The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is earned through satisfactory performance in 60 credits or, for advanced-standing, MasterTrack or MicroMasters MSW students, 45 credits of coursework. Field education constitutes 14 of the 60 credits, with 2 credits earned at the foundation level (SW 515) and 12 credits earned at the advanced level (SW 691) unless the student has been granted an exemption. Students must complete a total of 912 hours of fieldwork unless advanced-standing status has been approved. If students are granted advanced-standing status, they must complete 684 hours of fieldwork. The field placement offers an opportunity for students to add depth and breadth to their previous experience and is also a time to explore a new area of field study. The field placement is an integral part of the MSW program and has strict standards from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) that must be adhered to. The School of Social Work does not grant fieldwork credit for current or past work experience or life experience.
Each credit of foundation field education equals 114 clock hours, and 2 credits or 228 field-site clock hours of foundation field education are required. Each advanced field education credit equals 57 clock hours, and 684 field-site clock hours are required. The number of days per week that a student logs in the field placement setting is based on the number of credits registered for and is figured based on a 15 week term. Students need to enroll for a minimum of 16 clock hours of fieldwork per week for each term the student is enrolled in a field course (SW 515 and SW 691).
One fieldwork day is considered to be that which the fieldwork setting defines as such, typically 7 or 8 hours. Students placed in settings such as public schools, where a typical work day might be less than 7–8 hours, should be especially careful in developing a fieldwork schedule to ensure that the required number of fieldwork hours is completed per term.