Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Internship Overview

MSW students must complete two separate internship experiences. The generalist (first-level) internship is 400 hours. This internship is typically on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is completed while taking 500-level generalist courses. The specialized (second-level) internship is 600 hours. This internship is typically Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and is completed while taking 600-level specialized courses. In some instances, students can elect to do a summer block for one of their internship experiences. The summer block internship is an intensive summer immersion in which students attend full-time (30-40 hours a week). Detailed information about the internship program is available in the SSW Internship Manual.

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.
  • Internships must be jointly approved by the School of Social Work and the internship site.
  • Students must complete the 500-level generalist courses prior to the start of their specialized (second-level) internship.
  • Students are expected to arrange their schedules in order to accommodate internship requirements. Internship schedules are finalized between the Internship Supervisor and the student and should be done prior to accepting the internship.
  • Generalist (first-level) internship require a minimum of 400 hours, and specialized (second-level) internships require a minimum of 600 hours in order to receive credit, as stated in the school's Internship 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 early because they have reached their 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 for students to maintain their commitment to their internship site, and their clients, and to align their professional behavior with CSWE’s Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior. Please reach out to your 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 internship sites.
  • Students can apply for internships throughout the year. Please note that internship opportunities become more limited as we move closer to the start of the semester, so it is recommended that students begin the process of securing an internship as soon as SONIA access is available.
  • Students in internship courses and all other courses must adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics.

Application Process

Students identify when they will be applying for their internship 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 internship dates depending on the timeframe selected to complete their internship.

Each level field of 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 can 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. Students who are interested in specific internship sites that are not currently a partner, should reach out to their Internship Coordinator.

Internship Coordinators

Generalist (first-level) Internship Coordinators

  • Lilli Melero: Online Bilingual Internship Coordinator lmelero@luc.edu, 312.915.6596
  • Rachel Persin: BSW and Generalist (first-level) MSW Internship Coordinator rpersin@luc.edu, 312.915.7102

Specialized (second-level) Advanced Standing, and 5-year MSW Internship Coordinators

  • Sandy Peterson: for students seeking spring-summer, and summer block internships, speter8@luc.edu, 312.915.7150
  • Mini Datta: for students seeking fall internships, mdatta@luc.edu, 312.915.7713