Admission to the Master of Social Work
Admission Requirements to the Master of Social Work
Applicants must satisfy the following minimum requirements:
- A Bachelor of Social Work degree from a recognized university with a minimum GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.3 scale). Students in their final year of a BSW program are eligible to apply and may be given provisional acceptance pending completion of degree requirements by May 30 of the year of entry to the MSW program. Students who will complete their degree requirements beyond May 30 may be considered on an individualized basis.
Applicants who do not satisfy these minimum requirements are not considered further in the selection process.
- A minimum of 1500 hours or one-year, full-time equivalent of social work-related work experience. This may be paid or volunteer work, but must not include field placement, practicum, or co-op work. Experience must be clearly demonstrated through the submission of a curriculum vitae.
Enrolment in the MSW program is limited to 16 students each year and admission is highly competitive. Applicants will be assessed on academic and professional readiness. Satisfying the minimum requirements will not guarantee admission.
The application deadline for the first year of the program is May 30, 2021 and November 15 of each year thereafter. All application materials and supporting documents must be received by the Admissions Office on or before the deadline.
Educational Equity Admissions Policy
The School of Social Work has adopted an Educational Equity Admissions Policy for those applicants who have been disadvantaged and/or marginalized by some form of oppression. The policy recognizes that some students may have experienced structural barriers due to identification with a specific group or because of labels imposed on them by society. Students wishing to be considered under the Educational Equity Admissions Policy must indicate their request on the application form. In addition, students must complete the Equity Statement by identifying which form of oppression has impacted their life through marginalization or barriers that have limited their access to social institutions. Educational Equity Statements are considered during the second stage of the admission process only for applicants who meet the minimum academic requirements outlined above in “Prerequisites,” subsection 1. The Equity Statement may be found at STU.ca/SocialWork.
Note: Prospective applicants must score a minimum of 50% in each of the first three criterion to be considered eligible for admission.
The School of Social Work reserves the right to interview an applicant should it be necessary to evaluate professional readiness for the program.
After the first intake of the program, applications become available online on September 1 each year. A completed application includes:
- a completed general application form for admission to the program found at www.stu.ca/ApplyNow
- a non-refundable application fee of $100
- a personal statement. See the Guidelines for Personal Statement section below
- a detailed curriculum vitae outlining all relevant work, research and volunteer experience for the past five years
- two letters of reference that must be sent directly to the Admissions Office by your referees. If you are currently in university, or if you have been out of university for two years or less, submit one academic reference from a university instructor and one reference from a supervisor from your most recent paid employment. If you have been out of university for more than two years you may provide two references from employers, with one being from your most recent employer. Please refer your references to the Reference Letter Guidelines section below.
- official transcript from an accredited BSW program. If you have a STU transcript you will not need to submit it as our Admissions Office has access to it.
Notification of Admission Status
For the first intake of the program, applicants for admission to the Master of Social Work program will receive written notice of their admission status on an on-going basis. After the first intake, applicants will receive written notice of their admission status by February 15.
Following acceptance to the program, MSW students must register for the program by the deadline specified in their letter of offer. Any student not registering by the registration deadline will be required to re-apply for admission. To register, follow the steps below.
- Contact your assigned faculty advisor to discuss and review your program of study.
- Obtain written approval of your program of study from your faculty advisor well in advance of registration.
Guidelines for Personal Statement
Your personal statement should be no more than 1,500 words, double-spaced, and in 12-point font. Please respond to the following:
A. Describe the experiences, skills, qualities, and/or personal identities (e.g. disability status, racialized identity, gender, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, etc.) that you bring that would be helpful in working with diverse populations.
B. Drawing from your work experience, indicate with examples what interests you about structural approaches to social work. How do you expect to learn and achieve your career goals within the context of the MSW program at St. Thomas University?
C. Indicate your current scholarly and professional interests and how the MSW program at St. Thomas University will help you achieve these. This information will be used to inform advance practicum and thesis options.
Reference Letter Guidelines
For your reference letters, you should provide the following information to those acting as a reference.
Thank you for agreeing to provide a reference for an applicant to St. Thomas University’s Master of Social Work program. Your comments will be considered carefully by our Admissions Committee. Professional suitability is weighted heavily in our selection process. You can be of help to the applicant by sharing observations on the applicants professional and academic suitability. Because of the nature of the program and the profession, it is critical that persons with suitable personal qualities be selected. Your comments on the candidate’s qualities that will affect their performance as a social worker are of particular interest to us.
Our MSW focuses on advanced clinical practice with a structural lens and will provide students with advanced theory and practice skills in three major areas: (1) professional leadership, (2) social work supervision, and (3) advanced direct practice skills development.
The courses offered are based on the application of structural social work theory which places major emphasis on understanding the structural roots of personal and social problems. The program prepares social workers to analyze and challenge sites of privilege, as well as to assist individuals and groups who are experiencing the effects of marginalization and oppression. The program’s objectives are consistent with the mission and social justice statements of St. Thomas University and its School of Social Work.
Please speak to the applicant’s ability to succeed in graduate studies and discuss the applicant’s strengths and qualities. Some areas you might consider speaking to:
- Academic ability
- Time management skills
- Written and oral communication skills
- Organization skills
- Ability to work with others
- Capacity for independent thought and critical thinking
- Ability to complete responsibilities
- Additional information or comments that you would consider helpful in assessing the applicant’s suitability for this master’s program
- Any concerns and/or areas for further self/professional development
Wherever possible, reference letters should be submitted on formal letterhead and be dated and signed by the writer. Letters may be submitted electronically to email@example.com
Thank you again for your assistance. Your comments will be treated confidentially.