Two Indigenous elders work on making a teepee tent while two students observe.
  • icon house

    Faculty

    • Faculty of Social Work
    • Faculty of Graduate Studies

  • icon award

    Degree

    • Master of Social Work

  • icon graduate

    Expected duration

    • 2 years

  • The Master of Social Work based in Indigenous Knowledges supports students to:

    • work from Indigenous perspectives;
    • understand the colonial history of events which have led to present circumstances;
    • understand social justice, anti-oppressive practices, anti-colonialism, and Indigenism;
    • explore Indigenous forms of helping and support(s) applicable to social work;
    • recover and support Indigenous values, practices, and structures;
    • empower Indigenous identities;
    • maintain a close connection with Indigenous communities and agencies;
    • and develop as advanced social work practitioners.

    This work is relevant to Indigenous and non-Indigenous persons in their personal and professional development as social workers with advanced training.

  • A group of social work student participants gather around a fire pit shaped like a turtle.

Program details

The foundational material of this program gives particular attention to knowledges, perspectives, values, and practices of Indigenous peoples that will support graduates to work from both Indigenous and critical social work theory perspectives.

Expected duration: 2-4 years

The MSW-IK program provides two entry routes:

  1. Foundation level for students who have completed a four-year undergraduate degree, but do not have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an accredited program or its equivalent;
  2. Specialized MSW-IK courses for students with a BSW degree from an accredited program.

If you have a BSW then you go into the specialized MSW-IK courses and if you do not have a BSW you will have to take year 1 foundation level. 

    Year 1 foundation level

    Students who have completed a four-year undergraduate degree, but do not have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an accredited program or its equivalent, will be offered admission into the first and foundation year of the MSW program. This first year will be 24 credit hours of foundation level courses and six credit hours of field work. Courses for this level will be taken at the Fort Garry campus.

    All courses and the field component of the foundation year must be completed before students register into the year two advanced level courses. In order to complete and receive the MSW degree, students (who have completed a four-year undergraduate degree, but do not have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an accredited program or its equivalent) must complete both the year one foundation level and the year two advanced level courses of the MSW Program. The program requires at least one year to complete the foundation level courses and at least another 12-18 months of full-time study for the advanced level courses of the MSW Program. Once students are ready to progress into the Advanced Level of the MSW program, they choose either the course-based or thesis option.

    Sample foundational level course offerings:

    • SWRK 7002: Foundation in Social Work Practice and the Profession
    • SWRK 3130: Contemporary Canadian Social Welfare
    • SWRK 4220: Social Work and Aboriginal People
    • SWRK 4200 Field Focus of Social Work Practice
    • SWRK 6020: Social Work Practice Seminar Course
    • SWRK 6050: Advanced Field Practice

    For full course descriptions, please visit the Academic Calendar.

    Tuition and fees: One year tuition, then continuing fees in subsequent years (refer to Graduate tuition and fees)

    Students are required to complete 13 courses from the Master of Social Work based in Indigenous Knowledges program in order to graduate. A student can choose to take a project or thesis focus.

    Sample course offerings

    • Social SWRK 7700: Grounding Our Foundation in Indigenous Knowledges and Social Work
    • SWRK 7710: Remembering our Histories: Setting our Knowledges
    • SWRK 7720: Critical Theory and Indigenous Peoples
    • SWRK 7730: Indigenous Research Methodologies and Knowledge Development
    • SWRK 7740: Indigenous Peoples, Identity and Social Work
    • SWRK 7750: Indigeneity, Power, Privilege, and Social Work
    • SWRK 7770: Social Challenges and Indigenous Helping Practices
    • SWRK 7780: Social Work, Social Challenges and Indigenous Peoples
    • SWRK 7800: Indigenism
    • SWRK 7810: Anti-Colonial Social Work

    For full course descriptions, please visit the Academic Calendar.

    This program is only available through in-person instruction. We do not offer graduate programs through distance delivery or online learning. During the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person classes are held over Zoom.

    Our commitment to educational equity

    This program is for Indigenous and non-Indigenous social workers. Every effort is made to ensure that people from marginalized groups have access to the MSW based in Indigenous Knowledges program. Our Educational Education Initiative aims to correct the conditions of disadvantage in professional education experienced by First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples in Canada, persons with disabilities, immigrants and refugees to Canada, 2SLGBTQ people and persons who are members of racialized groups in Canada.

