Bachelor of Social Work

Become a professional change maker.

Do you have a passion for social justice? Do you feel a calling to help others and create change? With a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), you'll empower individuals, families, groups, and communities to sustain and improve their quality of life.

Our 10-month BSW program lays the foundation for generalist practice in a range of social service, health, and community settings. The theories, approaches, and skills developed through your BSW degree coursework will ensure your strong ability to use a social justice lens for assessment, intervention, advocacy, and social action purposes.

In the Social Work program, you'll have the opportunity to integrate your learning through a field placement. Field placements provide relevant foundational skills to move forward in the profession. Some areas of field placement experiences include (but are not limited to) child welfare, community mental health and addictions, working with 2SLGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities, and working with persons with disabilities.

Most careers in Social Work require a BSW designation (or higher). As a graduate of the BSW program, you're eligible for Ontario College of Social Worker and Social Service Worker (OCSWSSW) registration. You can also apply for an advanced-standing Master of Social Work (MSW) program and earn an advanced degree in as little as a year, rather than two.

In high school?

If you're considering pursuing a BSW degree, you can prepare for this program by first completing a Social Development Studies (SDS) degree or another undergraduate degree as long as you meet the prerequisites.

College or university student elsewhere?

You can apply as a transfer student or through the Social Service Worker pathway. If you already have a BA, you just need to have completed the prerequisites, which can be done as part of SDS or another BA. If you have questions, please connect with an academic advisor.


Program highlights

  • 10-month professional program. We're one of the few 10-month BSW programs in Ontario. As a student, you'll learn both in class and in the field to equip you for a career in social work.
  • Flexible and supportive. This program is flexible, offering part-time students access to online courses with short in-class components. You'll also receive unparalleled support from instructors, professors, staff, and peers.
  • Field placement. Includes 720 hours of field placement work to prepare you for a professional designation with the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE).

  • Study full-time or part-time
  • Graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Waterloo
  • Offered by Renison University College, located on Waterloo's campus.

Discover if the Bachelor of Social Work is right for you.



Please refer to the Social Work website for a detailed listing of the BSW admission requirements.

Common questions

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Program details

megaphone icon"The Bachelor of Social Work arms me for my decolonizing work in the sense that it supported me to think critically moving into the field and challenged me to shape, reshape, and then reshape again, the way that I saw things or harness the lense that I'm Akeisha, BSW '15
megaphone icon"I remember the campus, the professors, and the friends I made. It really was a memorable program educationally and socially. I have and still am utilizing and implementing a lot of the learning that came from this experience."Martha, BSW '17, MSW '18