Field education gives students insight into the wide range of social work settings where graduates find employment.
Working in the field with our qualified UConn field instructors, students apply theory to real-world situations, acquire and practice new skills, and learn to navigate the complexities of delivering service to individuals, families, and communities.
Connecting Theory to Practice
Field education is an integral part of the curriculum and represents a significant portion of each student's educational experience. UConn SSW supports field placements based on the areas of concentration within the School: Community Organizing; Individuals, Groups, and Families; and Policy Practice.
Students in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program complete two internships. Advanced Standing students complete one internship.
The Foundation (first year) internship provides a generalist perspective of social work practice through a wide range of field assignments. The Advanced (second year) internship focuses primarily on the student’s concentration: Individuals, Groups, and Family Practice; Community Organizing; or Policy Practice.
MSW Field Education:
- Offers a wide range of placement opportunities throughout Connecticut
- Provides weekly supervision from an MSW field instructor based at the agency
- Requires students to spend 15 or 20 hours a week at their field placement; at least 8 hours must be during the day
- Requires that students are enrolled in concurrent coursework
- Includes two field placements beginning in the fall semester and spanning the academic year
- Advanced Standing students complete one field placement that spans the academic year focused on their advanced concentration
- Students may request approval to use their place of employment as a field site
For Students: Field Practicum Requirements
Field education is a required component of the curriculum of the UConn School of Social Work (SSW) Master of Social Work (MSW) program. Students should become familiar with field expectations and processes so that we can meet the educational needs of each student while also supporting agencies in fully meeting the needs of their clients and the community.
All required field practicum experiences must be completed at a UConn SSW-approved facility. The School will assist you with securing a field practicum placement.
As a student in the SSW master's program you must complete all required field experiences. If you are unable to complete all required experiences, you will not graduate from the MSW program. A full list of student responsibilities in field practicum education is currently being revised; please check back.
The University and the Program have a set of requirements and each facility may have additional requirements for student placements. The financial cost to meet all requirements is your responsibility; these costs are not included in your tuition and fees and are generally not covered by financial aid.
Requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Successfully completing a background screening. Background screenings verify social security numbers and include checking state and federal criminal records and sex offender registries. Background screenings may occur at one or more times during the program. If your background screening shows that you have a criminal record or are listed as a sex offender, you may not be able to secure a placement. If you have any questions regarding background checks, you can contact the UConn’s Clinical Case Manager at email@example.com.
- Minimally, you will need to demonstrate immunity through titers for childhood disease such as measles, mumps and varicella. A record of previous immunizations is not sufficient to fulfill these requirements. Titers are required. Without them, you may not be able to secure a placement. It has been UConn’s experience that facilities will not accept a religious exemption form in lieu of proof of immunity and will deny placements to any student who fails to provide such proof. Evidence of immunity and costs associated with testing are your responsibility. Titers may be done through either your personal provider or the University’s student health and wellness service.
- An annual tuberculosis screening is required. More details on the specific type will be provided in your onboarding session.
- Annual documentation of receipt of the seasonal influenza vaccine is not required by the SSW but is strongly encouraged. It has been UConn’s experience that many facilities will not accept a religious exemption form in lieu of proof of vaccination and will deny placements to any student who fails to provide such proof. Evidence of vaccinations and costs associated with testing are your responsibility.
If you are not able to meet the above requirements, you will most likely not be able to complete the program’s field placement experience requirements.
Contact the Office of Clinical Placement Coordination (OCPC) with any questions related to University background check and immunization requirements.
Students may not begin the field placement process or begin/continue an assigned field placement without fully meeting all compliance requirements through ADB/Complio. Please refer to materials from the Office of Clinical Placement Coordination (OCPC) for details about your requirements and deadlines and email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about your compliance status.
Additional Field Placement Experience Requirements:
In addition to the above requirements, some facilities require the successful completion of other types of requirements such as those listed below. Students will be informed of any additional facility requirements at the time they are assigned a field placement and will have time to complete these requirements before beginning the field placement. The costs associated with meeting these additional requirements are your responsibility.
- Successfully passing drug screenings. Drug screenings may occur at one or more times during the field placement. If you test positive for drug use, you may not be able to secure a placement at a facility or may be removed from a placement. This includes, but is not limited to, testing positive for prescribed medical marijuana or opiates. If you have any questions regarding drug screenings, you can contact the UConn’s Clinical Case Manager at email@example.com. Disclosure of drug use does not indicate a passed drug screen.
- CPR: Basic Life Support, including Adult, Child and AED, through the American Heart Association OR a current EMT license.
- Other: Other types of screenings include fingerprinting, debarment list screenings, and Motor Vehicle Records checks.
