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Graduate Studies Calendar 2023-2024 Program Descriptions Social Work SOWK Master of Social Work (Course-Based)
Master of Social Work (Course-Based)
1. Degree and Specializations Offered

Master of Social Work (MSW) - course-based

The Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Canadian Association of Social Work Education.

The objective of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program is to prepare students for advanced professional practice in social work. The course-based program is appropriate for students who intend to provide direct service in the field. This full-time program is available for both BSW graduates and graduates from other disciplines.

The MSW course-based, is a continuous program with no scheduled break. Students who do not enrol in courses continuously will be withdrawn from the program for failure to register unless they are on an approved leave of absence.

Specializations:

  • Clinical Social Work Practice (CSWP)
  • International and Community Development (ICD)
  • Leadership in the Human Services (LHS)

Program Delivery

The MSW course-based program in all three specializations will be offered by distance (online) learning with in-person residencies. Students not attending residencies in either Calgary or Edmonton may be required to withdraw from the course or the program.

Please consult the website for specific program delivery information.

Combined degree program: Master of Social Work/Master of Business Administration (MSW/MBA)

Applications to this program are currently suspended.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements for Admission, the Faculty of Social Work requires:

a) A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree* or a four-year bachelor’s degree from another discipline. The undergraduate degree must be conferred prior to the start of the MSW program and must be from a recognized post-secondary institution.

*The Faculty of Social Work recognizes BSW and BISW degrees accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and international credentials deemed equivalent to a Canadian BSW degree by the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW).

b) A minimum GPA of 3.00 (on the University of Calgary four-point system). This is based on the last two-years of the undergraduate degree consisting of a minimum of 60 units.

c) The equivalent of two years of full-time paid work or a minimum of 3000 hours of paid and/or volunteer work in the human services field.

d) A program proposal outlining the applicant's social work perspectives and educational goals.

e) For applicants required to present proof of proficiency in English, a minimum TOEFL score of 97 (Internet-based test with no section less than 20); IELTS score of 7.0 (Academic version with no section less than 6.0); a CAEL score of 70 (70 in writing and speaking; 60 in reading and listening); or a PTE with a minimum score of 68 (Academic version). This requirement can also be met by completing the Academic Communication Certificate with a minimum grade of “A-“in academic writing and oral communication courses and “B+” in other courses.

f) Two references, one academic and one professional. Applicants unable to provide an academic reference are advised to submit a second professional reference and provide rationale in the application.

For those applying to the MSW through the MSW Laddering Pathway (upon completion of two specific Graduate Certificates), the academic reference must come from an instructor who taught the applicant in one of the Graduate Certificates.

MSW applicants are allowed to apply to only one program location and one specialization. Once admitted, students are not permitted to switch specializations and/or topics within their chosen specialization. Requests to defer an offer of admission are not normally considered.

3. Application Deadlines

For application deadlines, see the Future Students webpage at ucalgary.ca/future-students/graduate/explore-programs/social-work-master-social-work-course-based.

4. Advanced Credit

Advanced credit is not normally granted for the Master of Social Work degree.

5. Program Requirements
5.1 Foundation Course Requirements

For students with a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than social work.

Nine foundation courses (27 units), as follows: 

Foundation courses must be completed before students advance to Specialization specific courses and Advanced Practicum (Social Work 660 and 662).

5.2 MSW Course Requirements

For students with a BSW or completed foundation courses:

A total of 36 units of coursework, as follows:

a) 12 units of Advanced Social Work Practice courses;
b) 12 units of Specialization courses (topics may vary from year to year and by location);
c) 12 units of Field Practicum, Integrative Seminar, Research Applications and Exit Requirement (FIRE).

a) Advanced Social Work Practice (ASWP) Courses:

b) Specialization Course Requirements:

Clinical Social Work Practice (CSWP) Specialization

Within the CSWP specialization there are several topic areas. Each consists of 12 units (four courses) which address a particular subject within the broader field of Clinical Social Work Practice.  Students must complete all 12 units in the selected topic area.

Adult Mental Health and Addictions
Individuals, Families and Groups
Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Trauma-Informed Practice
Clinical Gerontology Practice
Community-Informed Practice for Health and Wellbeing

International and Community Development (ICD) Specialization

Within the ICD specialization, there are two topic areas.  Each consists of 12 units (four courses) which address a particular subject within the broader field of International and Community Development. Students must complete 12 units in the selected topic area.

Leadership in the Human Services (LHS) Specialization

Students must complete all 12 units of LHS specialization courses as follows:

Note: The four courses in ASWP and in each specialization topic are offered in a prescribed sequence and deviation from the curriculum plan is not normally allowed.

Please note that not all specialization topics are offered every year. Students should consult the timetables and program curriculum plans located on the web for sequence and availability of Specialization topics: socialwork.ucalgary.ca.

c) Field Practicum, Integrative Seminar, Research Applications and Exit Requirement (FIRE):

Students must be available to complete 500 hours of practicum. A student who fails a practicum course (either SOWK 660 or SOWK 662) will be required to withdraw from the co-requisite course and may be required to withdraw from the program.

Note: Students who wish to transfer to the thesis-based MSW must submit their transfer request to Student Services by January 31 prior to the thesis research courses and/or advanced practicum. Students who transfer must comply with the requirements of the respective program. The program transfer must be approved by both the Faculty of Social Work and Faculty of Graduate Studies.

6. Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade)
 
The Faculty of Social Work, Master of Social Work course-based program will allow students to pursue the Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade) in one graduate course offered by the faculty, with the exception of:
Students may choose the CG grade for a course taken extra to load.

The use of the CG grade will not affect students' eligibility for internal awards.
7. Additional Requirements

Participation in Student Orientation sessions held prior to the start of the program is mandatory for students.

8. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Credit for undergraduate courses will not be awarded.

9. Time Limits

Expected completion time varies based on the program location, specialization and delivery model selected by the student at the time of application.

  • MSW with specialization in Clinical Social Work Practice, Calgary: 12 months for BSW graduates; 24 months for students with a non-BSW degree.
  • MSW with specialization in Clinical Social Work Practice, Edmonton: 24 months for BSW graduates; 36 months for students with a non-BSW degree.
  • MSW with specialization in Clinical Social Work Practice, Online: 24 months for BSW graduates; 36 months for students with a non-BSW degree.
  • MSW with specialization in International and Community Development: 24 months for BSW graduates; 36 months for students with a non-BSW degree.
  • MSW with specialization in Leadership in the Human Services: 24 months for BSW graduates; 36 months for students with a non-BSW degree.

As established by the Faculty of Graduate Studies (see Time Limits) maximum completion time is six years for a course-based MSW.

10. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available to qualified students. For information on awards, see Awards and Financial Assistance for Graduate Students, the Graduate Awards Database grad.ucalgary.ca/awards, and consult with the Student Services Office in the Faculty of Social Work.

11. Other Information

A computer is required for all programs in the Faculty of Social Work.  Further information will be sent out to newly-admitted students prior to the commencement of their studies.