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.

Contact the Office of Field Education at

Eligibility Requirements for Field Instructors

Type of PracticumEducation RequiredEducation RequiredContact for More Information
MSW Foundation Practicum: Provides generalist skills for a student in their first year of the MSW programMaster of Social Work degree2 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 onMaster 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 PracticumMaster’s degree or higher, and currently directly working in public health or connected to your organization’s public health mission​

For field instructors supervising Epidemiology/Biostatistics students, substantive experience in epidemiology or biostatistics or a minimum of a Master’s degree in Public Health
2 years post master’s degree;
1 year at the current position
Kate Barbier
MSP InternshipMaster’s degree, substantive experience in policyReviewed upon applicationElizabeth Fuchs 

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.

Handshake – The “How”

Students search for practicum/internship opportunities in Handshake, Washington University’s Career Services and Field Education database. As a field instructor you’ll have access to a Handshake account, which will allow you to post positions and connect with Washington University. View the steps and best practices for creating an account here.

To post a practicum/internship position in Handshake:

  1. Log in to your account. If you do not have an account, please start the process here. Once you’ve logged in, you’ll see the Home page, where you have options to Post a Job, Request an Interview, and Create an Event. You may also find announcements and other important information.
  2. To post a practicum position (for MSW or MPH) or an Internship (MSP), click Post a Job. Begin by completing the Basic Information. **Important: To recruit practicum/internship students, select “Experiential Learning” under Job Type. Do not select Internship or practicum students may not see your position.
  3. Complete the rest of the form. On the bottom of the page, you’ll see the different sections of a Job Posting (Basics, Details, …). Make sure to select Washington University in St. Louis as one of your schools from which to recruit. See below for clarification on Work Authorization questions.

If you have difficulty creating an account, or have questions related to practicum postings, please contact

*Note: On the posting of an Experiential Learning Job Type, there are mandatory questions on a student’s US Work Authorization. This is a common section of Job Postings that tend to create the most confusion. The questions are:

  • Does this position require US work authorization? “Yes” is recommended.
  • Eligibility for international students (non-US citizens or permanent residents). Would you sponsor a work visa for the right candidate? “No” is recommended since this is for practicum.
  • Are you willing to hire candidates that are temporarily authorized to work for a defined period in their field of study? “Yes” is recommended for CPT.