You’ll develop professional skills and competence in practice.

Field education teaches students to apply the theory and knowledge learned in the classroom to social work practice in agency settings. You’ll work directly in human service agencies—with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

All internships are assigned by the field education department, and you are expected to comply with the policies and procedures of the department as noted in the Field Work handbook (PDF).

Field Work Overview

Field instruction begins in September and continues through the January intersession (though many students do not attend classes during intersession). Evening hour assignments are available, but all students are required to be available for a minimum of one full day or two half days during weekday hours (Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.).

While completing your internship, you must:

  • Comply with placement agency hours, policies and practices
  • Complete 300 hours for your undergraduate junior year
  • Complete 400 hours for your undergraduate senior year
  • Complete 600 hours for your foundation and advanced years as a graduate student for a total of 1200 hours.

Here are some other responsibilities to consider. You are responsible for:

  • Arranging transportation to and from your field placement
  • Considering housing availability between semesters
  • Considering any and all financial obligations

For us to secure your placement in the field education program, the Adelphi University School of Social Work requires a formal application and documentation process for every student. If you’re interested in a particular placement, you may provide the field department with the agency name, and we’ll contact the agency directly to discuss the possibility of an internship placement.

Before you apply for your field placement, you must:

  • Meet with your adviser or liaison
  • Attend a placement planning meeting
  • Then—and only then—meet with the field education department
  • Complete an application for your placement

Once you’ve applied and an agency has been identified, you’ll be notified by the department to set up an interview with the agency.

After the interview, if your placement is confirmed, you will receive an assignment letter via email. The letter will also be copied to the agency, your field instructor and your liaison. This letter provides all contact information for the above-mentioned parties, as well as the start and end date for field placement.

Undergraduate social work students are assigned to different field placements in their junior and senior years. The junior year requires a minimum of 300 hours for the year and will focus on varied social work methods, client populations and service delivery systems. An assignment will also support the integration of beginning practice skills and an introduction to the social work profession. Your senior year placement requires a minimum of 400 hours and will emphasize developing practice skills for work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

In your foundation year field placement, you’ll complete a minimum of 600 hours of field instruction with an emphasis on developing foundation practice skills. In your advanced year field placement, you’ll also complete a minimum of 600 hours of field instruction in advanced, direct social work practice.

Advanced standing students come in to the program with a B.S.W. and have the following requirements:

  • Complete the advanced year internship
  • Complete additional hours of field instruction or other foundation courses if your program is determined to vary significantly from Adelphi’s foundation curriculum.

One-Year Residency (OYR) students already have significant work experience in the field under the supervision of an LMSW or LCSW and have the following requirements:

  • Take a four-credit professional seminar, SWK 601, concurrent with the foundation practice courses
  • Complete 900 hours of field instruction in the advanced year concurrent with advanced social work practice and methods course work

We are affiliated with more than 1,000 human service agencies throughout the New York metropolitan region, including, but not limited to:

  • Child welfare agencies
  • Community centers
  • Detention centers and correctional facilities
  • Domestic violence agencies
  • Mental health clinics
  • Medical and psychiatric hospitals
  • Nursing homes and extended care facilities
  • Residential treatment facilitiesSchools
  • Substance abuse treatment programs
  • Veteran’s programs
  • Youth service agencies

Field Work Information for Students


Please review the following calendars for information on important dates and events throughout the academic year.

Field Manual

The Field Education Manual serves as a resource guide for students, field instructors, agency educational coordinators, agency directors, faculty field liaisons and administrators at the School of Social Work.

Workshops for Field Instructors

New field instructors must complete this 12-session seminar, which is concurrent with your first experience providing field instruction. Seminar sessions are scheduled from September through December.

If you are interested in registering for the Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI), please contact the Field Education Department at 516.877.4375 for information regarding seminar dates and registration.

Process Recordings

Employment-Based Field Placement

If you’re currently employed by a social service agency, you may apply for an employment-based field placement within your employment setting. Applicants must meet specific criteria outlined in the Employment-Based Field Placement Guidelines, and submit an application signed by the student, proposed field instructor and agency director. Your application should also include a Field Instruction Agency Application Form and Field Faculty Personnel Form, both of which are completed by the agency director and proposed field instructor.

Your completed employment-based field placement application and supporting documents should be submitted to the Garden City field education office or off-campus center.

