Field education is a vital part of earning an MSW.
It is where students learn how to apply social work theories from the classroom to social work practice. Working in the field is intense, but students invariably find it rewarding.
Field Education RequirementsEach semester, students work at a placement site three days a week (21 hours)—one day more than the minimum specified by the Council on Social Work Education—usually 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Typical field settings include schools, hospitals, courts, substance abuse clinics, prison, international governmental organizations, and community health clinics. Learning opportunities include case management, crisis intervention, program development, and policy intervention and administration. On-campus students have access to a field education network of more than 800 agencies and nonprofits throughout New York City (including all boroughs), New Jersey and Connecticut. We also have more than 300 placements in cities nationwide for students attending the online campus. The Field Education Department matches each student individually with agencies and field instructors and then works to ensure that the student’s learning objectives are met through a detailed educational plan. During a student’s first (generalist) year, the focus is on generalist social work practice. In the second (specialized practice) year, the focus is on the student’s chosen method area of concentration and field of practice. At that time, students will work closely with an associate director in the Field Education Department to find a placement that helps them to develop a specialized skill set. Please note:
- Two-Year and Part-Time to Full-Time (Extended) Program students complete 1,200 hours at two different placement sites.
- Advanced Standing and Transfer students complete one year, or 600 hours, of field education.
- One-Year Residency for Working Professionals (Reduced Residency) students complete 900 hours of field education.
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