Master of Social Work

Master of Social Work

Master of Social Work

Program Overview

Transform lives and the world around you with Wilfrid Laurier University's online Master of Social Work (MSW) degree — 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:

  • Complete in as few as 2.5 years.
  • 100% online coursework with flexibility for working professionals.
  • 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).
  • Wilfrid Laurier University Ranked #1 for student satisfaction by Maclean’s Rankings of Canadian Universities 2017.

Download full program details.


Careers and Outcomes

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 skillsets 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

With annual salaries ranging from $57,000 – $108,900.

Download a program brochure to learn more.


Admissions Requirements

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

  • Have at least a B average in your last 5 full credits/10 half credits of an undergraduate degree.
  • Academic background includes at least four full social science credits and a half-credit course in 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.

To learn more about the program, download a program brochure.


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.

To view the complete list, download a program brochure.


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 covering 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.