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Social Work Graduate Student Internship Program

Veterans Health Administration operates the largest and most comprehensive clinical training program for social workers. The Columbia VA Health Care System’s Master of Social Work (MSW) Graduate Student Internship Program offers a well-rounded clinical experience to second-year master’s level or Advanced Standing MSW students. Columbia VA Health Care System provides students with a unique opportunity to explore and learn about many areas of social work in a health care setting.


Internships are stipend positions. Some positions however are non-stipend based on the student’s status or if no stipends remain.

Internship Duration

The internship typically begins in August until the middle of April. This is equivalent to two academic semesters. Students are required to complete 500 hours minimum for their internship.

Eligibility Requirements

We only accept students entering their second year of their MSW program at the time of the internship and Advanced Standing students from a Council on Social Work Accredited (CSWE) Program. We only accept students from campus-based and online programs from the schools below.

Affiliated Schools of Social Work

Florida State University

Savanna State University

University of Alabama

University of Kentucky

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

University of South Carolina

Winthrop University

Internship Positions for 2023-2024

Hospital Social Work Track

Acute-Inpatient Medicine (In-Patient) - Columbia. Acute social workers complete assessments within 48 hours of a patient’s admission to the hospital and coordinate discharge to home or community facilities. Intern will assist with assessments, compiling reports, and provide referrals to VA and community services. The Intern will work with an interdisciplinary medical team on the hospital wards. Weekday internship, 8 am-4:30 pm and option for weekends.

Acute-Inpatient Medicine and MICU (Medical Intensive Care) Units- Columbia. Acute social workers complete assessments within 48 hours of a patient’s admission to the hospital and coordinate discharge to home or other facilities. Intern will assist with assessments, compiling reports, and provide referrals to VA and community services. The Intern will work with an interdisciplinary medical team on the hospital’s medical intensive care units. Weekday internship, 8 am-4:30 pm.

Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) – Columbia, Greenville. HCHV Program re-integrates homeless Veterans with psychiatric and substance abuse disorders into the community. Most Veterans require a well-defined supportive treatment that includes psychiatric assessment, case management, counseling, medical consultation, bio-psychosocial treatment and rehabilitation. The HCHV social work intern completes clinical assessments, treatment plans, answers consults, sees walk-ins, responds to calls from the homeless hotline and makes referrals to various community resources. Weekday internship, 8 am-4:30 pm.

Department of Housing and Urban Development and VA Supportive Housing (HUD/VASH– Columbia. HUD/VASH case managers assess Veterans for meeting the program requirements. Most case management visits occur in the Veteran’s home or other community locations. Social workers provide case management to assist the Veteran in maintaining their housing. The HUD-VASH intern completes home visits with their field instructor, provides referrals to community resources, facilitates groups, completes treatment plans, and provides case management via phone. Weekday internship, 8 am-4:30 pm.

Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program (IPVAP)- Columbia. VA IPVAP helps Veterans, their partners, caregivers, families, and VA staff who are impacted by physical, emotional, and sexual violence. The Intern will assist with responding to urgent and non-urgent consults for those experiencing violence and take part in outreach to raise awareness. Intern will also assist with the delivery of group and individual evidence-based interventions. Weekday internship, 8 am-4:30 pm.

Primary Care Social Work- Columbia, Florence, and Orangeburg. Primary care social worker conducts psychosocial assessments with Veterans to assess needs and develop interventions such as initiating Housebound/Aide and Attendance exams, conducting memory assessments, advance care planning, and linkage to VA and community resources. Weekday internship, 8 am-4:30 pm.

Transition and Care Management (TCM)- Columbia. TCM provides services to transitioning service members and Veterans who are transferring care from DOD and other facilities related to the case management of severely injured post 9/11 combat service members. Social workers assist service members and/or Veterans in coping with acute and chronic illness, combat stress, the residuals of traumatic brain injury (TBI), community adjustment, addictions, and mental health problems. The social worker evaluates the need for mental health services and makes appropriate referrals for individual group, marital, and family treatment services. An intern must be sensitive to the ethnic and cultural diversity and age-specific challenges of the post 9/11 population and adjust intervention and treatment plans. Weekday internship, 8 am-4:30 pm

Mental Health Track

General Outpatient Mental Health (GOMH)- Columbia, Anderson, Greenville, Orangeburg. The GOMH Intern will implement individual and group evidence-based treatments for patients with general mental health diagnoses. Interns will learn how to evaluate mental health needs through a biopsychosocial assessment, recommend treatment, coordinate referrals, and work on an interdisciplinary team. Social work interns will also receive training and six months of consultation to become a VA-approved provider, upon licensure, in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Weekday internship, 8 am-4:30 pm.

Marco Social Work Track

Macro Social Work- Columbia. This is a non-stipend internship. VHA only provides stipends for clinical social work interns. This non-paid work experience  provides macro focused students with training and practical job experience. Macro interns will have opportunities to further develop their skills and knowledge in the areas of public policy, research, process improvement, program evaluation, program planning and development, public service leadership, and human capital management. This position is possibly hybrid eligible. Weekday internship, 8 am-4:30 pm.

How to Apply

Open Application Period:  March 13- April 11, 2023

You can download an application from this webpage, or you can contact your field placement director who will provide an application

Download Social Work MSW Internship Application (PDF):


R. Xavier Green MSOL, MBA, MSW, LMSW

Social Work Training and Education Coordinator

VA Columbia South Carolina health care

Phone: 803-776-4000, ext. 54415