Social Service Worker Pathway

New pathway agreement - social service worker to the bachelor of social work.

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.

The Pathway:

Social Development Studies (SDS) at the University of Waterloo offers students a strong foundation for the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program. By taking a specialization in social work as part of the SDS degree, students will complete 10 social work pre-requisite courses. Students will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and move seamlessly into the 10-month Bachelor of Social Work program.

The School of Social Work prepares students to participate in positive social change through the principles of justice, equity, and respect for diversity. In the BSW program students will take a total of 8 courses and complete a 720 hour practicum in a social service agency. 

1Apply for conditional admission to the Bachelor of Social Work program


2Receive your offer of admission to Social Development Studies (SDS) and your transfer credit assessment


3Complete a BA in Social Development Studies
(Online options are available)


4Transition into the 10-month Bachelor of Social Work program


5Graduate with two degrees from the University of Waterloo.



Students who complete the Social Service Worker Pathway will be eligible to earn two degrees: a Three-Year Bachelor of Arts in Social Development Studies (SDS) and an Honours Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), awarded by the University of Waterloo upon successful completion of the requirements of the programs. Students must successfully complete degree requirements for Three-Year General SDS before beginning the SWREN-400 level courses in the BSW program. No BSW 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 convocation ceremony at the University of Waterloo.

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

canadian association of social work education logo

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