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Field Education Students

Information for Out-of-State Students

Securing a Field Placement

Students must complete all required steps listed below. Failure to complete on time will result in a delay in placement and/or graduation.

Student Checklist


Complete all pre-placement requirements (Field Application, Resume upload) prior to due date in Sonia.
Note: You will receive orientation information and access to Sonia approximately one semester prior to your field start date.

Review Sonia for Currently Affiliated Agencies.
Note: To determine if there are any agencies in your area currently affiliated with OSU, click on “sites” at the top of your Sonia page. Then click the arrow on the left side of the page to expand this box, allowing you to filter by state.

Submit Site Preferences (if agencies are available) and/or complete a Supplemental Site Preferences Form in Sonia. Instructions for this can be found here.

Contact potential agencies in your area and inquire about MSW internship opportunities
Note: Request to speak to someone directly (e.g. education coordinator, internship coordinator, clinical director, etc.)

Gather ALL contact information for the agency including contact person’s name, email, and phone number

If the agency requests additional information, refer them to the Becoming a Field Agency Webpage

Complete the Supplemental Site Preferences Form prior to the due date in Sonia
Note: Form MUST include 2-3 agencies with all required information and cannot be submitted until you have spoken directly with someone from the agency

Update your placement officer upon submitting the Supplemental Site Preferences Form

Follow steps provided by placement officer to begin the Affiliation Agreement Process


Please check with your local licensing board regarding licensure or any questions regarding a license. For licensing board contact information, licensure requirements and program approval status, please visit

Statement on Evening and Weekend Field Hours

The Office of Field Education recognizes that our students who are working and participating in the program have additional barriers in completing the field hours during typical business hours.

Evening and/or weekend field education hours are extremely limited due to the challenge agencies face in providing oversight and supervision during these time periods. For students requesting non-traditional field hours, please make note that you may not be placed at your preferred agency and that there may be a delay in starting field due to this limitation. The field office strongly encourages any student in this situation reach out to as early as possible to discuss options. We will also be asking you to keep an open mind about where you will be matched based on your availability in field.

Traditionally, we request that students make at least one business day available for the field education. Some of the ways we have supported students in this circumstance are the following:

  • If a student is working in a social work agency setting, have they considered applying for an Employment Based Placement?
  • Helping the student work with their employer to identify creative strategies to continue working and be in field. Some examples have included reducing to 32 hours a week, working four 10-hour shifts, and/or moving some of the employment hours to evening or weekend times.
  • Talking about the possibility of completing the MSW II field education over the course of three semesters to maintain 16 hours a week in field versus the traditional 24 hours a week.
  • Having a discussion with the student to share alternative part-time tracks for the program which would allow for less credit hours and a lower number of hours per week in field.

Field Placement Availability

Field placements are completed during two to three workdays during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). To complete field education, employed students must arrange their work schedules to accommodate weekday time in field placement. Additional field education hours may be approved for weekends and after business hours, with appropriate supervision available by the agency.

FAQ: MSW Student International Field Practicum

Any current or prospective students interested in completing a field practicum abroad while enrolled in Master of Social Work Program should be aware of the processes and potential challenges that occur when seeking a practicum site abroad. Before matriculating to the MSW program, please reach out to Anna Stewart, assistant director of field placement,, to schedule a meeting with a member of the field practicum team to discuss your specific plans. We will work with you to determine if an international placement is possible. Please keep the following issues in mind when considering a field practicum abroad.

  • Visa requirements for volunteering/working abroad
  • Language proficiency
  • Associated travel & living costs
  • Availability of social work supervision *virtual supervision can be provided on a case-by-case basis
  • Potential safety concerns based on the country or region you are or will be in
  • Transportation needs
  • Internet/Wi-Fi availability and reliability
  • Time zone
  • Ability of agency to provide learning experiences that meet the Council on Social Work Education Educational Practice Accreditation Standards

Please be aware that any international field practicum agency is vetted by both the Office of Field Education and the Office of International Affairs. Agencies must be able to enter into a legal affiliation agreement with the university. The Office of International Affairs utilizes State Department travel advisories when determining if a location can be approved for a field practicum site.

If you are considering completing the MSW program while living abroad, communication with The Office of Field Education is critical to securing a placement abroad. Please consider identifying alternative plans should a placement not be available in the country/region where you will be living. We strongly recommend researching potential agency sites before matriculating into the MSW program. You must also reach out to the Office of Field Education before you begin or early in the application process to discuss your specific plan. We will work collaboratively with you on the placement process, but please note that students must be proactive in identifying potential agency partners.

FAQ: International Student Field Practicum

International students with a J1 of F1 Visa status completing the Master of Social Work Program are required to adhere to the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) policies, while completing the field practicum portion of the program. CPT is required because the field practicum is considered work whether it is paid or unpaid. CPT provides the necessary work authorization to complete any paid or unpaid work. During the practicum international students are only permitted to complete 20 hours a week during Autumn and Spring semesters. Over Summer semester students may complete up to 40 hours a week. Students are also permitted to complete up to 40 hours over official university breaks.

Below is a recommended breakdown of how many semesters international students should register for field practicum, and the associated, credit hours and weekly hours in the actual field practicum. Please note students must be registered for the field practicum course to apply for CPT.  Please be aware registering for field practicum over the summer semester may incur additional costs, dependent on your summer course plan.  For students starting the MSW program during Spring or Summer, this may also impact your completion timeline.

MSW I SWK 6189 Field Practicum

  • 224 hours total required
  • 2 credit hours
  • Enroll one semester (spring)
  • 16-20 Hours per week

MSW II SWK 7189 Field Practicum

  • 672 hours total required
  • 8 credit hours total (over two to three semesters)
  • Enroll three semesters (summer, autumn, and spring) *recommend spreading over three semester
    • Summer semester 1 credit hour of 7189
    • Autumn 4 credit hours
    • Spring 3 credit hours
  • 224 hours per semester
  • 16-20 hours per week

If you have questions or concerns about the above information, please reach out to Anna Stewart, assistant director of field education, We hope this information will help you plan for your time in the MSW program.