Field Education

Field Education is an independent and integral sequence of the MSW curriculum. Students are exposed to selected and organized internship opportunities guided by the Educational Policy and Educational Standards (EPAS) and the 9 Core Competencies of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Field Education seeks to apply, and integrate the knowledge, theories and concepts of social work practice learned throughout the curriculum.

Field agencies are expected to provide "in vivo" experiences relevant to the academic content. The student, on the other hand, is expected to apply academic knowledge, social work skills, critical thinking, professional behavior, ethics and values learned in the classroom to direct practice.

All MSW students must complete four semesters of field placement, or a minimum of 1,000 hours of hands-on training, through a field placement. More hours may be added if students select to pursue special programs such as the Pupil Personnel Credential Program in the State of California, which requires 600 hours.

MSW students are matched with various social service agencies, government entities, private organizations or even non-traditional social work settings. To achieve completion of hours, students are required to complete a minimum of 16 hours per week in their first and second semesters, and a minimum of 550 hours, or 20 hours per week, in the third and fourth semesters.

The school matches students with field agency sites based on their geographic location, previous work and volunteer experience, future goals and career track, professional interests and agency needs.

field partner and student
Community Partners

Our field agencies are located throughout the country and represent a wide range of social work services and practice.
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filling in a form
Students - Forms

Forms and reflective learning tools required for student field studies in the departments of AMHW, CYF and SCI.
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faculty in the field
Field Instructors

Field instructors play a crucial role in the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work field education experience.
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Objectives of Field Education

Field Education prepares students to enter the social work profession by meeting the following objectives:

  • To integrate academic learning with all levels of field work (micro, mezzo, macro).
  • To increase proficiency in the required core competencies for social work education as it relates to field work, specified in the 2015 CSWE Social Work Competencies.
  1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior

  2. Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice

  3. Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice

  4. Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice

  5. Engage in Policy Practice

  6. Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  7. Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  • To develop the ability to understand and utilize a broad range of modalities and interventions in micro, mezzo and macro practice with diverse populations.
  • To focus on building the knowledge for generalist practice in the first semester, and establish a broad foundation for direct practice work.
  • To develop a deeper knowledge and depth of skills needed for beginning professional practice in a designated department of study in the second, third and fourth semesters.

University Park Campus

669 West 34th Street
Montgomery Ross Fisher Building
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0411

Virtual Academic Center

1150 S. Olive Street, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90015