The Master of Social Work (MSW) is a nationally-accredited program that prepares students for advanced professional practice in social work. The course-based route is appropriate for students who intend to provide direct service in the field.
The Faculty of Social Work offers MSW programs in Calgary, Edmonton, and Lethbridge.
In Calgary, students are admitted annually and choose one of three Specializations (listed below). Students holding a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree are admitted directly into a one-year Specialization program. Students with an undergraduate degree in another discipline are admitted into a two-year program and complete a Foundation year followed by their Specialization year.
In Edmonton, students are admitted in odd-numbered years (i.e., 2017, 2019) to the Clinical Social Work Practice Specialization. Students holding a BSW degree complete the Specialization program in two years. Students with an undergraduate degree in another discipline complete the Foundation courses followed by the Specialization courses, requiring a total of four years of study.
In Lethbridge, the Faculty of Social Work offers the Clinical Social Work Practice Specialization to students with a BSW. Admission occurs in odd-numbered years (i.e., 2017, 2019). Students complete the program in two years.
Clinical Social Work Practice
Leadership in the Human Services
International and Community Development
Outcomes and next steps
Hospitals/community health centers, mental health clinics, schools, non-profit/advocacy groups, government, social service/child welfare/family service agencies, correctional facilities, social housing, family courts, employee assistance programs, private counselling, school boards, consultation.
A course-based master’s degree in social work is usually considered a final degree.
Degree at a glance
Full course completion and the MSW Capstone
Foundation: 12 courses. MSW students with a non-social work bachelor's degree must complete Foundation courses prior to Specialization courses
One to two years full-time (Calgary); two to four years (Edmonton); two years (Lethbridge); six years maximum
No supervisor is required
Fees and funding
Calculated per course; funding is not offered.
If you're interested in this program, you might want to explore other UCalgary programs.
Each student will meet this requirement according to the structure within their location (e.g., Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge).
- Four courses in Advanced Social Work Practice
- Four courses in one of the Specialization Areas (Clinical Social Work Practice, International and Community Development, or Leadership in Human Services)
- Four courses of practicum and Integrated Field, Seminar, Research, and Capstone course.
Admission requirements and information
Requirements for the Social Work Program
A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.
A Bachelor of Social Work degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree in another discipline.
Applicants must have the equivalent of two years of full-time paid or volunteer work (or the equivalent of 3000 hours) in the human services field.
A study plan outlining the applicant's educational goals and career expectations. (If applying to the Calgary program, the study plan must indicate the applicant’s intended area of Specialization: Clinical Social Work Practice, Leadership in the Human Services, or International and Community Development)
Two; one professional and one academic
English language proficiency
An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:
TOEFL score of 97 (Internet-based) or 580 (paper-based). Our institution code is 0813
All graduate students must pay general fees each year, as well as program fees.
Estimate for full-time students
Canadian and permanent resident
For 12 months of study
For program completion in 12 months
For program completion in 12 months
General fees and tuition
General fees are annual and per-term fees. Annual fees are paid once per year, while per-term are paid each term (3 terms per year).
Tuition covers standard academic costs. Tuition shown is for full course completion of 10 courses. Domestic students pay $714 per course. International students pay $1,622 per course. Textbooks and other material costs are not included.
What are annual continuing fees?
Continuing fees do not apply to this program.
Funding is not available for this program. Government grants and loans may be available to eligible applicants. Additionally, a variety of scholarships, bursaries and awards for social work students are available, more information is available in the Graduate Awards database.
Fees listed here are estimates only, and have been rounded to the nearest dollar. These amounts should not be considered accurate. All amounts are in Canadian Dollars.
Fees are subject to change.
For more details and the most accurate information go to the Academic Calendar
For more general information, see our Fees and Funding Guide
Have you made your final decision and you’re ready to apply?