Gain real-world experience

Field instruction is a pivotal and integral part of the MSW curriculum during which students acquire practice experience and develop competence in the skills that will help them attain their personal and professional goals within a framework of social work values and ethics.

Field instruction consists of a professional foundation and advanced generalist training. In both levels, students spend 465 hours in the field and earn eight academic credits for field instruction by participating 15 hours per week for 31 weeks over two semesters. The cumulative number of hours of fieldwork totals 930. Students are expected to fulfill their field hours over the course of two weekdays, during regular agency hours, under the supervision of an MSW-level field instructor who works at the agency. Both full-time and part-time students are expected to adjust their schedules to meet the field requirement.

Field instruction is one way the University demonstrates its commitment to the community. This is particularly important to a state university graduate social work program that is dedicated to providing competent service to the state’s disadvantaged populations. Through a close working relationship with a broad range of social agencies (falling within a 100-mile radius of the University), Binghamton’s MSW program can define more clearly the needs of the community.

Each student will complete a field application and meet individually with the director of field education who will set up interviews for students with a potential field site.

Dual-degree MPA/MSW

MSW students must complete 930 hours of field placement over four semesters. MPA students must complete a 300-hour internship over one semester (or summer) unless waived for previous administrative experience. Students admitted to the dual-degree program will be allowed to use SW 593 and SW 594 to satisfy the MPA internship requirement with approval of the MPA Program Internship Coordinator. Students will be advised into appropriate placements and must satisfy the internship/field placement requirements of both programs.

Field instruction manual

Students in the MSW Program will find the Field Instruction Manual (.pdf, 6.5mb) a valuable tool in facilitating their experiences throughout their program.

Agency information/placement opportunities

Enrolled students will have complete access to agency descriptions on Blackboard.

Once opened, click on bookmarks and you will see a listing with links to particular pages. You can look up agencies of interest by first referencing subtitles such as geographic area, population served, etc. and then scroll down to locate the agency listed alphabetically. You can then click on the link and you will be directed to the description of that agency. You will find agency information listed by county here.

Last Updated: 7/24/14