Social Work Internship Program Breakdown
The US Army Social Work Internship Program (SWIP) is the Army’s formal training program for preparing recent Master’s in Social Work graduates for advanced independent clinical social work practice with Soldiers, dependents, and the military culture. Upon completion, SWIP social workers will become highly qualified military behavioral health providers in a realm of practice areas.
Click here for the Application Process.
• SWIP is a professional bridge between graduate studies and fully independent clinical licensure.
• Provides for application of advanced application of social work theory under clinical supervision.
• Equips Social Workers with state of the art trainings to effectively aid Soldiers and Dependents during peacetime and war.
• Provides the Army with professionals who possess the highest level of expertise to make the most effective contributions to recipients of military health care.
The Social Worker rotates through identified behavioral health practice areas and receives unique training from site specific clinical preceptors.
At a minimum, Social Workers rotate through the following practice areas:
• Behavioral Health
• Family Violence
• Substance Abuse
• Combat Operational Stress Control
• Social Work Administration
Additionally, Social Workers are afforded the opportunity to navigate electives if their training site permits:
• Warrior Transition Battalion
• Child and Adolescent Family Behavioral Health Services
• Intensive Outpatient Programs
• Residential Behavioral Health
• Multidisciplinary (Multi-D)
• Medical Social Work
• Other site specific
Internship Location Info:
Prior to leaving for Commissioning School (DCC, OCS, ROTC), or roughly six months prior to completion of the Army’s MSW program, a coordinator will request an internship site for the Social Worker. Assignments will be primarily based upon the needs of the Army, the Social Workers Merit (competitiveness), and other factors (family).
Social Workers are afforded a “wish list” of training sites, but the needs of the Army come first.
As of 2020, the training sites for SWIP are the following:
Ft. Sam Houston, TX
Ft. Lewis, WA
Ft. Bliss, TX
Ft. Campbell, KY
Ft. Bragg, N.C.
Ft. Hood, TX
Ft. Stewart, GA
Ft. Carson, CO
Ft. Drum, N.Y.
Tripler AMC, HI
The complete SWIP program takes a total of 26 months to complete. Being that the intern is commissioned as a military officer, they are required to meet the standards of a military officer. Interns will where the uniform and are required to look and act the part of a military officer. This included attending military functions, participating in military exercises, passing the Army Physical Fitness Test, and meeting height/weight requirements.
Interns are also required to identify a state to work towards their clinical licensure and meet all requirements of the state, including passing the clinical exam. Most interns select the state of North Carolina, as their requirements are the least demanding. While working for a federal agency, such as DoD or the VA, social workers can use their license anywhere. However, should they exit such an establishment, they’d only be able to utilize their license within the selected state.
Non-traditional SWIP interns such as myself, receive their MSW degrees from a civilian sector and usually have post-MSW experience. I elected for Utah as my identified state given that I have hours in this state and have already completed the clinical exam (Utah is one of the few that allow for social workers to complete the clinical exam prior to receiving all their hours).
The intern will complete orientation when they arrive to their post, then meet with the “Program Director of Training” who creates the training plan and manages the interns training.
31 thoughts on “Social Work Internship Program Breakdown”
Very informative! I am a ROTC Cadet that commissions into the Active Duty Army today! I have been interested in SWIP for some time now but I am unsure how to go this route since I have already been assessed. I have a Master of Social Work and also branched Medical Service Corp. I am wondering if this is still an option for me in the near future ?
That’s rad, congrats!
Yeah, it’s an awesome program. You’ve definitely got a shot.
What does your ADSO look like? Did you go active or reserve/guard? It helps that you’re already an AMEDD Officer for sure.
The general rule of thumb is you complete roughly half of your ADSO, before you’re allowed to do something different, but they can always make exceptions with support of your command.
Hello, and thank you for this post. I am currently a junior studying Criminal Justice and looking for a masters in clinical social work following my BS. I am also an Infantryman in the guard, on the way to becoming an E-5 until my college years, and subsequent enlistment contract, are up in 2023. I have just recently found out about this program, and I am greatly intrigued. For starters, and before I dive deeper into researching this opportunity, would you happen to have any inside as to what the board looks for in candidates applying for this internship? This is an amazing opportunity and seeing as I already have military background to a certain extent, I would greatly like to pursue it.
Absolutely. What the board generally wants to see from prospective social workers are A) Could they immerse themselves in unique military culture (your guard experience gives you a leg up here), and B) clinical experience with the military community.
My best advice would be to explore two routes.
A) see about getting a conditional release from your guard unit and apply for the Army’s MSW program through UK. It’s much less competitive, you’ll get paid, and you’ll role right into SWIP. It’s rigorous, as it is a condensed program, but I wish I would’ve gone that route!
B) Work with your prospective MSW program to secure you in internships that work with the military community. I did two internships – both with the military. This gave me a better understanding of military systems impact on behavioral health.
Feel free to email me with any follow up questions. Best of luck!
what is your contact information? I am interested in the SWIP program in the UK. My name is Rosie and I go to school at Midwestern State University in Texas. Also, I am a senior and will be graduating in May 2023.
