Group of students sitting in a room

MSW Laddering Application Process

Dates and Deadlines

Deadlines are firm. You are unable to upload or edit application materials after the deadline.

Getting started

Gather References

We will invite your referees to complete an online reference form after you submit your application.

Make sure you enter their email address correctly or your referee will not receive the invite.

Learn more about this requirement below >>

Begin Your Application

Create an eID to log in. If you already have an eID, you can begin your online application. 

Once you begin, remember to click 'Save & Continue' often to ensure your application is saved.


Access the UCalgary Online Application

Submit your application

Pay your non-refundable application fee:

$125 for Canadian or Permanent residents

$145 for International Students


Your application has to contain information for two referees:

  • one academic reference from an instructor who taught you in one of the Graduate Certificates, and
  • one needs to be a professional/work reference (must have directly supervised you).

We do not accept letters from friends, family members, colleagues, people who are currently registered in a graduate degree program, or general letters that are not written in support of your application.

  1. Selecting a Referee

    Choose a referee who can describe your strengths and weaknesses in these general areas:

    • academic background and training;
    • research ability and record;
    • communication and language ability; and
    • reliability and personal aptitude; and
    • provide their overall recommendation.
  2. Message for your referees:

    Thank you for agreeing to provide a reference for a prospective MSW student. It is helpful for our selection process if you explicitly address those practice skills and abilities possessed by the applicant as well as their potential for being successful in advanced graduate study and conducting work research (e.g., writing proficiency, critical thinking, creativity, strong work ethic, etc.). These additional instructions are here to help you give the most comprehensive, accurate, and useful picture of the applicant.

You will upload your required documents after you submit your application. How to Upload

Required Documents


Your resume is an important part of your application. Make sure you fully capture your work and/or volunteer experience. Use three sections to describe your previous experience:

  1. employment experience in or related to social services,
  2. volunteer experience related to social services,
  3. employment and volunteer experience not related to social services. 

Indicate the number of hours for all social service work and include a total number of hours.

Don’t forget to detail your educational history, awards, distinctions, publications, and presentations.

What is relevant social work and human service experience?

Program Proposal

Your program proposal is a vital part of your application. Make sure you allow enough time to prepare a well written proposal. It is written in the first person and about 800 to 1000 words, double-spaced (no title page).

In your program proposal:

  • introduce yourself and identify your reasons for applying to the MSW.
  • outline how the learning from your certificates so far, combined with your professional and personal experience, support your reasons for applying.
  • in what ways is completing an MSW related to your educational goals and desired career path?

Your program proposal is evaluated for clarity, content and writing ability.

Departmental Information Form

This checklist item on your 'To Do List' refers to the WCB form that is required to acknowledge you are aware of the regulations in the province where you plan to complete your practicum. This document is mandatory and must be signed by a witness.

On the page linked above, scroll down to the heading WCB for Distance Education Students (you will need to expand the boxes).


If you have completed (or are completing) Graduate Certificates in Social Work at the University of Calgary, you do not need to provide any additional transcripts unless course work has been completed at another institution since last attending the University of Calgary.