Gyanberry > Study in Canada > study masters of social work msw in canada

Study Masters of Social Work (MSW) in Canada

ACAlpina ChariMar 31, 2023

Study Masters of Social Work (MSW) in Canada

A Master’s in Social Work is a highly valued and sought-after degree in Canada. This program equips students with the knowledge and skills required to work with individuals, families, and communities to address social and economic issues. Students learn about various approaches to social work, such as policy development, program planning, and community development.

Several universities, including prestigious ones like McGill, UBC, McMaster, etc., offer masters of social work (MSW) in Canada. The average cost of an MS Social Work program in Canada is between 10,000 and 45,000 CAD. Also, practically all universities offer scholarships to international students. Even in terms of return on investment, the program is a fantastic choice for students. The average annual pay for MS Social Work graduates in Canada, according to taent.com, is 61,711 CAD.

According to a survey by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), 96% of international students recommended Canada as a place to study because of the country’s high standards in education and reputation as a safe, friendly place that values variety and multiculturalism. Based on their study permit, students are permitted to work 20 hours per week off-campus during the ordinary academic year and to work full-time during specified breaks. Students who want to stay in Canada after graduation can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, which is valid for three years, and then for a Permanent Residency Route.

Overview: Masters of Social Work in Canada

Program Level Postgraduate 
Duration of Program 1.5-3 years
Annual Fee 12,000-41,000 CAD
Entrance Exams Nil

Why Choose Canada for Masters of Social Work?

Opportunities for Advocacy

Social workers are vital in promoting the rights of marginalized and vulnerable communities in Canada since the country places high importance on social justice and human rights. Universities in Canada give students the chance to advance their advocacy abilities and improve society. This will significantly benefit social work students by expanding their opportunities.

Multidisciplinary Approach

Many Master’s in Social Work programs in Canada take a multidisciplinary approach, combining social work with other fields such as psychology, sociology, and public health. This provides students with a broader perspective and a more comprehensive understanding of social issues.

Accreditation

Canadian universities offering Master’s in Social Work programs are accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE). Accreditation ensures that the program meets the highest standards of quality and that graduates are well-prepared for their careers.

Global Recognition

Canadian universities are recognized worldwide for their high standards of education, research, and innovation. A degree from a Canadian university is highly valued in the international job market.

Top Universities Offering Masters of Social Work

Name of University  QS World University Ranking 2023
McGill University 31
University of Toronto 34
University of British Columbia 47
McMaster University  152
Western University 172
University of Calgary 242

Masters in Social Work (MSW) in Canada: Top Universities, Courses, Entry Requirements, Fees, and Scholarships 

Master of social work (MSW) programs offered by Canadian universities are among the top-rated programs globally. These programs provide students with advanced knowledge and skills to address complex social problems and promote social change. The MSW programs in Canada are designed to prepare students for various roles in the social work field, such as clinical social work, policy development, community development, and research. The programs are taught by experienced faculty members who are experts in the field of social work. Students gain practical experience through internships, practicums, and research projects, allowing them to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world settings. 

Canadian universities offer MSW programs that are accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE), ensuring that the programs meet the highest standards of quality. Graduates of MSW programs in Canada have a wide range of career opportunities in various fields, such as healthcare, education, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. With a solid foundation in social work theory and practice, graduates are well-equipped to make a meaningful impact on the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

McGill University

McGill University is one of Canada’s most prestigious universities, consistently ranked among the top 50 universities in the world. With a history of over 200 years, McGill offers world-class education and research opportunities across a wide range of disciplines, as well as a vibrant student life and a diverse community of scholars.

The School of Social Work is a professional institution with the primary purpose of training students for employment and leadership in the disciplines of social work and social welfare. Also, graduate students have access to several professional development courses and seminars as well as workstations with laptops. Each year, several teaching and research assistantships become available. 

