Students at our Lethbridge campus location

Master of Social Work Programs

Information on this page is for applicants with a non-social work degree

Will I get in? Minimum admission requirements

  1. A four-year bachelor degree from an accredited/recognized institution with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a four-point scale. Your degree must be awarded prior to the start of the program. We cannot accept a letter of completion as a replacement for degree award. Your final transcript noting your degree must be received by March 1.
  2. 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.
  3. English Language Proficiency.

Offers of admission are valid for the term to which you apply.

student attending an orientation at our Calgary campus

About your foundation year

The foundation year provides you with the crucial concepts, theory and knowledge you'll need to pursue graduate-level, social work education. Have a look at what your first year will look like, then explore our unique-in-Canada specializations at the bottom of the page.

The first year of your MSW

If you don't have a Bachelor of Social Work, you'll apply as a Foundation student. You can apply to either our Calgary or Edmonton campus. 

Calgary vs. Edmonton

In Calgary the foundation year features daily, in-person classes, regardless of the specialization you choose.

The foundation year for Edmonton's Clinical Social Work Practice specialization features online learning, blended with block week classes each term. Working full-time during the foundation year is not recommended. Edmonton only admits to the foundation year during even-numbered years (i.e. 2022, 2024 etc.)

Choose wisely

Once you've applied to the MSW program with your chosen specialization, you can't change it at a later date. So be sure to apply for the specialization at the campus location you're interested in.

For example you can't apply to International and Community Development with Calgary residencies, then decide you want to do Clinical Social Work Practice in Edmonton after your first (foundation) year. 

Don't forget practicum!

Regardless of the campus you choose, during the first year of your program you'll be required to complete a full-time, 3-5 days per week, 450 hour practicum. This field education experience is during the final semester of the foundation year. 

Practicum hours are generally during regular business hours.

How Long will it take?

Clinical Social Work Practice: 

  • Calgary: Foundation year + 1 year specialization = 2 years
  • Edmonton: Foundation year + 2 year specialization = 3 years

International and Community Development: Foundation year + 2 year specialization = 3 years

Leadership in the Human Services: Foundation year + 2 year specialization = 3 years [No Spring 2023 admission]

Thesis students have an additional year to conduct research and defend their thesis.


Not sure if you'll get in? For some students a BSW may be a better option.

Missed or unable to attend our previously scheduled information sessions?