COVID-19: Field Education | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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COVID-19: Field Education Information & Resources

Field education information is rapidly changing to adapt to the current situations in St. Louis City, County and Illinois. Throughout all these changes, the health of students and of the community is of utmost importance.

As the spread and risk of COVID-19 exists, students and field sites are expected to discuss and agree upon proper safety and public health precautions for in-person field activities.

Students may return to in-person field activities if the following conditions have been met:

  • The student and field instructor agree in-person activity is necessary to meet the needs of the client population and the learning of the student.
  • The student has received a COVID-19 vaccine per Washington University and Brown School guidelines ( unless an exemption is obtained)
  • The student has met with their Field Faculty Liaison to assess:
    • The scope and nature of the learning activities you will be involved in in-person and if it is essential.
    • The organization's plan to minimize the spread of COVID-19
      • Provision and proper use of PPE
      • Social distancing at the site
      • Other preventative measures as stated by the organization

The student will take the following precautions to minimize the spread of COVID-19:

  • Monitoring symptoms daily using the most up-to-date symptom monitoring checklist provided by the Brown School and staying home, if you have symptoms
  • Reporting exposure at the site to the school
  • Reporting exposure at the school to the site
  • Limiting activities that expose you to COVID-19 where required by law or university or organization policy.
  • Adhering to any organizational, local, state, or federal public health policies or recommendations, including those regarding masking, physical distancing, gatherings, and travel.

Please also note that CSWE has reduced the required hours for MSW students until May 31, 2022. You can find more information on that in the below FAQ.


If you have any questions, please check for answers in the FAQ below. Please also feel free to reach out to your field faculty liaison.

How many hours will I need to complete?

The Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) has reduced the number of hours required for students due to the COVID-19 crisis.

For the Brown School, we will accept the following hours reduction for practicum.

MSW Practicum Hours Reduction: The Covid-19 hours reduction has been extended to May of 2022.

  • If you have a MSW practicum in progress before May 31, 2022, you need to complete the following hours:
    • Foundation: 300 hours
    • Concentration: 510 hours – if you are mental health or school social work please talk to your field faculty about completing 600 hours to prepare for licensure.
  • If you begin a MSW practicum June 1, 2022, or later you will need to complete (based on information available as of March 2, 2021):
    • Foundation: 360 hours
    • Concentration: 600 hours

*If you are an advanced standing MSW/MPH Dual Degree Student, please reach out to the Office of Field Education.

Special considerations:

  • If you plan to seek clinical licensure, you may want to do the full 600 hours of practicum. Please check with the state licensure body you plan to apply to ensure this will not impact your application. For example Texas, Arizona, New York, Virginia and California have strict requirements that include practicum. For more information on clinical licensure, contact Joshua Walehwa in Career Services, or Alison Rico in the Office of Field Education,
  • If you plan to seek school social work licensure, please check with the state licensure body you plan to apply to ensure this will not impact your application. For example, Illinois requires 600 hours in schools. For more information about School Social Work Licensure please contact your field faculty liaison about your situation as the council on accreditation has made these provisions based on graduation date.

What should I do when I complete my practicum?

When you have completed your hours, you will need to make sure the following have been submitted:

Does the professional liability insurance provided by Washington University cover seeing clients over secure video platforms provided by my practicum?

Yes, you are covered by your professional liability insurance as long as you are:

  • seeing clients as part of your practicum
  • in alignment with your site's virtual client interaction and video platform policy, and
  • registered for practicum in this semester


Jewel Stafford

Barbara Levin

Alison Rico

Elizabeth Fuchs

Ragini Maddipati

Atia Thurman

Sunghei Han