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Master of Social Work Intern Program

The mission of VA Social Workers is to assist Veterans, their families, and caregivers in resolving Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) challenges to health and well-being. Social Work is woven into the fabric of VA health care, providing clinical interventions and services across the VA continuum of care. Social work is an integral part of your overall VA care. Social workers are available to assist Veterans and their loved ones in a variety of settings to include the primary care clinic, during hospitalization, at Emergency Department visits, in mental health and rehabilitation units and upon enrollment in specialty medical programs.

Internship Program

The MSW concentration internship at the VA St. Louis Health Care System is accredited by the Council on Higher Education and the U.S. Department of Education.  To be considered, students must demonstrate enrollment in a MSW program from an accredited school by the Council on Social Work Education and in their concentration practicum. 

Internships require the full academic year of Fall-Spring. The intern schedules during these semesters typically require two and a half standard business days for a 20-hr week. Available tours will be determined by Field Placement and Field Instructor. The schedule is dependent upon the program to which the intern is assigned. Weekend or evening hours are not available currently. Intern assignments are made by the VA staff and available Field Instructors for that academic year. Treatment settings and programs that are available for internships vary from year to year. Some potential offerings are inpatient and outpatient internships in both medical and mental health some in hospital and others are in community clinics.  Our medical internships span acute care, primary care, nephrology, inpatient and outpatient hospice/palliative care and our skilled rehabilitation program.  Mental health internships options include acute inpatient, substance use, domiciliary treatment of substance use and homelessness, mental health therapy and case management in our general outpatient and trauma recovery programs, suicide prevention, and homeless programs. We also have the possibility of community and prison outreach internships. 

Those selected to intern with VA Social Work Service will need to complete several additional requirements, a few of which are: additional agency documents, provide fingerprints to allow VA to conduct background checks, a physical, and obtain VA computer clearance and agency identification. This list is not all inclusive, and several of these and other steps must be met in prescribed sequential order. This necessitates that the prospective intern will have some availability to come to the VA for several hours on more than one appointment day during the summer months.

Application Process

Eligibility Requirements

Read Requirements-

The application period for academic year Fall 2023-Spring 2024 internships is January 17, 2023, through March 1, 2023.

Students may submit the application materials to the VA Social Work office via mail to 915 North Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63106, or e-mail to the department administrative officer Amelia Thomas @ The VA Social Work office can be reached at 314-289-6391.

Applications will be accepted only during this application period. The required application documents include program application, college transcripts, graduate school or professional writing sample [not to exceed 1-2 pages], and a letter of evaluation from a School of Social Work graduate school professor.

Application materials will be reviewed, and applicants will be contacted by March 3, 2023, and informed if they have been selected for an interview. Those applicants selected for consideration will have an interview or a series of interviews, which are tentatively scheduled for March 9, 2023, and March 10, 2023. The candidates will be informed by March 17, 2023 if they are accepted for an internship after a second interview with the Field Instructor assigned. These dates are projected at this time and subject to change, though will be within this time frame.

Applicants must submit all required materials and documents and meet necessary timelines. If at any time during the process the applicant is no longer able to meet the requirements, they may be withdrawn from consideration.

Prospective interns will also need to be available for three days of agency and department orientation, which is anticipated the first or third week in August and run Monday through Wednesday. The dates will be announced in Spring 2023.


  •    Applications due: 3/1/23
  •    Students notified of interview:  3/3/23
  •   Student interviews: 3/9/23
  •  Student notified of offer/denial after second interview with field instructor assigned: 3/17/23
  •  Pre-employment checklist (fingerprints, physicals, paperwork): May-Aug 2023
  •  Orientation 1st or 3rd week of August
  •  Start date and schedule Determined with your VA Field Instructor 



Additional Information

Historically, there have been modest stipends available for students, yet they are limited. The approval of these funds occurs annually at the national level and that decision may not be made until after interns are accepted or have begun their internship. This potential benefit will be reviewed with those students who are accepted for internship. It is recommended that student applicants do not base their decision to apply to VA St. Louis Health Care System for Social Work Internship on this potential benefit.

VA St. Louis Health Care System Social Work Service welcomes applicants with disabilities and does not discriminate on any grounds.

Contact Us

Jessie Holdinghaus, LCSW, BCD
Chair of Social Work Intern Program

Meghan Leach, LCSW
Co-Chair of Social Work Intern Program