Field Experience

Preparing for MHS 4425 Field Experience in Behavioral Healthcare 

  1. Review the USF Catalog Course Description and Course Requirements, including the pre-requisite courses, linked here.  

  2. Meet with your program’s Academic Advisor. It will be important to determine when you will take the pre-requisite courses and identify in what semester you should apply for the course. The application is due 2 semesters in advance of the semester you take the course, so meeting with your advisor will ensure you know when to apply on time.

  3. Apply for the course using this application. Please review the dates below for deadlines. Note that once you have completed the form, it will give you the option to save your results. If you would like to keep a copy of your application, make sure to save it then.

    Field Experience Semester Application Date

    Spring 2024

    Deadline extended to September 15, 2023

    Summer 2024 Friday, October 20, 2023
    Fall 2024 Friday, February 23, 2024
    Spring 2025 Friday, June 28, 2024
    Summer 2025 Friday, October 25, 2024
    Fall 2025 Friday, February 28, 2025
    Spring 2026 Friday, June 27, 2025

  4. Review the Field Experience Handbook. This resource will provide you detailed information about the course, the placement experience, the performance evaluation process, and other information that will help you understand the types of on-site learning experiences you will have and the expectations for your participation at your placement.  

  5. Attend your Field Experience planning meeting with the Field Coordinator. The semester before you are scheduled to take the course, everyone who has applied will receive an announcement about planning meetings and a link to a meeting preparation form where you will indicate your availability for your meeting. During your meeting, the coordinator will answer your questions, review course and placement requirements, review the open placement locations in line with your interest areas, and provide you with instructions about how to complete the interview process.

  6. Register for MHS 4425. This is a permit only course. Permits to register are issued by the Field Coordinator after all planning meetings are complete. You will receive an email when your permit has been issued and you can register at that time. You do not need to contact advising or the coordinator to request a permit. Completion of your planning meeting will ensure you are issued a permit.

  7. Schedule and complete your interview with a placement location. Once meetings are complete, the coordinator verifies placement availability with each location to confirm each student has a placement ready for the student to contact. You will receive a linkage email directing you to contact the placement identified from your choices. Upon receiving the connection, it will be your responsibility to contact the location and schedule your interview.

  8. Secure your placement location. After your interview the placement will provide you with information about their on-boarding requirements, and you will be responsible for completing any screenings, finger printing, and paperwork to secure the placement. When you have confirmation, please let the Field Coordinator know your anticipated start date – it should be the same week classes begin.

Additional Course Information

  • MHS 4425 Field Experience in Behavioral Healthcare requires the weekly participation at a partner location for 8-10 hours a week in Fall & Spring 15-Week Semesters and 12-15 hours a week in Summer C 10-Week Semester for a total of 120 service hours; and attending the weekly seminar. The seminar portion is offered in person and online, varying each semester. Be sure to check Oasis to determine the delivery method.

  • Placement with any organization is not guaranteed and USF cannot circumvent any screening processes with our partner organizations. If you have concerns about your background or any issues that could prevent you from securing a location, please disclose that information on the application, so the Field Coordinator can work with you to determine the best way to successfully complete your degree pursuit.

  • All students taking the Behavioral Healthcare Field Experience course are covered by professional liability insurance under the policy held by the College of Behavioral & Community Sciences. Any agency may obtain a copy of the liability insurance certificate upon request to the Field Placement Coordinator.

Field Coordinator Information



Amy Gierhahn, MA
Submit Questions to:

College of Behavioral & Community Sciences
13301 Bruce B. Downs, MHC 2513A
Tampa, FL 33612
Office: 813-974-9007
Fax: 813-974-9327