Social Work Field Experience

Social work field placement program 

Our program is designed to put you in local agencies and gain real world experience.  You will apply what you learned in the classroom and get one step closer to a career in social work.  You will discover, develop, and enhance your social work skills.

Two models

  1. Concurrent field placement: here, you can gain experience at an agency while you are taking courses.  Work three days a week at the agency for a minimum of 240 hours per semester and earn 6 credit hours. 
  2. If you have completed all your social work courses, you can still participate for an entire semester.  Here, you will work at an agency full time and gain an intense field experience.  You must work a minimum of 40 hours per week for twelve weeks and earn 12 credit hours.

Field experience examples

You can find experience in these settings:

  • federal
  • state
  • tribal
  • voluntary
  • private

Contact the field placement coordinator, Mary Damskey for more opportunities.


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To obtain field experience, you must:

  • have formally applied and been accepted as a social work major
  • have an overall GPA of 2.25
  • have attained senior status and have completed SW 321 with a grade of B or better.  In addition, for block placement, you will have completed all required courses
  • attend a field placement application orientation and follow the procedures for applying for field placement
  • agree to adhere to the agency rules and regulations as they apply to the field placement
  • not be placed in an agency of current employment without prior approval of the Field Education Coordinator; the following criteria are used to determine the appropriateness of a student placement with an agency in which currently employed:
  • Field instruction is provided by a person with the BSW or MSW degree.
  • The tasks and activities associated with the student’s field placement are clearly separated and differentiated from the tasks and activities of the student’s current employment and are documented in the Field Placement Learning Contract.
  • The tasks and activities available to the student must meet the field placement requirement of engagement in planned change activities with diverse populations across system levels.
  • The agency administration agrees to the arrangement with a statement of acknowledging the role differences between employee and field placement student, and an understanding that the purpose of field placement is for student learning, development, and mastery of generalist social work competencies.
  • participate in the field seminar offered concurrently with field placement
  • complete a minimum of 480 clock hours in a field placement setting. You may register for as few as 6 credits or as many as 12 credits of SW 408 in any given semester, with a total of 12 credit hours required.  The approximate breakdown of agency hours to credit equivalence is as follows:
CreditsTotal Clock Hrs/Semester
6240 minimum
12480 minimum


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You must fulfill the following before enrolling in SW 408 Field Placement:

1.     Check with your adviser for specific requirements and assessment of preparedness for field placement.  The requirements for field placement outlined above must be met.  

2.     Attend a Field Placement Application orientation.

3.     Complete an application for social work field placement. You are expected to discuss and review the completed field application with your academic advisor and obtain your adviser’s signature on your application before submitting it to the Field Education Coordinator. 

4.     Schedule an appointment to meet with the Field Education Coordinator to review the completed application for social work field placement and discuss placement preferences. You may provide the Field Education Coordinator with a list of potential field placement settings not currently identified as an approved field placement agency, but all contacts with potential field placement settings will be initiated by the Field Education Coordinator. 

5.     The Field Education Coordinator will match your preference with the availability of approved field placement resources and notify you and agency of the recommended match.  Included in the notification of the recommended placement to the agency will be a copy of your resume and your responses to questions 1-4 on the application form.

6.     When you receive this notification, you will initiate contact with the recommended field placement agency to schedule an interview—essentially a job interview—with the Field Instructor and other agency representatives as required by the agency.  The Field Instructor or designated agency representative will notify the Field Education Coordinator of the outcome of this interview.

You will receive confirmation of the agency placement from the Field Education Coordinator.

Application deadlines: 

Starting spring semester                    April 15

Starting summer semester                November 15

Starting fall semester                         February 15

For additional information regarding field placement, please review the BSW Field Manual.


Field Placement Forms

Social Work Field Manual 

Field placement learning path 

Application for social work field placement 

Social work field placement contract 

Social Work Learning Contract Guide

Student evaluation of field placement 

Student evaluation of the field education program 

Block timesheet 

Concurrent time sheet 

Agency forms

Agency agreement contract 

Agency evaluation of field education program