Field Instructor Resources | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Field Instructors

Field Instructor Resources

Field instructors play a vital role in the education of our students. Through supervision and mentorship, field instructors help students bridge theory into practice. This approach is vital to the development of social work, public health, and social policy practitioners.

In collaboration with over 300 field sites around the world, our students bring discipline-specific expertise in translating knowledge to practice, managing complex systems and data, and converting ideas to action. Practicum/Internship students contribute these skills and knowledge toward organization mission, vision, and goals.

Depending on the focus of their studies (which we call a concentration or specialization), students also develop specialized skills in areas like research, policy or system dynamics. You can recruit students that match the needs of your organization and the position you have in mind. To host a practicum/internship student, your organization will need to formally affiliate with the Brown School as a practicum/internship site. Then you — or someone at your organization — will take the steps to become affiliated as a field instructor.

Keep in mind that there are different requirements for field instructors, depending on the kind of practicum/internship student you’d like to work with.

Eligibility Requirements for Field Instructors

Type of Practicum

Education Required

Number of Years in the Field

Contact for More Information

MSW Foundation Practicum: Provides generalist skills for a student in their first year of the MSW program

Master of Social Work degree

2 years post-MSW;
1 year at the current position

Field Site Coordinator

MSW Concentration Practicum: Provides skills tied to the specific field of practice an MSW student is focusing on

Master of Social Work or a related master’s degree

2 years post master’s degree;
1 year at the current position

Field Site Coordinator

MPH Practicum

Master’s degree or higher, and currently directly working in public health or connected to your organization’s public health mission

2 years post master’s degree;
1 year at the current position

Ragini Maddipati
Program Manager

MSP Internship

Master’s degree, substantive experience in policy

Reviewed upon application

Dan Ferris
Assistant Dean of Policy Initiatives

The information below will give you an overview of the affiliation process, but please contact with questions. We’d love to discuss how the Brown School can partner with you to educate the next generation of social work, public health, and social policy practitioners.

Field Instructor Benefits

To recognize the important service field instructors do for our students and for our profession, we offer a variety of benefits for Brown School field instructors.

Professional Development Discount
Brown School field instructors receive a significant discount on most Professional Development workshops hosted at the Brown School.

Brown School Library Privileges
Field instructors receive free borrowing privileges at the Brown School Library, access to resources for evidence-based practice, and librarian assistance. We invite you to view our Community Accessible Resources. To receive a library card valid for the academic year, contact

Annual Field Instructor Appreciation Day
We gather each spring to celebrate and acknowledge your many contributions. Invitations will be sent via email. This event includes workshops and connections for field instructors.

Apply to Become a Field Instructor

Field instructors serve as key partners in education of social work, public health, and social policy practitioners. To become an affiliated field instructor, please complete the following application. The application must be completed by the applicant or an agency representative. Students are not allowed to perform this function.

Unsure whether to apply as an MSW, MPH, or MSP field instructor? Consult the Eligibility Requirements for Field Instructors chart above, or email with questions.

Once the application is completed, the Office of Field Education will review it to ensure eligibility requirements are met and that the practicum provides a graduate-level field experience. If more information is needed, an Office of Field Education representative will reach out to you. If you are applying to be an MSW Field Instructor, you will be invited to a field instructor training upon approval.

Recruit a Practicum/Internship Student

When and how to recruit practicum students is vitally important to ensuring your organization is able to secure the right fit for your open position(s).

The recruiting period differs by program. The key here is taking advantage of the month(s) for which the student is needed.

Optimal Recruiting Timing - The "When"

When would you like students to begin practicum at your organization? Click on the link below for a backwards planning calendar that displays the optimal recruiting period relative to the start date.

Symplicity - The "How"

Students search for practicum/internship opportunities in Symplicity, the Brown School’s Field Education and Career Services database. As a field instructor you’ll have access to a Symplicity account, which will allow you to post positions and connect with the Brown School.

To post a practicum/internship position in Symplicity, log in to your account. If you do not have a Symplicity account, please contact for more information.

Once you’ve logged in, Symplicity’s “Home” tab is where you’ll find announcements and shortcuts.

The ‘Positions’ tab is where you’ll post practicum/internship opportunities for students to view. Click the “New Posting” button to post a new position. This same process can be used for jobs and other types of positions. So, to ensure your posting is listed correctly, be sure to select “practicum” for MSW or MPH positions, and “internship” for MSP positions. Enter your position information, and click the “Submit” button when done. Symplicity Instructions.

If you have difficulty logging in or making changes to your account, or have questions related to employment opportunity postings, please contact Tina Kennett, For questions about practicum/internship position postings, please contact