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MSW Field Education

Joyelle Tedeschi, MSW '08, director at the Matt Urban Hope Center talking to a guest

Hands-on social work will be central to your academic experience as an MSW student at the University at Buffalo.

On this page:

About Field Placements

Our field work opportunities allow you to:

  • Apply the knowledge and skills you learn in the classroom to real-life situations where you can help people in a range of settings, from urban to rural.
  • Transition from student to social work professional by conducting your field experience under the supervision of an accomplished social worker and a faculty liaison.

UB social work students can take advantage of the numerous partnerships the school enjoys with community agencies across Western and Central New York and northern Pennsylvania.

Students are matched to agencies for their foundation placement. For the advanced year placement, students can select a field setting that matches their educational and professional goals.

Field placements typically consist of 15 hours of work per week during the academic year and are completed over two semesters.

Why Field Education at UB?

Our students have the freedom to choose to complete their field education requirements outside the region, and even abroad. A one-semester (or “block”) placement option is available in these circumstances.

Opportunities for award placements and for placements that provide specialized training are also available.

International and Out of Region Placements

Field placements in other countries or regions are developed by the field education staff in partnership with the student and an interested organization.

Placements with Specialized Training and/or Awards

Field placement opportunities that provide stipends or awards to MSW students and placements that afford MSW students the ability to obtain specialized training are available.

Field Placement Requirements

Full-time MSW

  • Two field placements.
  • 420 and 480 hours, respectively.
  • In a field placement each of the four semesters of study.

Part-time MSW

  • Two field placements.
  • 420 and 480 hours, respectively.
  • In a field placement during semesters four and five and semesters eight and nine during the nine-semester course of study.

Full-time advanced standing MSW

  • One field placement.
  • 480 hours.
  • Completed during semesters two and three of the one-year (three-semester) course of study.

Part-time advanced standing MSW 

  • One field placement.
  • 480 hours.
  • Completed during semesters four and five of the five-semester course of study.

In most cases, placement opportunities require students to be present during traditional hours, when educational opportunities are most likely to be available. While we do our best to match students to agencies based on student feedback and interest areas, we are unable to guarantee students specific locations and/or alternative time requests.