized as technical standards, scholastic performance, ethical behavior and professional conduct.