Welcome to Field Education

Train the next generation of social work practitioners.

Field education at CSSW plays an important role in helping students put into practice what is taught in the classroom. The hands-on guidance you provide to students in the community creates a lasting impact on your organization and their education.

If you are currently a field educator or are thinking about partnering with us, the information here will help you to learn more about our program.

Benefits of Hosting Students

As you think back to your graduate school experience, your field education practicum may have been the most influential part of your professional development. By hosting our MSW students, you can pass on your expertise while you partner with a top-ranked MSW program. We offer field instructors:
  • Staff with two years of work experience can qualify for the One-Year Residency for Working Professionals (OYR) Program
  • 50% tuition reduction at CSSW for eligible employees who enroll in the OYR program and work for agencies that have hosted students for more than three years.
  • Hire Columbia graduates
  • Access to academic field advisor to support you and your assigned student
  • Discount on CSSW workshops that offer CEUs

Ready to Partner?

  1. Read our FAQ.
  2. Contact one of our directors.
  3. Interview a student.
  4. Request and sign an affiliate agreement.
  5. Fill-out the field placement request form.
New to hosting students? Go to Frequently Asked Questions.

Helpful Links:

  1. Field Education Manual
  2. Academic Calendar
  3. 2022-2023 Field Education Calendar
  4. Student Handbook
  5. SIFI
  6. Education Plan
  7. Process Recording Handbook

Seminars in Field Instruction (SIFI)

Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI) assists new field instructors with mastering the best teaching techniques for imparting the skills social workers need to achieve competency in particular social work methods. The seminar lasts either three weeks or 12 weeks and is typically held twice a year, in fall and spring. Continuing Education Credits will be awarded for NYS, NJ and CT licensed social workers. Licensed social workers for other states, please email swope@columbia.edu. Columbia University School of Social Work is a CSWE accredited institution. For more information on the general and CE requirements, please see:


Please contact Ericka Echavarria at 212-851-2396 or eme2116@columbia.edu.

Annual Placement Planning Event

The Annual Placement Planning Event is held annually in mid-January. This mandatory event allows generalist year students who are starting their specialized year placement in the fall to learn about Specialization Areas and associated placement experiences, Fields of Practice, and requirements for the field placement process. The planning event is followed by group meetings and/or individual consultations with Associate Directors to further discuss placement options, address questions, and discuss unique circumstances. Students also consult with their advisors and are encouraged to talk to faculty and current specialized year students to explore placements of interest.


If you would like to host a CSSW student, please complete the Placement Request Form and one of the Associate Directors of Field Education will contact you. For other questions, feel free to contact us at swfieldeducation@columbia.edu.