About our Bachelor of Social Work Program

students at a self-care conference

The Bachelor of Social Work distinguishes itself through strong academics as well as a hands-on, skills-oriented approach to social work practice. Your education will be further enhanced by the School of Social Work and Renison's missions promoting social justice and community service.

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.

Social Service Worker diploma BSW Pathway!

Applicants to the University of Waterloo who hold a Social Service Worker diploma 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 (including the 10 BSW pre-requisite social work courses). This constitutes a one-step pathway to the BSW degree. 

For questions about the SDS/BSW Pathway and how to apply contact: renison@uwaterloo.ca

For more information about the BSW program contact:  kraif@uwaterloo.ca

Our program offers:

  • A full-time program completed in three terms; ten months in total duration. Courses are offered on-campus, only.
  • A flexible part-time studies program, allowing students to earn their degree within 3 years. Most of the courses are offered on campus. A few courses are offered fully online. There are also 'multi-modal' courses with on-campus and on-line components. Note: This is NOT an online program.
  • Conditional Admission for applicants who have a BA (or equivalent), from an accredited university, but who lack the  required pre-requisite courses
  • Small classes with opportunities for interaction with classmates and teachers
  • Field practicum opportunities which are supported by a large network of social service agencies and organizations.  Full-time students are in their practicum settings three days per week throughout the program. Part-time students practicum requirements will entail a minimum of two consecutive 7-hour days per week during the practicum period.
  • Opportunities to grow and maximize your potential

BSW graduates are eligible to apply for Master of Social Work (MSW) programs at Canadian universities and for MSW programs in the United States.

Program​ structure  

The professional Social Work program is offered in two ways:

  1. Full-time studies are completed in three terms (10 months) of university study. Students are in academic courses on campus two days a week (Thursday and Friday) and are in their field practicum three days a week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday).
  2. Part-time studies may be completed within three years of university study. Two courses are offered in each semester. Most of the courses are on campus. A few courses are offered fully online. There are multi-modal offerings with on-campus and on-line components.  Field practicum requirements will entail a minimum of two consecutive 7-hour days per week in practicum. NOTE:  this is NOT an online program.


The degree of Honours Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is awarded by the University of Waterloo upon successful completion of the requirements of the program. No degree will be granted to a student who does not complete the program requirements, including the cumulative overall average of 75%. Convocation for all BSW students takes place at the Fall convocations of the University of Waterloo and Renison. Part-time students, who complete their degree on or before the end of the winter term, may also convocate at the Spring convocations.

  See also the Renison Registrar's Office Convocation Information.


Accreditation of professional social work education programs in Canada is a function of the Canadian Association for Social Work Education(CASWE), a national association of university and college faculties, schools, departments, modules, and individuals offering professional education in social work at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels.

CASWE accredits professional social work education Programs in Canada at bachelor and master levels. Accreditation is focussed on a Program of study as opposed to an institution, such as school, faculty, or department. The Bachelor of Social Work in the School of Social Work is an accredited Program.

canadian association of social work education logo