The purpose of field education in the BSW program is to enable students to connect theory, skills and knowledge taught in the classroom to their own practice in the field placement setting. BSW students on placement engage in a variety of practice, policy and research activities aimed at the acquisition of entry-level skills in the area of direct intervention and/or social administration and policy, as well as the development of a professional identity that reflects a substantive understanding of and commitment to the core values and standards of professional social work practice and conduct.

Students admitted to the BSW program are required to do two practica. Each practicum is worth two credits, for a total of four credits of the BSW degree.

Students normally take Practicum I (SOWK 3600 or 3601) during the third year of the BSW program and Practicum II (SOWK 4600 or 4601 & 4602) during the fourth year.

Students’ point of entry into the BSW program determines which Practicum I course is applicable. Students who entered the BSW program with first or second year standing upon admission should refer to SOWK 3600 in the BSW Practicum Manual. Students who entered the BSW Program with third year standing upon admission should refer to SOWK 3601.

Practicum II, SOWK 4600, is available to all students at the fourth year level who have completed the required prerequisites. The fourth year practicum is generally taken on a full-time (4-5 days per week) basis during the fall or spring/summer term. Practicum II is not offered on a full-time basis in the winter term. A limited number of part-time placements are available to fourth year students who have completed the required prerequisites. For information on completing Practicum II on a part-time basis, see SOWK 4601 & 4602 in the BSW Practicum Manual.

All placements involve a minimum of 352 hours in the practice setting, in addition to 12-13 hours of seminar participation scheduled throughout the placement term(s), and mandatory written requirements (i.e. Learning Contract, Mid-Point and End-Point Evaluations, Theory-to-Practice Assignments). The practicum is evaluated on a pass/fail basis.

To take a practicum course, students must apply to the School of Social Work by the established deadlines, participate in required pre-placement activities and placement procedures, and submit confirmation paperwork to the School in advance of commencing their practicum. Students are responsible for reading the BSW Practicum Manual to familiarize themselves with the placement process and related deadlines and the policies and procedures related to field education, with special emphasis on Section 4.0 Field Placement Process and Protocols.

Students can apply to do a distance placement for Practicum II. Distance placements are not available for Practicum I. Students wishing to apply for a fourth year placement outside of Ottawa and region must do so a full two months in advance of regular deadlines. See Section 7.1 Distance Placements.

Placement application deadlines are firm. Late applications will not be accepted due to the time-sensitive nature of the placement process. See Section 4.3 Important Dates.

Students admitted into the BSW program who have a minimum of three years (4500 hours) of full-time human service work experience within the past five years may apply for a waiver of the Practicum I requirement (third-year practicum) by submitting an application to the BSW Practicum Coordinator, as outlined in Section 7.3 Application of Waiver of Practicum I in the BSW Practicum Manual. There is no waiver option for Practicum II.

For more information contact:

Emi Koyanagi
BSW Practicum Coordinator
Email address:

Vanessa Bascelli
Interim Practicum Administrator
Email address: