Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
The Faculty of Arts, through the School of Social Work, offers an undergraduate program of professional studies in Social Work, leading to the degree of Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). This is offered through:
- A 90-credit, Three-Year BSW program
- Educational Objectives of the BSW Program
- Three-year BSW Program
- Two-year BSW Program (N.B. THIS PROGRAM CLOSED TO NEW ADMISSIONS. Students admitted into the Two-Year BSW Program prior to September 2012)
- Grading Policy
- Tuition Fees
- Tutorial Form
- Course Descriptions
- Student Address Form
The objectives of the BSW program are to provide an academic environment within which students will develop:
- integrated social work knowledge pertaining to its history, theoretical foundations, research base, practice modalities and policies that influence the delivery of health and social services;
- professional skills in the well-established methods of practice with individuals, families, and groups in communities and organizations;
- an understanding of social policy in Canada, the factors, processes and forces that shape it, and the skills to intervene;
- an awareness of the various dimensions of diversity and how they intersect in an increasingly heterogeneous society;
- a sense of identity with the profession of social work, which implies awareness of self as the intervening agent in practice, a sense of responsibility that accompanies the act of intervention, and sensitivity to the ethical issues that arise in practice, and;
- a commitment to advancing knowledge and improving skills in social work practice that are the prerequisites for entry into more specialized professional studies at the graduate level.
As it is the policy of the School of Social Work to ensure that social workers are as diverse as the communities they serve, applications to the BSW program are encouraged from persons of varied backgrounds, including members of minority groups and persons of low income.
Québec law requires that candidates seeking admission to the provincially-recognized regulatory bodies possess a working knowledge of the French language—that is, be able to communicate orally and in writing in that language. For further information, refer to the OTSTCFQ website.
Enrolment to the BSW program is limited. All candidates are expected to have better than average grades. Within the group of applicants who meet the academic requirements, preference is given to those who have had significant social work-related experience, paid or volunteer, and also to those who demonstrate personal suitability for the social work profession.
Please note that although a course in statistics is not a requirement for the BSW program, it is a prerequisite for admission into the MSW program. Students who have not previously completed a course in statistics and are planning on completing a graduate degree are therefore strongly encouraged to complete a statistics course during their undergraduate studies. For a list of of statistics courses offered in other departments and universities, please see Statistics_Course Equivalents.
Three categories of applicants are eligible to apply for September admission to the three-year BSW:
- Students entering from CEGEP or college
Applicants who have completed a DEC from CEGEP, or have completed equivalent studies (eg. 2-year diploma from another province), with better than average grades and have related social work experience, will be considered for admission to a minimum 90-credit program. Click here for more information on applying to McGill and to access the McGill Admissions on-line application form. For information on supporting documents, click here.
- Transfer Students:
Please note the following information has been revised as of November 2013
Within this category, there are 2 types of Transfers:
- Students who have begun undergraduate degree programs at McGill. Click here for detailed information on applying as an Inter-Faculty/Intra-Faculty transfer student.
- Students who have begun undergraduate degree programs at other universities. (N.B. Students who entered university directly after high school must complete 30 university credits before entering the BSW)
To qualify, transfer applicants must have at least a B average in their course work (minimum 3.0 CGPA), and have had social work-related experience, paid or volunteer.
While previously taken credits may count towards BSW program requirements, accepted applicants will be required to complete a minimum of 60 approved McGill credits over three academic years. Accepted transfer credits are assessed individually at the point of admission.
- Mature Students:
Residents of Canada who are 23 years of age or older, and who lack the academic background normally required for admission, may apply for entrance as mature students. To be considered for the BSW program, applicants must have had significant paid or volunteer community work experience in related fields, and must also have completed a minimum of two appropriate courses at the college or university level, each with a grade of B or higher within the past 3 years. (N.B. All courses taken in the last 5 years will be counted.)
Proof of Proficiency in English
The language of instruction for most courses at McGill University is English; however, you may make arrangements to write term papers, examinations and theses in English or in French, except in courses where knowledge of the language is one of the objectives of the course.
You must demonstrate an adequate level of English proficiency prior to admission to McGill regardless of citizenship status or country of origin. See link for full details.
Click here for more information on applying to McGill and to access the McGill Admissions on-line application form.
The 3-Year BSW degree is awarded upon successful completion of 90 credits of study. It consists of a combination of social work courses, supervised field practice, and courses located principally in the social sciences. Click here for our degree audit sheet.
The 90 credits of study are made up of the following:
- 57 required credits in social work
- 6-9 complementary credits in social work
- 18 complementary credits in social sciences, 6 credits of which must be at 300 level or higher, or 9 credits of which must be in the same discipline (See here our pre-approved social science courses)
- 6-9 elective credits taken outside of social work
First year (U1):
Required social work courses (15 credits) SWRK 220 History & Philosophy of SW 3 SWRK 221 Public Soc. Services in Canada 3 SWRK 222 Introduction to Practicum 3 SWRK 223 Poverty and Inequality 3 SWRK 224 Human Dev Across the Lifespan 3 Plus 15 complementary/elective credits
Second Year (U2):
Required social work courses (21 credits) SWRK 320 Pract with Individ&Families 1 3 SWRK 326 Pract with Individ&Families 2 3 SWRK 321 Intro to Practice with Groups 3 SWRK 327 Approaches to Community Prac 3 SWRK 322 Field Practice 1 3 SWRK 323 Field Practice 2 3 SWRK 325 Anti-Oppression SW Practice 3 Plus 9 complementary/elective credits
Third Year (U3):
Required social work courses (21 credits) SWRK 420 Advanced Field Practice 1 3 SWRK 421 Adv Field Practice 2 3 SWRK 422 Integrative Seminar 3 SWRK 423 Social Work Research 3 SWRK 424 Mental Health and Illness 3 SWRK 428 Social Policy&Administration 3 SWRK 525 Critical Thought&Ethics in SW 3 Plus 9 complementary/elective credits BSW U3 students may be permitted to take a maximum of two 600-level courses if the following conditions are met:
- a minimum CGPA of 3.30
- written approval from the course instructor and the program advisor (forms available from the Social Work General Office)
Students in the 3-year program complete a field placement during their second and third years, 2 days per week, in different settings each year. Students must have completed a minimum of 24 of the 90 credits of study before commencing their second year placement, and 54 credits before commencing their third year placement.
For inquiries related to the 3 year program, students may contact the following:
Undergraduate Admissions Secretary:
undergraduate [dot] socialwork [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)
Phone: (514) 398-7070
BSW Program Director
Dr. Nicole Ives
nicole [dot] ives [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)
Phone: (514) 398-7065
BSW Admission Advising:
trudy [dot] blumstein [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)
francine [dot] granner [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)
Phone: (514) 398-4069
Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards Coordinator:
Dr. David W. Rothwell
david [dot] rothwell [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)
Phone: (514) 398-7061
Applicants are required to submit their on-line application and other documentation as required for all applicants to McGill University (i.e. transcripts, etc.). See this link for more information.
In addition, applicants must submit the following documents:
A detailed curriculum vitae describing your voluntary and paid work experience, including dates (month and year), occupation and responsibility, name of supervisor and address of firm or agency. Please identify which experience was voluntary and which was paid.
A personal statement in which you (1) describe your interest in social work and its development linking previous volunteer or paid social work experience to this statement (maximum 500 words), and (2) identify a social issue and describe the roles that a social worker might play in response to this issue (maximum 500 words). Please give concrete examples. See link for details. Guidelines Personal Statement [.pdf]
Two confidential social work-related letters of recommendation (on letterhead, in sealed envelope) from someone who has direct knowledge of your performance or potential in relation to a program where you were involved in a helping capacity. They should provide answers to the following questions:
- How long and in what connection have you known the applicant?
- What were his/her responsibilities or role?
- What do you see as his/her strengths and limitations as an applicant to a professional program in social work?
- If applicable, applicants with a CGPA of less than 3.0/4.0, must include a statement outlining special factors that have negatively affected their academic performance relative to the minimum CGPA required for admission.
All of the above should be sent to:Enrolment Services
Management of Academic Records Unit
3415 McTavish Street, Room MS 13
Montreal, Quebec H3A 0C8 Canada
3415 McTavish Street
Montreal, Quebec H3A 0C8 Canada
Applications Supporting documents Applicants from Quebec CEGEP: March 1 April 15 Applicants from universities outside of Canada: January 15 May 15 Transfer applicants from university in Canada: Non-Canadian citizen/non-permanent resident January 15 May 15 Canadian citizen/permanent resident May 1
Mature Students May 1 May 15
Click here to apply.
If you are currently registered in a degree program at McGill and wish to transfer for the Fall term into the School of Social Work for the 3-Year BSW, you must submit an electronic inter-faculty/intra-faculty transfer application prior to May 1st, and submit supporting documents to the School of Social Work in Wilson Hall prior to May 15th. The on-line application will be available as of April 1st through the "Student Records Menu" once you have logged into Minerva.
If you are returning to your studies after an interruption of one term or more, and you wish to apply for both re-admission and transfer into Social Work, you must fill in the electronic readmission application, indicate in the appropriate area that you wish to also transfer and summarize your activities during your absence in the comments section of the form.
In addition to the on-line electronic inter-faculty/intra-faculty transfer application, applicants to the School of Social Work must also submit the following supporting documents:
- If applicable, transcripts from any universities attended prior to McGill.
- A detailed curriculum vitae describing your voluntary and paid work experience, including dates (month and year), occupation and responsibility, name of supervisor and address of the firm or agency. Please identify which experience was voluntary and which was paid.
- A personal statement in which you (1) describe your interest in social work and its development linking previous volunteer or paid social work experience to this statement (maximum 500 words), and (2) identify a social issue and describe the roles that a social worker might play in response to this issue (maximum 500 words). Please give concrete examples. See link for details. Guidelines Personal Statement [.pdf]
- Two confidential social work-related letters of recommendation (on letterhead, in sealed envelope) from someone who has direct knowledge of your performance or potential in relation to a program where you were involved in a helping capacity. They should provide answers to the following questions:
- How long and in what connection have you known the applicant?
- What were his/her responsibilities or role?
- If applicable, applicants with a CGPA of less than 3.0/4.0 must include a statement outlining special factors that have negatively affected your CGPA relative to the minimum required for admission (3.0/4.0 CGPA).
No decision will be made until all documents have been received.
Deadline to apply to transfer into Social Work: May 1. The electronic application is automatically delivered. All supporting documents must be sent by May 15 to:
School of Social Work
c/o BSW Inter-Faculty/Intra-Faculty Transfer Applications
3506 University Street, Room 300
Montreal, QC H3A 2A7
undergraduate [dot] socialwork [at] mcgill [dot] ca (School of Social Work)
Minimum Requirements for Inter-Faculty/Intra-Faculty Transfer
To qualify, applicants must have a B average in their course work (minimum 3.0 CGPA), and have had social work-related experience, paid or volunteer.
Previously Completed Credits
McGill Applicants applying to transfer into the 3-year BSW program from another 90 credit program:
All transfer applicants admitted into the BSW program will be required to complete a minimum of 60 approved McGill credits over three academic years . Accepted transfer credits are assessed individually at the point of admission.
McGill Freshman year (4-year degree) applicants applying to transfer into the 3-year BSW program:
To be eligible to apply as a transfer student, you must have completed a minimum of 24 credits in your Freshman program with a 3.0 CGPA. These credits are not accepted towards the BSW program requirements but are a pre-requisite to applying as a transfer student.
Notification of Decision
Decisions on applications are made only after receipt of all documents. Normally, if we have all the required documents (and all Winter grades are appearing on your record), BSW applicants will be notified by mid-June via the McGill email address, and in writing.
