Master of Social Work Field Education

Hours: 240 each semester

Field Education

The Field Education Program at the Department of Social Work provides an opportunity for students to integrate their curriculum knowledge with real-life experiences in a variety of field practice settings. Students are supervised by experienced social work field instructors at human services agencies where they refine their social work skills and begin their lives as social work professionals.

The field placement is a vital part of the professional development of the student. Through our collaborative efforts the Social Work Department and human service organizations will continue to offer field education of the highest quality to enhance human well-being and meet the basic human needs of all people. Master of Social (MSW) work students complete concurrent field placements two semesters per year.

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has set 2015 standards for Field Education. This area of the curriculum is considered the "signature pedagogy" of the program. Field education is considered the central form of instruction and learning in which a profession socializes its students to perform the role of practitioner, connects the theoretical and conceptual contributions of the classroom with the practical world of the practice setting, and is systematically designed, supervised, coordinated, and evaluated based on criteria by which students demonstrate the achievement of program competencies.

For more information about field education at Appalachian State, contact:

Heather Thorp, LCSW
Field Director
Department of Social Work
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608


Required Criminal Background Checks 

Beginning in fall semester (2020) the Beaver College of Health Sciences will require all graduate and undergraduate students, who as a part of their program of study have required or elective clinicals, internships, field placements, or practicums, to submit to a criminal background check. The BCHS policy can be found here.

Prior to entry into field placement, all students must complete a Criminal Background Check (CBC) in accordance with the Beaver College of Health Sciences (BCHS) Criminal Background Check Policy.  Students must complete a CBC annually, prior to each field placement.  Students are responsible for paying the minimal fee to complete the CBC.

Students who accept the offer of admission to the MSW program must complete an application for field placement within one week of their acceptance.  The names of students who are entering field placement will be provided to BCHS in accordance with time frames set by BCHS.  Based on the CBC results, students may be required to meet with the Field Director and/or MSW Program Director.  Registration for the field placement will not occur until the CBC is completed and concerns are addressed or resolved.


Field supervisors: Please note that all evaluation forms are designed to be completed electronically rather than by hand. Please complete them electronically and then print and sign them. If you have any problems with the forms, please contact the Field Director. In order for the Learning Contracts and Evaluations to print properly, the word.doc must be converted to PDF  at this time.