About our Master of Social Work program

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

However, on-campus attendance is mandatory on ONE occasion for a one-week (Monday to Friday inclusive) block course, with pre- and post-course assignments, offered as an intensive Summer Institute course in August at the start of the program.  The second Summer Institute occurs in August of the graduating year and is offered as a three-week long intensive, online course with synchronous components every day during the second week. 

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

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program is a course-based curriculum which includes eight courses:

  • Six core courses. Two of these are offered as 'Summer Institute' intensive courses: the first is an on-campus, one-week course (with pre- and post-course assignments) in August at the beginning of the program, and the second is an on-line, 3-week course (with synchronous learning periods every day during the middle week) in August of the student's graduating year. The remaining four core courses are completed as 12 week online courses.
  • Two online elective courses.

And two Milestones:

  • 462-hour practicum in an approved field setting
  • Master’s Integration Seminar and Capstone (online) 

There is no research/thesis option.

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

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.

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