Master of Social Work FAQ
Is the MSW from the University of Manitoba an accredited program?
The social work master’s degree from the University of Manitoba is accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE-ACFTS) https://caswe-acfts.ca/ It is the only accredited Master of Social Work program in Manitoba.
Is your MSW offered online or through distance delivery?
No, our MSW is not offered online. Students must attend in person. Courses are offered in the daytime and evening to provide as much flexibility as possible for student schedules. There are no weekend courses.
When should I start my online application?
Applications should be started around the time when the online application opens beginning July 1. Do not wait to start an application close to the December 1 deadline. Doing so may result in an incomplete or late application. Applications to the MSW program should be started well in advanced of the deadline to provide the applicant with enough time to submit the required supporting documentation. With the extremely high volume of applications received for the MSW program, incomplete and/or late applications are not considered. It is recommended that if an applicant cannot submit all required documentation by the December 1 deadline that they wait until the next year to submit their application.
Can I apply to the MSW with a 3-year undergraduate degree?
No. Applicants to graduate programs at the University of Manitoba must possess, at minimum, a 4-year undergraduate degree. Courses taken after completion of an undergraduate degree under a special student status (or equivalent) to reach the number of credit hours required for a 4-year undergraduate degree are not considered equivalent and the application will not be considered.
Is the MSW offered on a part-time basis?
Graduate students can attend full-time or part-time. To request part-time status, newly admitted students submit a “Request for Part-Time Status” form. Graduate students attending full-time have 4 years to complete their program of study and will pay the program fee in year 1 of their program. Graduate students who attend part-time may have up to 6 years to complete the program depending on when the Request for Part-Time Status form is submitted. The program fee is split between year 1 and year 2 of the program.
Can I apply for entry into the MSW in the Winter or Summer terms?
No, the fall term is the only term of admission. The online application opens July 1 and closes on December 1. The application is accessible on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website or the Faculty of Social Work website.
Will you accept late applications for the MSW?
Applications received after December 1 deadline and incomplete applications are not considered. Additionally, applications started prior to the December 1 deadline, but not submitted and paid until after the deadline, will also not be considered. Please ensure that you allow yourself enough time to complete the application and upload the required documents by December 1.
Will you accept advanced standing for previous Social Work courses?
MSW courses previously completed in another MSW program may be considered on a case-by-case basis after admission has been finalized. Courses taken to obtain another degree cannot be used as credit toward an MSW degree. Non-social work courses are also not transferable into an MSW degree. The Faculty of Graduate Studies Academic Guide Regulations expand on this information (Section 6.3.4 Advanced Credit).
How competitive is admission to the MSW?
Each year, we accept approximately 60 students (30 for the 1 Year Advanced MSW and 30 for the 2 Year Foundation MSW). We typically receive about 150 applications for the 1 Year Advanced MSW program and about 300 applications for the 2 Year Foundation MSW program. Admission into the MSW program, especially the 2 Year Foundation Program, is highly competitive. Meeting the minimum admissions requirements is needed for an application to be considered in our admission decisions, however meeting these requirements is not enough to guarantee admission to the program.
Can I apply to both the foundation and the advanced MSW programs to increase my chances of being admitted?
Applicants are only eligible to apply to one program. If you have an accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), then you apply to our one-year MSW. If you have a four-year undergraduate degree, apply to our two-year MSW program.
I have more than one university degree and decades of relevant experience, can I be admitted to the 1 Year Advanced MSW program even though I don’t have a Bachelor of Social Work?
Applicants to the advanced year of the MSW Program must have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an accredited program. This is a requirement of the Canadian Association of Social Work Education (CASWE).
I do not have social work-related work experience. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply. Experience is not a requirement to apply to either MSW program.
I am not sure if my application is strong enough to apply. What should I do?
- Apply and see what happens.
- Raise your grades before you apply. The quickest way to raise your grades is by repeating courses with low grades within last 60 credit hours and getting a higher grade.
- Apply to multiple MSW programs to increase your chances of getting an offer of admission.
How do you calculate the GPA for MSW admission?
