GSS Field Education

Field Education is the signature pedagogy of an MSW degree program. MSW internships offer students the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge and skills gained in course studies to direct work with clients in real-life situations under the supervision of an experienced social worker. Students gain direct practice experience with individuals and families, organizations, communities, and social/political systems at their field practicums.

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Field Education Requirements

Two Internships:

MSW students at Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service are required to complete two field practicums/internships

  • Generalist Phase Field Practicum 
  • Specialist Phase Field Practicum


MSW students must complete a minimum of 950 hours of fieldwork:

  • 450 hours in their Generalist Phase Field Practicum
  • 500 hours in their Specialist Phase Field Practicum


Completion of the MSW degree is contingent upon the student’s demonstration of competency in social work practice skills and knowledge at both the Generalist and Specialist levels.

Field Sites and Partnerships

Fordham has partnerships with many field agency sites and programs within the tri-state area and across the nation. Our students can learn and gain practical experience in various evidence-based treatment modalities while serving diverse populations. Our location within New York’s metropolitan area provides students with rich learning opportunities within one of the most culturally diverse areas in the United States.

More Information on Field Education

  • The Generalist field placement introduces students to social work practice with individuals, families, and/or groups within organizational systems. This field practicum helps students understand how social policy, regulatory standards, and community needs affect service delivery. 

  • After completing the Generalist field practicum, students move on to the Specialist/Advanced field practicum. In this field, students learn and apply the skills of advanced levels of practice with more complex client systems and/or concentrated practice modalities. Students can have an opportunity to engage in advanced clinical practice or macro/administrative practice. In the assignment of Specialist field placements, students work collaboratively with Field Education staff and have input into the choice of field placement selection.

  • As part of the Field Work experience, students participate in Field Advisement Sessions. These sessions provide a supportive resource to help students understand and conceptualize their social work practice within a peer-learning environment. Field Advisement Sessions give students an opportunity through discussion discussions and other learning tools to help students translate learning from their classes to develop the skills needed in social work practice. Students are required to attend seven Field Advisement sessions once a month during each of the field practicums. Field Seminar sessions meet for two hours, for a total of 14 hours over the course of the academic year.

  • A field advisor who supports students by liaising between the School and the field agency facilitates the Field Advisement Session. The advisor ensures that students have quality learning experiences in the field. The field advisor and the supervising field instructor support the student in developing cohesive working relationships for student learning.

  • For field work, students must complete 950 hours of internship, with the option of choosing 16-21 hours per week. The internship runs from September to May for on-campus students and may have different time frames for online students. Students must be available during the workweek, between 8 am and 8 pm, for the field internship., Students are observed in the placement and evaluated by an MSW the field instructor to ensure mastery of the nine social work competencies. Students must be available for at least four consecutive hours during the workday from Monday through Friday.

  • MSW students who are employed in the field of social work may be eligible to use their place of employment as their field placement/internship. This employment-based field practicum requires students to obtain authorization from their employer to have release time for field practicum activities. It is subject to approval by the Field Education Department. Students must submit a Work/Study proposal and a field application by the respective due dates.