Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a BSW degree?

Graduates are employed in a wide range of government and voluntary organizations.
For further information see Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASWE)

What are the Admission requirements for the Bachelor of Social Work Distance Delivery Program?

Applicants to the BSW Distance Delivery initiative must meet all 3 requirements to be admitted into the program.

  1. Residency outside the City of Winnipeg.
  2. A minimum of one year of work experience (practicums are not considered for work experience), equivalent to 1750 hours, within the last five years, as of the application deadline in the social services field.
  3. Successful completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours by May 1 in academic courses taken in any faculty and which are acceptable to the University of Manitoba with a minimum of 2.5 (C+) A.G.P.A.

Does my specific work experience qualify for the 1750 hour work experience requirements for admission?

The 1750 hours of work/volunteer experience will be assessed and scored by the Admission committee. Relevant experience, whether work/volunteer, is defined by the Faculty for the purposes of admission as: “The involvement in programs and activities designed to enhance people’s development and well being. This includes the planning, organization, development and administration of programs for, and the provision of direct service to, people. The human service field includes but is not limited to, the following six areas: 1) personal social services, 2) health, 3) education, 4) housing, 5) income, and 6) justice and public safety.”1

All work experience will be assessed for Social Work relevance according to the process described below.

Tier I-Working in the capacity and having the responsibilities of a social worker including a range of professional functions assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation. Work experience assessed as Tier 1 will be scored at 100% of its duration.

Tier II-Working in a social service setting fulfilling a more limited range of responsibilities than Tier 1, including but not limited to; residential case worker, Child and Family Services support worker, case aide and research interviewer. Work experience assessed as Tier II will be scored at 50% of its duration.

Tier III-Working in a human service capacity as defined by relevant work experience that falls outside the definitions of Tier I and II. Work experience assessed as Tier III will be scored at 25% of its duration.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to describe how their experience relates to social work. Dependent upon the Tier level scored, only a portion of the hours outlined may be awarded towards the fulfillment of the 1750 hours of work/volunteer experience requirement. Each work/volunteer experience must be described individually. The online application provides space to identify, calculate, and describe each work/volunteer experience within the last 5 years. Blank fields will be interpreted by the selection committee as zero (0) hours worked and this will make applicants ineligible for reconsideration.

1Adapted, with amendments from Barker, Robert L (1991). The Social Work Dictionary, 2nd Ed. Washington, D.C.: NASW Press.

Where do we send transcripts?

Please send all application documentation to the following address:

Admission for Social Work
Enrolment Services, 424 University Centre
University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the Enrolment Services/Admissions Office receive all required information and documents by the appropriate deadlines.

I took courses at another institution (university or college). Do I receive transfer credit towards my BSW?

At the University of Manitoba, all course work from a recognized post-secondary institution will be considered as part of the application for admission process for all undergraduate degrees.

Admitted students may be eligible to receive block credit of up to 51 credit hours of electives towards their degree in Social Work, as determined based on their previous university-level studies. Students may explore if courses taken at a prior post-secondary institution have been assessed by reviewing the Transfer Credit Equivalency Database.The Faculty of Social Work supports the principle of granting equivalency credit for social work courses taken in programs leading to a professional social work qualification at other educational institutions recognized by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE). Currently, the Faculty of Social Work has transfer of credit agreements with the following Community Colleges:

  • Assiniboine Community College (Social Service Worker Diploma Program)
  • Seneca College (Social Service Worker Gerontology Diploma Program)
  • Red River College (Child and Youth Care Program, Metis Child, Family and Community Services Program)
  • Fleming College (formerly Sir Sandford Fleming) (Drug and Alcohol Counselor Diploma Program, Social Service Worker Diploma Program)
  • Mount Royal University (Social Service Worker Diploma Program)
  • Portage College (Community Social Work Diploma Program)
  • Grant MacEwan University (Social Work Diploma Program)

Students who have completed any of these programs may be eligible for transfer credit of selected social work courses if admitted to the Faculty of Social Work. However, these courses cannot be used as part of the minimum 30 credit hour eligibility. Students who have studied in diploma programs without a transfer of credit agreement, or who have not completed the above programs may be eligible for elective credit only, subject to course by course review.

The responsibility for assessing BSW equivalency is assumed by the BSW Curriculum Committee. Students will be advised at the Orientation of the procedures to follow if they intend to request BSW equivalency for courses taken previously. The request for consideration of equivalency must originate with the student.

NOTE: Decisions on considerations of equivalency may not be finalized until after fall courses have started.

Students that are unable to provide the requested course information may render themselves ineligible for programs with specific course requirements. Students may try contacting the individual departments or instructors at their prior institutions to obtain specific course information. Only successful applicants will be notified of transfer credit results.

What is the Written English requirement and the Mathematics requirement?

Students at the University of Manitoba are required to complete within the first 60 credit hours of their program, a minimum of one 3 credit hour course of significant content of written English and a minimum of one 3 credit hour course with significant content of mathematics. Those presenting a recognized bachelor’s degree will receive the full block transfer with the Mathematics and Written English Requirements met. Proof of graduation is required.