What To Do If Accepted
Read your acceptance letter carefully, and complete and return the Reply to Offer of Admission form that you receive with the letter. You must also respond to the electronic application so that the Faculty of Arts will adjust your record to reflect the Transfer. You must "Accept" or "Decline" our offer by selecting the appropriate button in the application. All accepted transfer applicants must meet with an academic advisor who will assist in planning your academic program. Instructions on advising and registration will be mailed to you in June.
If you have additional questions, re-read this information carefully; then contact the School of Social Work in person or by undergraduate [dot] socialwork [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Two-Year BSW Program (N.B. THIS PROGRAM CLOSED TO NEW ADMISSIONS. Students admitted into the 60 credit BSW prior to September 2012)
(N.B.: This program has been replaced by the MSW Qualifying Year. See here for more information.)
The 2-Year BSW degree is awarded upon successful completion of 60 credits of study at McGill. It consists of a combination of social work courses, one elective course that can be taken outside of the School of Social Work, and a supervised field practicum. See here for our 60-credit degree audit sheet.
The 60 credits of study at McGill are made up of the following:
- 45 required credits in social work
- 12* complementary credits in social work
- 3 elective credits taken outside of social work
*Notice: SWRK 423 Social Work Research can be taken as a complementary course in social work only by students who have completed a research methods course in a discipline other than social work to meet the research methods prerequisite for entry. If students took the SWRK 423 Social Work Research course to meet the research methods prerequisite for entry into the program, this cannot be counted toward their 12 complementary credits in social work.
|Required social work courses (30 credits)|
|SWRK 220 History & Philosophy of SW||3|
|SWRK 221 Public Soc. Services in Canada||3|
|SWRK 320 Pract with Individ&Families 1||3|
|SWRK 326 Pract with Individ&Families 2||3|
|SWRK 321 Intro to Practice with Groups||3|
|SWRK 327 Approaches to Community Prac||3|
|SWRK 322 Field Practice 1||3|
|SWRK 323 Field Practice 2||3|
|SWRK 325 Anti-Oppression SW Practice||3|
|SWRK 424 Mental Health and Illness||3|
|Required social work courses (30 credits)|
|SWRK 420 Advanced Field Practice 1||3|
|SWRK 421 Adv Field Practice 2||3|
|SWRK 422 Integrative Seminar||3|
|SWRK 428 Social Policy&Administration||3|
|SWRK 525 Critical Thought&Ethics in SW||3|
|Plus 4 complementary courses in social work and 1 elective course|
Students are eligible to apply to the MSW program after completing 30 of the 60 credits in this program. Criteria for candidates applying to the MSW program are the following:
- Candidates must maintain a minimum overall B average (GPA 3.0/4.0)
- Professional experience in social service work, or related experience prior to entering the 2 year BSW program
- Completed course work in statistics (CEGEP or undergraduate university level) and in research methods at the undergraduate level.
Two-Year BSW students may be permitted to take a maximum of two 600-level courses if the following conditions are met:
- A minimum CGPA of 3.30
- Written approval of the course instructor and the program adviser (forms available from the Social Work General Office)
Field practice takes place in one field setting each year:
Year 1 - 2.5 days per week, September to April (520 hours)
Year 2 - Up to 2.5 days per week, September to April (400 hours)
Students are required to obtain a grade of C or better in all of their Social Work and social sciences courses. If students receive a D, they must take additional courses to satisfy the program requirement. Only in an elective course will the grade of D be counted for credit.
Tuition fees at the undergraduate level are based on the number of credits taken. Further information on fees can be obtained from the Student Accounts website.
To print a copy of the BSW Tutorial Form click here.
The course descriptions and class schedule are available through MINERVA on the Web. Please note that courses may be rescheduled, or new courses added, from time to time; check MINERVA Class Schedule for the most up-to-date information.
The schedule of courses to be offered in the Summer will be available on MINERVA as of January.
Several Social Work courses are open to non-Social Work students. An updated list is available from the Social Work General Office.
Please download the Student Address Form here.