Practical experience, or fieldwork, is built into the MSW social work curriculum. All fieldwork experiences are credit-bearing internships, which offer students an opportunity to integrate and apply their academic knowledge in a real-world setting and prepare them for the responsibility of beginning professional practice. Loyola has over 800 partnerships with agencies in Chicago and the larger Metropolitan area, which gives students access to a wide range of client populations and settings. For students in the Online Bilingual and Online MSW Program, Loyola University Chicago has partnerships nationwide, and we will work with students to identify agencies in their area.
To receive credit for fieldwork experiences, students must work with the appropriate Internship Coordinator to complete the application process. To start this process, students submit an application for fieldwork through the online internship management system, Sonia. To access Sonia, students must be admitted into the MSW program. Students can submit their internship applications throughout the year and indicate which semester they intend to begin their internship. Please see the Instructions on how to access SONIA. Once the application is submitted, students will receive information regarding the internship process.
Internship sites must be approved by the School of Social Work. We encourage students to utilize the Sonia database to identify potential internship sites to apply to. Students who are interested in specific agencies that are not currently Loyola University Chicago partners could reach out to their internship coordinator for approval; before proceeding with the site (for this option, contact your internship coordinator one semester in advance), please note that the process to approve a partner site not currently listed in SONIA takes 2 to 4 months.
Click here for information about fieldwork dates.
Click PDF to read and review the Field Education Manual.
For frequently asked questions regarding fieldwork, please visit our FAQs page.