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FAQs - Prospective MSW Students

Submitted by 21232f297a57a5a... on Thu, 11/14/2013 - 10:11am

What are the admission requirements to the MSW program in Edmonton?

The MSW program offered from our Edmonton-based Central and Northern Alberta location admits students every other year on odd numbered years (e.g., 2017, 2019, etc.) and is available to:

  • Students with a BSW, who complete the clinical specialization component in two years; or
  • Students with an undergraduate degree in another discipline, who complete the foundation component followed by the clinical specialization component in four years.

Admission is competitive; the faculty considers each applicant's academic potential, experience in volunteer work or employment, readiness for graduate education as indicated by a study plan, and references.  For detailed information about the application process and required components, click here.

To be considered for admission, applicants must demonstrate the following:

Foundation

  • A four-year baccalaureate degree or equivalent degree from a recognized institution in a discipline other than social work.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.00 or higher on a four-point scale based on the last two full years of the undergraduate degree (consisting of a minimum of 20 half-course equivalents).
  • The equivalent of two years of full-time paid or volunteer work in the human services field (approximately 3000 hours).
  • Proficiency in the English language.

Clinical Specialization

  • A Bachelor of Social Work degree from a recognized institution.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.00 or higher on a four-point scale based on the last two full years of the undergraduate degree (consisting of a minimum of 20 half-course equivalents).
  • Students are expected to have a minimum two years of social services experience.
  • Proficiency in the English language.

How long is the program?

From our Edmonton-based Central and Northern Alberta location, the Faculty of Social Work uses a blend of educational delivery formats to provide a two-year Masters’ program to BSW graduates and a 4-year Masters’ program to those with undergraduate degrees in disciplines other than social work. Combining virtual education formats with on-site block, evening and weekend programming, the Edmonton MSW is accessible to students living outside the city and to those maintaining employment while pursuing graduate education. While the program is delivered on a half-time schedule, students are considered full-time and eligible for government funding; however, students may not be eligible for certain grants and scholarships.

What is the application deadline?

January 31 (11:59 pm) is the deadline to apply for the MSW program in Edmonton.  Your complete application must be received by the deadline.  Please note that the deadline does not refer to the post-marked date; documents/payment need to arrive at the appropriate place by the deadline.  Please be aware that neither you nor your referees will be able to modify electronic application material or upload supporting documents after the deadline.  For detailed information about the application process and required components, click here.

What if I have a 3 year degree, can I still apply to your program?

You must have a four-year baccalaureate degree or equivalent degree from a recognized institution to apply to our program.

When will I hear if I have been admitted?

We will notify each applicant about the outcome of her/his application, and we are committed to informing applicants about these outcomes as quickly as possible.  Our approximate timeline for the MSW admission process is to begin extending offers of admission by March 31.

What are some examples of paid/volunteer experience that are acceptable?

Examples of relevant social service experience include the following:

  • Group home/residential worker,
  • Crisis line volunteer,
  • Camp counselor with children and youth,
  • Teacher’s assistant,
  • Hospital volunteer,
  • Research assistant in human services research,
  • Overseas social development experience,
  • Child welfare worker (protection, guardianship, policy analyst),
  • Counselor in a non-profit agency,
  • Case manager in hospital and/or health and/or mental health setting,
  • Social planning in a municipal setting,
  • Teacher. 

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.  Applicants can make a case for special consideration of particular life, volunteer, or work experience if they can indicate connections to social work.

I don’t have a Bachelor of Social Work; can I still apply to the program?

Yes, you can still apply to the MSW program. Those who have a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than social work apply to the foundation route of the MSW program. This means that those students complete the foundation component and practicum coursework (9 courses), and then proceed into the clinical specialization component of the program (10 courses).

How much is tuition for the program?

Please refer to the Graduate Studies website for information on fees http://grad.ucalgary.ca/future/tuition-fees.

Do you have awards and scholarships?

