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Practicum 2 Matching

Year 2/Advanced Standing Students take an active role in selecting Practicum 2.  The MSW program is designed to facilitate broad practicum experiences with learning in different settings with diverse field instructors.  Students therefore complete SWK Practicum 2 with a different setting and field instructor than they had for SWK 4701 Practicum 1. In addition to providing students with an expanded network and skill set, this design enhances equitable opportunities for other students to benefit from such opportunities in their second year.

* Students may select a SWK 4702 Practicum 2 at the same site but with different learning opportunities and a new field instructor, excluding GTA hospitals.

The MSW Year 2/Advanced Standing program prepares students for competence in advanced social work practice.  This includes the development of critical professional judgment, systematic inquiry, and ethical responsibility in one of five fields:

  • Children and their Families
  • Human Services Management and Leadership (formerly Social Service Administration)
  • Gerontology
  • Mental Health and Health
  • Social Justice and Diversity


Students must select a practicum setting that complies with their declared field.

Students in a combined or collaborative program must ensure their practicum meets the specific requirements of their program.

As with Practicum 1, the Practicum Administrative System (PAS) is used in assigning practicum interviews and the final practicum setting.

The Practicum Office begins recruiting Practicum 2 Field Instructors in the months before student matching begins. Field Instructors submit full descriptions of the learning opportunities and site requirements to the Practicum Administrative System (PAS), the database used to assign practicums.

In May, students review opportunities posted on the PAS (ensuring that all the requirements can be met) and submit (on the PAS) five ranked practicum choices that are in their declared field of study.

There is no advantage to submitting early.

Based on the selections submitted by all students, the PAS is programmed to match the greatest number of students with a practicum from their five selected options.

Practicum matches are posted on the PAS. Once matched, students contact the field instructor(s) to arrange for an informational interview.

The PAS algorithm matches the majority of students on the first run. The Practicum Office works with all students who have not been matched to connect them with an available practicum.

To ensure as many students as possible have an opportunity to complete a practicum at a hospital in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), social work students in the two-year MSW program are limited to one placement during the program at a hospital in the GTA. This gives as many students as possible an opportunity to complete a practicum in a GTA hospital.


Once a student has been matched, they will have an informational interview with their Field Instructor to ensure that the student meets requirements and explore how the practicum will provide the desired learning opportunities.

If, following the interview, the Field Instructor or the student does not believe the practicum would be a positive learning experience, the Practicum Office is to be contacted immediately.  In these circumstances, the student is assigned to another practicum interview, and the Field Instructor will interview another student.


A tentative schedule of the recruitment and matching process is included below. The detailed schedules are posted on the FIFSW website once confirmed.

January through March Field Instructor recruitment
April Student information sessions, run by the practicum office
May Students select their interview choices. The PAS is run to determine interview matches.
May and June Students initiate interviews and both students and field instructors submit their post interview responses on the PAS
June The PAS is run to confirm practicum matches. Not all students will be confirmed with a practicum at this stage
June through August Students who have not been matched through the PAS work with the Practicum Office to secure a practicum placement


*Exceptions to this design:

  • scaffolded practicums, where a field instructor presents a Practicum 1 and Practicum 2 learning plan for approval to the Practicum Office before Practicum 1 commences.
  • students with practicum accommodations or extenuating circumstances. Contact Eileen McKee, Assistant Dean of Field Education ( for further information.