The Master of Social Work (MSW) is a nationally-accredited program that prepares students for advanced professional practice in social work. The course-based route is appropriate for students who intend to provide direct service in the field.
The Faculty of Social Work offers the MSW program in Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and online.
Students holding an accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree are admitted directly into a 12-month or 24-month course-based MSW program. Students admitted to the MSW with a non-social work degree complete 9 foundation courses (in 12 months) followed by the 12-month or 24-month program.
Completing this program
- Courses: Students must follow the prescribed curriculum plan for their specialization and complete all 12 courses (36 units) if they entered the program with a BSW or 21 courses (63 units) if they entered the program with a non-social work undergraduate degree.
- Clinical Social Work Practice (12-month or 24-month program for students with a BSW; 24-month or 36-month program for students with a non-social work degree)
- Leadership in the Human Services (24-month program for students with a BSW; 36-month program for students with a non-social work degree)
- International and Community Development (24-month program for students with a BSW; 36-month program for students with a non-social work degree)
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, school boards, consulting.
A course-based master’s degree in social work is usually considered a final degree.
Students with a BSW complete 12 courses (36 units). Students with a non-social work degree must complete all 9 foundation courses (27 units) prior to taking their specialization courses (36 units).
In-person or online delivery
See the Faculty of Social Work website for information about location and specialization specific delivery.
Program length is one, two, or three years of full-time study, dependent on entry route, specialization and program location; six years maximum.
No supervisor is required.
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.
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an accredited/recognized* institution or a four-year bachelor’s degree in another discipline. The degree must be conferred prior to the May program start.
*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).
Applicants must have 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.
- A program proposal outlining the applicant's social work perspectives and educational goals. (If applying to the Calgary program with a non-social work degree, you must indicate your intended area of specialization: (Clinical Social Work Practice or Leadership in the Human Services or International and Community Development) in your application.
Two; one professional and one academic
English language proficiency (ELP)
An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL ibt) score of 97.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0.
- Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 68, or higher (Academic version).
- Canadian Academic English Language test (CAEL) score of 70 (no less than 70 in writing and speaking; 60 in reading and listening).
- Academic Communication Certificate (ACC) score of A- in academic writing and oral communication courses and B+ in other courses.
For admission on May 1:
- Canadians and permanent residents: November 1 application deadline
- International students: November 1 application deadline
Learn more about this program
If you're interested in this program, you might want to explore other UCalgary programs.