Skip to main content

Office of Field Education

Undergraduate Field Education


What is Field Education?

Field Education is a course of study that occurs in a human service agency or organization as well as in the classroom. You may have heard it referred to as an "internship" or as a "practicum."

The Office of Field Education facilitates your assignment to an agency or organization where you will gain practical experience. You must complete a total of 480 agency-based hours across one or two semesters. If you are completing a BLOCK placement, that means that you will be completing your 480 hours in one semester (you must obtain approval for this option from your academic advisor). If you are completing a SPLIT placement, that means you will be completing your 480 hours over two consecutive semester at the same agency.

During each term, you will meet with other students who are working in field placements. This class will meet on campus or online. It includes discussion, written assignments, and exercises aimed at strengthening your skills as a social worker.

When to Apply

You must apply for field study the semester before you want to begin your field placement. You may enter field in the fall, spring, or summer. To enter field in the fall, you need to apply through when the application process is open in June and July. To enter field in the spring, you need to apply through when the application process is open September through early November. To enter Field in the summer, you need to apply through when the application process is open from February through April. To know the exact dates of application, you will need to check the SSW calendar.

Advisors in the BSW program in the School of Social Work will work closely with you to develop a degree plan that includes the requirements you must complete before you are eligible for field placement.

How to Apply

We will host question and answer sessions each semester. Watch your email for these meetings.

  • Meet with your Undergraduate Advisor.
  • Complete the application for field study thorugh
  • Purchase professional liability insurance, and submit the “Certification of Insurance” to the Field Office. Your application will not be considered "complete" until the Field Office receives this certificate.
  • Enroll in the appropriate course.
  • Receive, via email, contact information for your matched agency.
  • Call the contact person at the agency to arrange an interview.
  • Meet your interview as scheduled.
  • The agency will/or will not accept you. You will receive notice by email.
  • If accepted, you will respond by accepting the placement via email.
  • If not accepted, you will notify the field office to receive another match.

Professional Liability Insurance

You are required to purchase professional liability insurance before you can be placed in an agency. This provides coverage for you in the event that a complaint or legal action occurs as a result of your work as a field student. (See BSW Field Policy Manual.) You need only purchase coverage in the 1-3 million dollar range.