The purpose of field education in the MSW program is to enable students to connect theory, skills and knowledge taught in the classroom to their own practice in the field placement setting. MSW students on placement engage in a variety of practice, policy and research activities aimed at the acquisition of advanced 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.

There are two streams of students admitted to the Master of Social Work (MSW) program: those with an undergraduate degree in Social Work who are required to do one practicum or thesis, and those with an undergraduate degree in another discipline who are required to do two practica, or who choose to do one plus a thesis. Each practicum is worth two credits. The vast majority of placements are completed on a full-time (4-5 days per week) basis, during the Winter term (Practicum I) or Spring/Summer term (Practicum II). All placements involve 450 hours in the practice setting, in addition to 12-13 hours of seminar participation scheduled throughout the term.

A limited number of part-time placements are available to part-time students who have completed the required prerequisites. There are several mandatory components for each of the MSW practicum courses (Practicum I – SOWK 5606 and Practicum II – SOWK 5607) including pre-placement information sessions and agency fairs, placement applications and procedures, confirmation paperwork and written assignments.

Students are responsible for reviewing the MSW Practicum Manual to familiarize themselves with the placement policies and procedures, with special emphasis on Section 4.3 Important Dates and Section 7.1 Distance Placements. Application deadlines are firm and students wishing to apply for placement outside of Ottawa and region (distance placements) must do so a full two months in advance of regular deadlines.

Late applications will not be accepted due to the time-sensitive nature of the placement process.

Vanessa Bascelli
Interim Practicum Administrator
Email address:

Allison Everett 
MSW Practicum Coordinator
Email address: