Skip to main content


A limited number of fourth-year students are granted an opportunity to participate in a learning experience with a community organization. The practicum is an experiential learning tool that provides you with opportunities to acquire workplace skills and knowledge, confront the relationship between theory and practice, and cultivate a sense of personal and professional development. The Practicum course consists of 100 hours of fieldwork, several in-class seminars and a set of academic assignments.

Do you have questions about the Practicum? Email us at

The pre-practicum process commences in the winter of your third year. The Practicum office initiates this process by sending an email to third-year students at the start of the Winter semester. As part of the pre-practicum process, you are expected to acquire a vulnerable sector screening. You are then matched with community organizations based on the goals, interests and learning outcomes identified in verbal and written pre-placement interviews. In consultation with a designated fieldwork supervisor, you will design, manage and receive feedback on a series of self-directed workplace goals and objectives.


Fourth-year students develop and refine their professional self through a placement with an organization. The Practicum prepares you for a leadership role within your field of study.

  • A well-rounded education, enriched by practical application of classroom learning.
  • Opportunities to gain relevant employment skills and realistic expectations of the workforce.
  • Documented practical experience and workplace skills for a resumé.
  • Job search skills and a network of contacts upon graduation.
  • Opportunities to gain a broader understanding of career options.
  • Development of personal, professional and academic goals.
  • Experience with self-directed learning.

The Practicum is an intensive, challenging and competitive academic course offered to a limited number of fourth-year students. It is an elective course with a placement component and in-class component. The placement represents 100 hours (unpaid) over the course of one academic semester.

Participating in a 100-hour Practicum placement allows students to gain targeted workplace experience and explore the real-life meaning of their degree. After completing the placement and accompanying course, students will benefit from an expanded professional network, first-hand knowledge of career directions and transferable skills that directly relate to their field of study and long-term career goals.

To ensure the best experience for both students and host organizations, Practicum students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (B) and fourth-year standing (84 credit hours) to be eligible to participate.

Students are not required to find their own placement. The Experiential Learning Office works with each student to secure an appropriate placement opportunity. Each student represents a unique range of interests, goals, experience, expectations and abilities, and placement matches are calibrated accordingly.

Students wishing to co-ordinate their own placement should contact the Experiential Learning Office to make arrangements by emailing

In fairness to host organizations and other students, once a student has accepted a placement, they are no longer eligible to apply or interview for other positions.

Our faculty does not determine what day(s) Practicum students conduct their work in the field. Instead, students will meet with their supervisor before the start of the placement to co-determine a mutually agreeable schedule of days and hours (e.g. Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 5 p.m.). Students typically establish a schedule yielding approximately eight to 10 hours a week, as they are expected to achieve a total of 100 hours of work before the end of the semester.

International students interested in taking the Practicum are responsible for arranging a work permit through Ontario Tech’s Student Life Office. Fall Practicum students should put this process into motion in May, while Winter Practicum students should put this process into motion in September.

Please contact Tharsy Selvanantham, International Student Advisor, Student Life—Student Engagement and Equity.

As part of our faculty’s ongoing commitment to establishing and strengthening relationships with surrounding communities, our Practicum placements represent a dependable, cost-free resource for partnering organizations. Student activities and projects may include quantitative and qualitative research, frontline work, group facilitation, media releases, program evaluation, policy development and review, outreach, fundraising, project design, mentorship and proposal writing. Our students also partake in observational and accompanying (shadowing) roles.

Practicum students are carefully screened and must successfully complete an application form, personal statement, cover letter, resumé and interview with the Practicum office. Each student is prepared with a current vulnerable sector police check, health and safety and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training, and is covered by a commercial general insurance policy and private workplace accident insurance policy. While on placement, Practicum students are governed by a Code of Conduct that outlines ethical and responsible conduct in the workplace.

"The students bring new knowledge and perspective to our Durham Partner Assault Response (PAR) Program. Kudos to the Practicum program and to the university."
- Dawn, Supervisor, PAR Program, Social Services Department, Regional Municipality of Durham

Sierra Tilling

Psychology, class of 2024

"Learning in the practicum experience brings together the theories and guidance from everyday learning with the experience of working in a fast paced environment where you have to adapt and strive to further yourself in your work. Being able to participate in this type of experience has shown me my calling and the best way to achieve it as I am able to talk to those who have themselves gone through the same journey. I am not exaggerating when I say the experience is literally life changing. This is the best program our institution offers. Dan Walters being the guide for this experience makes you feel supported, seen and heard in the best ways. He is your biggest cheerleader and safeguard when you are not steady on your feet in the experience. No one better could have taught us to strive the way he has." 