Is this a paid internship? How does housing work if your married with children?
Do you know the minimum requirements for the MSW program through UK. Do you have to reach out to an AMEDD Recruiter? I currently have a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5. I had some life difficulties that led to that bad GPA. Do you know if that program is less competitive or if they have a waiver for that GPA? .
I don’t know the information right now, but I’m working on interviewing a Soldier who attended the UK program. Stand by for that in the next week!
Hi Jennifer. I would have to defer that answer to an AMEDD recruiter. I have heard that the program is more competitive than other MSW programs, but they’d know better for sure. Of course, there’s always going the SWIP only route. At that point, they’ll look at your GPA from your MSW. Hope that helps!
Thank you so much for the information. I am currently an MSW student and would like to apply for the SWIP program. Is there any way to contact you directly to gather some additional information?
Hi jimmy, yes!
Email me at: Ashdown.firstname.lastname@example.org
Of course! Shoot me an email: email@example.com
Or find me on insta at cashd0wn
I really enjoyed your video. It definitely gives an insight into army social work. I applied for SWIP this year and qualified and made the OML, but I don’t know if I’ll be activated. Keeping my fingers crossed! I definitely feel I’d be a great addition to the medical service corps, but we’ll see what happens.
Can you provide me with more information on Utah’s LCSW process please ?
I hope it goes well. I remember being in that boat too.
Sure! You can checkout Utah DOPL for more specifics, but it generally looks like this:
4000 clinically supervised hours post MSW (100 supervision hours, 1000 hours of clinical care provided)
Passing clinical exam (can be taken in your final Msw semester)
3 hours of suicide prevention.
Hey! I have recently commissioned as an officer and graduated with a degree in social work. I will attend the University of Michigan for my Masters Degree. I went AG Reserves so that I could obtain my Masters and I would push my BOLC date back for when I graduate next year. What route should I go to be able to AMEDD BOLC and apply for the SWIP Program?
You’d be required to attend AMEDD BOLC either way, so if you knock it out sooner, you would likely go to your SWIP site sooner.
You can apply for SWIP after you MSW, then you would like start training the fillings November.
Have you considered the Army’s MSW program? It’s compatible, but not as competitive as SWIP. You may be able to apply for that if your reserve unit will allow.
Hopefully that answers some questions!
Hey, is it okay if I email you?
Hey, I wanted to know if it is okay if I emailed you?
Thank you so much for this information Cam. This is a very detailed & informative website. I plan to apply for the program in 2020. I’m already getting hours for my LCSW, is it less competitive to just finish the LCSW then apply as a social worker ? (I still plan to apply for the SWIP program).
What month did you leave to go to the internship and when did know where you were going? Also, do you know what rank someone would commission if they already have their LCSW?
Hi. I shipped out to DCC in November, then wrapped up commissioning training in February. I arrived at my SWIP site the following March.
If you already have an LCSW, they will likely rank you as a 1LT, unless you have extra education (such as a DSW or PhD)
Hello. First of all, thank you for the information you provided. May I email you to ask you further questions?
This site has been really helpful. I just got word two weeks ago I was accepted into SWIP and I’m still shocked. Thanks for all the info. I’m looking to journaling as I go through the process so I can help future applicants as well.
That’s awesome Mia!! Congrats on your acceptance. Looking forward to serving with you.
Hello! My partner was just accepted to SWIP. He already has a masters of social work. He will direct commission. How long is the program from start to finish (discharging from Army)? We were never given any information from the recruiter… 🤨😎
Hey Sara! Congrats to your husband. This is a huge accomplishment.
You’re husband will do DCC, BOLC, SWIP, after he gets his clinical license (LCSW) his ADSO (service obligation) official start counting down.
It’s a three year ADSO after he gets his LCSW UNLESS he picked up some other incentives (student loans payback or others) those add in years.
You can anticipate roughly 5 1/2 years give or take a few months from start to finish.
The branch manager (he will meet them) can give him more of a breakdown of his specific contract
Hopefully this helps!
Hello! What is the age limitation for Army MSW UK, I am 39, I do have Bachelor in Psychology, Master in Psychology and Master of Public Health: in addition, I have been a volunteered in the red-cross servicing Armed forces cases for past three years, also, I was prior active duty in the navy, and currently in the navy reserves… do you think my age would disqualified me? Also, do my academic degrees give me an edge….?
Hello, what is the housing situation. Do we get BAH or a stipend?
Hello! First of all, thank you so much for all of the detailed information. I have been looking for up to date info on the SWIP program for quite some time! I have a few questions:
I commissioned from ROTC as a 70B in May 2022, I am currently a Evacuation PL in the North Carolina National Guard. I am in my first year of a two-year MSW program at UNC-Charlotte, and will graduate in May 2022. I am planning on applying to SWIP, but am unclear on 1. where to actually apply, 2. when I need to apply (also when I would actually start the program), 3. how the whole process would work for me transitioning from a 70B in the National Guard to a 73A active duty as far as my contract goes and 4. what my actual service obligation would be once I make the switch. Do you have any trustworthy AMEDD recruiters you know I could talk to? I know my situation is a bit unique.