Social Work Internship Training Program



Social work training here at Counseling and Psychological Services of The University of Pennsylvania is rooted in the history and values of the social work profession.

History of the Profession

“Social work” arose at the beginning of the 20th century and described the volunteer work women did for charitable organizations or settlement homes. This entailed visiting people in their living situations. Early social workers, known as “friendly visitors“, engaged in societal advocacy and provided clinically-oriented services to individuals, addressing issues like poverty, oppression, and injustice.

Professional Values

The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values which are very clearly enumerated in the Code of Ethics of our national organization, National Association of Social Work (NASW)

  • integrity
  • social justice
  • dignity and worth of the person
  • human relationships
  • competence
  • service

Our intention in this training program is to thread these values which are unique to the profession of social work through the integration of theory, practice, outreach and prevention. Therefore, all facets of a social worker’s training in this setting aim to incorporate and demonstrate these values in practice.


The University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a privately endowed Ivy League institution founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740. The University is comprised of four undergraduate schools and twelve graduate and professional schools and has a total of about 25,000 students. About 13% of the student body make use of our clinical services, another 30% have been in attendance at planned workshops led by CAPS staff. The University of Pennsylvania campus is conveniently located near Center City Philadelphia.


Philadelphia, one of the nation’s largest cities, holds a wealth of history and culture for its residents. If your interests are the performing arts, Philadelphia is the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Ballet. In addition to the Festival of World Cinema held at nearby International House, the Annenberg Theatre, located on Penn’s campus, is a respected addition to the city’s dramatic arts. Philadelphia is the home of four professional teams: The Phillies, Eagles, 76ers, and the Flyers. Philadelphia’s geographical location between New York City and Washington, DC makes it easily accessible to the New Jersey Shore as well as the Pocono Mountains.

CAPS Mission Statement

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is dedicated to delivering excellent clinical care and treatment to the diverse student population at Penn. By utilizing our service, students learn to manage personal challenges, psychological problems, and situational crises effectively; learn strategies to cope with academic stress; and develop skills for life-long learning. Services are offered to all Penn matriculants to assist in their adjustment to college life and to help them take full advantage of the academic and social environment at the University. CAPS staff collaborates and consults with Penn faculty, alumni, and staff to optimize the conditions for students’ individual, interpersonal, and intellectual development. CAPS is committed to providing timely professional clinical services that are confidential, accessible, and of the highest quality.

In addition to providing direct clinical services, CAPS provides exceptional and comprehensive training in college counseling for students from the various mental health disciplines. All objectives at Counseling and Psychological Services are consistent with the mission and goals of the University of Pennsylvania and its University Life Division.


Counseling and Psychological Services of The University of Pennsylvania offers a 9-month practicum training program for students in the second year of a master’s program in social work. This internship is appropriate for students who have completed one year of their master’s program with supervised clinical social work. In addition, we expect all students to have completed some basic course work in human behavior or psychotherapy theory. While it would be advantageous if the previous practice experience was with an adolescent, early adult or college age population, this is not a requirement. What is most important is that potential student interns demonstrate interest in working with a diverse university student population and exhibit an openness and willingness to learn within our setting.

Activities and Responsibilities

The social work internship program includes the following:

1. Service Activities

Individual Therapy (all sessions are video-recorded)
Group Therapy
Intake Assessment
Outreach and Prevention
Membership on administrative committees (e.g., eating concerns, outreach, staff wellness, etc.)

2. Training Activities

Individual Supervision with Primary Supervisor (minimum 1.5 hours per week)
Individual Supervision of Group Therapy (.5 hour per week)
Case Group (1.5 hours per week)
Multidisciplinary Team Meeting (1.5 hours per week)
Didactic Seminars on topics like Orientation, Assessment, Psychotherapy,
Psychophysiology/Psychopharmacology, Multicultural, Outreach/Consultation, Ethics, etc. (2 hours per week)

3. Administrative/Professional Development Activities

Committee Membership
Professional Development Presentations
Outreach and Prevention Training
Record Keeping

Application Process

Social work students who are interested in field placement at The University of Pennsylvania Counseling and Psychological Services for their second year of their MSS/ MSW program are encouraged to apply. Applicants who have already completed a clinically oriented first year internship are favored. To be considered for internship at this placement, interested candidates must complete and electronically submit the following:

The basic criteria for selection will be the goodness of fit with the objectives of the training program and the indicated potential of the candidate to contribute to and benefit from the internship experience at the Counseling Center.

In order to minimize the impact of potential dual roles, current or previous CAPS  therapy clients are not eligible to apply for the internship training program.

All application materials should be sent electronically to CAPS’ Office Manager Abeeda Warnauth.

The application deadline is January 17, 2022. Those invited for an interview will be contacted by January 25, 2022, for scheduling. Interviews will be scheduled for February 1-3, 2022.

Please feel free to contact members of CAPS’ Social Work Supervisory Team, Dr. Deborah O’Neill, DSW, LCSW, or Nicole Nardone, LCSW. Email is preferred.

“The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or status as a disabled or Vietnam Era veteran in the administration or its educational policies, programs, scholarship and loan programs, employment, recreational, athletic or other university administered programs. Questions or concerns regarding the University’s equal opportunity and affirmative action programs and activities or accommodations for people with disabilities should be directed to: Director of Affirmative Action, Suite 228, 3600 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021. 215-898-6993 (voice) or 215-898-7803 (TDD).

Contact Us

Laura Kay Collins, LSW
Social Work Training Coordinator
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
University of Pennsylvania

3624 Market Street
First Floor West
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2615
Hours: 9am – 7pm Monday-Wednesday; 9am – 5pm Thursday-Friday; 10am – 2pm Saturday
Emergencies: 215-349-5490 (ask for CAPS Clinician On-Call)
Telephone: 215-898-7021
Facsimile: 215-573-8966