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Research & Statistics

The CSWE organizational mission includes the charge to advocate for social work education and research. CSWE's strategic plan outlines the need for research to inform policy and practice and to serve the needs of CSWE member programs—their deans, directors, faculty members, and students. The CSWE Commission on Research (COR) and CSWE research staff work to serve that need. COR developed research priorities with input from the CSWE commissions and councils to guide their work; they will report on progress periodically. 

CSWE conducts research through surveys, the annual census of social work programs, and quality assurance measures for the Commission on Accreditation. Descriptions of the ongoing research efforts and reports on the results are available in this section. Contact the Institutional Research staff for more information about projects and data.

Research Updates

New Brief: Social Work Student Perceptions: Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Educational Experience and Goals 

CSWE is presenting research that shows that more than 9 in 10 social work students who had in-person classes move online during the spring 2020 semester would be interested in returning to the classroom. The survey, conducted in partnership with faculty from California State University, Sacramento, Division of Social Work, showed the impact to students when social work education moved online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also also about students' intentions to enroll in fall 2020 courses under different scenarios and how students had been personally affected by the pandemic.

Specifically, the results show that 91.1% of students who had face-to-face classes in the spring would re-enroll in face-to-face classes this fall if offered by their programs.

Access the full brief here.

2018 Annual Survey

The 2018 Annual Statistics on Social Work Education in the United States report is now available. The report includes the most comprehensive and current information on the state of social work education and is used to inform policy decisions, identify issues and trends, and assist in social work education research. The summary report provides a broad picture of social work programs and their offerings, including

  • students and gratduates at all levels,
  • enrollment numbers,
  • degree conferral rates, and
  • graduate loan debt information

This year's report format has been modified based on feedback received from CSWE members. New this year, trend analyses of enrollment and degree conferral rates are included in the report. 

The 2018 Annual Survey collected data between May 6, 2019, and July 15, 2019.

The 2019 Annual Survey was administered in its typical time period, November 2019–January 2020. The 2019 Annual Statistics on Social Work Education in the United States will be available in August, 2020.

2015 State of Field Education Survey

A final report of findings on the 2015 State of Field Education Survey from the CSWE Council on Field Education is now available. The first publication from this survey was an executive summary released in 2015. The final report provides additional analysis with a focus on field directors.

National Workforce Initiative

In 2015 the Leadership Roundtable launched a national social work workforce study encompassing all levels and fields of practice. The George Washington University Health Workforce Institute has produced three products:  Profile of the Social Work Workforce  and reports on graduates from 2017 and 2018. Read more about the workforce study here.