We find your most recent university course on your uploaded transcript documents and start counting backwards from it until we get to 60 credit hours of graded courses. Generally, this will be the last 20 courses, which is the equivalent of half (or two years) of a four-year degree. For international applicants, generally, the courses within the last two years of full-time study are used to calculate the GPA (3rd and 4th year of an undergraduate program). It doesn’t matter if the university course(s) were taken as part of a degree or not, it just needs to be a regular university course. If any course in the last 60 credit hours is without a grade and/or not used towards GPA calculation at your university (e.g.: placements, etc.), we will skip over it and continue counting backwards until we reach 60 credit hours of graded courses. If your last 60 credit hours includes a failed grade, it will be used towards GPA calculation. If you have repeated a course in your last 60 credit hours, we will use the most recent grade. If you have withdrawn from a course within your last 60 credit hours, we will skip over it and continue counting backwards until 60 credit hours is achieved.
How much will it cost to attend the MSW?
Cost and fees are outlined by the Registrar's Office.
Are there any scholarships available for MSW students?
The MSW program does not have guaranteed funding. While there are funding opportunities available, they are limited, and students must apply for the opportunities after they are admitted to the program and registered in courses. There are typically more applications than there are funding sources available. For applicants whose last 60 credit hours are B+ (80%) and above, you may want to consider applying for an External Award such as Tri-Council Funding (SSHRC or CIHR).
The Faculty of Social Work financial aid and awards.
The Faculty of Graduate Studies funding awards and financial aid.
The Financial Aid & Awards Office (bursaries).
The University of Manitoba Graduate Students’ Association student awards.
I did my degree outside of Canada, how can I tell if I am eligible to apply?
Applicants who have received degrees from outside of Canada are eligible to apply. The educational backgrounds of each applicant will be assessed. Listed below are guidelines for the minimum admission requirements from each country. You will also need to ensure that you have reviewed and meet the minimum requirements of the program(s) to which you are applying. You will also have to meet the minimum English as a Second Language requirements (if applicable). Please be advised that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to a graduate program. Please refer to the information on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.
I did my degree outside of Canada. Do I need to submit an English Language Test Score?
It depends on which country the degree is from. Information on which countries are exempt from submitting an English Language Test Score can be found on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.
I did my degree outside of Canada and I am required to submit an English Language Test as part of my application. What English Language Tests does the Faculty of Graduate Studies accept?
Information on the types of English Language Tests that the Faculty of Graduate Studies accepts, as well as the minimum scores required for each can be found on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.
Do I need to upload all my documents before I pay for and submit my application? I want to make sure my recommenders have adequate time to complete the recommendation form before the December 1 deadline.
No, you don’t need to upload all your required documents before you submit your application. Once your payment is processed, you will receive an auto-generated email from the Faculty of Graduate Studies office at the University of Manitoba. You will be able to log into the application to finish uploading the required documents once received. Please ensure the required documents are uploaded by December 1 for the application to be considered.
When are MSW admissions decisions made?
Admission decisions are made and communicated by the end of March or early April. All applicants are notified by email from the Faculty of Graduate Studies. If necessary, admission letters will outline provisional admission conditions. These conditions must be cleared before registration in courses is permitted.
Are deferrals of admission permitted?
Newly admitted students may request a deferral of admission. Domestic students may be granted a one term deferral, i.e., a January start date instead of September. International students may request up to a one-year deferral of their start date from the original date of admission. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will make the final decision to grant or refuse the deferral request.
Does the Faculty of Social Work have a Pre-MSW program?
No. The 2 Year Foundation MSW program replaced the Pre-MSW program for those who possess a 4 year undergraduate degree in a discipline other than social work.
Does the Faculty of Social Work have a language or Admission test requirement?
No. The Faculty of Social Work does not have a language test requirement or an admission test requirement, i.e., GMAT or GRE.
Are applicants required to indicate a potential supervisor on the MSW application?
No. Indicating a potential supervisor or faculty advisor on the MSW application is not a requirement. It is optional. If there is a faculty member with a similar area of interest as the applicant, the applicant can indicate the faculty member on the application.
Should I contact a potential supervisor with similar research interests as the applicant when applying to the MSW program?
No. This is not necessary. Applicants are encouraged to review the faculty research page on the Social Work website to ensure that there is a faculty member with a similar area of interest prior to applying.
Where can I find faculty research interests?
Faculty of Social Work research areas can be found here.
What documentation is required for the MSW applications?
The MSW program has only one application intake per year, and applications are accepted for September entry only. Applications must be completed online and include several parts
- Online Faculty of Graduate Studies application
- Unofficial copies of transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
- Two letters of recommendation (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
- Application fee (non-refundable)
Who can provide a recommendation letter? What is the process for submission of the recommendation letters?
Two recommendation letters are required for application to the MSW Program. Acceptable recommendations can be 2 employer recommendations or 2 academic recommendations, or 1 employer recommendation and 1 academic recommendation. They must know you in an academic and/or professional capacity and can speak to your ability as a student.
