BSSW Field Education and Internship


The mission of the Bachelor of Social Work program is to prepare students for practice as competent social workers. Field education is a central part of this preparation as it allows students to demonstrate critical thinking and self-reflection in real practice situations while also assisting students develop a professional identity.


The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the national accrediting body for all social work programs in the United States. CSWE designates field education as the “signature pedagogy” to emphasize much of the learning to prepare students for professional practice occurs during their field education experience. Social work considers the field experience as the final “capstone” of education, and the pathway to employment as a professional social worker. CSWE has established nine areas of competence to guide evaluating a student’s readiness for entry-level practice. Students will have all the nine areas addressed in the various courses throughout the social work program’s curriculum. The field experience is the time to integrate and demonstrate the knowledge, values, skills and cognitive/affective abilities students have gained in the classroom into practice.   

During the semester prior to the student’s planned time for entering field, students will apply to the Field Coordinator requesting a field placement. The student will have an interview with the Field Coordinator to discuss appropriate agency options to meet the student’s educational needs and create a plan to satisfy all requirements necessary for the student to begin the internship the following semester. Students will have an opportunity to interview at potential agencies and submit a ranked list of preferences to the Field Coordinator. However, the Field Coordinator makes the final decision on placement of students for the field experience.

The program’s field curriculum consists of a 12-credit hour Field Instruction course (i.e. agency internship) and a 3-credit Integrative Seminar course taken once a week throughout the semester. Students take both courses simultaneously after they have finished all other courses. As a result, the internship and seminar are usually completed in the last semester before the student graduates. The minimum hours needed to complete the internship is 420. That equates to an average of 28 hours a week, for 15 weeks for fall and spring semesters. During the summer semester, an average of 35 hours a week for 12 weeks. The student must pass both the Field Instruction course and the Integrative Seminar course in the same semester in order to graduate.

During the internship, all students are supervised by a social worker with either a BSW or MSW degree with at least two years-experience in the field, referred to as a Field Instructor. The Field Instructor will spend a minimum of one hour weekly providing direct supervision to the student. The Field Instructor will formally evaluate the student’s performance, based on the nine competency areas, at the mid-term and final points in the semester. The Field Instructor must rate the student as competent and ready for entry-level, generalist practice in order for the student to pass the Field Instruction course.

Potential Internship Sites:

  • Hospitals
  • Long-Term Care
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Use
  • Schools
  • Macro Social Work
  • Case Management
  • Older Adults
  • Kids/Youth/Families
  • Eating Disorders
  • Corrections

Potential Host Site Information

If you or someone at your agency has a BSW or MSW degree with at least two years experience in the field, availability to provide supervision for at least one-hour a week and would like to host a BSSW student, please use the link below to fill out the form. 

Link to Host Site Form


Students need 107 total credits prior to applying for field. 

Students need to have all core classes completed or in progress prior to applying for field. 

Students need to have a minimum of 420 hours at their internship during their final semester. This final semester can be during the fall, spring or summer. 

No. The Field Coordinator will assist the student in finding a placement and will make the final decision about where the student will be placed for their internship.

Possibly. Talk to Field Coordinator about your employment as some or all of your employment hours could count as your internship hours.  

Updated: 11/20/2023 12:33PM