Exploring Two Social Work Degrees: Different Degrees, Different Opportunities

Information for non-BSW degree holders

Both a BSW and MSW degree will:

  • prepare you to help individuals, families, and communities,
  • provide the knowledge and skills required to interacting with diverse people,
  • give you practical skills through practicum,
  • further your career in the profession.

UCalgary's BSW and MSW are nationally-accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education.

The BSW prepares you for generalist professional social work practice. You'll learn to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, social policies, and communities in a variety of settings in pursuit of social and economic justice.

You'll learn to engage with clients, assess problem areas and identifying strengths grounded in the systems and person-in-environment frameworks. You'll also acquire knowledge of social work values and the code of ethics.

The MSW prepares you for advanced professional social work practice in your chosen specialization. As an adult learner you'll apply critical thinking to complex social problems, gain skills and experience needed to advocate for and pursue the well-being of individuals, families, groups, and communities.

You'll engage in practice-informed research to deepen your understanding of your substantive area, and you'll acquire knowledge and skills to take action to advance human rights, social equity and economic justice.


Is a BSW or MSW program the Best Fit for Me?

Find the program that's right for you

I have limited or no social work knowledge                         I want to build on my existing knowledge of social work
I want a broad scope of practice I want to specialize in a substantive area of practice
I am unsure of where I want to practice I have a particular practice area in mind
I have limited experience in human services I have extensive experience in human services
I have a GPA below 3.0 I have a GPA above 3.0
I have a three-year degree I have a four-year degree
I can commit two years of study I can commit to three years of study
I want to register with the ACSW in two years with a generalist degree I want to register with the ACSW in three years with an advanced degree