Important Note: Recommendation forms and letters must be completed by the recommender only. Applicants must not prepare/assist with this process with the recommenders. Such activity will be considered fraud and will result in an unsuccessful application.
You may submit your application before the recommendation letters are submitted.
If your recommender does not receive the link by email, please ensure the email address entered is correct. If the email is correct, please ask your recommender to check their spam/junk folder. If the recommender is still not receiving the link, please contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Admissions Office.
Recommendation letters must be submitted online by the recommender ONLY. Recommendations received via email or letter mail are not accepted.
The General Recommendation form consists of a series of questions in which the recommender can select the most appropriate response via multiple choice. Although the questions are more academic in nature, employers can complete the form as well. The recommenders will also be provided with an option to add their own letter of recommendation in addition to completing the General Recommendation form.
What is required for the Area of Specialization Statement?
The question in the online application is “What area to you wish to focus on during your studies?” The area of specialization statement is an opportunity for you to write about the area of social work practice or research that you will study if admitted into the MSW program. For example, is there a population (i.e. children or older adults) or a specific practice approach or intervention strategy that you want to study? The question within the online application has a word limit so responses must be short and concise. No personal life experiences should be included in the response.
Are the Work/volunteer/placement (or practicum) history forms required?
Yes. This section must be completed in the format provided in the online application. Resumes that list past work, practicum, or volunteer experiences are not accepted. If the application form is incomplete, the application will not be considered by the admission committee. In the rare instance that an applicant does not have any of the three types of experience, please indicate this on the application (the first page of the history form). By indicating this information, the application will mark the section as being complete.
Do you require a statement of interest?
No. We require the supporting application materials (recommendations, area of specialization statement, and work/volunteer/placement history forms).
Will you accept additional documentation such as resumes, workshops or training completed, or other documentation not listed as required documentation?
No. Additional information will not be used in the assessment of applications to the MSW program.
Who do I contact with questions about my application?
Technical questions such as not being able to enter/upload or save information, issues paying the application fee, issues logging into the application, and so forth, should be directed to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Admissions Office. Questions about the admission requirements of the MSW program should be directed to the Graduate Student Advisor in the Faculty of Social Work.
Does the application deadline ever get extended?
There have been a couple of instances where the application deadline was slightly extended due to technical issues with the online application system that prevented applicants from finishing and submitting their applications. The additional time was provided only if the technical issue happened close to the deadline date. Applicants starting an application close to the deadline will not be provided additional time to submit the documentation if they cannot meet the December 1 deadline.
Can I submit my application without paying the application fee? Are application fees ever waived? Are application fees refundable if my application is unsuccessful?
Applications will not be considered if the application fee is not paid. The Faculty of Graduate Studies does not waive the application fee. Application fees are not refundable. The application fee covers the cost of evaluating the applications for admission into the MSW program.
If my application is unsuccessful, can it be moved to the next application intake?
If an application is unsuccessful and an applicant wants to apply again for the next academic year, a new application is required. Unsuccessful applicants are sent a letter informing them that their application was not successful. These applications are closed and removed from the application system.
Important Note: The MSW application is a self-managed process. Applicants must complete the online University of Manitoba Graduate Application form, upload all required supporting documentation, and successfully pay the application fee per online instructions by December 1.
Due to the large number of applicants each year, the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Faculty of Social Work do not personally confirm receipt of your supporting documents. You can track receipt of the supporting documents on the online checklist. Please note that this checklist will not update immediately upon receiving your supporting documents. It may take several weeks for the updates to appear on the application. Be sure to that you begin an application well in advance of the December 1 deadline to ensure that all supporting documents are also received by the deadline date.
Newly Admitted Students FAQs
What do I need to do to finalize admission into the MSW program?
All newly admitted students must accept the offer of admission to finalize admission. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will withdraw the offer if there is no response within 1 month of the date indicated on the e-letter from their office. There is a link within the letter of offer that students use to indicate whether they accept or decline the offer of admission.
What documentation is required to finalize admission into the MSW program?
The Faculty of Social Work requires submission of a Criminal Record Check, Child Abuse Registry Check (Manitoba residents) or Vulnerable Sector Check (other Canadian provinces). International students must submit a criminal record check and program planning form. These documents must be received by the Graduate Student Advisor before registration will be permitted. Registration holds will be placed on students who have not provided these documents to the Graduate Student Advisor.
