About our Master of Social Work program

Our Master of Social Work is a professional graduate degree program, delivered primarily in online education format. 

However, on-campus attendance is mandatory on two occasions for one-week (Monday to Friday inclusive) block courses offered in Summer Institutes. The first one-week Summer Institute occurs in August at the start of the program and the second Summer Institute occurs in August of the graduating year.

The MSW program is completed:

  • within one year for full-time students (3 terms).  
  • within two years for part-time students (6 terms).
  • Final completion of the program is in line with the Graduate Studies, Graduate Calendar, regulations
  • All graduate students must maintain continuous registration for each term of the program.

While in the program, students should expect to spend a minimum of 10-12 hours/week on each course. Full-time students should expect to spend at least 36 hours/week on coursework. Therefore, we strongly advice full-time students to work no more than 10 hours per week. 

Field Education requirements

Students should note that the program includes a field education experience component of at least 462 hours (minimum of two 7-hour days per week) in an approved agency (normally other than the student’s place of employment), as well as a Field Integration Seminar. The student must obtain passing credit in both the agency practicum and the Field Integration Seminar.

For further information on MSW PLACEMENTS, please contact:

Shella Zagada, MSW Program Manager
School of Social Work, Renison University College
519-884-4404, ext. 28729

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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.

MSW Degree Requirements

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program follows a course-based curriculum

This includes two core courses which are delivered as mandatory, on campus, one-week (Monday to Friday) block courses in August, four other required core lecture/seminar courses (12 weeks each, delivered online), plus two elective courses (12 weeks each, delivered online). In addition, students must complete three milestones: a supervised 462 hour Practicum milestone (minimum of two 7-hour days per week), a Field Integration Seminar milestone (delivered online) and a Masters Seminar Presentation (Capstone) milestone. 

There is no research/thesis option.

This program meets all University of Waterloo post-graduate degree requirements.

The initial and final core courses in the program are held on the Renison University College campus as one-week summer block courses offered in Summer Institutes. The initial Summer Institute is held in late August and the final Summer Institute will occur in August of a student's graduating year. Attendance at both Summer Institutes is mandatory in order to graduate.  

All students in the Full-Time and Part-Time MSW degree must complete all credits at a minimum 75% overall average including the compulsory and elective credits required in order to graduate from the program. 

The MSW field education program requires 462 hours (at a minimum of two consecutive 7-hour days per week) in an approved practicum in the student's own community in Canada (normally other than the student's place of employment), subject to the availability of suitable placement agencies/organizations and field instructors.

Our health-focused MSW program is an applied professional degree program that is course-based and practicum-based.

Our MSW program applies an integrated approach in advancing the knowledge, skills and values of Social Work practitioners. Through the program, students engage in micro, mezzo and macro level theoretical frameworks and interventions as they critically examine individual, community and societal health and wellbeing. Students who may be interested in developing their clinical skills may be able to do so through the materials and resources provided in the class as well as through their field education experience.  They may do the same if they are interested in enhancing their macro level practice skills. We strive for students to acquire the required SW competencies and gain a balanced, critical and relevant understanding of SW practice focused on health and wellbeing.


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 Master of Social Work in the School of Social Work is an accredited Program.

canadian association of social work education logo

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Do you have any queries about our MSW program?


School of Social Work, Renison University College