Traditional MSW Placement Options

Field education is an integral component of the MSW@Denver curriculum—allowing you to put concepts and theories learned in the online classroom into practice. Throughout your internships, you will work hand in hand with trained social workers to hone your own practice.

We recognize that students come to our program with varying skill sets and experiences. That’s why we offer traditional MSW–track students two field experience choices to fulfill the program requirements, allowing them to select the options that best meet their learning needs.

Field Curriculum Requirements

All online traditional MSW students complete two internships—one foundation internship and one concentration internship. Advanced-standing MSW students are only required to complete the concentration internship.

Foundation Year Internship: 400 Hours

Build upon your values and skills as they relate to the social work profession and develop generalist social work practice skills. You will work in a variety of client systems to gain experience helping different populations and addressing varying needs.

Concentration Year Internship: 500 Hours

Focus on the professional skills needed for advanced social work practice in mental health and trauma or in health, equity and wellness. You will work at a relevant internship site for experience helping and empowering the individuals and populations you’ve chosen to serve.

Choose From Two Field Experience Options

Explore the traditional MSW field options below to determine which can best set you up for success.

Field Option 1: Virtual Field Experience (VFX) + Agency-Based Internship



Hours of Virtual Field Experience

Both internships completed at one agency


Hours of Foundation Agency-Based Field Internship


Hours of Concentration Agency-Based Field Internship + Concentration Field

The Virtual Field Experience offers a low-pressure opportunity to begin clinical experience in a realistic digital environment before entering an agency-based setting with real clients.

Featuring live, professional actors and social work experts, this simulated clinical practice allows for real-time, high-quality feedback in a variety of clinical scenarios. These unique opportunities offer opportunities to apply foundational knowledge in preparation for agency-based social work practice.

The VFX fulfills the first 200 hours of a traditional MSW student’s foundational field experience requirement. It also fulfils foundation field seminar requirements. After the VFX, you will be placed in one in-person community agency setting to complete the remaining 200 foundational internship hours and the 500 concentration internship hours.

Benefits of the VFX + Agency Internship Option

Confidence and Skills:
Practice in a safe environment with real people prior to entering a community agency. Learn assessment tools and specific intervention models.

One Agency Placement:
Engage in one placement for a longer timeframe, allowing further skill progression and additional client contact.

Spend four hours weekly in live sessions for the first two quarters and complete asynchronous work on your own time, allowing for more scheduling flexibility.

Field Option 2: Two-Agency Based Internships


900 hours completed at two agency placements


Hours of Foundation Agency-Based Field Internship + Foundation Field Seminar


Hours of Concentration Agency-Based Field Internship + Concentration Field Seminar

In this option, you will start your agency experience sooner and begin practicing face-to-face in real-world settings alongside licensed social workers with real clients.

You will complete all 900 required field hours in two separate in-person community agency settings, rather than completing the first 200 field hours virtually. You will also take a concurrent field seminar during both your foundation- and concentration-year internships.

Benefits of the Two Agency-Based Internship Option:

Diverse Perspective:
Gain a more varied experience through exposure to different agency settings and supervisors.

More In-Person Experiences:
Engage immediately in real client interactions taking place in an in-person environment.

Grow Your Network:
Benefit from more opportunities to connect and network with practicing social work leaders in separate agency settings.

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Dedicated Field Placement Support

MSW@Denver field placement specialists can connect you to a vast network of internship opportunities.


internship sites across 48 states


field supervisors in our network


placement rate

We are here to support you. Whether you live in Colorado or thousands of miles away, we will help you find a placement in or near your community. We have a national network of partnerships with internship sites that provide clinical and community interventions.

MSW@Denver students have completed internships in a variety of settings:

  • Homeless shelters
  • Domestic violence clinics
  • Drug rehabilitation facilities
  • Protective services
  • Hospice/older adult care
  • Community mental health agencies

Personalized Placement Support at Every Step

Meet Your Placement Specialist
Begin working with a field placement specialist at least three months prior to your internship.

Find an Internship Site
Collaborate with your placement specialist find a Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW)-approved site in or near your community.

Work With Your Field Liaison
An experienced GSSW field liaison and course instructor will ensure you meet curricular milestones and goals.

Practice Under Professional Supervision
You will be supervised at your field internship site(s) by experienced social work professionals.

Finding Internship Placements

When it’s time to begin your agency-based placement, our placement specialists will work with you to determine how to best meet your individual needs. You may go through a matching process with sites in or near your community or opt in to our referrals-based track.

Referrals Based Track (employment or non-employment based)

MSW@Denver offers flexibility in education, including the option to self-identify a specific placement agency. This is ideal for students who have demanding schedules, are seeking specific settings or who would like to complete their internship at a current place of employment. Referrals are subject to faculty approval, as all internship sites are closely reviewed by faculty to ensure the highest-quality learning experience. If your referral site is approved, you will be placed there for your field internship(s).

Matching Track

Alternatively, students may opt in to a matching process facilitated by our placement support team. This option is for students have who have flexibility and are open to exploring the range of opportunities in the field of social work. Your dedicated placement specialist will locate a placement in or near your community that meets the learning and supervision requirements of our graduate program.

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Get Started Today

To learn more about MSW@Denver, request information and an admission counselor will contact you.

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