The Faculty of Graduate Studies requires submission of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (not from the University of Manitoba) and a copy of the passport. The documents should be submitted to the Graduate Studies Admissions Office. A provisional hold will be placed on incoming students until the documentation is received to prevent registration.
How does registration work for a newly admitted MSW student?
Newly admitted students must register in the first term of admission (September). The Faculty of Graduate Studies will close the application if a newly admitted student does not register by the registration deadline in mid-September. Those who do not register for the fall term will have to reapply for admission.
When does the MSW orientation take place?
The MSW orientation for new admits takes place in May for the Foundation and Advanced MSW students. Information is emailed to students once the orientation date and time is determined.
How do I set up my University of Manitoba email address?
Students who are new to the University of Manitoba must set up a University of Manitoba email address after admission has been confirmed. The University of Manitoba will only correspond with U of M email addresses due to security reasons. Information on how to set up a U of M email address can be found on the IST website.
Previous University of Manitoba students will use the same university email from when they first started.
How to I obtain my student photo ID card?
Students who are new to the University of Manitoba can order their photo ID’s on-line via the Registrar’s Office website (the preferred way) or make an appointment to come into the Registrar’s Office to have one done. This should be done as soon as possible because the ID card is used for many purposes at the U of M. If you have been a student at the U of M, and still have your photo ID, you are not required to get another one unless the old one has been lost or damaged. There is a fee for a replacement card.
How do I register for courses?
All University of Manitoba students register for courses via the Aurora Student system. General information about registration can be found here.
What is the Aurora Student system? can be found here.
Instructions for how to register for courses on the Aurora system can be found here.
It is strongly recommended that newly admitted students, and especially students new to the University of Manitoba, familiarize themselves with the system prior to fall and winter registration.
How are fees assessed in the MSW program?
MSW students are assessed a program fee (plus incidental fees) in year 1 of their program (fall and winter terms) and beginning in the summer term and until they finish their program, will be assessed a continuing fee in every term (plus incidental fees). MSW students who request part-time status will be assessed the program fee in Year 1 and Year 2 of the program (plus incidental fees). The program fee is split evenly between Year 1 and Year 2 of the MSW program. Starting in the summer term of Year 1, the continuing fee (plus incidental fees) will also be assessed until the student is completed their program. For students with part-time status, it is important to note that there will be a higher fee in Year 2 of their program than in Year 1 due to the other half of the program fee being assessed in Year 2.
Will I receive an invoice to pay my fees?
No. The University of Manitoba does not provide students with an invoice for fee payment. Student fee assessments can be viewed on Aurora Student under “Enrolment & Academic Records”, “Student Records”, and “View Account Summary by Term”.
For sponsored students, the sponsoring agency will receive an invoice from the Revenue, General & Student Accounting office at the University of Manitoba once the process has been set up in the system. More information.
What are the options to pay my fees?
Payment options for all categories of students can be found here.
I am an international student planning to take the course-based route. How do I obtain a co-op work permit letter?
International students planning to take the course-based route require a special letter called a co-op work permit to register in the Foundation program field placement and/or the Advanced program advanced field practice. The Faculty of Social Work sends this letter to international students shortly after admission into the program has been finalized. Application to obtain the co-op work permit letter must be applied for a minimum of 3 months prior to the start of field.
International students completing a thesis are not required to obtain a co-op work permit.
The International Centre for Students can answer any specific questions the student may have in terms of applying for the permit.
I am an international student. How do I obtain an estimate of my fees?
Some international students will require a tuition fee and living expense estimate letter as part of applying for their study permit. The International Centre for Students at the University of Manitoba can provide a fee estimate letter to newly admitted international students. Fee estimate letters can be requested by emailing email@example.com Please note it can take up to 10 working days for an estimate letter to be issued by their office.
Are there resources for international students?
The International Centre for Students at the University of Manitoba has many resources about immigration, housing, and so forth for international students planning to attend the University of Manitoba. Information can be found here.
I checked “thesis” on the application, but my student record indicates I am in the course-based route.
The Faculty of Graduate Studies defaults all newly admitted MSW students to the course-based route when admitted, regardless of whether “thesis” was selected on the application. This is because the majority of the MSW students take the course-based route. Those wishing to complete the thesis route must submit a “Program Route Change” form from the Faculty Graduate Studies.
I checked “part-time” on my application, but my student record indicates I am “full-time”.
All students admitted into a graduate program at the University of Manitoba default to full-time status regardless of whether “part-time” is selected on the application. A “Request for Part-Time Status” form is required if graduate students wish to request part-time status from the Faculty Graduate Studies.
