MSW students sitting in a classroom in Blake Hall on the Lawrence campus.

Advanced Standing MSW Lawrence Campus

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Program Overview

The Master of Social Work degree prepares graduates for advanced social work practice in one of two broad specializations — either clinical social work practice with individuals, families and groups, or social work macro practice aimed at social service administration, social policy development and social advocacy. 

Our social work program and course offerings were designed with community and student input to ensure a dynamic educational experience that incorporates real-world opportunities.

Our uniquely qualified and confident graduates are equipped with the knowledge to provide counseling and direct services to individuals, families and groups. They make changes in organizations, communities, and policies that affect large populations in our society.

Courses guide students on how to engage and assess the needs of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Students learn how to intervene and evaluate those interventions at all levels of practice.

KU's MSW is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The KU MSW has consistently ranked in the top 12% of graduate social work programs at public institutions, according to U.S. News & World Report. It is the top-ranked and longest-running MSW program in Kansas.

More Info & Apply

Application Dates for 2025

  • Oct. 1 - MSW application opens

  • Feb. 3 - Advanced Standing MSW deadline (all locations)


Vicki Mignot, MSW Academic Advisor


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The Advanced Standing MSW in Lawrence is taught in a one-year, full-time or two-year, part-time plan of study.

Applicants who meet the following criteria will apply to the Advanced Standing Plan of Study.

  • Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited social work program
  • Bachelor of Social Work grade-point average of 3.0 or above is preferred

The Advanced Standing plan of study is offered on the Lawrence campusEdwards CampusKansas State University - Salina campus, and online.

You will choose to specialize in either Clinical Practice or Macro Practice. 

Clinical Social Work Practice

Emphasis on a particular field of practice, such as children and families, health, mental health, schools, or aging populations.

Macro Social Work Practice

Emphasis on leadership, social service administration, social policy development and social advocacy.

The School of Social Welfare requires a total of 38 credit hours for the Advanced Standing Plan of Study, consisting of:

  • 24 credit hours of classroom work
  • 14 credit hours of practicum

Yes, students can enroll in a part-time, two-year MSW. Students enrolled in the part-time program will enroll in their practicum the second year. More information on the Part-time Advanced Standing MSW Curriculum webpage.

Clinical Specialization Curriculum

This 32-credit-hour specialization prepares MSW students for clinical social work with individuals, families and groups.

We recommend students who anticipate taking the Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Work (LSCSW) examination pursue a clinical specialization.

Macro Specialization Curriculum

The 32-credit-hour macro practice curriculum prepares MSW students for leadership in social work agencies and social justice organizations.

MSW Degree Requirements & Degree Plans

Visit the KU Academic Catalog for MSW Degree Requirements and MSW Degree Plans.

Social Work Practicum

Social work internships (practicums) provide each student with real-world social work experience, working directly with individuals, families, and communities.

Our Practicum Education Office works closely with students and agencies to secure skill-based practicum experiences with qualified social work mentors.

The Practicum Education Office arranges all placements with a student’s input. Every effort is made to secure opportunities close to the student’s home, and all practicums are no further than a one-hour drive.

Advanced Standing MSW students have one practicum placement, which lasts for two consecutive semesters or 14 credit hours for the year.

Learn more about MSW Practicum Education.

Admission & Application Requirements

Advanced Standing Application Dates for 2025

Application Opens
Full-time and part-time Advanced Standing application deadline
Acceptance deadline and seat fee paid

Admission Requirements

Applicants who meet the following criteria will apply to the Advanced Standing Plan of Study.

  • Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited social work program
  • Bachelor of Social Work grade-point average of 3.0 or above is preferred

All Advanced Standing students are admitted for a summer semester start date.

Application Requirements 

The online application gives you the ability to submit all supporting documents in one form and save in progress. You will be asked for the following, which will be required to complete the online application.


Upload a professional resume detailing your current/prior work or volunteer experience. Follow a reverse chronological format and include dates and hours per week worked. For helpful resume writing tips, use the following University Career Center resource.

University Career Center resumes webpage

When submitting your resume, be sure to save as a "WORD" (windows compatible) or as a PDF document. Double-check your formatting after saving it in WORD or PDF, and before uploading the document.

When responding to the following questions, please explicitly reference the School’s Mission and Guiding Principles and the NASW’s Code of Ethics.

Draft a statement that is no more than 3 pages total, typed and double-spaced with one-inch margins. Type each question prior to your answer to that question. This section is also used to evaluate master’s level writing ability. Questions:

  1. Given that there are many helping professions (e.g., psychology, nursing, public health, public administration, etc.), why have you chosen to apply for a Master of Social Work (MSW) program?
  2. What do you hope to gain from your graduate education? How do your hopes relate to your future plans as a social worker with an MSW degree?

