Social Work


Coure-based program

Program overview

Graduate Certificates in Social Work serve as stand-alone credentials for practicing social workers with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree, who seek formal professional development opportunities in their field.

These certificates also provide practicing social workers a flexible option to “ladder” to the MSW program.  Students who complete the graduate certificate in Advanced Social Work Practice and a specialization certificate (e.g., Clinical Social Work Practice or International and Community Development or Leadership in the Huma Services) are eligible to apply to the course-based MSW program. If accepted, students will receive credit for the 24 units of coursework completed in the two certificate programs.    

Students must apply to the MSW (course-based) degree within five years from the beginning of their first graduate certificate in Social Work.

Certificates offered

Advanced Social Work Practice

Specialization certificates:

  •     Clinical Social Work Practice
  •     International and Community Development
  •     Leadership in the Human Services

Each specialization certificate addresses a particular topic (e.g., Trauma-Informed Practice, International Social Development, The Practical and Transformational Leader, etc.). Not all specialization topics are offered every year. Consult the Faculty of Social Work website for topics and residency locations.

Completing this program

  • Courses: Each certificate consists of 12 units (four courses). Students must follow the prescribed sequence of courses for the Advanced Social Work Practice certificate or for their chosen Specialization topic.


Social workers practice in a wide range of settings supporting individuals, families, communities and organizations, including: hospitals/community health centers, mental health clinics, schools, non-profit/advocacy groups, government, social service/child welfare/family service agencies, correctional facilities, social housing, family courts, employee assistance programs, private counselling, and school boards.

Students who complete the graduate certificate in Advanced Social Work Practice and a specialization certificate are eligible to apply to the Master of Social Work (course-based) program.

Course-based program

Four courses (three units each)

Learn more about program requirements in the Academic Calendar

Blended delivery

Class delivery is through a combination of online and in-person courses

Time commitment

Eight-months, part-time with mandatory in-person residencies


No supervisor is required

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

Admission requirements


A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an accredited/recognized* institution. The degree must be conferred prior to the start of the Graduate Certificate. *The Faculty of Social Work recognizes BSW degrees accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE), the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE), and international credentials deemed equivalent to a Canadian BSW degree by the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW).

Work samples


Work experience

The equivalent of two years of full-time paid work or a minimum of 3000 hours of paid and/or volunteer work in the human services field.


  • Program proposal outlining the applicant's educational goals and career expectations.
  • Resume

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Apr. 15 application deadline
  • International students: Apr. 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Faculty of Social Work

Professional Faculties, Room 3256
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, ABT2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the Faculty of Social Work website


Highlights of the Social Work program

David Este with students

Social Work researchers find cultural gaps in mental health services

David Este and Christa Sato work to reduce the stigma of mental illness in Asian men

Mishka Lysack

Helping our society transition to a lower carbon future

Mishka Lysack focuses on helping Canadians make the shift to a lower carbon future

Lana Wells

Preventing domestic violence before it occurs

Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence seeks to reduce and prevent domestic violence