Name of Program Duration Tuition Fee/ Year in CAD Application Deadline
Master of Social Work (MSW) Non-Thesis 2 years 27,000 December 15
MSW Thesis Program 2 years 22,000 December 15

Admission Requirements: MSW Non-Thesis/ Thesis

  • Admission to the one-year, full-time (only) qualifying year of study in advance of entry into the M.S.W. (Non-Thesis) program is based on applicants’ academic excellence and a minimum of one year of social work-related experience (volunteer and/or professional). The objective of this preparatory year is to provide students with an essential foundation in social work knowledge before they embark on graduate-level studies in social work.
  • Curriculum Vitae 
  • Prerequisite Form
  • Statement of Interest or Research Statement for Social Work (For MSW thesis)
  • Three references (two academic and one professional)
  • English Language Requirements: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) – International applicants must achieve a minimum score of 96* on the Internet-based test. (Each component of reading, writing, listening, and speaking must have a minimum score of 24.) OR
  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – International applicants must achieve a minimum overall band score of 8.0 ( Each component of reading, writing, listening, and speaking must have a minimum score of 7.5.)

Scholarships

McGill University provides financial aid to international students. These are some of them. 

Name of Scholarship Description  Amount in CAD
Child Protection Scholarship Anyone pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in the School of Social Work at McGill University in this field is eligible for child protection scholarships. 500
International Admission Scholarship Top students could receive scholarships depending on the admission

average.

Up to 5,000
Gold Standard Scholarship The top 5% of students in each faculty are eligible for this scholarship, depending on the admission average. Up To 6,000

University of Toronto 

The University of Toronto is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in Canada and the world, with a reputation for academic excellence, groundbreaking research, and a diverse and inclusive community. U of T offers a wide range of programs, world-class facilities, and opportunities for experiential learning and professional development.

The main goal of the University of Toronto’s MSW program is to create graduates who are prepared to work in the profession of their choosing after receiving a solid foundation in the information, principles, and abilities shared by all social workers. The specialties were all developed with highly active involvement from partner agencies in each of the relevant sectors and are based on the knowledge of the core teaching faculty.

Name of Program Duration Tuition Fee/ Year in CAD Application Deadline
Master of Social Work (MSW)  2 years 41,010 November 15

Admission Requirements

  • A two-year MSW program is open to applicants with the required bachelor’s degree and a minimum average in the final year of full-time study equivalent to at least a mid-B at a recognized university.
  • The MSW advanced-standing option may be available to applicants with a BSW degree with a mid-B average in the final year of full-time study, or its equivalent, from an accredited university.
  • All applicants must have completed 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs), including 0.5 FCE in research methodology, in social science courses. It is highly advised to earn a mid-B in the research methods course.
  • Knowledge of important social concerns as well as experience (paid or unpaid) in social services or a similar subject is advised.
  • Candidates who graduated from a university where English was not the language of instruction or examination and whose first language is not English must show competency in the language
  • IELTS 7.0 (Academic) with at least 6.5 for each component OR
  • TOEFL iBT Overall score: 93 (Writing: 22, Speaking: 22)

Scholarships

Some of the scholarships available to international students studying at University of Toronto  are listed below.

Name of Scholarship Description  Amount in CAD
Burstow Scholarship This grant is given to enrolled graduate students based on academic merit. 15,000
Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program encourages success in graduate studies at Ontario’s publicly funded universities. Since 1975, the OGS program has provided merit-based scholarships to the best graduate students from Ontario in all academic subjects. The scholarship program at the institution is funded through a partnership between the University of Toronto and the Government of Ontario. The maximum number of prizes that each university may annually give to its students is specified in the Province’s distribution of OGS awards to institutions. 15,000
Delta Kappa Gamma World Fellowships The mission of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International is to promote the professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education. The World Fellowship Fund was established to provide opportunities for international women to pursue graduate studies in Canada and the United States. 5,489

University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a world-renowned public research university located in Vancouver, Canada. It is consistently ranked as one of the top 50 universities in the world, offering a diverse range of academic programs across multiple faculties, and is known for its cutting-edge research and innovation. UBC has a vibrant campus culture and a commitment to sustainability and community engagement.

Three areas of practice are available for the MSW at UBC: family and children’s services, social and international development, and health and social care. Each stream of practice is structured around an ethic of social justice and care, and these courses and electives are relevant to the student’s field of practice. Relevant fieldwork builds on the knowledge and abilities acquired in the classroom. Students often do a practicum in the area of practice covered by their emphasis.

