Social Work Field Education

Social Work Field Education 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: Students will gain experience at an agency while taking courses. Devote three days a week at the agency for a minimum of 240 hours per semester and earn 6 credit hours. This option is spread out over two semesters reaching the total of 480 required hours in an agency setting.
  2. Block Field Placement: Students will be placed at an agency full time and gain an intense field experience. You must intern a minimum of 35 hours per week for fourteen weeks and earn 12 credit hours. This option is for students who have completed all of the required social work courses and can devote all of the 480 required hours in one semester.

Field Education examples

You can find education in these settings:

  • federal
  • state
  • tribal
  • voluntary
  • private

Contact the field education coordinator, Julie Fritzler for more opportunities.


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To obtain field education, 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 education application orientation and follow the procedures for applying for field education
  • agree to adhere to the agency rules and regulations as they apply to the field education
  • not be placed in an agency of current employment without prior approval of the Field Education Director; the following criteria are used to determine the appropriateness of a student placement with an agency in which currently employed:
  • Field education is provided by a person with the BSW or MSW degree.
  • The tasks and activities associated with the student’s field education are clearly separated and differentiated from the tasks and activities of the student’s current employment and are documented in the Field Education Learning Contract.
  • The tasks and activities available to the student must meet the field education 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 education student, and an understanding that the purpose of field education is for student learning, development, and mastery of generalist social work competencies.
  • participate in the field seminar offered concurrently with field education
  • complete a minimum of 480 clock hours in a field education 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 Education:

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

2.     Attend a Field Education Application orientation.

3.     Complete an application for social work field education. 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 Director. 

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

5.     The Field Education Director will match your preference with the availability of approved field education 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 education agency to schedule an interview—essentially a job interview—with the Field Director and other agency representatives as required by the agency.  The Field Instructor or designated agency representative will notify the Field Education Director of the outcome of this interview.

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

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 Education Forms

Social Work Field Manual 

Field placement learning path 

Application for social work field placement