Application FAQ's

Application & Admission

Yes. Your degree must be conferred/awarded by March 1. We cannot accept a letter of completion as a replacement for degree award.

If successful, your admission will be on the condition that you successfully complete your bachelor's degree. Your final transcript noting your degree must be received by March 1.

Fall courses completed before the spring term you're applying for are excluded from your GPA calculation due to the admission timeline. You must successfully complete these courses and maintain a competitive GPA.

The application fee is mandatory. Requests for waivers will not be considered. Your application will not be processed if your application fee is not received.

Yes, you can still apply to the MSW program. In the Program Specific Questions section of the online application, you must provide a rationale for your low GPA.

For some students a BSW may be a better option.

You may complete “make up” work, a minimum of 18 units at the senior undergraduate or graduate level, to improve your academic record to acceptable admission standards (a grade of “B” or higher in every course).

We suggest you take courses in areas that will help ground your social work practice (e.g., psychology, sociology, philosophy, women’s studies, communication, or public health).

Successful completion of “make up” work does not guarantee admission to a graduate program.

You can also consider applying to the BSW program.

Contact our student advisors to discuss upgrading options.  

No. You can only choose one specialization and one program route (course- or thesis-based). If there are multiple topics within the specialization, indicate your top two choices in the online application. Multiple applications will be cancelled, and their respective application fee(s) will not be eligible for a refund.

We recognize degrees from accredited schools across Canada and internationally.

If you completed an undergraduate degree in Social Work or equivalent in another country, have your degree assessed by CASW for equivalency, prior to applying to the MSW program.

Our goal is to notify all applicants of the outcome of their application by the end of February. Admission results are sent by email. 

We do not have a fall entry. All of our MSW programs begin in May (spring term).

Preparing your MSW Application: Getting Started Watch the Recording


Yes. Follow this link for more details.

Your referee may have “saved” the reference instead of “submitting” it. Your referee must go back and submit the online form before the deadline.

Once the reference has been submitted, both you and your referee will receive an email confirming receipt. Your 'To Do List' will automatically update too.

Yes. It is your responsibility to ensure that all required supporting documents are received by the deadlines, including references.

Follow up with your referee if you notice that they have not submitted their reference. Missing documents will result in an incomplete application.

Yes, if your supervisor can comment on your practice skills and explicitly address your academic abilities (e.g., theory/practice understandings, writing proficiency, critical thinking, creativity).

Preparing your MSW Application: References Watch the Recording

Official Transcripts

Final official transcripts are required if you receive an offer of admission. We will evaluate your application based on the unofficial transcripts you upload by the application deadline.

Do not send official transcripts in advance of an offer of admission.

Transcripts are received by the Shipping and Receiving department before they are distributed to faculties. If they are not mailed directly to our office, you can expect delays.

Transcripts are updated manually. Due to the volume of transcripts received near the deadline, each applicant’s 'To Do List' may take up to 4 weeks to update.

There is no need to send your degree certificate to us, as long as your transcript shows the degree completion and conferral date.

If you have a former surname you must provide this information in the online application.

If you provided this information and your transcript shows as outstanding on your ‘To Do List’, contact Student Services. Remember to include your UCID.

Visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for a list of international admission requirements by country. We do not assess transcripts until you apply and submit the application fee.

Preparing your MSW Application: Transcripts Watch the Recording

English Language Proficiency Test Scores

In certain circumstances, such as when you have a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a recognized institution that teaches in English, the graduate program may waive the English Language Proficiency requirement. Eligible institutions must be listed as providing English language instruction in the World Higher Education Database (WHED).

All other applicants will need to submit an English Language Proficiency test score or a request to waive this requirement.

Preparing your MSW Application: ELP (English Language Proficiency) Watch the Recording


No. There is no page limit for your resume. Include all relevant work and volunteer experience.

If you have been working in the field for a number of years full-time, you can indicate the time in number of years. If your experience is limited, you should indicate the time in hours. 

If it is not clear how your work experience relates to the human services field, you can make a case for special consideration of particular life, volunteer or work experience. It is up to you to articulate the connection to social work explicitly in the application. This can be done in the resume and/or program proposal.

No. Experiences associated with academic credit, including practica, are not counted as direct sector-related experience for the purposes of admission.

It is very important that these experiences are recorded on your resume, as they can be valued by reviewers.

Yes. If you fall short of two full years of work and/or volunteer experience, you can still apply to the program.

Admission is competitive; the faculty considers each applicant's academic potential, experience in volunteer work and/or employment, and readiness for graduate education.

Preparing your MSW Application: Resume Watch the Recording

Program Proposal

It is up to you to decide what is meant by "area of interest". Usually this is something that you are passionate about or simply want to know more about - may be a result of personal experience or general interest.  

Your area of interest may be related to the specialization overall or the topic area specifically, or the general field you want to work in, but this is not a requirement.

Ultimately, we want to know what is driving you to the profession.

References should support your ideas but not dominate – we are primarily interested in you. When used, they must comply with academic writing standards.

Although we prefer APA, alternative well-known reference formats are acceptable.

Plagiarism is a very serious offence. It is your responsibility to understand proper academic referencing and citation.

Yes. APA or another well-known academic format is required in your program proposal. The ability to write academic papers is essential for graduate school and we are assessing your potential for  success.

We will not be able to give you a specific number; however, we trust you'll use as many as appropriate for a graduate level paper. 

No. The Faculty of Social Work is unable to provide such assistance. 

Preparing your MSW Application: Program and Thesis Proposal Watch the Recording

Departmental Information Form

This checklist item refers to the WCB form that is required for certain programs 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).