Loyola University Chicago


Fieldwork Overview

MSW students must complete a total of two separate fieldwork experiences. First level students must complete 400 hours in an internship. This internship is typically on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and is completed while taking 500-level foundational courses. Second level students must complete 600 hours in an 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.
  • Student internships must be jointly approved by the School of Social Work and the field agency.
  • 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. Fieldwork schedules are finalized between the Field Supervisor and the student, and should be done prior to accepting the internship.
  • First level students are required to complete a minimum of 400 hours and second level students are required to complete a minimum of 600 hours in order to receive credit as stated in the School's Field Education Manual. However, based on the requirements of an internship, students in most cases complete more than the minimum required hours.
  • We do not encourage students to end their internship earlybecause you have reached your hours. Instead, please refer to the Learning Agreement as well as the internship confirmation form to review the previously agreed upon date.  It is important to maintain your commitment to your internship site, your clients and to align your professional behavior with CSWE’s Competency #1:  Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior.  Please reach out to your Field Liaison for additional guidance.
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • Summer Block (May to August)

Students must submit an application via the internship management system, Sonia prior to the stated fieldwork dates 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. 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 through Sonia, the internship process begins. Instructions on how to access Sonia can be found here. The students' applications are reviewed by the Internship Coordinator and the student is added to a Placement Group in Sonia, based on the semester requested. The student cam preference up to five sites in Sonia. The student then follows the instructions in Sonia to submit their resume, cover letter, and any other documentation as required by the site. Agencies invite students for interviews after reviewing the application materials. 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 are also responsible for communicating with the Internship Coordinator regarding the status of the internship process. Communication will inform the Internship Coordinator if additional assistance is required. Once an internship has been secured, students should complete an Internship Confirmation Form on Sonia.

Internship sites must be approved by the School of Social Work. We encourage students to utilize the Sonia database to identify an internship.  If students are interested in specific agencies, or a field site not currently a partner, please reach out to the internship coordinator.