Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work


Your academic journey in the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree program will provide you with opportunities, skills, and knowledge needed to excel as a registered social worker in the field of human services.

Your program will allow you to gain in-depth theoretical knowledge, extensive practical experience, and a reflective understanding of various social issues. Our internationally known educators and researchers will help you develop the qualities and skills necessary to become a social worker. To find out more about the social work profession, click here.

You can’t apply to the BSW program directly from high school but you can complete the first two years of your university studies in one of the Faculties at UCalgary. You'll need to complete 57 units of non-social work university courses and SOWK 201 or its equivalent prior to applying to the BSW program as a University Transfer student.

In your first two years at UCalgary, you should try a variety of disciplines to broaden your knowledge base, which may help you decide if social work is right for you. We also recommend that you look for work or volunteer experience with human services organizations or community groups prior to your application to the program. The BSW program is competitive and your work and/or volunteer activities is a chance to show your commitment to helping others, to advocacy, and social justice.

You must ensure that the courses you choose in your first and second year of your post-secondary education, satisfy the requirements of the degree program in which you are registered.

Courses recommended in your first year

General courses in English, Academic Writing, Sociology, Political Science, Psychology, Indigenous Studies, Human Development, Communication and Culture, Ethics, Research Methods, Health and Society, History, Social Welfare and Social Policy, Public Administration and Policy, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Anthropology, Community Rehabilitation can help prepare you for success in the social work program.

Remember to register for both fall and winter semesters at the same time.

Students are officially admitted to the third year of BSW program and are required to complete 60 units. Information about program requirements can be found in the University Calendar in section 4. Program Details.

The BSW program in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge is delivered in-class and in-person. Our Virtual Learning Circles BSW allows you to stay home and take your classes online. Each year you'll have to attend one week-long, block course on campus.

You are welcome to contact a Social Work advisor for assistance with your program planning, registration, and degree requirements, or any other aspect of your program and student life. The easiest way to connect with us is to email

Calgary campus
MacKimmie Tower (MT) 301

Edmonton campus
3-250, 10230 Jasper Avenue

Lethbridge campus
E526, University Hall
4401 University Drive

Study Abroad: Experience different cultures, gain a better understanding of social issues and social work practice in other countries, travel around the globe all while earning credit towards your degree.

SWSA: Join the ‘Social Work Students’ Association’ and participate in events aimed at developing and improving the professional, academic, and social lives of BSW, MSW and PhD students in the Faculty of Social Work.

Co-Curricular Record: The first of its kind in Western Canada, have your out-of-classroom experiences such as volunteer work, leadership training and club involvement documented on an official record.

Micro-Credentials: Participate in short-term, competency-based learning opportunities that align with labour market or community needs, such as mental health first aid, crisis intervention, suicide awareness, trauma-informed perspectives, social activism, etc.