If you are not able to meet a facility’s additional requirements in a timely manner, you will not be able to complete the scheduled field placement experience, which in turn will delay your ability to complete the program.
If you have any questions regarding background checks and drug screens, you can contact the UConn’s Clinical Case Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. For all other inquires please contact email@example.com.
For Students: Placement Hours and Process
- 15 hours for 37 weeks, Sept. to mid-June, for a total of 560 hours. First-year students will not be eligible for Summer Block Placement. Second-year students: Please be advised that your degree will be conferred in August and will affect when you can take the LMSW exam and when you can start a job (most jobs in CT require that you have the LMSW and that your MSW degree is already conferred).
- 20 hours for 28 weeks, Sept. to end of April, for a total of 560 hours
- Summer Block Placement is 35 hours per week for IGFP students only and is not guaranteed
Common Questions on the Placement Process:
Below are some common questions and scenarios that come up during the field placement process.
Student has an interest in working with a new agency/program that UConn has not worked with in the past.
If a student has an interest in working with a specific agency or program that should be indicated on the field education placement form. All agencies must meet specific qualifications to become a registered field site for the University. These will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
The agency does not have an MSW to serve as the field supervisor.
Due to accrediting standards, there must be an MSW to serve as the MSW field supervisor. Should a student be interested in a specific site, it should be indicated on the field education form and the field coordinator will follow up appropriately.
How far will my placement be?
The field education coordinators use the home address as an indicator of distance. Based on the experience of the student, student interest and geographic location most sites are between 20-45 minutes distance. Please note, that if a student is looking for a specific placement type, there may be limited available options and the field coordinator will discuss with you further.
Additional Information to support your academics and campus life can be found at: MSW Student Page
For Students: Stipend Internships
CT Health Horizons Scholarships
Master of Social Work (MSW) students participating in one of two programs, Connecticut ¡Adelante! or our School Social Work Program, are eligible to receive between $5,000 and $10,000 per year in tuition assistance from CT Health Horizons, a three-year higher education program designed to address statewide shortages in nursing and behavioral health providers.
Connecticut ¡Adelante! This new MSW program is designed to increase the number of bilingual social workers trained to meet the mental health needs of Latino/a/x families in Connecticut. Read more and apply now.
The School Social Work Program. This program’s goal is to prepare more MSW students to enter school social work and address the youth mental health crisis in Connecticut. For information, contact Regina Lester-Harriat.
The Scholars in Aging Program
Through a generous gift from a donor, the School of Social Work established the Scholars in Aging Program in 2022. This stipend-based internship program prepares Master of Social Work (MSW) students with specialized classroom and field training to serve the growing number of adults aged 65 and older within diverse communities and institutional settings.
The program will accept a cohort of eight students who have a strong interest in working with adults aged 65 and older. Priority consideration will be given to MSW advanced-year students who have chosen the Individuals, Groups and Families concentration; available spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
DCF Child Welfare Stipend Program
The UConn School of Social Work has a longstanding partnership with the Connecticut State Department of Children and Families to increase a more diverse, professionally trained, master’s level public child welfare workforce. The development of this program is influenced by the NCWWI CT Partnership for Child Welfare Excellence from 2014. The selection process is competitive with up to five positions for students who are non-DCF employees and will work at CT DCF upon graduation. The program is open to eligible students, Spanish speakers preferred. Interested students are highly encouraged to attend the information session during the spring semester prior to the start of the academic year.
For Agencies & Field Instructors
The Field Education Department welcomes the opportunity to meet and discuss field education and supporting the work of area agencies and field instructors.
All agencies looking to have field education students at their agency must have a signed Affiliation agreement and an agency application in place with the school.
Agency/Field Instructor link
The placement process begins in January and continues throughout the summer. Should your agency have any changes or additions during this time please let us know so that we have the correct information. All updates can be emailed to Field Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seminar In Field Instruction:
New Field Instructors are required to take the seminar in field instruction during the fall semester of the first year in which they have a student. A schedule and registration is sent with the student confirmation.
Current Field Instructors:
The Department has created a landing page to support you in your role as a field instructor for a UConn student. We will add information and announcements as needed. This page was created with the intent to have all resources in one place to support you.
COVID-19 and Field Education
View FAQs regarding COVID-19 and Field Education.
Contact and Office Hours
Main Phone: (959) 200-3636
Nicole Campbell, DSW, LCSW
Director of Field Education
Administrative Services Specialist
Liane Lussier Smith, LCSW
Isalena Gilzene, MSW
Maria Koistinen, MSW
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Any student wishing to request an appointment can email email@example.com. We will send you a meeting link via Nexus. For students that need assistance after 4:00 p.m., we will make special arrangements to accommodate you.