Grand Canyon University

Master of Social Work (Advanced Standing)


3300 W Camelback Rd

Phoenix, AZ 85017

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Master of Social Work (Advanced Standing)

Format: Online

Program Description:

64,000 New Jobs
Number of new jobs estimated to open for social workers from 2021 to 2031, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics1

At Grand Canyon University (GCU), you can apply your knowledge from your accredited Bachelor of Social Work degree toward a Master of Social Work (Advanced Standing) degree (MSW) and graduate faster. Students accepted in the advanced standing MSW program are eligible to move straight into the advanced year social work courses.

In this advanced standing Master of Social Work, you will gain specialized skills and knowledge in the areas surrounding social work theory, practice and social work ethics. Graduates of this advanced standing MSW program are equipped to work effectively with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities on various social and behavioral health issues.

Help Improve Lives in Your Community With GCU’s Advanced Standing MSW Program

As an MSW advanced standing student, you will be prepared to actively engage in social justice issues affecting each system level, employing evidence-based practice strategies and interventions through this advanced generalist specialization.

As a graduate of a Bachelor of Social Work accredited program, you already have knowledge in helping others. Earning an MSW advanced standing degree can strengthen your skill set and provide additional tools for helping improve the lives of others.

Earn Your Online Advanced Standing MSW

The majority of courses in GCU’s online advanced standing MSW program are offered through an innovative online learning platform so you can complete your degree with some flexibility. You will have access to knowledgeable faculty in the social work field and opportunities to network with peers in the program. This advanced standing Master of Social Work is also available in the evenings on GCU’s campus for those who want to learn in a classroom environment, but who have other daytime commitments.

Both the advanced standing MSW online and evening formats require 250 hours of in-person field experience where you will apply your skills in approved community agencies under the supervision of a social work professional.

Course Topics in GCU’s MSW Advanced Standing Program

As with the Bachelor of Social Work program, GCU’s advance standing MSW online and evening program adheres to the social work standards and competencies established by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). GCU is committed to providing a quality education taught by knowledgeable faculty. The content of the program is designed to provide a competitive edge in the workforce, focusing on pivotal areas including:

    Ethical and professional behavior
    Diversity and difference in practice
    Human rights and social, economic and environmental justice
    Practice-informed research and research-informed practice
    Policy practice

    Engaging with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities
    Assessing individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities
    Intervening with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities
    Evaluating practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities

GCU also provides a distinct MSW education, integrating Christian worldview and ethics throughout the courses. Graduates will be able to express aspects of the Christian worldview, which affect human value and dignity, ethical decision-making, academic disciplines and vocation.

Career Opportunities for Advanced Standing Master of Social Work (MSW) Graduates

Social workers are valuable in many different settings, providing a wide variety of career paths. Graduates of an advanced standing MSW online program may choose to become a social worker at schools or within healthcare organizations. Social workers can also choose to work with families or individuals and specialize in various areas such as gerontology, criminal justice or healthcare. Positions you may pursue with an MSW advanced standing degree are:

    Social and community service manager
    Marriage and family therapist
    Mental health and substance abuse social worker
    Postsecondary social work educator

Alternatively, you can pursue a career as a clinical licensed social worker or therapist. This role requires certification as a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and includes post graduate supervised practice. The requirements for licensure are set by the state. Be sure to check your state’s requirements as you work toward this career goal.

1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social Workers, retrieved on Jan. 17, 2023.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Facts & Figures

Classification: Master's College or University I

Loans Offered: Perkins Loan, Stafford Student Loans, PLUS Loans, Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) State Grant, Arizona Post-Secondary Education Voucher Program State Grant, Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 0-999

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