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 is designed to provide student interns with the opportunity to integrate their classroom curricula knowledge and synthesize it within their field 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 450 hours of field work over fall OR spring semester.

First-year MSW students complete 480 hours of field work in one field placement over fall and spring semesters.

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

Students will choose a clinical specialization and population track (child and adolescent, adults, or older adults) in which to provide direct-practice social work services.

Advanced standing and second-year MSW students complete 600 hours of field work in one field placement over fall and spring semesters.

Field Placement

Placement procedures begin the semester prior to the start of field education. The hours and days of the field education schedule are generally arranged with the agency field education instructor and the student. Some agencies require the use of a car.

Field Education Setting

The Department of Social Work Field Education Program has partnerships with many social service agencies and nonprofit organizations 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
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Domestic Violence
  • Family and Youth Services
  • Food Pantry
  • Health Care
  • Mental Health
  • Rehabilitation
  • Schools
  • Sexual Assault Services
  • Shelter Services
  • Substance Abuse Services

For more information about specific sites, contact the Field Education Director, Rebecca Manderschied, at

Eligibility Requirements

Background Checks

Student interns should be advised that a felony convictions 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 (CANTSISYSIS) by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Academic Requirements

All student interns are expected to maintain an average GPA of 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) throughout their coursework. Student interns are informed of the criteria for evaluating academic and professional performance.


All social work majors 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. Upon graduation and working for three years under the supervision of a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) or a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), graduates are eligible to sit for the Illinois License Social Work exam.