Name of Program Duration Tuition Fee/ Year in CAD Application Deadline
Master of Social Work- Advanced (MSW) 1 year 29,531 December 1
Master of Social Work – Foundational Two-Year Track 2 years 28,125

Admission Requirements: Master of Social Work- Advanced

  • A minimum grade average of B+ (76-79%) or higher in 300-level courses or above in the B.S.W. program;
  • provide three letters of reference 
  • a completed 3-credit course in statistics
  • a completed Statement of Purpose 
  • a current resumé or curriculum vitae.
  • English Language Proficiency: a minimum overall score of 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) with no individual section score lower than 22, beyond the College of Graduate Studies required minimum overall score of 90 OR
  • A minimum overall score of 7 on the ACADEMIC IELTS with no individual section score lower than 6.5, beyond the College of Graduate Studies required minimum overall score of 6.5

Admission Requirements: Master of Social Work – Foundational Two-Year Track

  • A four-year Bachelor’s Degree or a Master’s degree
  • A minimum overall grade average equivalent to a UBC B+ (76-79%) or higher;
  • Completed an approved course in statistics 
  • Completed an approved course in research methods
  • Completed a Statement of Purpose
  • Submit a resumé or curriculum vitae
  • Provide three letters of reference
  • English Language Proficiency: a minimum overall score of 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) with no individual section score lower than 22, beyond the College of Graduate Studies required minimum overall score of 90; or
  • A minimum overall score of 7 on the ACADEMIC IELTS with no individual section score lower than 6.5, beyond the College of Graduate Studies required minimum overall score of 6.5

Scholarships

Some of the scholarships available to international students studying at University of British Columbia are listed below.

Name of Scholarship Description  Amount in CAD
Study in Canada Scholarships Study in Canada Scholarships provide students from post-secondary institutions with short-term exchange opportunities of 4 to 6 months for study or research in Canadian post-secondary institutions at the college, undergraduate and graduate levels. Up to 12,700
Governor General’s Gold Medal Gold medals are awarded to the graduating students with the most outstanding academic records in a doctoral degree and in a Master’s degree.
Delta Kappa Gamma World Fellowships The mission of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International is to promote the professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education. The World Fellowship Fund was established to provide opportunities for international women to pursue graduate studies in Canada and the United States. 5489

McMaster University 

McMaster University is a public research university located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It is consistently ranked as one of the top 200 universities in the world, with a strong reputation for research excellence, innovation, and community engagement. McMaster offers a wide range of academic programs across multiple faculties and is known for its problem-based, interdisciplinary approach to learning.

The main goal of McMaster University’s MSW: Critical Analysis of Social Work program is to give students the chance to acquire the information and skills necessary for conducting a critical analysis of social work and to explore the connections between social work practices and public policy.

Name of Program Duration Tuition Fee/ Year in CAD Application Deadline
MSW: Critical Leadership in Social Services and Communities 1 year 17,096 December 15
MSW: Critical Analysis 1 year 17,096 December 15

Admission Requirements: MSW: Critical Leadership in Social Services and Communities

  • Applicants must possess a B.S.W. from an authorized social work school to be eligible for admission to the MSW: Critical Leadership in Social Services and Communities track.
  • B+ grade in senior-level social work courses; 
  • The equivalent of three years of experience working in social services or communities/community services
  • A half-course in basic social research methodologies;
  • CV
  • Statement of Intent
  • 3 references
  • Academic Transcripts
  • English Language Proficiency: A minimum TOEFL score of 580 (or 237 on the computer-based TOEFL test) is needed.
  • Application form and fee

Admission Requirements MSW Critical Analysis

  • Applicants must possess a B.S.W. from an accredited social work school to be considered for admission to the MSW: Critical Analysis of Social Work track
  • B+ grade in senior-level social work courses
  • One-half course in basic social research methodology.
  • CV
  • Statement of Intent
  • 2 references
  • Academic Transcripts
  • English Language Proficiency: A minimum TOEFL score of 580 (or 237 on the computer-based TOEFL test) is needed.
  • Application form and fee

Scholarships

International students at McMaster university can apply for many scholarships, some are listed here

Name of Scholarship Description  Amount in CAD
The Sidney L. Blum Bursary In 1989, Sidney L. Blum’s friends and colleagues founded the organization in his honor. Any graduate student enrolled in the Master’s program at the School of Social Work who is in good standing will be given this scholarship by the School of Graduate Studies, on the advice of the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. Varies
Rainbow Fund Graduate students in any program who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ and show financial need will be eligible for this award. Varies
The Appleton Slavin Academic Grant in Social Work John Appleton, MSW (class of ’99), and Mary Jane Slavin founded the organization in 2015. A full-time graduate student in the School of Social Work with a strong GPA and evidence of financial need will receive this scholarship from the School of Graduate Studies. Varies

Western University 

Western University, also known as the University of Western Ontario, is a public research university located in London, Ontario, Canada. It was founded in 1878 and has since grown to become a leading academic institution in Canada, consistently ranking among the top universities in the country. Western University offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across various faculties, including Arts and Humanities, Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Law, Science, and Social Science. 

