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Social Work

Graduate Certificates

Course-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 a flexible option to “ladder” to the MSW program.  Students who complete the graduate certificate in Advanced Social Work Practice and one of the certificates in a specialization area 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 certificates.    

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 (ASWP)
  • Clinical Social Work Practice (CSWP)
    • Specializations:
      • Adult Mental Health and Addictions
      • Individuals, Families and Group
      • Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health
      • Trauma-Informed Practice
      • Clinical Gerontology Practice
      • Community-Informed Practice for Health and Wellbeing
  • International and Community Development (ICD)
    • Specializations:
      • International Social Development
      • Community Development
  • Leadership in the Human Services (LHS)
    • Specialization:
      • The Practical and Transformational Leader
  • Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Mental Health and Addictions (APPLICATIONS FOR THIS CERTIFICATE ARE NOT CURRENTLY BEING ACCEPTED)​​​​​​​

Each certificate in the Specialization area 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 certificate in one of the Specializations are eligible to apply to the Master of Social Work (course-based) program.

Course-based program

Four courses (3 units each).

Learn more about program requirements in the Academic Calendar

Blended delivery

Class delivery is through a combination of online learning and in-person classes.

Time commitment

Eight-months, part-time program 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 BSW 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 3,000 hours of paid and/or volunteer work in the human services field.


  • 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: April 15 application deadline
  • International students: April 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

MacKimmie Tower (MT) 301
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, ABT2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Social Work website


Learn more about UCalgary by taking a virtual tour

Highlights of the Social Work program

David Nicholas with students

Creating Meaningful Experiences for Neurodivergent People

Dr. David Nicholas’ Vocational Abilities Innovation Lab is internationally acclaimed for its innovative approach in supporting autistic and other neurodivergent youth and adults.

Dr. Yeonjung Lee

Making neighbourhoods more liveable for older adults

As our population ages, it’s becoming increasingly important to ensure that Canadian neighbourhoods are liveable for everyone, which is the focus of Dr. Yeonjung Lee’s innovative research.

Julie Drolet with students

Leading Field Education Innovation

Finding meaningful practicum opportunities is a growing crisis in social work. Dr. Julie Drolet leads a national/international group that is finding surprising solutions.