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Field Placements, Year By Year

Our students begin with a Generalist practicum (16 hours per week). Here, the student experiences a range of direct practice activities with a variety of individuals, families, and groups, as well as macro practice activities with organizations and communities. This provides a strong and broad foundation of knowledge and skills. It also offers our students an opportunity to experience different aspects of our profession. (It is not unusual for students to discover a new area of interest through their Generalist experiences!)

After completing the Generalist practicum, students focus on their areas of concentration with a Specialization practicum (24 hours per week) — for example, working with persons who are addressing substance use disorders or interpersonal violence or mental health disorders. This experience often confirms a student’s commitment to an area of interest, but it sometimes helps a student to decide that another area of interest would be a better choice. In addition, our students often find opportunities for post-graduation employment as a result of their Specialization practicum.

Students in the 2-Year MSW program complete a Generalist practicum in their first year and a Specialization practicum in their second year. The schedule is somewhat different for students who are in our other MSW programs.

Students in the 3-Year MSW program (either Chapel Hill or Winston-Salem) complete a Generalist practicum during their second year in the program and complete a Specialization practicum in their third year.

Students in our Advanced Standing MSW programs (either 12-Month or 20-Month) complete a 200-hour field placement during the summer that they enter the program, which completes the requirement for a Generalist practicum. They complete a Specialization practicum (24 hours per week) during the fall and spring semesters. Typically, both practicums are in the same agency.