CSWE Alters Field Hours Required for Social Work Students

Published on : March 25, 2020

Contact: Patrick Dunne, [email protected], 703-489-4952

March 25, 2020, Alexandria, Va. – The safety of students, educators, social workers, and their clients and communities are paramount to the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and its Commission on Accreditation (COA). To safeguard students and faculty members, CSWE has approved an update to the number of field hours required to earn degrees in social work.

Under CSWE accreditation standards, programs provide a minimum of 400 hours of field education for baccalaureate programs and a minimum of 900 hours for master’s programs. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, students who have completed 85% of the required placement hours (i.e., 340 hours for baccalaureate programs and 765 hours for master’s programs) to a satisfactory level may, at program discretion, be evaluated as having met the field placement requirements. This option for reduced hours is for students whose field completion dates occur by December 31, 2020.  Students whose field placement completion dates occur after December 31, 2020, will be expected to complete the full 400 or 900 hours in compliance with standards.

Remote field activity, as well as field supervision and field seminar hours, may be counted toward the accrual of field hours, per earlier CSWE recommendations.

“It is our hope that programs continue to evaluate the best and safest ways for students to earn valuable experience in the field. Given the guidance of federal health agencies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, especially the need for social distancing, CSWE believes that this is a necessary step to safeguard the health and wellbeing of faculty and students, so that they can provide outstanding care and services to their own communities,” said Darla Spence Coffey, PhD, MSW, president and CEO of CSWE.
CSWE's COA is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards. CSWE continues to support social work programs and address this critical threat to public health during the spread of the coronavirus with recommendations and guidance at www.cswe.org/coronavirus

About CSWE
Founded in 1952, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the national association representing social work education in the United States. Its members include more than 800 accredited baccalaureate and master’s degree social work programs, as well as individual social work educators, practitioners, and agencies dedicated to advancing quality social work education.