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Master of Social Work Intern Program

Social Workers have been integral to the psychosocial treatment of Veterans and their families since 1926 when just 36 social workers were hired at the Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA). Today, the VHA employs over 18,000 social workers and is the largest training program of MSW students in the nation. The mission of VA Social Work is to eliminate psychosocial complications as significant barriers to health care interventions for Veterans, their families and caregivers.

Internship Program

The MSW concentration internship at the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System (ECHCS) is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.  To be considered for internship, students must demonstrate enrollment in an MSW program from an accredited school by the Council on Social Work Education. Additionally, students must be in their concentration (final) year of their MSW program.

Internships are offered only during a fall cohort (August start date).  Days and times that a student may work are subject to the work schedule of the Field Instructor and Task Supervisor.  Virtual, weekend, or evening hours are not currently available and a very large majority of learning occurs on-site and in-person. Intern assignments are made by VA staff with input from the prospective intern and based on available Field Instructors/Task Supervisors for that academic year.  Available placements can vary year to year.  In general, available placements include medical social work, homeless social work, mental health social work and geriatric social work.  Please see a list of possible placements below.

Those selected to intern with ECHCS will need to complete several onboarding requirements including: completing agency documents, providing fingerprints to conduct background checks, and a physical. This list is not exhaustive in nature. It is expected of the prospective intern will be able to complete these tasks in a timely manner as to not delay the onboarding process.  If at some point the prospective intern is not able to complete tasks or meet deadlines, the intern may be withdrawn from consideration. 

Application Process

Eligibility Requirements

Read requirements: Resources for Health Professions Trainees Coming to VA | Eligibility and Forms - Office of Academic Affiliations

General Requirements:

  • Students must be in your Concentration (final) year of your MSW program.
  • Students must complete 600 hours while in your VA placement.  This is often a greater number of hours than your school requires.
  • Students must be available a total of 24 hours a week in placement.  This is often a greater number of hours than your school requires.
  • Students must be available on Wednesday afternoons from 2-4pm for a virtual Education Group (education on the various roles of social workers across VA) and Process Group (similar to group supervision). 
  • Must be a United States citizen.
  • Must accept the VA stipend and not be accepting other federal grant/scholarships (see Stipend section below).


As of this time, our fall cohort has been selected for the 2024-2025 Academic Year and we are not accepting additional applications.

The timeline for applications the 2025-2026 Academic Year will be posted in fall of 2024.

How To Apply:

Interns must submit the following documents to the Social Work Graduate Student Program Coordinator, Emilia Worthey, in order for their applications to be considered for placement.  Please email at

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Application

Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)

Geriatric Research, Education & Clinical Centers (GRECC) are VA geriatric centers of excellence focused on aging. At the Eastern Colorado GRECC, there are 3 stipend intern slots for MSW students. Via the GRECC Education branch, unique opportunities are built in for social work students to learn how to interact with other disciplines in the care of older veterans using the 5M’s geriatric framework. Monthly interprofessional case conference series are held with all disciplines (geriatric medicine fellow, pharmacy, audiology, psychology, speech therapy, and physical therapy) to share key information through the lens of each specialty, how to talk to other health care providers, and conceptualize a case together for comprehensive care of older veterans. Other core didactic offerings include: clinical ethics seminar, Friday educational conference series, geriatric grand rounds and journal club. GRECC MSW interns are matched within the VA’s many older veteran programs at ECHCS and have the opportunity to spend time in other areas of interest during their internship time.  Please see the link below to learn more about this program!

Eastern Colorado GRECC - Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) (


ECHCS has been afforded 13 social work stipends in the amount of $7500 each for the entire year.  Three of these stipends must have a geriatric placement (see GRECC information above).  In order to qualify for a stipend, students must not accept other federal scholarships/grants, as this is considered double dipping of federal monies.  The HRSA Grant and HPSP Scholarships are common examples of social work federal grants that cannot be accepted in conjunction with the VA Stipend.  Federal loans, GI Bill, Work/Study and other university funded and university specific scholarships are not considered federal scholarships/grants and can be accepted with the VA stipend.  This means students either accept the VA internship and VA stipend or accept the federal grant/scholarship at a different agency.

The amount of stipends are subject to change as the approval of these funds occurs annually at the national VA level. This potential benefit will be reviewed with those students who are accepted for internship.  It is recommended that students do not apply solely based on this potential benefit.

Additional Information

VA Eastern Colorado Social Work welcomes applicants with disabilities and does not discriminate on any grounds.


Contact Us

Emilia Worthey, LCSW

ECHCS Social Work Graduate Student Program Coordinator