What is the policy for registration as a graduate student?
Per Faculty of Graduate Studies policy, all graduate students must maintain continuous registration in every term and pay fees until they complete their program. This policy applies to MSW students. If an MSW student is not completing course work in a particular term, registration in Master’s Re-Registration (GRAD 7020) is required to hold the student’s place within the graduate program. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will discontinue any graduate students from their program if they are not registered in each term. If discontinued, the student may apply for re-admission but re-admission is not guaranteed.
Is there a course I should register in for every term?
MSW students add Master’s Re-Registration (GRAD 7020) when they register every term. This is a place holder course to protect a masters student spot in their program if they are not taking courses or working on a thesis or advanced field practice. No additional fees are assessed to register in this course.
It is important to note that if a graduate student is not registered by the registration deadline for each term, that they may not be eligible for reimbursement of the tuition for the affected term when it comes time for the yearly tax submission.
What is the deadline for payment of fees each term?
There is an established deadline for payment of fees in every term that the student can view in Aurora Student under “Student Fee Account”. The deadline is typically about a month after the start of classes in each term. The date is set by the Registrar’s Office. Please ensure that fees are paid in every term prior to the established deadline otherwise the Registrar’s Office will assess late payment fees to the total and will place a hold on the student’s record preventing registration and access to resources around campus, i.e., access to library services.
Are there any courses outside of the MSW program that I must complete to graduate?
Yes. Research Integrity Tutorial (GRAD 7300) and Academic Integrity Tutorial (GRAD 7500) are required for graduation.
MSW students must register in and successfully complete the Research Integrity Tutorial (GRAD 7300) within the first year of their academic program, and the Academic Integrity Tutorial (GRAD 7500) in the first term of admission (Fall). The Faculty of Graduate Studies will place a registration hold on graduate student accounts if the tutorials are not completed. These tutorials are required by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and must be completed in addition to other required and elective courses in the MSW Program. No additional fees are assessed for these tutorials.
Who do I contact if I experience an issue with registering for courses?
Contact the Graduate Student Advisor (in the Student Services and Admissions/Advising Office) in Social Work if you are experience difficulties in registering, i.e., being blocked from registering in a course. Some courses have blocks that require the Graduate Student Advisor to load overrides to permit registration. Students wanting to take an elective course in another faculty may also encounter registration blocks. The Graduate Student Advisor can assist with loading the necessary overrides to permit registration.
To register for a course in another faculty, students must have obtained written consent for their advisors to take the course (if it is an elective course) and will need to provide the written consent. For MSW courses that have blocks on them, the Graduate Student Advisor will check to see that any pre-/co-requisite requirements have been met before loading any overrides.
It is important to note that some other faculties will not permit registration in their courses to students from other faculties until the “reserved spaces” option opens, even if the social work student has obtained the required written consent. This is because students in that faculty have priority registration.
When contacting the Graduate Student Advisor, please ensure that your email contains, your name, student number, full course information (course number, section number and title), CRN (course registration number), and the error message received (copy and paste the error message into the email).
The course is full, and I would like to register in it. What should I do?
Three credit hour courses may have online waitlists. Most of the MSW courses have online waitlists. This can be checked via Aurora by trying to register in the course. If the course is full and there is a waitlist, a drop-down menu should be visible, and the student can add themselves to the waitlist.
Notifications will go out to students via email to their U of M email accounts if any space opens in the course based on the sequential order that students added themselves to the waitlist. Students should regularly check their U of M email for a notification if they are on a waitlist. The notification from the Register’s Office is only open for 24 hours and the student must respond within that time. After 24 hours, the notification closes and will go to the next person on the waitlist. Student who did not respond to the notification will be automatically removed from the waitlist and they will have to re-add themselves to the wait list again.
Online waitlist cannot be by-passed.
There is no waitlist option for 6 credit hour courses. If a student needs to register in a 6-credit hour course for their program and the section is full, they can either contact the instructor of the course to see if the classroom can physically accommodate another student and the instructor is willing to add another student, or, the student can look for an alternative section of the same course.
If the instructor is unwilling to add more students to their course, and there is enough interest in a particular course, the Dean’s Office in Social Work may open an additional section pending the amount of interest and faculty resources available to offer another section. This is done on a case-by-case basis.
I can’t log into Aurora Student to register. The system seems to have locked me out.
