Social Service Worker Pathway to a BSW (Pathway is Closing - no 2025 Admission)

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.

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 minimum overall average of 70% (including 7 BSW pre-requisite social work courses with an overall average of 75%). This constitutes a one-step pathway to the BSW degree.

For questions about the SDS/BSW Pathway and how to apply contact: BSW admissions

For more information about the BSW program contact: Keri Raif Sura

The Pathway:

Social Development Studies (SDS) at the University of Waterloo offers students a strong foundation for the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program and provides students the opportunity to complete the 7 social work pre-requisite courses that are required for entry into the BSW. Students will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and can move seamlessly into the 10-month Bachelor of Social Work program after meeting admission requirements. 

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. 


Apply for conditional admission to the Bachelor of Social Work program


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


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


Transition into the 10-month Bachelor of Social Work program


Graduate 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.