MSU Denver

A Note on COVID-19 Impacts on Field Education

During this unprecedented time in our communities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that how field placements are happening (e.g. virtually/remotely, face-to-face with safety guidelines in place, or a combination of these two) as well as the processes of searching for and securing field placements for the 2021-22 academic year may be impacted. The Office of Field Education team continues to be here to support students and agencies throughout the search process and continues to respond to changing conditions as necessary. We encourage you to stay in touch with your assigned Placement Navigator and our office if you have any questions or concerns. We look forward to assisting you in finding a meaningful learning opportunity for the upcoming academic year!

Temporary COVID Policy Updates 03.2021

Field Placement Search Process

Field Information Session 

All students begin the process of finding a field placement by attending a Field Information Session.

** Information Sessions for the 2022-23 academic year will be available later this year.

Field Placement Search Process Timelines

FIELD INFORMATION SESSION – Students attend a mandatory information session to become familiar with and ask a question about the placement process.

APPLICATION (in Sonia) – Students complete an application for field placement in the Sonia Field Database where they list both the skills and knowledge they hope to acquire in placement, as well as populations, settings, and social issues they wish to gain more experience in. Students have the option of requesting specific agency placements. Please review the 2021-22 Field Placement Search Process Sonia Guide to complete this process.

PLACEMENT MEETINGS – Students will sign up for one on one meetings with their designated Placement Navigator in Sonia. Students will meet with their designated Placement Navigator to discuss placement options and be referred to up to 5 different agencies to which they will apply. *Optional for MSW Concentration students

PREPARE & CONTACT – Once students are referred to agencies, agency contact information will be sent to students via email. Students carefully review the Next Steps document (see Search Forms section below). Students update their resumé and craft cover letters and make contact with approved agencies to request internship interviews.

INTERVIEW & EVALUATE – Students interview at assigned agency sites so that both the agency and student can mutually determine if a placement is a good fit.

CONFIRMATION – Once students have been offered and accept a field placement in the Sonia Field Database, students must complete the Field Confirmation Form in Sonia to finalize the placement.

STUDENT FIELD ORIENTATION – Students will participate in a mandatory student field orientation through Canvas and virtually via Zoom before the start of the fall semester.

Students in Field

Students are required to complete a set number of hours in their agency setting during the academic year. The accompanying field seminar course (offered face-to-face, online, and in hybrid formats) meets every other week throughout the course of the two semesters of Field Experience. The seminar course is taught by a Faculty Field Liaison and provides a forum for students to critically reflect on their experiences out in the field in an environment geared towards promoting professional development.

Student Hour Requirements

***Please note that REQUIRED MINIMUM number of hours in field placement has been reduced for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years to the following levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • BSSW & MSW Foundation (400 hours/year)
  • MSW Concentration (500 hours/year).

These adjustments to required hours only apply through May 31, 2022.

Temporary COVID Policy Updates 03.2021

BSSW/ MSW Foundation Hour Requirements

Total number of hours for the year: 480

Total number of hours for the semester: 240

Total number of hours for the week: 16

MSW Concentration Hour Requirements

Total number of hours for the year: 600

Total number of hours for the semester: 300

Total number of hours for the week: 20

Learning Agreement

Students will be asked to complete a Learning Agreement in the Sonia Database System within the first few weeks of class of each semester. The purpose of the Learning Agreement is to create a roadmap of your learning for the year and to ensure students will be engaging with the CSWE 9 Social Work Competencies.

Sonia Guide – Student Learning Agreement


Students and their agency supervisors complete a Field Evaluation in our Sonia Database System at the end of each semester to evaluate the student’s demonstrated performance and learning throughout the semester. Evaluations are designed to allow both students and supervisors to give honest and constructive feedback.

Sonia Guide – Student Evaluation