Main Content

Field Practicum

The field practicum is a distinguishing feature of social work education which plays a critical role in meeting the objectives of the program: To prepare you for the responsible practice of social work.

Applied learning through field practice is an integral component of social work education. Field instruction provides the student with the opportunity for applying social work theory and conceptual learning to realistic and practical situations.

Undergraduate Field Practicum

Through field instruction, you will deepen your understanding of human behavior and develop skills in applying social work methods to diverse populations and problems. The field experience provides "on-the-job" supervised experience and, in many cases, an opportunity to move into an appropriate entry-level position upon internship completion.

You will take (SOCW 441 and SOCW 442) during your last semester of the Social Work Program upon completion of all core Social Work coursework and other requirements. You must successfully complete a total of 420 clock hours in the social work field placement (30 hours per week). You will work closely with the Undergraduate Field Coordinator to secure field placement in a wide range of industries best suited to your career goals.

Graduate Field Instruction

In each year of study, in addition to classroom work, students are required to take field practicum.  Students may not substitute current or past, paid or volunteer, social work experience for field practicum requirements of the M.S.W. program. While Social Work takes into account the student's career goals in the selection of the field practicum assignment, we do not guarantee that students will receive their first preference of field assignment.

First year Foundation Graduate students complete Field Practicum through SOCW 541B (Fall) & 542B (Spring), completing a total of 360 hours in field education. Second year and Advanced Standing Graduate students complete Field Practicum through SOCW 543B (Fall) & 544B (Spring), completing a total of 607 hours in field education.

Recent Placements

SIU Social Work student by car with Pullium Hall in the background