The Western University Master of Social Work (MSW) program is a full-time, two-year/one-year graduate program that equips students for professional practice in a variety of social work settings. The program offers some specialized fields of study, including health and mental health, children and families, and community practice, and emphasizes social justice, critical thinking, and evidence-based practice. In addition to supporting teacher and peer communities, students have access to a variety of clinical and research possibilities.

Name of Program Duration Tuition Fee/ Year in CAD Application Deadline
Master of Social Work (MSW)- One-year program (Advanced Standing) 1  year 13,091 January 15 – Acceptance notification in early March
Master of Social Work -Two-year program (Foundational) 2 years 13,091 January 15 – Acceptance notification in early March

Admission Requirements: One-year MSW

  • A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an accredited university
  • At least a 70% average in the last two full-time years, or part-time equivalent
  • Completion of a Research Methods course
  • 1000+ hours of paid or unpaid work in the human services is required
  • Two references from the worlds of work, volunteerism, or the professional world must be provided by applicants.
  • Resume
  • Experience Summary
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language(TOEFL). iBT (internet-Based Test): The minimum acceptable score is 86, with no individual score below 20 OR
  • The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS Academic). The minimum acceptable score is 6.5 out of 9. 

Admission Requirements: Two-year MSW

  • A 4-year Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum 70% average in the last two full-time years, or part-time equivalent
  • Completion of a Research Methods course
  • 1000+ hours of paid or unpaid work in the human services is required
  • Two references from the worlds of work, volunteerism, or the professional world must be provided by applicants.
  • Resume
  • Experience Summary
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language(TOEFL). iBT (internet-Based Test): The minimum acceptable score is 86, with no individual score below 20 OR
  • The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS Academic). The minimum acceptable score is 6.5 out of 9. 

Scholarships

Some of the scholarships available to international students studying at Western University are listed below.

Name of Scholarship Description  Amount in CAD
Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program encourages success in graduate studies at Ontario’s publicly funded universities. Since 1975, the OGS program has provided merit-based scholarships to the best graduate students from Ontario in all academic subjects. 15,000
Hilary M. Weston Scholarship The Hilary M. Weston Scholarship commemorates the legacy of Ontario’s 26th Lieutenant Governor and is awarded to two graduate-level social work students in the area of mental health 7,500
Delta Kappa Gamma World Fellowships The mission of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International is to promote the professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education. The World Fellowship Fund was established to provide opportunities for international women to pursue graduate studies in Canada and the United States. 5,489
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports research and training in the humanities and social sciences. Varies

University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a public research university located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is one of Canada’s top research universities and is known for its excellence in areas such as engineering, energy, environmental science, and business. The university also offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in other fields, including arts, science, and health sciences.

The University of Calgary’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program is a two-year graduate degree that equips students with advanced social work practice. Social justice, diversity, and critical thinking are highlighted in the curriculum. Students have the opportunity to concentrate in fields including clinical practice, leadership, or international social work while gaining real-world experience through field assignments. The curriculum prepares its graduates to work in a range of social work environments, such as hospitals, government agencies, and nonprofits.

Name of Program Duration Tuition Fee/ Year in CAD Application Deadline
Master of Social Work (MSW)- Thesis Based 2 years 12,695 November 1
Master of Social Work – Course Based 2 years 16,388 November 1

Admission Requirements: MSW Thesis  Based 

  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.
  • A four-year bachelor’s degree in another field or an accredited/recognized institution’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. Before the start of the May program, the degree must be awarded.
  • Applicants must have the equivalent of two years of full-time paid work or a minimum of 3,000 hours of paid and/or volunteer work in the human services field.
  • A program proposal outlining the applicant’s social work perspectives and educational goals. (If applying to the Calgary program with a non-social work degree, you must indicate your intended area of specialization: (Clinical Social Work Practice or Leadership in Human Services or International and Community Development) in your application.
  • Resume
  • An early version of your thesis proposal outlining the research question you plan to examine and the methodology or methodologies you are exploring.
  • English language proficiency (ELP): Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT) score of 97 OR
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0. OR
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)  score of 68, or higher (Academic version).

