Value & Benefits of CSWE Accreditation  

Value & Benefits of CSWE Accreditation  

CSWE-accreditation speaks to public trust and accountability across the social work continuum. 


Attending a CSWE-accredited social work program provides assurance that the program in which a student enrolls is committed to quality and educating students on social work competencies necessary to enter practice. Attending a CSWE-accredited program may help graduates qualify for employment or licensure that require completion of a CSWE-accredited degree.  

Programs that achieve and maintain CSWE accreditation have completed a multistep accreditation process that involves program self-studies, site visits, and review by the CSWE Board of Accreditation to ensure compliance with educational policies and accreditation standards. CSWE accreditation standards apply to all social work programs, on-line or on-campus formats.   

Visit the Directory of Accredited Programs for a complete list of accredited social work programs.  

Social Work Programs   

CSWE-accredited social work programs ensure the program mission is aligned with social work competencies to prepare students for professional practice, and are committed to ongoing program assessment and renewal based on data-informed decision-making. Beyond review for reaffirmation of accreditation every eight years, CSWE-accredited programs engage in continuous quality improvement ensuring that students are prepared to practice safely, competently, and ethically with all clients, constituents, and the public. 

Licensing Boards  

Through social work competencies graduates of CSWE-accredited programs are prepared for holistic professional practice based on scientific inquiry and best practices, consistent with social work values. The CSWE Board of Accreditation reviews baccalaureate level programs for generalist practice competencies, and master’s level programs for generalist and specialized practice competencies based on one or more areas of specialized practice.   

Social Workers in Practice  

Graduating from a CSWE-accredited social work program does not guarantee an individual job placement or licensure, but it may facilitate this process. Most state and U.S. territory requirements stipulate that a social worker pursuing licensure or sitting for a licensing exam be a graduate of a CSWE-accredited program.  

The Public  

A pillar of accreditation is public accountability and transparency. This means the public can trust that CSWE-accredited programs have the resources, administrative structure, and curriculum to ensure graduates are prepared to enter provide competent and ethical social work services.