Professional Programs (MSW & BSW) Students’ Rights and Responsibilities

Rev. 08/13/2021

Social work is a professional degree and meeting academic performance standards is a necessary, but not sufficient, outcome for ensuring continuation in the School’s degree programs. Students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior and demeanor that reflects adherence to professional standards of social work. As students of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work, you have responsibilities to your campus, school and field placement, as well as the right to expect that both the University and the School will support you in your role as student and insure that standards of conduct ( are honored.


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Non-Discrimination Policy

Grievance Policy

Both the School of Social Work and the University provide procedures for hearing student complaints or grievances. For information on the School and University’s process, click on the following links:

School of Social Work: Grievance Policy

Dean of Students:

Access and Accommodations Policy

The University of Wisconsin-Madison and the School of Social Work are committed to providing an accessible, accommodating and supportive teaching and learning environment. The McBurney Disabilities Resource Center provides information about services for which you may be eligible. For more information, please click on the following link:

The School of Social Work’s Access and Accommodation Resource Coordinator, Russ Portier (, 608-263-3616), is also available to provide information and assistance. For more information, please visit our “Information for Students with Disabilities” tab on the Student Resources page.

Sexual Harassment and Other Harassment Policy

UW-Madison prohibits sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. These offenses will not be tolerated on campus and are a violation of Wisconsin law, the student code of conduct, and employee expectations.

Tracy Schroepfer, PhD, is the Sexual Harassment Liaison at the School of Social Work and is available to consult and provide support to School of Social Work Students ( or 608-263-3837).


To report any of these offenses, please contact one of the offices listed below. You may choose to report to a campus office, to law enforcement, to both, or to neither. These offices will provide assistance and information to victims, address the potential for a hostile environment, and will forward the information to be considered for an investigation of and possible disciplinary action against of the alleged perpetrators(s).

Dean of Students Office

UW-Madison Title IX Coordinator, Lauren Hasselbacher, JD (

University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department

Not Choosing to Report

If you do not wish to file a report with a campus office or law enforcement but would like more information and to ensure your confidentiality, contact an office designated by UW-Madison as a confidential resource. If you are unsure if an office or employee is a confidential resource, you are encouraged to ask for clarification. The following are designated confidential resources:

A complete list of on- and off-campus resources and options available to victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and/or stalking can at the University Health Services Campus & community resources page.

Anti-Violence Policy

Consistent with University policies, the School will not tolerate intimidating, threatening, aggressive, or violent behavior or other conduct that endangers or attempts to endanger or threaten the property, health or safety of a student and/or interferes or attempts to interfere with a student’s ability to participate in School of Social Work or other University activities. For an immediate threat, call 911. For non-immediate threats, contact the Dean of Student’s Office at 608-263-5700. For more information, please click on the following link:

Students have the right to participate in School governance.

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Participation on School Committees

Students are welcome to become members of School Committees, especially those related to academic and student affairs. For a listing of current school committees please visit our Student Involvement page.

Vote at All-School Meetings

Students have a vote at All-School meetings through their Student Union Representative.

Students have the right to organize in their own interest

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Student Organizations

To start a new group, talk with faculty member, an advisor, or a Student Union leader.

Students have the right to have their academic record kept confidential.

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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)


Along with rights come responsibilities. Just as students need to be aware of their rights, they also need to be attentive to their responsibilities.

Students are responsible for knowing the requirements of their academic program

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Advising Policies

Graduate School Policies

Field Program Policies

Students are responsible for their academic performance and integrity

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Academic Integrity

Academic honesty is based on the premise that each student has the responsibility to:

  • Uphold the highest standards of academic integrity in your own work
  • Refuse to tolerate violations of academic integrity in your University community
  • Foster a high sense of academic integrity and responsibility on the part of the University community
  • Understand and sign the School’s plagiarism document
  • Hold fellow students accountable to this academic code

For more information on University policies and procedures regarding Student Academic Misconduct, please go to this link:

Grades and Grading Policy

Satisfactory Progress Criteria

Plagiarism Policy

Duty to Disclose Policy

Students are responsible for understanding the requirements of the Social Work profession

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The Social Work Profession

  • Gain knowledge about the purpose and benefits of the National Association of Social Work
  • Actively pursue information related to your career goals
  • Be informed about the continuing education requirements of the profession
  • Refer to the National Association of Social Work (NASW) Code of Ethics to guide your practice through the Program and beyond. Each student read and signed this document upon admission to the Social Work Program, but it is not to be forgotten because these are the core beliefs and values of the Social Work Profession
  • Seek assistance for personal issues (e.g., substance abuse, mental health issues, psychosocial stress) that interfere with your classroom and field learning. University Health Services provides counseling for UW-Madison students who are enrolled and pay segregated fees (

Students are responsible for social work professional demeaner and performance in the classroom, in field and in their interactions with agency supervisors, faculty, staff and student colleagues.

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Code of Ethics


Please note that the responsibilities below are intended to serve as general guidelines but are not intended to supplant your instructor’s policies outlined in the course syllabus, which take precedence.

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  • Attend classes, field seminars and field placements
  • Remain for the duration of each class, field seminar and field placement
  • Honor your scheduled hours established with your field supervisor

Late Arrival and Late Assignments

  • Arrive on time for classes, field seminars and field placements
  • Complete assignments and assigned tasks on time


  • Do not use your phone (includes texting), email, and/or visit social media websites (e.g., Facebook) during classes, field seminars and meeting, or during field placement hours
  • For use of technology approved by the McBurney Disability Center, always notify your instructor and field supervisor of this accommodation

Responsiveness to Feedback

  • Remain open to feedback received from student peers, faculty, staff, and field placement colleagues and supervisors
  • Incorporate feedback into assignments, field tasks, behavior and communications

Professional Communication

  • Check your UW-Madison Wisc email and phone messages regularly
  • Respond to your UW-Madison Wisc email and phone messages promptly and respectfully
  • When writing emails, use a salutation, introduce yourself, state your purpose, express thanks and close with your full name and student id when appropriate



Be an active and thoughtful participant in classes, field seminars, meetings, and field settings.


Demonstrate respect in academic and professional relationships, including in classroom settings, by using a respectful tone of voice, not interrupting, not talking.


Complete professional tasks proactively and without continuous guidance and/or reminders (e.g., course assignments, field work, and professional interactions with others) in an accurate thorough and timely manner.