Apply your classroom knowledge to real-world settings with field work experience and internships.

In accordance with the Council on Social Work Education’s Educational (CSWE) Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS), the Field Education Program is designed to provide social work student interns with the opportunity to integrate their classroom knowledge to real field situations and settings.

For Bachelor’s Level and First-Year MSW Students [ + ]

Students will apply basic knowledge and skills to engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate a client’s and client systems’ progress, keeping with the generalist practice framework.

Undergraduate students complete 480 hours of field work in one field placement over fall and spring semesters.

First-year MSW students complete 480 hours of field work in one field placement over fall and spring semesters. It is recommended that students completing this placement choose an internship that is different from their desired career choice.  

For Advanced Standing or Second-Year MSW Students [ + ]

Students will choose a clinical specialization and population track that they would like to work with.  Students will provide direct-practice and clinical social work services to these clients Advanced standing and second-year MSW students complete 600 hours of field work in one field placement over fall and spring semesters.  Students are required to have business hours available for the field placement.    

Field Placement

Placement procedures begin the semester prior to the start of field education. The field director will meet with students to assist in choosing an agency to interview with.  The hours and days of the field education schedule are generally arranged with the agency field instructor and the student. Some agencies require the use of a car. 

The Department of Social Work Field Education Program has partnerships with many social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies that provide for a range of field opportunities around the Chicagoland area. Below are examples of service areas of several organizations who, in partnership with the Social Work Field Education Program, provide field education opportunities:

  • Adoption/Foster Care 
  • Aging/Gerontology 
  • Child Welfare 
  • Crisis Intervention 
  • Developmental Disabilities 
  • Domestic Violence 
  • Family and Youth Services 
  • Forensic/Criminal Justice 
  • Health Care 
  • Grief & Loss 
  • Mental Health 
  • Rehabilitation 
  • Schools 
  • Sexual Assault Services 
  • Shelter Services/Homelessness 
  • Substance Abuse Services 

For more information about specific sites, contact the Field Director, Jennifer Lubinski, at

Eligibility Requirements

Background Checks 
Student interns should be advised that any felony and some misdemeanor convictions may prevent them from being accepted as a student intern, securing employment or sitting for the licensing exam ( Most field education organizations will conduct a criminal background check on student interns and employees. In some cases, this may include drug and alcohol screening, health physicals and Child Abuse and Neglect Reports (CANTS) by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Academic Requirements 
All student interns are expected to maintain an average GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) throughout their coursework. Student interns are informed of the criteria for evaluating academic and professional performance.

All social work students must adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics. Any student intern who is found guilty of violating any ethical standards will be subject to a formal reprimand and face possible dismissal from the program. All interns are expected to follow all the rules and procedures for the agencies they choose to work with.  

Field Instructor Resources

Please click on link to access the Field Instructor Orientation.

Field Instructor Orientation

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