You will be asked to list the contact information for three references in the application. The application system will then email a reference form to each person. 

Note: Choosing to list more than three references will delay application review significantly. Only three references will be included in the review.

Advanced Standing Plan of Study: References should be professional in nature and include those who can speak to the applicant’s ethics, experience with social justice issues, readiness for graduate social work education, skills, abilities and work styles.

Applicants should include a practicum supervisor/and or practicum instructor as well as a faculty member if the degree was earned within the past 3 years.

Family members and friends are not recommended except in cases of special circumstance, which may be described within the application. 

If you are a current or former KU student, you don’t need to provide official transcripts.

Current and former KU students are not required to request and purchase official KU transcripts, or to provide official KU transcripts or copies of KU transcripts to apply for admission to KU graduate programs. If KU students earned a degree from another institution, they will need to upload copies of those transcripts with their application. 

If you have never attended KU, your application must include official transcripts from each college attended.

For processing purposes, you may attach scanned versions of official transcripts to your application. If you are admitted to a program and accept the admission offer, you will be required to submit an official, final transcript that shows your degree has been conferred. Transcripts must be submitted to Graduate Admissions in one of the following ways:

  • Electronically (Preferred Method)

    If your institution offers a secure electronic transcript delivery service, you may have transcripts sent to

  • Via mail

    Transcripts must be sent directly from your institution, in a sealed envelope, to:

    Graduate Admissions

    University of Kansas

    KU Visitor Center

    1502 Iowa Street

    Lawrence, KS 66045

For more guidance on transcripts from non-U.S. institutions, see the International applicants webpage.

Clinical Practice: The clinical social work practice specialization prepares students in the professional application of social work theory and methods to the treatment and prevention of psychosocial problems, disability, or impairment, including emotional and mental disorders. Students expecting to sit for the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) examination two years after the MSW must take the clinical social work practice specialization.

Macro Practice: The macro practice specialization prepares students in the professional application of social work theory and skill to the development and management of social service programs in both public and voluntary human services organizations. 

All applicants who are non-native English speakers must demonstrate English proficiency to be considered for MSW admission. This includes both International Students who reside in the U.S. and outside the U.S. at the time of application. Please consult the English proficiency requirements information from KU Graduate Admissions. 

Note: In order to begin practicum for the MSW Program, Full Proficiency must be met. If Full Proficiency requirements are not met at the time of admission, and additional language requirements are required from the KU Applied English Center, MSW classes and/or practicum may be delayed.

Finalize the Application

To complete the application you must submit the online application and pay the fee.

Application Fees

Domestic: $65

International: $85

NOTE: The application fee is non-refundable and non-transferrable.

By submitting your online application, you are agreeing to abide by the MSW Student Standards and Advancement Policies and Procedures lined out in the MSW Handbook and NASW Code of Ethics. If you have questions, please contact the appropriate Program Director at 785-864-4720.

All applications are reviewed by the School upon receipt. To check the status of your application, or to send a reference reminder, please access your applicant status portal.

Once a decision has been made on your application, you will receive an email from KU Graduate Admissions stating your admissions decision is ready.

To view your decision, access your applicant status portal

If an offer is made, you will also receive an additional email from the School of Social Welfare. All decision notifications are sent via email; this is the official notification of a decision. To ensure your privacy, we are unable to provide admission decisions by telephone. Your decision letter will be found in your applicant status portal.

If you are offered admission, accept or decline the offer of admission by going to your application status portal and clicking on the "Complete Your Decision Form" button. If accepting the offer, you will also see a screen to submit a credit card payment for the non-refundable $50 admission fee to hold your place in the program. This will complete your “acceptance” processing.

Application open Oct. 1 to Feb. 3

Student Support & Aid

Tuition & Aid

Make your MSW a reality by knowing your estimated tuition, fees and common expenses.

Scholarships & Funding

MSW students can apply for scholarship programs and other funding sources. Three social work scholars programs provide monetary support and expanded learning opportunities.

Advising & Practicum Support

MSW students access quality teaching, mentoring and enrollment assistance through advising services and practicum experiences.

Learn more about the KU MSW Program

Get more info on admission, deadlines, tuition and financial aid, career paths and more when you fill out the form below. We’ll be in touch to answer any questions and help you get started.

Students sitting in a classroom in Blake Hall

Advance your career in social work

KU licensure pass rates exceed the national averages for the LMSW and LSCSW. The KU MSW prepares graduates for careers in clinical or macro practice.

Licensing & Career Options