How to become a Social Worker

The School of Social Work (SSW) brings together classroom learning and practicum experience. Renison offers a post-degree Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and a Master of Social Work (MSW).

Three steps from BA to BSW and MSW

Complete your Social Development Studies (SDS) degree and graduate with a three-year general or four-year honours Bachelor of Arts degree. 

Apply to the 10-month Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree which includes practicum-based learning.

Apply to our one-year online Master of Social Work (MSW) program and add a third degree to broaden your horizons and career possibilities. 

Note: Paid and unpaid social work practice experience is considered in the admission process. For more information please see the School of Social Work website. 

Interested in the Bachelor of Social Work? 

How you apply depends on your background

I am a high school student / recent graduate

  1. Apply to Social Development Studies (SDS) at Renison in your final year of high school. 
    1. Please note you can pursue a 3-Year General Social Development Studies degree or a 4-Year Honours Social Development Studies degree.
  2. Ensure you take the 7 prerequisite courses necessary to apply for the BSW.
  3. Apply to the BSW in your final year of Social Development Studies. Review the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) website for more detailed admission criteria.

I am a college student / recent graduate

Our Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is a post-degree program, which requires a previous Bachelor's degree and the completion of 7 prerequisite courses. Enrolling in Social Development Studies (BA) will allow you to obtain your degree and complete your prerequisites in order to start the BSW in a few years. You would also likely be eligible for transfer credits towards your degree. 

  1. Apply to Social Development Studies 
    • Transfer credits will only be assessed once a formal application for admission has been submitted and official transcripts from your previous school have been received.  The Admissions Committee will evaluate your transcripts, and upon admission, transfer credits may be awarded for courses in which you received a 70% or higher.  A maximum of 10.0 units (equal to 20 term courses) may be granted for the 4-year SDS program options; a maximum of 7.5 units may be granted for the 3-year SDS General option.
  2. Ensure you take the 7 prerequisite courses necessary to apply for the BSW.
  3. Apply to the BSW in your final year of Social Development Studies. Review the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) website for more detailed admission criteria.

Social Service Worker Pathway:

Social Service Worker graduates can now apply for conditional admission to the Bachelor of Social Work program at the University of Waterloo. Admission is conditional based on the completion of an undergraduate degree in Social Development Studies.

Learn more about this pathway

I am a University of Waterloo student

I have completed an undergraduate degree

  1. Review the Bachelor of Social Work admission requirements.
  2. Ensure you meet all requirements, including the completion of the following 7 prerequisite courses, or their equivalents: 
  3. Applicants who wish to have courses evaluated for equivalency of the 7 prerequisite courses should contact Jennifer Lin for information. It is recommended that prospective applicants start this inquiry prior to submitting their application. 
  4. If you meet all admission requirements, apply to the Bachelor of Social Work program. 

I am a mature student

Applicants who have completed a Bachelor of Arts degree (or equivalent) four or more years prior to applying and who do not meet the minimum required 70% overall  average may be considered for admission to the Bachelor of Social Work  Program upon completion of the prerequisite courses with a cumulative overall average in the courses of at least 75%. Please contact Keri Raif Sura for further information: 

 Learn more about how to become a Social Worker