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MSW Field Experience

The MSW Foundation-Generalist Field Experience provides students with opportunities and experiences that demonstrate the multiple and varied roles that social workers perform, as well as day-to-day operations within social, human, and health care agencies, programs, and organizations.

This Foundation-Generalist Field Experience requires that Regular Standing* students complete a 300 hour, on-site agency placement either during the first year of the program. Full –time students will complete 16- 20 hours per week at the placement site during standard weekday operating hours, with part-time students completing 12-16 hours per week, and each attending professional seminar sessions during their placement periods. These interactive seminars serve to help the student articulate and demonstrate how they have successfully integrated and applied the social work skills, theories, values and beliefs in a real world, social work practice setting. All students will receive additional, detailed information regarding field placement requirements during Field Education Orientation sessions scheduled during the academic year.

The MSW Specialized-Advanced Field Experience occurs during all MSW students’ final year and requires completion of 600 on-site placement hours. Full time students will complete 20-24 hours per week over two semesters during the usual operating hours of the agency, plus professional seminar attendance. Part time students will complete 16-20 hours per week over three semesters, with professional seminar attendance during two of those semesters. Students in Specialized-Advanced Placement will concentrate more intensively and autonomously in levels of intervention which reflect the elements of the Advanced Integrated curriculum, including work at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice. The Specialized-Advanced placement is meant to prepare students for entry into social work practice employment, with the understanding that students have already grasped the generalist concepts, theories and roles, as well as appropriate professional behavior. MSW students coming into the program with Advanced Standing** are required to complete this field education experience only.

Please review the MSW Field Placement FAQs for more information.

For additional information on the MSW Field Experience, please contact Dr. Jeni Gamble, Field Education Director, at 304-293-7339, or jenifer.gamble@mail.wvu.edu 

*Regular-Standing applies to students whose undergraduate degree is in an area other than social work, or whose social work undergraduate degree is more than 8 years old.

** Advanced-Standing students have earned an undergraduate degree in Social Work that is less than 8 years old, and are only required to complete the Specialized-Advanced Field Education Experience. 

Important:  Impact of Criminal Background, Failure to pass drug screen, and/or substantiated CPS or APS Complaint upon Field Placement and/or Degree Program Completion.