    Career options

    A range of positions within the human services are open to graduates, such as family therapists, case managers, group workers, community developers, policy analysts, and administrators. In addition, graduates may be active as scholars, politicians, senior civil servants, private consultants, and international development.

    Admission requirements

    To qualify for admission to the Master of Social Work based in Indigenous Knowledges program, you must have a minimum of:

    • A Bachelor of Social Work degree or other 4-year undergraduate degree (by June 30 of the application year) from an accredited university recognized by the University of Manitoba
      • with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (B) in your last sixty credit hours of university study.
    • Relevant social work experience in Indigenous communities and/or with Indigenous peoples (paid or volunteer).

    If you have taken courses subsequent to the degree as a Special Student and/or Occasional Student and/or in a subsequent degree or a Pre-Master program, they will be calculated into the GPA as part of the last 60 credit hours.

    Applicants who self-identify as members of one or more of the Educational Equity priority groups and who possess a GPA between 2.5 and 2.99 will be reviewed for special consideration. Applicants with adjusted GPAs below 2.5 will not be considered.

    In addition to the admission requirements described here, all applicants must meet the minimum admission and English language proficiency requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

    How to apply

    Applications for the MSW based in Indigenous Knowledges program are accepted for September entry only. Applications must be completed online and include several parts:

    • $100 application fee (non-refundable)
    • Unofficial copies of transcripts
    • Three letters of recommendation from academic, employment, and Indigenous community sources (must be requested from within the application)
    • Paid and volunteer work history (must be completed within application)
    • Area of specialization statement (must be completed within application)
    • Proof of English language proficiency, if required

    Applicants will also be required to participate in an admissions interview process.

    Please read the Faculty of Graduate Studies online application instructions before beginning your application.

    Application deadlines

    Canadian and US applicants

    Term Applications open Annual application deadline
    Fall (September) Early April January 15

    International applicants

    Term Applications open Annual application deadline
    Fall (September) Early April December 1

    Applicants must submit their online application with supporting documentation and application fee by the deadline date indicated.

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    Fall (September) Early April January 15

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    Fall (September) Early April December 1

    Winter applications are accepted on a case-by-case basis.

    Applicants must submit their online application with supporting documentation and application fee by the deadline date indicated.

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    Fall (September) Early April January 10

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    Fall (September) Early April January 15

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    Fall (September) Early April December 1

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    Fall (September) Early April January 15

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    Fall (September) Early April December 1

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    Applicants must submit their online application with supporting documentation and application fee by the deadline date indicated.

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    Fall (September) Early April January 15

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    Fall (September) Early April May 1

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    Fall (September) Early April March 1

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    Fall (September) Early April February 1

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    Fall (September) Early April May 1

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    Fall (September) Early April March 1

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    Fall (August) August 1 November 15 (year prior to start)

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    Fall (September) Early April June 1
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    Fall (September) Early April March 1
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    Fall (September) Early April June 1
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    Fall (September) Early April March 1
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    Summer (July) Early February September 1

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    Summer (June) Early February August 15

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    Summer (July) Early February August 15

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    Summer (August) Early February June 1

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    Fall (September) Early April January 8
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    Fall (September) Early April January 8

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    Fall (September) Early April December 15

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    Fall (September) Early April February 1

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    Fall (September) July 1 December 1

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    Fall (September) July 1 October 15

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    Term Applications open Annual application deadlines Audition dates
    Fall (September) Early April December 1 January 24-29, 2022
    Winter (January) Early July June 15 July 2021

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    Fall (August) Mid September February 1

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    Fall (August) Mid September January 15

    Master of Occupational Therapy – Accelerated Program Canadian and US applicants

    Term Applications open Annual application deadlines
    Fall (August) Early October May 1
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    Master of Occupational Therapy – Accelerated Program international applicants

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    Fall (August) Early October January 15

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    The name of your confirmed supervisor is required at the time of application. To identify a prospective thesis research supervisor on your application, please contact Immunology Faculty members.

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    Master of Science (Thesis)

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    Master of Science (Coursework)

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    Learn more

    Contact us

    Admission and application inquiries

    Faculty of Graduate Studies
    Room 500 UMSU University Centre
    65 Chancellors Circle
    University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
    Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

    graduate.admissions@umanitoba.ca
    Phone: 204-474-9377
    Fax: 204-474-7553

    Monday to Friday
    8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Program inquiries

    Faculty of Social Work
    Room 521 Tier Building
    173 Dafoe Rd. W
    University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)  
    Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

    social_work@umanitoba.ca
    Phone: 204-474-7050
    Fax: 204-474-7594