Admission Requirements: MSW Course Based 

  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.
  • A four-year bachelor’s degree in another field or an accredited/recognized institution’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. Before the start of the May program, the degree must be awarded.
  • Applicants must have the equivalent of two years of full-time paid work or a minimum of 3,000 hours of paid and/or volunteer work in the human services field.
  • A program proposal outlining the applicant’s social work perspectives and educational goals. (If applying to the Calgary program with a non-social work degree, you must indicate your intended area of specialization: (Clinical Social Work Practice or Leadership in Human Services or International and Community Development) in your application.
  • Resume
  • Reference Letters;Two; one professional and one academic.
  • English language proficiency (ELP): Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL ibt) score of 97 OR
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0. OR
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)  score of 68, or higher (Academic version).

Scholarships

Some of the scholarships available to international students studying at the University of Calgary are listed below.

Name of Scholarship Description  Amount in CAD
J.B. Hyne Research Innovation Award This prize was instituted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies to honor outstanding research among graduate students in all fields. It bears Dr. James B. Hyne’s name, who served as the first Dean of Graduate Studies (1966-1989). 500
Delta Kappa Gamma World Fellowships The mission of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International is to promote the professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education. The World Fellowship Fund was established to provide opportunities for international women to pursue graduate studies in Canada and the United States. 5,489
Faculty Of Graduate Studies Entrance Awards Awarded to students who join graduate programs at the university of Calgary Varies

Career Opportunities After Masters of Social Work in Canada 

There are several career opportunities available in Canada after completing an MSW degree. Here are some of the popular career paths that MSW graduates can pursue in Canada:

Job Title Description Average Annual Salary in CAD*
Social Worker MSW graduates can work as social workers in a variety of settings, including healthcare facilities, schools, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Social workers help individuals, families, and communities to cope with social, emotional, and economic problems. 60,735
Clinical Social Worker Clinical social workers are licensed professionals who provide counseling and therapy to individuals and families dealing with mental health issues. They often work in private practices, hospitals, and mental health clinics. 78,600
Child Welfare Worker Child welfare workers help to protect and support children who are at risk of abuse or neglect. They work with families, community organizations, and government agencies to ensure that children are safe and their needs are met. 63,996
Community Organizer MSW graduates can also work as community organizers, helping to mobilize and empower communities to bring about social change. They may work for non-profit organizations, advocacy groups, or government agencies. 48,092
Researcher MSW graduates can also pursue careers in research, either in academia or in research institutions. They may conduct research on social issues, evaluate social programs, and develop policies and strategies to address social problems. 66,367

*Based on the research conducted by talent.com

Conclusion

Masters of social work (MSW) in Canada presents graduates with a wide range of career options. The program lasts for 1.5-3 years and costs anywhere from 10,000-45,000 CAD per year. Although the fees are not extremely affordable, students in Canada get to work part-time to cover tuition fees. Many universities also offer scholarships and financial aid to international students. 

The demand for qualified professional social workers is rising significantly in Canada and other industrialized countries, making this a highly sought-after career path. Canada provides students with a multicultural setting, a booming economy, and a focus on cutting-edge science and technology.

Affordability, academic requirements, on-campus amenities, and worldwide rankings should all be taken into account when choosing a Canadian university. Our admissions counseling services have helped thousands of students get into the schools of their choice. For further information, please arrange a video consultation with one of our experts.

Explore courses around the world and apply instantly
Search for :
Search By :
Enter Country
Enter Country
Enter Country
Search for :
Search By :
Enter Country
Enter Country
Enter Country
Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, many MSW programs in Canada offer specialization options, such as child welfare, mental health, or community development. Students should check with individual institutions to see what specializations are available.

Career options for MSW graduates in Canada include social workers, clinical social workers, child welfare workers, community organizers, researchers, and policy analysts.

Admission requirements for MSW programs vary by institution but typically include a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and relevant work or volunteer experience.

Still have questions?Contact us