Program Overview

Transform lives and the world around you with Wilfrid Laurier University's online Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. Laurier’s online MSW program is the only online program of its kind in Canada available to students without a Bachelor of Social Work. Our MSW integrates social work theory, concepts and perspectives with practical applications. Laurier's online Master of Social Work program helps you develop a genuine, personal path to practice and intervention with a flexible, contemporary approach.

Fast Facts
  • 100% online coursework with flexibility for working professionals
  • You can complete the program in as few as 2.5 years
  • Your bachelor’s degree can be in a field other than social work
  • Fully accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE-ACFTS)
  • Laurier University Ranked #1 for student satisfaction by Maclean’s Rankings of Canadian Universities 2017
Download a curriculum guide
Admissions Requirements

To enter the online Master of Social Work program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have at least a B+ average (77%- 79%) in your last 5 full credit/10 half credit courses of a four-year undergraduate degree.

  • Academic background must include at least four full (or eight half) social science courses and a  half-credit course in qualitative research methodology.

  • Submit all transcripts from all universities or colleges attended.

  • Prepare a personal statement
  • Prepare a summary of experience in human service organizations.
  • Submit a resume
  • Submit three reference letters (one academic; two professional)
  • Although not required for admission, approximately two years of paid and/or volunteer experience in human service organizations would be considered an asset to the application assessment.
  • If you have an international undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree), please note that World Education Services International Credential Advantage Package (WES ICAP) evaluation will need to be submitted prior to applying for Master in Social Work program. 

Download a curriculum guide

Program Curriculum

When social work is your calling, your core values of equity, reflexivity, social justice and inclusivity are part of what you live and practice every day. Our MSW program builds upon these themes, enabling you to apply a reflexive approach to your work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities, both locally and globally.  

During the MSW, you’ll complete coursework that explores social work concepts, perspectives, and theory from micro and macro points of view. Below is a sample list of courses you will be required to complete for the online MSW program.

  • SK545: Introduction to Ethical Thought and Reflexive Practice (0.5 credit): Learn about ethics and reflexivity as they intersect and are performed in social work practice
  • SK522: Social Work Practice With Individuals (0.5 credit): Learn the basic tenets of theories and key skills applicable to practice with individuals
  • SK504: Research 1 (0.5 credit): Acquire the knowledge and skills to conduct social work research and evaluate research and professional practices
Download a curriculum guide

Learn Essential Areas of Social Work

The online Master of Social Work program is for graduates of a bachelor’s degree program outside the field of social work. In small, interactive classes you will have an opportunity to:

  • Acquire a foundation in basic concepts and theory that covers the essential, interconnected areas of social work practice.

  • Expand your knowledge of the industry to be more competitive in the professional marketplace.
  • Connect to meaningful work, involving a social issue you are passionate about where you can make a difference.

The Master of Social Work - Advanced Standing program is open to candidates who hold a Bachelor of Social Work degree.

Careers and Outcomes

Skills Sought By Employers

  • Oral and Written Communication
  • Crisis Intervention Techniques
  • Creative Problem Solver
  • Active Listener

Job Titles

  • Mental Health Therapist
  • Social Worker
  • Family Counsellor
  • Mental Health Clinician

$57,000 - $108,900 Annual Salaries Range

Laurier’s online MSW program teaches crisis intervention techniques, critical analysis of historical and current social policies and practices, community development, and interpersonal skills that prepare graduates for career paths in community health agencies, social services, social policy analysis and development, and more. You will be able to:

  • Work in clinical or community practice, and in policy and research, with expertise at the micro and/or macro level.
  • Evaluate the interaction of historical, political, economic, social and intrapersonal forces that shape people’s lives.
  • Develop the skills and habits of reflexivity by examining and understanding how your personal experience and biases affect your clinical work and interactions with others.

Example skill sets and knowledge sought by employers include:

  • oral and written communication
  • crisis intervention techniques
  • creative problem solver
  • active listener

Example job titles for those with a Master of Social Work include:

  • mental health therapist
  • social worker
  • family counsellor
  • mental health clinician

Annual salaries range from $57,000 – $108,900.

Download a curriculum guide

Field education is a substantial component of the Master of Social Work program. The purpose of field education is to provide students with the opportunity to practice and integrate advanced-level social work values, knowledge and skills. Additionally, students focus on the development of “self” and their professional identity as a social worker.

Online Master of Social Work students complete 1,008 hours of field education. Students complete their field education in various social work settings such as mental health organizations, municipalities, hospitals, research centers, child welfare agencies, community centers, schools and government organizations. 

The placement can be completed in a part-time or block format. The part-time format requires the student to devote two days per week (8 hours per day) for 16 months. The block format requires the student to devote five days per week (8 hours per day) for 8 months.

Students may propose a placement at their workplace.