School of Social Work

MSW Field Education

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the accrediting body for all higher education schools of social work in the United States. The goal of the CSWE is to ensure that all students who earn the title of Social Worker have met the same standards of quality for professional practice. The CSWE sets the tone and requirements for field education and all other components of MSW programs. Additionally, the CSWE requires that MSW students complete both a generalist field education experience that allows students to learn and demonstrate CSWE core competencies (e.g., utilizing ethical principles to conduct practice) and an advanced field experience that allows students to demonstrate competence in advanced generalist or clinical environments. CSWE further establishes guidelines that accredited schools of social work must follow in terms of:

  • Selecting field placement settings.
  • Monitoring students while on-site.
  • Maintaining communication between the university and the field placement site.
  • Evaluating student progress.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the field settings.
  • Determining the criteria of qualified field instructors.

These guidelines ensure that, regardless of where in the country students are earning their MSW, they are receiving a consistent, high-quality experience in the on-the-job portion of their social work training.

Overview of MSW Field Work

MSW Field Placement Timeline & Process

Field Education FAQs

MSW Field Manual