Taylor Dunne

Forensic Psychology, class of 2024

"My practicum experience with BGC Durham opened my eyes to many possibilities and avenues I never thought were possible for myself. Before starting with them, I didn’t have a great idea on what the world of social work was like, but their amazing team worked with me and gave me so much information and guidance on navigating such a tough field and, more importantly, how to be successful. Their eagerness to help and genuine kindness really shows in the community. I love that I have been able to continue to work with them post-practicum and welcome the opportunity to work with them more in the future."

Bobby Maharaj

Criminology and Justice, class of 2023

"My practicum experience was the best experience that I had during my university career! It gave me networking opportunities and aided my communication, leadership and problem-solving skills, which increased my confidence and sense of self! Practicum allowed me to learn a lot about the criminal justice field and law enforcement, which allowed me to successfully obtain employment in the criminal justice/ law enforcement field. Being involved in a practicum placement and attending in-class seminars put me in the right direction in my life toward my goals and all my aspirations. Thank you, Dan and Cayla, from the ELO, for such an amazing opportunity."

Before graduation, Bobby secured employement with the Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services, Toronto East Probation.

Nic Stevenson

Forensic Psychology, class of 2023

"My name is Nic Stevenson, and in my fourth year I had the honour to be apart of a Practicum placement with the Durham Regional Police Service. I got to learn an incredible amount and it allowed me to develop and enhance critical and transferable skills to policing. This opportunity also led me to securing a ride along with the service in which I got to witness first-hand what it means to be a police officer. "

Soon after graduation, Nic secured a full-time position with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).


Olivia Wild

Communication and Digital Media Studies, class of 2023

"The skills I learned during my Practicum were invaluable. The Eastern York Region North Durham Ontario Health Team is a new organization with a limited social media presence. Therefore, I had a unique opportunity to learn how to build a foundation for social media excellence at the organization. I figured out how to adapt to the changing healthcare landscape in Ontario and create digital media content to engage with the general public. I am more confident in my communication abilities after participating in the Practicum program."

Victoria Heaney

Criminology and Justice, class of 2022

“During my fourth-year of university I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity of completing a practicum with the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS). In this experiential learning opportunity I was able to get hands on experience in my prospective career field, and make lifelong connections. As well, I was able to seamlessly transition out of university into having a part-time position with the DRPS following my practicum."


Teagan Goulding

Forensic Psychology, class of 2022

"I am a fourth-year Forensic Psychology student at Ontario Tech University. During the Fall of 2021 semester, I completed a Practicum at Kelly Greenway Bruce law firm, located in downtown Oshawa. Here, I explored different aspects of the legal profession, working under various law clerks and legal assistants. The experience and knowledge I gained as a Practicum student was invaluable to my future and significantly enhanced my academic career at Ontario Tech University. Further, I gained personal confidence while also having made long-lasting professional connections. I am beyond grateful to have participated in the Practicum opportunity."

Sabrina Daniela

Forensic Psychology, class of 2020

"I was accepted into an amazing placement at Aura Freedom International, an NGO fitting all the values I live by. First day being there I was offered a chance to help research and write a Parallel Report for the United Nations. This alone was a life goal of mine, and to be able to do something in relation to the UN at the mere age of 20 was unbelievable to me. I then realized I would be forever grateful to the Practicum office, as they were the ones who laid path to this journey of mine. Through Practicum I have learned and nurtured skills I will be able to use in both my professional and personal life."

Sabrina presented the report to United Nations headquarters virtually. 

Khalidah Abubaker

Communication and Digital Media Studies, class of 2017

“My placement with Culture Counts at the City of Oshawa gave me insight about how to network and think in the real world. I was able to help with events and learning workshops, which allowed me to experience first-hand what Culture Counts does to help the community. This experience gave me a different outlook on my personal and career goals.” 

Background Information

  • While Practicum positions are only open to fourth-year students, the process of applying begins in third-year.
  • Practicum is a 4th year elective course (worth 3 credit hours) offered in both the Fall and Winter semester.
  • Students may have a full course-load while enrolled in the Practicum.
  • Practicum consists of the following components:
    • Field Placement: 100-hours unpaid; students are placed with a partner organization that aligns with their field of study, goals, interests and skill sets.
    • Academic Course (SSCI 4098U): standard course with workshops and mandatory assignments.  

Eligibility Criteria

Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and fourth-year standing (84 credit hours) to be eligible to participate.  CGPA and credit hours will be checked by May 15th for students applying to the Fall 2024 Practicum, and September 15th for students applying to the Winter 2025 Practicum.

Ready to Apply?


Applications to the Fall 2024 and Winter 2025 Practicum are open until March 29, 2024 at 12 p.m. (noon).