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College of Social Work

  • Caroline Ambrose at Lexington Medical Center field placement

Field Education

Field education is the signature pedagogy of social work education, integrating the theoretical and conceptual contribution of the classroom with the professional world of the practice setting.

What to Expect

Learning the practice of social work first-hand is a key component of your bachelor’s degree education. Students gain hands-on training in real practice settings across the greater Columbia area during their junior and senior years. Field education allows students to work alongside professional social workers and provide services to clients.

We partner with various types of human service organizations to offer a variety of generalist field placement settings.

Our BSW program follows the mandates of the Council on Social Work Education. Your field education will be monitored by our trained field education liaisons who will visit you and your field instructor once each semester to ensure your learning needs are being met.


The field practicum is comprised of three courses. During the fall term of your  junior year, you will complete a field readiness application and interview with the Field Education Office. During your senior year, you will benefit from 400 hours of mentorship by a BSW credentialed field instructor,  by completing SOWK 481 (Fall) and SOWK 482 (Spring).

Placement Opportunities

Students are placed in field sites each year, allowing them to match academics with a meaningful practicum. Examples of field practicum placements you may have include:

  • Administration
  • Child Welfare
  • Community Development
  • Community Mental Health
  • Criminal Justice
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Family Services
  • Gerontology
  • Health and Mental Health
  • Hospice
  • Hospital Social Work
  • Legal Advocacy
  • Military Social Work
  • Occupational Social Work
  • Policy Practice
  • Program Evaluation
  • School Social Work


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.