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College of Social Work

Students at field education fair

Field Education

Learning the practice of social work first-hand is a key component of your bachelor’s degree education. As a social work student, you will gain hands-on training in practice settings across the greater Columbia area during your junior and senior years, impacting lives long before graduation.

What to Expect

Learning by doing is central to your experience as a social work student and takes place in the upper division as your knowledge base grows. For your field education, you will work alongside professional social workers to provide services to clients. Your knowledge and values will be tested as you navigate the practice environment, and you will gain confidence in your skills as a social worker in the supportive field education environment.

We partner with various types of human service organizations, such as those in schools, non-profit organizations and mental health facilities. We also offer many generalist field placement settings.

Your field practicum is tied to three courses within the curriculum, starting with a 16-week introductory course in the spring of your junior year accompanied by 50 hours of field internship. You will progress to a year-long internship course your senior year, working about two full days each week at your practice site and earning credit for the field education placement and related classroom assignments and research.

You will complete a field readiness application and complete an interview with the Field Education Office in the fall of your junior year. You will then be matched to a pre-approved field placement site that provides additional generalist learning opportunities and allows you to apply classroom knowledge to field practice.

Our program follows the mandates of the Council on Social Work Education. Your field education will be monitored by our trained field education liaisons who will visit you and your field instructor once each semester to ensure your learning needs are being met.

BSW internships often result in paid employment upon graduation and yield long-lasting professional connections that are beneficial for entrance into Master of Social Work degree programs.