There may be a few reasons this may occur. The most common reason is due to the student incorrectly logging out of Aurora Student. To correctly log out of Aurora Student, the “EXIT” button on the Aurora screen should be selected. Do not use the “X” button at top corner of the computer to close the session. The session may not end correctly and when the student tries to log in again, Aurora may think the student is still in the previous session and deny access to make changes. An error message “Your advisor is currently reviewing your student record” is displayed when this occurs. To correct this, the student will have to go into Aurora Student again and use the “EXIT” button to log out and then wait about 10 minutes (or longer) and then try logging into Aurora again.
A list of possible registration errors can be found here.
If the above does not work to reset Aurora, contact the Registrar’s Office at 204-474-9420 for assistance.
Program Information FAQs
Who do I contact with questions about my program?
MSW students’ first point of contact with any program related questions will be either the Graduate Student Advisor (Student Services & Admissions/Advising Office) or their assigned faculty advisor in Social Work. For the MSW program, the Faculty of Social Work and the Faculty of Graduate Studies are the primary faculties that students will interact with during their time in the MSW program. The Faculty of Graduate Studies should not be contacted by students unless directed to do so. Their office will redirect MSW student inquiries back to the Faculty of Social Work.
The Registrar’s Office should only be contacted for inquiries, such as change of name, address, ordering photo ID, or ordering documents such as transcripts.
How does full-time and part-time status work in the MSW program?
All students admitted into a graduate program at the University of Manitoba default to full-time status regardless of whether “part-time” is selected on the application. A “Request for Part-Time Status” form is required if graduate students wish to request part-time status, form can be found here.
Graduate student status is not determined by the number of credit hours taken per term. Students who spend much of the time in a field placement or advanced field practice or a library engaged in research or writing a thesis, or who spend part of the academic year engaged in research elsewhere, are regarded as full-time students.
Full-time and part-time status will affect how the program fees are assessed in the first 2 years of the MSW program. Full-time status students will pay the entire program fee in year 1 of the program (over the fall and winter terms). Part-time status students will have the program fee split evenly between Year 1 and Year 2 of their program (fall and winter terms of year 1 and year 2). It is important to note that the fee for Year 2 for the part-time status student will be higher than in Year 1 because the continuing fee begins in the summer term of Year 1.
There are a small number of awards that require registration in a minimum number of credit hours per term or for a student to be engaged full-time in the course-based or thesis portion of their programs and/or require the student to have full-time status to be eligible to apply for the funding.
Full-time status students have 4 years to complete the MSW program and part-time status students may have up to 6 years dependent on when the Request for Part-Time Status form was submitted. The Faculty of Graduate Studies uses a formula to determine how much additional time part-time status students will receive.
Is there a minimum number of credit hours per term that I must be registered in for the MSW program?
No. There is no minimum credit hour requirement for the MSW program. However, MSW students, especially those in the Foundation MSW, must plan their programs to ensure that they have enough time to finish all program requirements within the applicable time limit. In general, MSW students should be completing at least 2 courses per term to allow enough time for completion of either the course-based or thesis part of their program.
MSW students must register in GRAD 7020 (master’s re-registration) in a term if they are not registering in a course or the thesis or course-based routes.
What is the difference between the thesis route and the course-based route?
The thesis route is for students to demonstrate that they have expertise in a particular theoretical and research area. The purpose of the thesis should be to build or test theory through disciplined and focused independent study. In addition, the thesis represents a demonstration of the candidate's competence in completing a research project. Those interesting in completing a thesis tend to have an interest in research and teaching and may be looking to further their education in the future in a Ph.D. program.
The course-based route is for students to develop the specialized skills and knowledge in a specific area of social work practice by completing a minimum of 450 hours of advanced field practice (SWRK 7180) experience. Along with the course SWRK 7190, Integrating Theory and Research in Advanced Field Practice, this course is a key program component in the MSW program for those students who choose the non-thesis route.
Can I take the thesis route and course-based route options at the same time?
No. Students in the thesis route (GRAD 7000) cannot take the course-based route courses (SWRK 7180 and SWRK 7190) and course-based route students cannot also take the thesis route.
I am in the thesis route and close to completing my thesis. What is the process to finalize submission of my thesis?
Information about the development of the proposal and the writing of the thesis is in the MSW Student Handbook located on the Faculty of Social Work website under “Student Experience”.
Information about the submission of the thesis, submission deadlines, and thesis examination process can be found on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.
When the student is close to completing the thesis requirement of their program, this is one of the rare times when the student will be working more closely with the Faculty of Graduate Studies because their office administers the thesis process.
