Practicum Education Curriculum


The primary goal of the internship is education and preparation for professional practice. The aim of the practicum experience is to provide interns the opportunity to develop and integrate values, knowledge, and skills learned in the classroom with practice in actual practice settings. Through the internship experience, theory is applied, skills are refined, and attitudes, values, and ethical dilemmas are examined. It is expected that each intern will be fully engaged in the professional learning opportunities provided under the supervision of the social work supervisor. Foundation year graduate interns will be expected to achieve skill development similar to entry-level generalist practitioners but at a level that shows readiness for specialized practice in the Advanced year. Advanced year graduate interns will be expected to achieve skill development and performance commensurate to entry-level MSW practitioners in an area of specialized practice (Clinical Practice or Community Practice).

Practicum in the Curriculum

Practicum education is the application of the knowledge and skills the student has obtained in the classroom courses. Graduate Foundation internship for full-time students begins in the first semester for residential students or the first or second term of academic work for online students, depending on their degree plan, and requires 480 hours in the internship setting (240 per term for two consecutive terms). Full-time Foundation students are enrolled in generalist practice courses concurrently with internship and the accompanying seminar.

Standard program graduate students and advanced standing students in the Advanced year of the curriculum complete a total of 550 hours in an internship within an area of specialized practice (Clinical or Community). This internship is completed concurrently or following courses in the specialized practice curriculum. All students should refer to their degree plan for which courses must be completed before starting the foundation and advanced internships.

Social work supervisors and practicum liaisons for the Advanced internship have experience in the area of specialized practice and are able to facilitate the student’s learning and skill application in the specialization.

All policies related to Practicum Education, including application processes, prerequisites, minimum grade requirements, and other expectations, can be found on the  MSW Practicum Education website.

Practicum Orientation

Prior to beginning practicum, all students must complete their practicum orientation requirements. This orientation content includes a presentation of practicum policies, a discussion of practicum requirements and evaluation, grading procedures, and a description of the practicum faculty/liaison system. Failure to complete the assigned orientation requirements will prohibit entry into an internship and delay a student’s course of study.

Students denied admission to the internship are informed in writing and directed to contact the appropriate program advisor regarding any effect on completing the degree plan. Please see the corresponding Practicum Education Manual for online or residential campuses.