Field Education

Field education is an integral part of your Master of Social Work (MSW) program, whether you are enrolled as a traditional or advanced standing student. Our approach is to put you in the field soon after you start classes so you can spend the maximum amount of time refining your skills while helping both individuals and communities.

When it is time to start your field education, a placement specialist will meet with you to discuss your goals and secure appropriate sites for you near your area. The Field Education Department will approve each placement before you begin, ensuring your sites reflect our program’s core values while providing meaningful experience that you can apply across a variety of professional settings after graduating.

During each placement, you will be supervised by a professional social worker employed at your site. In order for you to receive the best training possible, supervisors are required to have an MSW and complete a seminar in field education.

Field education comprises a foundation phase, advanced phase, and a field advising seminar.

  • Foundation field education: Traditional students spend the first half of their curriculum applying generalist social work skills while supporting individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  • Advanced field education: All students complete specialist field placements that support micro and macro practice skills.
  • Field advising seminar: All students take the field advising seminar each year they are enrolled. Led by their faculty adviser, students meet in small groups to discuss their field education experience, problem solve, and create a community of learning related to practice and field education.

Depending on your plan of study, you will begin field education during your first or second term, spending 16 to 21 hours per week at your placement site. Placement can start as early as five weeks after you begin classes.

Traditional MSW

2 placement sites (1 generalist, 1 specialist)

1,200 total placement hours

Visit the Traditional MSW Course Sequence page to learn more about field placement sessions and credit hours.

Advanced Standing MSW

1 placement site (specialist)

600 total placement hours

Visit the Advanced Standing Course Sequence page to learn more about field placement sessions and credit hours.

After completing the field education requirements, you will have the skills and the confidence to pursue licensure and employment as a compassionate practitioner.

Take the Next Step

Request information below to learn how OnlineMSW@Fordham prepares you with the forward-facing skills you need to become a social work leader in the 21st century.