I need to make changes to my program progression. What is the process to do this?
MSW students should meet with their faculty advisor to complete a revised program planning form. The forms can be found on the Social Work website under “Student Experience”, “Newly Admitted Students (graduate)”. The revised program planning form must be submitted to the Graduate Student Advisor (Student Services & Admissions/Advising Office) to be added to your student record.
I am interested in the Graduate Focus on Aging Concentration.
The Graduate Focus on Aging Concentration is available to any interested student who is enrolled in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and whose graduate work is concentrated in aging. To be eligible, a form must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Master’s students must complete the requirements of the program to which they have been admitted and the requirements of the Graduate Focus on Aging Concentration. Detailed information can be found in the Academic Guide on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.
MSW students registered in the Graduate Focus on Aging Concentration can increase the number of non-social work courses from 3 to 6 credit hours, while reducing the specialized social work course requirements from 9 to 6 credit hours.
When do progress reports need to be submitted?
At minimum, the Faculty of Graduate Studies requires a progress report once a year in the spring. The report is due in the Faculty of Graduate Studies by June 1. Information will be sent out by the Graduate Student Advisor in early spring to start the process. The completed document must be submitted to the Faculty of Social Work for approval and then it will be forwarded to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The progress report is required before registration for the next academic year is permitted. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will place registration blocks if the report is not submitted by the time fall and winter registration opens in mid-July.
Master’s thesis students must submit the Advisor Student Guidelines (electronic submission) with the first progress report submission.
PhD students must submit the Advisor Student Guidelines (electronic submission) and PhD Program of Study form with the first progress report submission.
Faculty advisors may complete the progress report more than once per year.
Who should I contact to initiate processes such as program advising, leaves of absence, program extensions?
Students should contact their assigned faculty advisor to initiate advising on the above topics. Information on all these topics can be found in the MSW Student Handbook.
What is the Voluntary Withdrawal Policy (VW) for MSW students?
Per Faculty of Graduate Studies policy, MSW students cannot voluntarily withdraw from courses without the written consent of their faculty advisor. The Faculty of Graduate Studies may require the student to withdraw, if the student voluntarily withdraws from courses without prior written consent and/or changes their program plan without the written consent of their faulty advisor. If the student is required to withdraw from their program and must apply for re-admission but re-admission is not guaranteed.
What is the Authorized Withdrawal (AW) Policy for MSW students?
Per University of Manitoba policy, authorized withdrawals may be granted based on compassionate or medical reasons. Documentation is submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and they review the request. Their office will make the final decision on whether the AW will be granted.
It is important to note that the AW request will only be considered for withdrawal from all courses in a given term. Additionally, requests for AW will be considered for the currently enrolled term and for terms dating back no more than three academic years.
It may be more appropriate for MSW students to submit a request for a retroactive leave of absence for compassionate or medical reasons than to request an AW. With the leave of absence, the student would receive additional time to complete their program. This does not happen with an AW. The student would have less time to complete the requirements of their program.
How do I submit my name for graduation?
Three times per year, the Graduate Student Advisor (Student Services & Admissions/Advising Office) will email students and faculty to ask them to submit the names of students who are on track to graduate in either February, May, or October. Written confirmation of the faculty advisor is required prior to students being added to the graduand list. Names are collected and provided to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for their deadline.
Students in the thesis route will be added to the applicable graduand list by the Faculty of Graduate Studies after the required documentation for thesis submission is sent to their office.
Students can be added to the graduand list if they are in the final stages of the programs, i.e., registered in the final course(s) of their program with final grades to be loaded by the end of the term.
Do not use the online portal to submit your name for graduation. This is for undergraduate students only. The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Faculty of Social Work (graduate programs) do not monitor this portal and would be unaware of any names added.
Names cannot be added to the graduand list after the Faculty of Graduate Studies deadline. Any names that are submitted after the deadline will be moved to the next available graduation period.
What is the process after I am added to the graduand list?
The Faculty of Social Work and the Faculty of Graduate Studies conduct graduation checks for all students whose names are submitted for convocation.
There will be a couple of months of no communication after the names have been submitted while the Faculty of Social Work and the Faculty of Graduate Studies conduct the checks. If you are not contacted during this period, this is good news. It means that there are no issues with the checks. Students are only contacted if there are issues with their student record that must be corrected before graduation, or if the student does not meet the requirement to graduate for that graduation period (normally the student does not having enough credit hours).
Students can be removed from the list at any point if confirmation is received that the program requirements for that graduation period cannot be met.