Those who have not completed a recognized bachelor’s degree will have their Written English and Mathematics course requirements assessed separately. Students may be asked to provide comprehensive and accurate course outlines or syllabi, as issued by their institution of study, for all courses lacking a current evaluation for the Mathematics and Written English Requirement. Course outlines or syllabi should include information on: course objectives, outline of the units studied, textbook(s) used, assignments, and accompanying laboratory information, if applicable, to assist in the transfer credit assessment process.

Information on current course evaluations receiving credit.
Additional information related to transfer credit.

to the BSW ongoing? When can I start the program?

BSW applications are available on our Admissions Office website in November of each year and completed applications must be received by March 1st. There is only 1 intake per year and if offered admission, you would start in September for the year you applied.

I really want to start taking courses as soon as I can. Can I take courses at the University of Manitoba before I am accepted as a Social Work student?

Yes, individuals seeking to take courses before they are admitted into the Faculty of Social Work can do so by applying to the Division of Extended Education. It is highly encouraged that students who wish to do so contact an academic advisor in the Distance Delivery program to make they are taking the correct sequence of courses.

Visit the Contact Us page for advisor contact information.

How many applicants do you admit per year? Is admission competitive?

Normally we offer admission to 100 applicants. Admission is very competitive; we receive on average 300 applications per year.

Is the BSW program available to students outside of Manitoba?

Yes, the option of a distance education delivery method allows students to complete the BSW program while residing across Canada.

 Is the distance education program the same as the on-campus program?

Yes, you will complete the same SWRK courses and practicum requirements for your program regardless of the course delivery method.

How much is course tuition?

Current course tuitions fees are available on the Registrar's website and are generally updated yearly. Tuition fees are assessed at a per credit hour rate. Courses taken through the University of Manitoba are usually 3 credit hours or 6 credit hours. Along with the tuition there are Endowment and Student Organization Fees as well.

How long will it take to complete the BSW? Can I take a part-time course load?

If you are admitted with a previous degree and will be taking a full-time course load, the program can be completed within 2 academic years. However, if you are trying to balance work, family commitments, course work and practicum placements, you may want to take a part-time course load instead. You are given a maximum of 9 years to complete the program. The completion time for students taking a part-time course load is highly variable.

Can the practicum be completed where I live?

Yes, your required practicum placements would be completed in or near your home community.

Can I use my work and life experience to take the place of a course?

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a process of recognizing the prior learning of skills and knowledge in social work practice. This can be through formal and informal study in a variety of settings as well as through a diversity of experiences. PLAR provides a mechanism for identifying, documenting and evaluating learning, thereby acknowledging and giving credit to students for demonstrated learning. You may apply to complete a Prior Learning Assessment (PLAR) course in place of the first practicum placement.

The Faculty of Social Work accommodates those students who are qualified and who can demonstrate an acceptable level of knowledge and skill, by allowing them to challenge for certain social work courses. Please refer to the BSW Student Handbook for more information.

As a distance student, do I have to come to campus at any time during my program?

No, at present there is no requirement to come to campus.

How are exams written?

Students enrolled in distance and online courses may elect to write their exam off-campus if they live further than two hours travel time (one way) from Winnipeg. Students electing to write their exam off-campus must declare to do so by the Exam off-campus application deadline.

Questions? Please contact: examsoffcampus@umanitoba.ca

 Can I take social work courses without being in the program?

Students currently enrolled in other faculties or schools at the University of Manitoba may register for Social Work courses provided they have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours of university study and achieved a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.5. These students will also be limited to completion of SWRK 1310 and SWRK 2080 plus nine credit hours of required social work courses.

Courses available to students enrolled in other faculties and schools at the University of Manitoba:

Required Social Work Courses
SWRK 1310 Introduction to Social Welfare Policy Analysis
SWRK 2080 Interpersonal Communication Skills
SWRK 2090 Human Behaviour and Social Work Practice
SWRK 2110 Emergence of the Canadian Welfare State
SWRK 2130 Comparative Social Welfare Systems
SWRK 3130 Contemporary Canadian Social Welfare
SWRK 3100 Systematic Inquiry in Social Work

Elective Social Work Courses
SWRK 2050 Community & Organizational Theory
SWRK 2070 Small Group Dynamics
SWRK 4050 Selected Topics in Social Work
SWRK 4080 Current Issues in Social Welfare

NOTE: Special and non-Social Work students are required to abide by the same pre/co requisite policy that applies to B.S.W. students.

Is the UM BSW degree recognized across Canada and internationally?

The UM BSW degree is fully accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education and graduates are eligible to register as a social worker in any Canadian province.

If you are considering practicing outside of Canada after graduation, you must contact the social work association or registration board in that jurisdiction to ensure that a Canadian BSW degree will meet their membership or registration requirements.

Do you offer an MSW?

Yes, the University of Manitoba offers a Master of Social Work degree. This degree is not offered online and students must complete courses on campus.

Visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for more information on admission requirements.