Field Education

Throughout the program, you will be assigned to an agency for 16 to 17 hours per week (depending on enrollment in the part-time, full-time, or advanced standing program). You will work under the supervision of a qualified field instructor, who is an MSW social worker employed at that agency. You can expect that your field placement will provide high quality opportunities to learn, develop skills, meet social workers in the community, and make a difference in the lives of the clients served.

Field placement hours are typically scheduled sometime during the work week (i.e., Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm); there are typically no field placements available with exclusively evening or weekend hours.

Field placements are arranged by the School of Social Work and are an important of the MSW curriculum as you grow to assume the role of a professional social worker. As a matter of school policy, you are not permitted to arrange for your own field placement, ​but every effort will be made to accommodate students’ areas of interest. Also as a matter of policy, the MSW Program does not accept life or work experience as a substitute for field placement or any other required social work courses.

Field Education Schedule

The field education schedule for each academic year is developed by the Director of Field Education and is posted on blackboard at the start of each academic year. Field starts on the first day of classes each semester and ends on the last day of classes. It is the school’s expectation that the field hour requirement is completed during this time unless special permission is granted by the Director of Field Education.

The School of Social Work is always looking for additional field placements and instructors for our students. Learn more. 

Field Education FAQ's

Field hour requirements are consistent with CSWE accreditation requirements.

  • Full- and part-time students spend a total of 900 hours in field placement. 
  • Advanced standing students spend a total of 603 hours in field placement.

The School of Social Work has partnerships with ​more than 200 Greater Cincinnati agencies, including in Dayton and Northern Kentucky. Available placements can change and some locations will be more convenient for some students than others. All students should be prepared for some travel to get to their field placements; the Field Education office tries to minimize travel time when possible.

  • Advanced Standing students begin their field placements when they begin classes during their first semester of study. 
  • Full-time students begin field placement in the fall semester of their first year. 
  • Part-time students begin their field placements in the ​spring semester of their second year of study.
  • Advanced standing students have one field placement that is geared toward their ​specialization. 
  • Full-time students typically have a different field placement each year, though some exceptions exist (e.g., students working on the school social worker certificate). The first field placement focuses on ​generalist skills; the second field placement is geared toward your ​specialization. 
  • Part-time students complete their field placement at one agency. The first year is focused on ​generalist skills; the second is geared toward your ​specialization.
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School of Social Work

Health Sciences Building

PO Box 210108 | Cincinnati, OH 45221-0108

Phone: (513) 556-4615 | Fax: (513) 556-2077