Students must be registered in the term prior to graduation so that final grades can be loaded.
Once a preliminary check has been completed, students will begin receiving emails about convocation from the Convocation Office.
The Faculty of Social Work will receive a list from the Faculty of Graduate Studies to confirm that the students on the list are still on track to graduate. Once that confirmation from the Faculty of Social Work is provided, the list of graduands is finalized through approval by University Senate.
Where can I find resources for MSW students?
Resources for MSW students can be found in the MSW Student Handbook. If you are looking for a particular resource that is not listed in the student handbook, contact the Graduate Student Advisor for assistance.
English is not my first language. Is there a resource to help me improve my academic English?
The English Language Centre provides quality in-person and remote programming to students whose first language is not English. Their programs may be suited for you if you hope to improve your academic English or are already studying at the U of M and want to enhance your academic English language skills. More information.
I applied to the MSW-IK program but must take the Foundation MSW program first, what is the process to begin the MSW-IK courses after I have completed the foundation courses?
Foundation students who will start the MSW-IK program after completion of the foundation MSW courses must be completed the requirements by August to begin the MSW-IK program in September. Please see the MSW Student Handbook for more information.
I would be interested in applying as a research assistant or teaching assistant. Who would I contact about this?
The Dean’s Office in Social Work is responsible for posting these types of positions. Normally postings are listed in July and/or August prior to the start of courses in the fall, however, these types of positions can be posted by any department or faculty over the academic year. Postings can be found on the University of Manitoba Human Resources website (use the “Advanced Search” option to narrow the search to student postings)
Additional information for students can be found on the Career Services website.
Field Placements (Foundation) & Advanced Field Practice (Advanced)
The Field Education Office provides general information about the various field settings which have been or are currently providing field practice opportunities for Foundation MSW and Advanced MSW students. Availability of specific placements varies from year to year. To find out further information about the availability of a particular setting or requirements needed for some field placements, please consult with the Field Education Coordinator or Field Program Assistant.
Each student is required to complete an Application Form, which can be found on the Faculty of Social Work website under “Student Experience”, “Newly Admitted Students (graduate)”. The Application Form, along with an updated résumé that has your University of Manitoba email on it, must be submitted to Patti Kafka, Field Program Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Foundation MSW students can take their field practice in either the fall and winter terms (September to April) or the summer term (May to August). The deadline to submit applications for either of these options are as follows:
- Fall and Winter Term field practice – June 30
- Summer Term field practice – February 1 (Foundation MSW students only)
Advanced MSW students can only complete their advanced field practice in the fall and winter terms (September to April). The deadline to apply for the advanced field practice is June 30.
Upon receipt of an application, the student will receive an email notification providing them with a password to enable access to the Intern Placement Tracking (IPT) database. The Time Log Fillable Form will be available in IPT as well as contact information for your placement Supervisor.
Should you wish to consider field placements which are not currently identified through the Field Education Office, you are required to submit a proposal to the Field Education Coordinator 8-10 weeks in advance of the established due date. If qualified social work staff (MSW with two or more years of social work experience) are prepared to function as agency-based field instructors and existing learning opportunities meet field curriculum requirements, your proposal will be considered.
Funding and Awards
Information and applications for Social Work awards are available on the Social Work website. The Faculty of Social Work will send out an email the beginning of July to commence submission of the applications. The deadline to apply for most of the awards is August 31. If August 31 falls on the weekend, the deadline is the next business day.
The Margaret Mary Burns Bursary will become available to apply for in August (and email will be sent to students), once the Financial Aid & Awards Office makes their General bursary application available. Please note that international students are not eligible to apply for bursaries in the first year of their program.
University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (UMGF). For the past few years, the fellowship has been awarded to newly admitted PhD students once confirmation has been received from the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) that there are allocations available for Social Wok.
Tri-Council Awards are the national awards, such as SSHRC and CIHR. Social Work students typically apply for SSHRC (Social Services and Humanities Research Council). The Faculty of Graduate Studies sends out info to graduate students about these and other national awards. Please ensure you check your U of M email regularly for emails.
For other possible funding opportunities, students should visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies website. The Faculty of Graduate Studies offers both internal awards and national awards. They have a very extensive database of funding available if students meet the eligibility criteria to apply.
Award info for international students can also be found on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website. Bursaries are not available for international students when they are in their first year of their program. International students can apply for bursaries in the 2nd year and until they finish their program.
The Graduate Students’ Association also has some funding available for students.
Some awards and scholarships require the student to have full-time status.