Getting Started in your practicum


One of the most important, and exciting, components of social work education are the practicum experiences. Human service and social change agencies provide settings in which students are challenged and supported in the integration of theories and practice skills. The School of Social Work partners with hundreds of public and nonprofit organizations throughout the country in order to provide BSW and MSW students high quality practicum education experiences.

Practicum Placement Process:

  1. Submit the application for entering your specific practicum course:
    1. BSW (4187/4287)
    2. MSW Generalist (5187/5188)
    3. MSW Advanced (8187/8188)
  2. All students are assigned a Practicum Education Specialist within weeks of submitting their application. The Practicum Education Specialist will work in close partnership with onsite and fully online students to assist with the placement process.
  3. Practicum Education Specialist will support all students in the confirmation/finalization of their plan.
    1. This process can include an agency interview for students being referred by their Practicum Education Specialist or completing a Self Referral option. At this interview, the educational opportunities and agency expectations should be discussed between student and agency. Interview-Guidelines-and-Questions
    2. If the student has applied for an Employment-Based practicum, the Practicum Education Specialist will schedule a meeting with the student, prospective practicum instructor and current employment supervisor to review educational opportunities and agency expectations.
  4. Practicum Education Specialist will confirm the plan between the agency and the student.
  5. Student will register for their practicum course when available.
  6. All students obtain the maximum clearances required by the state in which the practicum is located, as outlined by Castlebranch system.  (Information found in Request your Clearances).
  7. All students entering a practicum course will be required to attend an orientation prior to the beginning of their practicum experience.

Planning for this experience:

It is essential that students plan carefully for their practicum, particularly with respect to the mandated hours per semester, educational and supervision requirements, and obtaining required clearances.  The Office of Practicum Education expects that students with traditional hours of availability will be able to do their internships during the regular weekday, business hours. Extensive planning is required for students with non-traditional hours of availability. This office will offer students suggestions of agency sites but strongly encourages students who work full-time to complete practicums in an organization that would qualify for an employment based placement or submit a self-referral form.