Bachelor of Social Work

The Bachelor of Social Work, offered as a full-time or part-time professional degree program at Renison University College, prepares students for ethical, critically reflective, anti-oppressive, competent and accountable social work practice.

BSW Online:

In the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic the School of Social Work is supporting students by offering all of its Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) courses online. These online courses have been in place for several years, typically accessed by part-time students who take some of their BSW courses online. These courses have been developed and refined over time, and offer the same academically rigorous and experiential learning experiences as in-person classes. 

New BSW Pathway Addition!

Effective for Fall 2021, applicants to the University of Waterloo who hold a Social Service Worker diploma (or equivalent) and who are applying to the SDS/BSW pathway at Renison University College are eligible for conditional admission consideration to the BSW Program. This will be conditional on their completion of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Development Studies (SDS) with a 70% minimum GPA (with a 70% for the 10 BSW pre-requisite social work courses). This constitutes a one-step pathway to the BSW degree:

Social Service Pathway Information


86%Of BSW alumni felt that their education from Renison prepared them for the field
72%Of BSW alumni were employed in the field of Social Work within six months of degree completion
53%Of BSW alumni have continued on their education to complete a MSW

(Based on 2017 alumni survey of 2011-2016 BSW graduates)

Our students graduate with a highly respected Honours Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Waterloo, renowned for its spirit of innovation and its outstanding academic programs.


The School of Social Work seeks to reflect a diverse student population and welcomes applications from qualified individuals of all ages, gender identities, cultural, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, sexual orientations, and abilities.

Mission statement

The School of Social Work prepares social work practitioners through an accessible and inclusive curriculum, at both baccalaureate and masters levels, in a learning environment that fosters caring and ethical social work practice within a local and global context. The School is committed to positive social change through the principles of justice, equity and respect for diveristy. 

To this end, these are the objectives of the Bachelor of Social Work:

  • To prepare students for ethical, critically reflective, anti-oppressive, competent and accountable social work practice
  • To ensure academic excellence not only through small class sizes, regular curriculum and program reviews, but also by adherence to the accreditation standards set by the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work
  • To create and maintain learning opportunities with a variety of communities through student field practice and collaborative initiatives
  • To promote academic accessibility through the development of on-line, distance education and part-time studies in addition to the regular full-time program
  • To contribute to social work knowledge through research, publication and other scholarly activities.

canadian association of social work education logo

Our Bachelor of Social Work program is accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education.