Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work


Fieldwork Overview

MSW students must complete a total of two separate fieldwork experiences. First level students must complete 480 hours in an internship. This internship is typically 16 hours per week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and is completed while taking 500-level foundational courses. Second level students must complete 720 hours in a internship. This internship is typically Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and is completed while taking 600-level advanced courses. In some instances, students can elect to do a summer block internship for one of their fieldwork experiences. The summer block internship is an intensive summer immersion in which students work full-time (30-40 hours a week).

Students should make a note of:

  • The School of Social Work maintains an affiliation with many agencies, organizations and human services programs within Chicago and the larger metropolitan area. Students have the opportunity to work with clients representing a wide range of socioeconomic, racial and cultural backgrounds.
  • Students must complete 500-level foundational courses prior to the start of their second level internship.
  • Students are expected to arrange their schedules in order to accommodate field course requirements.
  • Students may be asked to commute an hour or more to their internship sites. The School of Social Work does not reimburse students for transportation costs to/from the field agencies.
  • Credit will not be granted for less than the required hours as stated in the School's Field Education Manual. In most cases, given the clinical responsibilities of interns, the amount of time in internship will exceed the minimum hours.
  • Student internships must be jointly approved by the School of Social Work and the field agency.
  • It may not be possible to process field work applications that are received after the application date announced each year.
  • Students in field courses and all other courses must adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics.

Application Process

Students must evaluate their program coursework and identify when they will be applying for fieldwork during their graduate program. Internships are offered in three time frames: Fall to Spring (August to May); Spring to Summer (January to August); and Summer Block (May to August). Students must submit an application to the appropriate Internship Coordinator prior to the stated fieldwork deadlines depending on the timeframe selected to do their fieldwork. This decision should be made under the guidance of your Academic Advisor. 

Each level field internship requires an application. Links to complete the application can be found here. In addition to the online application, each student should submit a current resume to the appropriate Internship Coordinator. Once a student's application is received by the appropriate Internship Coordinator, the internship process begins. The students' applications are reviewed by the Internship Coordinator and the student is given internship referrals to contact specific agencies. Students should send a resume and cover letter to the agencies in order to be considered for an internship opening. Agencies often screen students for interviews by reviewing application materials including a resume, cover letter, etc. Internships are highly competitive as students often compete with other Loyola students as well as students from other universities. Students are not guaranteed specific internships.

Similar to a job interview, all students must interview for their internships. Students should communicate with the Internship Coordinator regarding their available dates in the Chicago area. Students are also responsible for communicating with the Internship Coordinator regarding the status of the internship process. Communication will inform the Internship Coordinator if additional referrals are necessary.

All internships and sites must be approved by the Internship Coordinator. All potential agencies must be screened by the Internship Coordinator even if students initiate contact with a potential agency. If students are interested in specific agencies, they should communicate this to the Internship Coordinator and include this information in their fieldwork application.