Field of Practice (FOP)

Fields of Practice Specialization Students select a Field of Practice (FOP) specialization in the advanced year. The FOP specialization is organized around a population group of interest, agency, or institutional setting or practice or policy issue. The purpose of the field of practice specialization is to accomplish the following:

  1. Provide students with opportunities to develop in-depth knowledge and skill in an area of social work beyond the method.
  2. Better prepare students for a competitive job market given the current organization of most service delivery systems.
  3. Provide a potential cluster of faculty, students, and field agencies with similar interests for developing and sharing knowledge about contemporary issues and trends.
  4. Provide an additional vehicle for generating general innovation and new course material in the curriculum. 5. Maintain the focus of the School, the faculty, and the curriculum on the changing needs of a multicultural urban community.

The Hunter College School of Social Work recognizes five broad areas of specialization: Aging (Gerontology); Child Welfare: Children, Youth, and Families; World of Work; Health and Mental Health; and Immigration and Global Social Work.

Completion of a field of practice specialization consists of enrollment in two courses required by the FOP, as well as a paper or project for a research course or professional seminar, and one field practicum—all of which must be related to the selected field of practice. The selection of a field of practice begins with a discussion with the student’s field advisor in the year prior to specialization when second year placement is being contemplated or, for OYR students, with the Time Frame I advisor. Commitment to a field of practice occurs in the second (or field year for OYR students) when a Commitment Form is submitted for approval. Before the end of the final semester in the program, students submit a Completion Form for the approval of the chair of the selected field of practice. After graduation, students will receive a certificate and may note this on their résumés. Contact the following faculty members for additional information.


Chairs Fields of Practice Specializations


Aging (Gerontology) 

Dr. Carmen Morano                 212-396-7547 – Room 448
Dr. Daniel Gardner                   212-396-7527 – Room 424


Child Welfare: Children, Youth, & Families

Dr. Gary Mallon                        212-396-7562 – Room 702
Dr. Marina Lalayants                212-396-7550 – Room 451


World of Work

Dr. Kristen Ferguson-Colvin     212-396-7553 – Room 454


Global Social Work & Practice With Immigrants & Refugees 

Dr. Martha Bragin                      212-396-7530 – Room 427