MSW Field Experience
MSW Program Practicum Experiences
Both the Intermediate curriculum and Concentration curriculum of the MSW program include field practicum courses (internships) with field instructors who meet the standards of Indiana University School of Social Work. Practicum experiences give students the opportunity to work in agencies under the supervision of an experienced MSW. Practicum courses are taken either prior to or concurrent with classroom course work. A student in the program is required to have field instruction in two different agency settings. The School is responsible for arranging the field placements of the students. Attention is given to students’ learning needs, professional goals, and interests. Students in practicum are expected to meet professional service responsibilities, following the work schedule of their field agencies during holiday periods and/or semester recess in order to meet service needs. Students need to understand there are a very limited number of practica that have exclusive night or weekend hours. Practica are offered predominantly Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Students will need to be able to make arrangements with employers to accommodate practice hours.
The first practicum experience (S555) takes place during the intermediate courses in the curriculum, and it requires 16-20 hours a week for one semester (320 total hours, or 240 total hours for students with a Bachelor of Social Work degree and Advanced Standing status). The Intermediate Field Practicum is generically based (i.e., not specialized) while the Concentration Field Practicum coincides with the student's field of practice concentration. The second practicum experience (S651 & S652) takes place during the concentration year and matches the student’s chosen concentration. This practicum requires 640 hours and may be completed in a variety of ways, depending on the campus and the concentration. Normally, this requires 16 hours per week during the fall semester and 24 hours per week during the spring semester of the Concentration curriculum. However, other combinations of hours are possible. Students may also elect to complete all third year academic courses during the third year and begin the concentration practica in the following summer and fall semesters. This delays completion of the degree until December.
Details regarding field practica policies and procedures are found in the MSW Field Manual.
MSW Field Handbook