There are awards, scholarships, grants, studentships and assistantships available for graduate program students. Please refer to the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for further information on funding opportunities: http://grad.ucalgary.ca/awards.  For a list of awards that are specific to Social Work students, please refer to the MSW Student Handbook on our website at https://fsw.ucalgary.ca/central-and-northern-alberta/current-students.

What is the minimum GPA needed and how do you calculate my GPA?

Students require a minimum grade point average of 3.00 or higher on the University of Calgary, four-point system. This is calculated based on the last two full years of the undergraduate degree consisting of a minimum of 20 half-course equivalents.

I did poorly in my undergraduate degree and do not have a 3.00 GPA, can I still apply? Should I take other courses to bring up my GPA?

If your GPA is below 3.00, you are encouraged to speak with a Student Advisor.  Please email fswcnar@ucalgary.ca or call 780-492-3888.

I am not sure if I should take the course-based route or the thesis route?

Students thinking of applying to the thesis route are encouraged to take a look at our Faculty Directory (http://fsw.ucalgary.ca/central-and-northern-alberta/directory) for potential thesis supervisors whose area(s) of experience are consistent with their own research interests.  You should then contact the individual directly to discuss the possibility of completing a thesis under their supervision.

Can I do the MSW online?

  • The Edmonton program delivery blends on-site and web-based formats. On-site courses are offered on Friday evenings and Saturdays, four times per term, and block week during fall and winter sessions. Students may continue working while registered in the program, but should be aware of practicum requirements (see "What are the practicum requirements?") below for information on practicum).
  • Although you cannot do the Edmonton program completely online, a distance program for students with a BSW is offered out of the main campus.  For more information visit http://fsw.ucalgary.ca/master-social-work-msw/msw-online.

Can I apply to more than one location to improve my chances of being accepted?

No, you can only apply to one program per admission cycle. Be sure to look at the options offered at the different location to decide which would work best for you.

My first language is not English. Do you have English Language Proficiency requirements?

The Faculty of Social Work operates in accordance with the Faculty of Graduate Studies policy regarding English Language Proficiency (see FGS calendar A.1 Admissions Qualification).

To support student success in our programs, we require the following:

  • TOEFL exam completion with minimum scores of at least 580 (paper-based test) or 97 (internet-based test).
  • IELTS exam completion with a minimum score of 7.0.
  • MELAB exam completion with a minimum score of 83.
  • Completion of Level 3 of the International Foundations Program (IFP) at the University of Calgary. Students must achieve a minimum grade of “B” in Academic Writing and Grammar and a minimum grade of "C" in both Reading Comprehension and Proficiency and Listening Comprehension and Oral Fluency.

My degree is from outside of Canada, who can assess my transcripts to see if my degree is acceptable?

Visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies website http://grad.ucalgary.ca/prospective/admissions/international-admission-requirements for a list of international admission requirements by country.  The Faculty of Social Work does not assess transcripts until you apply and submit the application fee.

What are the practicum requirements?

  • Students without a BSW entering the Foundation Route: complete their first practicum (425 hours) in the winter semester of their second year. The foundation practicum requires 3 – 5 days/week in placement during regular business hours starting in January of the second year and extending to mid-April, May or June. Once the foundation practicum and all other required courses are completed, students move to the Clinical component of the program and complete the clinical practicum described below.
  • Students with a BSW degree entering the Clinical Specialization Route: complete the Advanced Practicum (525 hours) in the spring/summer between their first and second year. Students must ensure that their schedules are arranged to allow them to be available for field placement during that time. By early in the winter semester (Jan/Feb) of the first year, specialization students begin working with the Field Education Coordinator to explore and arrange practicum possibilities. The advanced practicum requires 3 – 5 days/week in placement during regular business hours. Students will work cooperatively with the Field Education Coordinator to generate placement ideas and possibilities.  The Field Education Coordinator will make contact with agencies and staff on your behalf and will finalize all placements.

Upcoming Events: FSW Central & North

Date & Time:
March 30, 2017 | 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

The Rebuilding Lives Post-Disaster Partnership and Alberta Resilient Communities Project invites you to learn about disaster recovery in Alberta and internationally.   Webcast available!