The MSW degree program does not admit students with advanced standing. Rather, it recognizes the knowledge and skills of individuals who have received a baccalaureate degree from an accredited social work program within the last five (5) years. This recognition acknowledges that the candidate may have already met the proficiency outcomes expected of MSW degree students who have completed the foundation curriculum. Such candidates may transfer up to 30 course units of first-year coursework and reduce the MSW practicum requirement by 280 hours. Criterion for course transfers is available through the department.
The curriculum for students who are granted course transfers still requires two academic years of residency. The students will have additional time to complete their thesis or advanced research coursework for socialization into the profession as well as opportunity to take advantage of the rich interdisciplinary options available at Loma Linda University.
Students may petition to accelerate the completion of the MSW degree with a minimum of four quarters in full-time residence. The unit load for each of these quarters cannot exceed 15 units, and students are not allowed to transfer foundation courses when content is required by California state law. In addition, students who have difficulty applying foundation skills in their practicum may have course transfers revoked or denied.Course transfers
* Advanced standing students may be given an academic variance for this course providing they pass a written examination.
In cases where students report that their BSW grades do not accurately reflect their mastery of knowledge, or there is disagreement with the depth and breadth equivalency to the MSW Program, students may choose to take a comprehensive equivalency exam.
Steps for transferring courses
1. Confirm your acceptance into the MSW Program.
2. Fill out the course transfer worksheet: BSW Course Transfer Worksheet
3. Fill out the petition for academic variance form for each course you wish to transfer. Make sure you indicate the grade you received for the course.
4. Submit the petition for academic variance forms with attached syllabi to Social Work Department (e-mail), Assistant to the Chair for Academic Standards.
In addition to the examination, students are asked to sign a release of information form permitting a Practicum Advanced Standing Evaluation to be completed by the student's bachelor of social work program. Student's undergraduate field instructors from the primary practicum sites (if more than one) are also asked to complete this evaluation. The combination of these three measures (the qualifying exam and the two practice assessment forms) makes up the primary determinants of practice maturity and the student's eligibility for receiving a practicum advanced standing designation.
Students who are granted practicum advanced standing automatically achieve transfer of the following courses:
SOWK 757A Professional Practicum and Seminar (160 hours transferred)
SOWK 757B Professional Practicum and Seminar (160 hours transferred)
SOWK 757C Professional Practicum and Seminar (160 hours transferred)
Steps to take if applying for Practicum Advanced Standing:
All of the steps below must be completed before May 1st.
1. Submit the following documents to the director of field education:
a) Release of information, enabling the department to contact your BSW director of field education if necessary.
b) Letters of reference from your BSW director of field education and a previous field instructor. The Field Committee will review these letters to evaluate your practice competency.
c) Copies of field placement outcome evaluations.
2. Contact Shannon Giles to schedule a time to take the qualifying exam.