Student Field Work FAQs

We’re happy to answer your questions about field education for social work students. If you can’t find the answers you need below, please contact us.

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) establishes the minimum standard for the number of hours required to complete the B.S.W. and M.S.W.. Adelphi meets or exceeds these requirements as follows:

  • Junior Year B.S.W. Student: 200 hours
  • Senior Year B.S.W. Student: 400 hours
  • Traditional M.S.W. student (full time or part time): 1200 hours
  • Spring Start: 1200 hours
  • One–Year Residence (O.Y.R.): 900 hours
  • Advanced Standing: 600 hours

No. The field education office at the School of Social Work is responsible for assigning you to a field placement. Our field education program has long-standing relationships with social work agencies and is responsible for developing all placement sites. We maintain regular contact with field agencies regarding student placements. If you want to be placed at a specific agency, submit your request in writing to the field education office in Garden City or at one of the off-campus centers. We’ll contact the agency to explore the feasibility of developing this placement.

No, however, there are a few competitive stipend internships available to second-year M.S.W. students. Students who are employed in a human service setting may be eligible for employment-based field placement.

Yes. Foundation-level internships offer opportunities for developing generalist social work practice skills. Second-year placements focus on the development of advanced clinical skills and skills for the advanced direct practice with individuals, couples, families and small groups.

The best way to prepare is to attend the mandatory field education orientation. This orientation will provide you with the information you need to begin your field placement.

No. The program is based on a concurrent curriculum model, where students take field instruction along with required courses in social work practice.

No. The field education office will work with you to arrange an interview for a field placement at an agency that meets your learning needs. If the interview goes well and you and the agency agree that the placement is an appropriate fit, it will be confirmed. If either party has reservations, another interview will be arranged.

Yes. For many placements, a criminal background check is required. Fingerprinting, a physical and PPD (tuberculosis test) or other health requirements may be required. When possible, you will be notified about these requirements in advance. You’re responsible for paying any fees that agencies do not cover.

Any missed hours must be made up.

This type of placement is called an employment-based field placement and must be approved by the field education office. Approval of an employment-based field placement application depends on timely submission of the application and the integrity of the proposed field assignment. You must be employed for a minimum of six months in advance in order to be considered for employment-based field placement.

No. Hours that count toward licensure must be completed after receiving your MSW.

Yes. You’ll receive a grade of pass, incomplete or fail.

You’re expected to allow approximately 45 minutes of travel time to and from your field placement site. Every effort will be made to plan a reasonable commute.

Yes, but evening and/or weekend placements are very limited. Many agencies are either closed or do not have available supervision or suitable assignments during these hours. Typical placement days are Monday–Friday and take place during standard business hours.

Field Instructor Information


Please review the following calendars for information on important dates and events throughout the academic year.

Field Manual

The Field Education Manual serves as a resource guide for students, field instructors, agency educational coordinators, agency directors, faculty field liaisons and administrators at the School of Social Work.

Agency Forms

This form is to be completed by any agency/field instructor that would like to establish an affiliation with the School of Social Work field education

  • Agency/Instructor Application (DOC)

Four Week Education Plan

Completed by the student and field instructor at approximately four-weeks into the field placement. This form is to be submitted to the field education office in Garden City or to the off-campus centers.

  • Four Week Plan (DOC)


Evaluations are completed at the end of the fall semester (mid-year evaluations) and the spring semester (final evaluations). Evaluations for all B.S.W. and M.S.W. students are due the second week of January (mid-year) and in the first week of May (final). For M.S.W. students who are in extended field, the evaluations are due in the middle of July (final). These forms are completed by the field instructor and submitted to the field education department. An evaluation cover sheet, the original evaluation and one copy are required as well as the signed student attendance sheet.

Please return completed evaluations to the appropriate address below:

Garden City Students
Adelphi University
School of Social Work
Field Education Office
One South Avenue
PO Box 701
Garden City, NY 11530

Suffolk County Students
Adelphi University
Hauppauge Education and Conference Center
School of Social Work
55 Kennedy Drive
Hauppauge, NY 11787

Manhattan Center Students
Adelphi University
School of Social Work
Field Education Department
75 Varick Street – 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10013

Hudson Valley Center Students
Adelphi University
School of Social Work
Hudson Valley Center
19 Baker Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Phone Number
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Social Work Building, 201
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