Virginia Commonwealth University

M.S.W. Program

Field instruction placement

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Full-time students are enrolled in field instruction each semester during the first two years of study toward the degree. Placements are assigned by the director of field instruction. Students are asked to provide information about their prior practice experience and special circumstances to be used in assignment to social agencies for field instruction. During the second year of study, agency assignments are based on the student’s choice of concentration. Access to a car is essential to take advantage of the full range of field practicum experiences available.

Students working toward the M.S.W. on a part-time basis may select one of two options to complete field instruction requirements for the foundation or concentration year. The options, listed below, must be approved by the student’s faculty adviser and the director of field instruction:

  • Concurrent Placement Option includes two consecutive semesters, meeting two days per week for the foundation placement or three days a week for the concentration placement. Students selecting this option must have completed or may be enrolled in practice courses concurrently.
  • Block Placement Option includes a summer block placement, meeting five days per week for the summer field instruction session. A student will be allowed to complete only one block field placement, either foundation or concentration.

Foundation students must have completed all foundation courses in order to block foundation field, and concentration students must have completed all required concentration courses in order to block concentration field. Block placements are only for students in the part-time program and must be approved by the student’s faculty adviser and the director of field instruction.

Students studying part-time either on or off campus must notify the director of field instruction in writing one semester prior to the semester they intend to begin field instruction. The written notification must include:

  • Request for placement for foundation or concentration field instruction.
  • The semester they wish to begin field instruction.
  • The option selected for meeting the field instruction requirement (summer block, one or two semesters).
  • A statement that all necessary prerequisites for field instruction have been completed.