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Office of Field Education

The Office of Field Education provides experiential, practical learning to help you become the agent of change you envision. Our field education program, based upon educational policies and standards established by the Council on Social Work Education, helps prepare you to become a practicing professional social worker.

MSW students will spend four out of 20 courses – 1,125 hours – in the field. You will make a difference while you are being trained, and you will continue to make a difference after you receive your degree and social work licensure. In each field practicum, which is both an academic course for degree credit as well as an intern experience, you become socialized into the social work profession. You serve alongside professional social workers and are supervised by experienced field instructors. The core professional competencies that you acquire and demonstrate while working in field education are the evidence of your success.

Our expert field team has extensive professional experience in the field of social work. We will place you at organizations throughout New Jersey, greater New York City, and greater Philadelphia. If you are a student in the MSW 100% Online program, you have field placement opportunities throughout the country. Second-year field placements allow you to concentrate on either direct clinical practice or management and policy. Click here for Field Education forms.

Rutgers School of Social Work formally affiliates with a variety of field agencies to provide you with training opportunities across the spectrum, including:

  • Agency management
  • Behavioral health
  • Child welfare
  • Community organization and development
  • Crisis intervention housing and homelessness issues
  • Domestic violence prevention and intervention
  • Fundraising
  • Human resources
  • LGBTQ issues
  • Policy analysis
  • Nonprofit finance
  • Nonprofit marketing
  • Strategic planning
  • Veteran services

For more information, contact us.

Message from Field Education | August 2020

Dear RU SSW Field Education Students: 

As your field education faculty, we are looking forward to the start of the semester and the start of field education with great anticipation. We know that these are complex and challenging times and our experience this fall will be much different than we expected. Nonetheless, we believe it will be very meaningful. There is a great deal to be learned and a great deal for social workers to contribute during this crisis. 

With that said, we realize that many of you returning to field may have questions related to health and safety and we do want to provide you with some basic guidelines. Having said this, as we emphasize below, each field setting is unique and will have their own health and safety protocols. Please note the following:

  1.  As always, students are expected to adhere to all field education agency safety policies and procedures and all students and all students should receive a full orientation to the agency safety and policies and procedures by agency staff. This includes all policies and procedures related to COVID-19, including mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing as well as COVID testing. Students are encouraged to inquire about these policies during their initial orientation or before. 
  2. The majority of RU SSW students are placed in non-medical settings. When medical grade PPE is not required by an agency, students are responsible for providing their own non-medical grade protective materials, such as face coverings (masks) and hand sanitizer and/or soap. Below please find a description of the different types of face coverings/masks. 
  3. For the smaller number of RU SSW students placed in health-related settings that require medical grade PPE (personal protective equipment), the field education agency is expected to provide the PPE. If the agency is unable to do so, the student will work with RU field education faculty/staff to arrange for RU SSW initiated procurement
  4. While the RU SSW field education department does not manage safety guidelines within individual field education agencies, we do encourage and expect all RU SSW students to comply with CDC standards around maskingsocial distancing and handwashing and/or hand sanitizer use. Moreover, if a student is feeling ill or is experiencing any possible symptoms of COVID-19, we expect that the student will not participate in field education, will stay home, and seek health care advice. 
  5. We ask all students to review the CDC website regarding COVID-19. 
  6. Testing: Some placements may require testing. As communicated through Student Affairs, Rutgers University is providing testing for students. Students are also free to obtain testing with their own health care providers or at other testing facilities. Students are responsible for providing any required documentation associated testing to their field education site. Please note that while only some sites may require testing, we do encourage students to seek testing before entering field education and to be tested at appropriate intervals as needed.

As always, please feel free to reach out to your field education faculty with any questions or concerns. Appropriate program/campus contacts related to COVID issues are:


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