Welcome to the Field Education Program

 

Discover Our World in Field Education

Field education is one of the most rewarding components of pursuing a degree in social work. This is a time for students to practice and develop social work skills under competent supervision while impacting communities, families, individuals and policy.

Programs of Study

Field practicum is a social work course included in a student’s Plan of Study. Our field practicum experiences provide students with the opportunity to integrate the knowledge, skills, and values learned in the classroom setting and field instructor’s teaching to the delivery of social services in a practice situation.

BSW and MSW students are required to apply for field placement and complete a background check before they are placed with an agency. Students are placed using a holistic perspective. We consider input from students and consult with faculty, advisors, and the Field Committee to match each student’s educational needs with a specific agency.

We’re committed to considering students’ personal circumstances when making placement decisions but we cannot guarantee a particular field placement in a geographic area. For this reason, we encourage students to start early considering your obligations, your “musts” in life, the things you can put to the side during this course, and those things you can negotiate. Practicum is often about negotiating, which is an excellent social work skill. Begin this practice as you consider applying to one of our many field opportunities.

Field FAQs

Learn more about our Field Education Program in our Frequently Asked Questions! (pdf)

Field Hours by Program

Program Semester Hours
BSW Fall 450 hours (32 hours for 15 weeks)
MSW Traditional, 60-Credit Hour Spring I
Spring II
500 hours (32 hours for 15 weeks)
500 hours (32 hours for 15 weeks)
MSW 60-Credit Hour DL/Primarily Online Summer 500 hours (32 hours for 15 weeks)
MSW Advanced-Standing Spring 500 hours (32 hours for 15 weeks)
MSW/MPH Coordinated Degree Spring
Summer
500 hours (32 hours for 15 weeks)
500 hours (32 hours for 15 weeks)

* While this breakdown is typical for traditional placements, students also have the option for extended placements.

BSW

Undergraduate students use the educational resources in the classroom and the field to develop a responsible, analytical approach to his or her own practice and to the practice of others.

MSW

Graduate students apply classroom teaching and learning in real-world settings to acquire the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for the development of practice competence.

Washington, D.C.

A unique field opportunity in the nation’s capital that exposes BSW and MSW students to outstanding direct service programs and public policy and advocacy implementation.

International

A transformative learning experience that teaches students firsthand about different cultures and how social welfare services are interpreted and provided abroad.

Financial Assistance for Field

The School of Social Work offers generous stipends and scholarships for students who participate in the Washington, D.C. Internship, international and our many other field experiences. Field funding opportunities include:

  • Veteran Affairs Training Stipend
  • HRSA Transitional Youth Fellowship
  • Title IV-E Child Welfare Stipend
  • Gilead Foundation Scholarship HIV/AIDS

  • Pediatric Pulmonary Center Social Work Traineeship
  • Leadership Education in Adolescent Health Traineeship
  • Department of Youth Services Scholarship

Learn About Financial Aid for Field

Find a Field Placement Right for You

Our Field Education Office has developed a strong relationship with more than 300 agencies located in Alabama, Washington, D.C., out-of-state and internationally. We also offer specialized opportunities in Ghana, South Korea and China. We connect our students with agencies and organizations that provide services for:

  • AIDS/HIV patients
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Health care
  • Adoption
  • Victims of domestic violence
  • Inpatient psychiatry

  • Aging/Alzheimer’s
  • Corrections/criminal justice
  • Child welfare
  • Geropsychiatry
  • Forensics
  • Grief/bereavement

  • Mental health
  • Substance abuse/recovery
  • Community-based practice
  • Military/veterans
  • Homeless
  • School Social Work

Whatever your interest, our Field Office is ready to help you gain the experience you need to reach your educational goals.

Talk to a Field Coordinator

Field Instructor and Agency Resources

The Field Education Program provides training and other resources to field instructors and agency partners because of the vital role each plays in educating our field students. The Field Team welcomes inquiries from social service agencies about SSW’s Field Education Program and social work professionals who wish to serve as a field instructor.

Partner with Field