Candidacy Process


Visit the Accreditation Scope and Services for more information about the Department of Social Work Accreditation offerings.


Review policy 5. Candidacy & Initial Accreditation in the Accreditation Policy Handbook to learn about the Candidacy process.


Benchmark Grid:The Benchmark Model chart illustrates which features of the Educational Policies and Academic Standards (EPAS) and which accreditation standards (AS) the program is working on during each candidacy visit. For more information on the Candidacy Benchmark Model can be found in the Accreditation Policy Handbook .

Team Approach Grid: Optional resource for managing and delegating duties to team members.

Faculty Hiring Grid: Resource to assist programs in plainning thier faculty hiring thorughout the candidacy process

Formatting Guidelines: Required guidelines for formatting documents for submission to CSWE.


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Candidacy Eligibility

Candidacy Eligibility Application: The baccalaureate or master's program submits the Candidacy Eligibility Application with supporting materials to begin the candidacy application process. Once approved, the program may submit its draft Benchmark 1 document. 

Benchmark Materials 

  • 2015 EPAS benchmark materials and resources can be found here
  • 2022 EPAS benchmark materials and resources can be found here 

Pre-Candidacy/Determination of Program's Agenda Date

CSWE staff review the programs Benchmark 1 document and work with the program to make certain it has fully addressed all requirements of Benchmark 1. After approval of the Benchmark 1 document, the program is granted pre-candidacy status. Programs are not formally placed on an agenda until the Benchmark 1 document as been approved by CSWE staff.The date of Benchmark 1 approval determines the program’s agenda date (February, June, or October), noted on the timetables below. Timetables include information such as deadlines and required documentation, and guide baccalaureate and master's programs through the Candidacy process. 

2022 EPAS Candidacy Timetables:

Candidacy Visits

Review policies 5.9, 5.10, 5.11 in the Accreditation Policy Handbook.

Resources for in-person visits:

Resources for virtual visits:

BOA Decisions

Review policies 5.12, 5.13, 5.14 in the Accreditation Policy Handbook.

Agenda Adjustments and Postponements of Candidacy Review

A baccalaureate or master's program in pre-candidacy or candidacy may request a permanent one-meeting agenda adjustment at any benchmark. To request an agenda adjustment please submit this form to the program's accreditation specialist. For more information on agenda adjustments during pre-candidacy or candidacy, please review policy 4.6 in the Accreditation Policy Handbook.