Social Service Worker Pathway - Admission Requirements

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.

About the program

Normally, applications to the Bachelor of Social Work degree program are considered from university students who have completed a three-year or four-year university undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Arts). By applying to – and receiving – Conditional Admission status to the Bachelor of Social Work program at Renison, students receive a conditional offer of admission to begin the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program after completing a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Social Development Studies (SDS), including the required BSW prerequisite courses.

ONLY those who have completed or are completing the SSW diploma (or equivalent) may qualify for this pathway.

Admission requirements – BSW conditional admission

  • Successful completion of a 2-year Social Service Worker (SSW) diploma
  • Minimum cumulative college average of 75%
  • Any Grade 12 English 4U (or equivalent) –A minimum grade of 70% is required
  • Demonstration of related work and/or volunteer experience in social services and/or community setting
  • suitability to the Social Work (SW) profession demonstrating knowledge and understanding of SW values as evidenced by personal statement, resume, and references
  • English language requirements

If you are admitted this way, you will receive an offer of admission to Three-Year General Social Development Studies (SDS) (admission conditions may apply) and conditional admission to the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program.*

*Conditional admission to the BSW program requires successful completion of a Three-Year BA in SDS with an overall average of 70%, including the completion of the required BSW prerequisite courses with a cumulative overall average in the courses of at least 75%.

Transfer Credits – Three-Year Social Development Studies

Upon admission to Three-year General Social Development Studies (SDS), your previous post-secondary studies will be automatically assessed for transfer credit eligibility.

It’s possible to receive up to half of the courses needed for your Waterloo degree to a maximum of 7.5 units (15 term courses) for a Three-year SDS degree.

Admitted transfer students from college are eligible for transfer credit for relevant courses in which a grade of 70% or better is earned.

If you’re enrolled at a college in Ontario, visit the course-to-course guide on for the most up-to-date information on how your previous/current courses may transfer to Waterloo. You can also view our unofficial course transfer guide. If you’re admitted to Waterloo, you’ll then receive an official assessment of how many transfer credits will count toward your degree here.

How to Apply and Deadlines:

We’re so glad you’re interested in this program! We are looking forward to welcoming you!

Please click here for information on How To Apply

More information:

For questions about applying to the SDS/BSW Pathway and/or the BSW program please contact Keri Raif Sura, Administrator and Student Services Manager