A strong foundation.

Both in and out of the classroom, the foundation year is about case management and generalist practice; developing relationships with peers and mentors, and building your foundation.


Foundation courses are crucial to understanding how social work operates. You will gain knowledge in human behavior, social policy, research, diversity, and practice that will prepare you for the advanced clinical practice year.

You’ll learn about social work’s person-in-environment perspective, which includes theories about how surroundings and social interaction shape behavior. You’ll also learn the fundamental skill of transforming a basic one-on-one conversation into an opportunity for healing.


There is a wide range of social service delivery options provided by social workers. For many, foundation year fieldwork focuses on the agency setting and begins to show you how resources get allocated. You’ll also start to help assess clients’ circumstances and ensure they’re connected with the necessary services. 

Depending the pace you set to complete your MSW degree, your foundation year might be shorter or longer than an actual year, but all foundation year courses, including fieldwork, must be completed before you can build on that and begin your advanced study and concentrations.