Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work


Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Fieldwork is an integral and essential component of the BSW degree curriculum. Field coordinators are college or university social work faculty members with MSW degrees and a minimum of two years of work experience. BSW students must complete a minimum of 400 supervised hours of field experience in order to complete the program requirement. 

Getting Started with Fieldwork

  • Students must have satisfactorily completed or anticipate completion of SOWK 200, 201, 301, 305, and 390 prior to the fall of their senior year in order to participate in the application process for the internship. Ordinarily, the one-year internship is designed as a two-semester (SOWK 330 and SOWK 340), two full days each week, 480 hours.
  • The application to the social work field courses (SOWK 330 and SOWK 340) must be completed online.
  • The field courses (SOWK 330 & SOWK 340) must each be passed with a grade of "C" or above. If a student receives a grade below "C" in either course, both field courses must be repeated at another field site. Please note: for students who would like to opt-in to the 5-year program, a grade of "B" or better is required for both field courses.
  • The internship coordinator will provide students with referrals to field sites.

Fieldwork Courses

SOWK 301 (3 credit hours) gives the SSW major their introduction to client contact in an agency setting. The student will have the responsibility to locate and contract for their work as a volunteer within an agency that gives them the opportunity to observe and possibly participate in social work activity.

The student will participate in their volunteer experience three (3) hours per week for a total of thirty hours for the semester. Forms to arrange for the contract to provide volunteer experience as well as the final experience evaluation can be found under Internship Forms.

While the student is responsible for arranging for their own experience, the classroom instructor may assist the student's search for appropriate settings. Most students will take SOWK 301 in the Spring semester and this allows them the preceding Winter break to explore possible volunteer sites and make the necessary arrangements. Many agencies will require their volunteers to undergo background checks and/or training prior to volunteering. Early application, therefore, is very important. Remember that the location must be arranged and the contract form returned to the instructor by the third class meeting.

SOWK 330 (240 hours experience—4 credit hours) is the BSW student's first formal fieldwork experience taken in the senior year. An application form found on Internship Forms is the first step in this important process. The student will share their background, experiences and areas of interest; however, the internship itself may not necessarily be located in the student's area of interest. Internships are highly competitive as students may be competing against other Loyola students as well as students from other programs and/or universities.

Information about the internship application process, requirements and deadlines are noted in BSW internship application.

SOWK 340 (240 hours experience—4 credit hours) is the second half of the BSW fieldwork experience. This experience is usually a continuation of the SOWK 330 internship, but occasionally circumstances require a different setting. If such a situation arises, the student will work closely with the Internship Coordinator to secure a new internship.

SOWK 350 (3 credit hours) is always taken in conjunction with the SOWK 340. While SOWK 330 forms the foundation for discussion and assignments in the SOWK 302 Social Work Methods II course, students will bring their experiences in the second semester of field to the SOWK 350 semester.