Field Education Network

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work works with selected agencies and organizations around the world, which represent the complete range of social services. This provides MSW@USC students the opportunity to apply what they learn in class and a chance to work with real-life clients in the community.

Become a Field Placement Agency

Your agency has the opportunity to help shape the next generation of social work leaders by becoming a part of the MSW@USC national network of field placement agencies. The benefits of participation include:

  • Partnering with a prestigious research university
  • Working with an accredited online Master of Social Work (MSW) program
  • Gaining access to high-quality students
  • Teaching talented social workers to work in your community
  • Hiring MSW graduates from a top-ranked school

We are seeking quality field placement sites in both urban and rural settings in locations across the country, especially places that can give students exposure to diverse populations that offer a range of experiences in a variety of practice areas.

Criteria for Becoming a Field Agency Site

To qualify as an MSW@USC field placement site, agencies and organizations must have:

  • An interest in participating in the student’s learning and research and the capacity to provide a sufficient number and variety of assignments to develop the student’s knowledge and practical skills
  • Experience with individual, group, family and community social work (Note: At least two of these modalities must be available in some depth, and half of the student’s time should be spent in direct contact with clients.)
  • Ample time for field instruction to permit both individual and group conferences with students
  • Adequate office space, telephone availability, clerical support and travel reimbursement for students
  • Student opportunities for in-service training and access to agency consultants
  • Congruence between the agency’s practice framework and theories taught in the classroom

The school will work with prospective agencies and organizations to mutually determine whether criteria have been met for a field placement relationship with the MSW@USC program.

MSW@USC Field Instructor Responsibilities

  • Selecting the preceptor and clarifying their role and purpose
  • Orienting the preceptor to social work field education and student teaching
  • Helping the preceptor develop realistic and appropriate goals with the student, facilitating the experience and evaluating the experience with both the student and the preceptor
  • Incorporating these evaluations into the student’s overall mid-year and end-of-year field evaluations.

Help Us Provide Hands-On Training in the Field

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work invites social service agencies, government entities, schools, hospitals and businesses to join our national field education network. If you (or your agency) are interested in hosting students from the University of Southern California’s Master of Social Work program, please email